US 3507065 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A ril 21, 1970 I w. s. FULLER-TON 3,507,065
OVERLAY FOR ILLUMINATING TUBING F iled Dec. 21, 1967 W; z 63 i'zzzsz .2
lulu/AM S. Faint-R700 United States Patent O 3.507 065 OVERLAY FOR ILLUMINATING TUBING William S. Fullerton, St. Paul, Minn., assignor to Technical Ordnance, Inc., St. Louis Park, Minn. Filed Dec. 21, 1967, Ser. No. 692,442 Int. Cl. G09f 13/06 US. Cl. 40-130 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an overlay for tubular lighting means, such as neon tubing, to be carried by said tubing and to comprise a translucent fluorescent flexible substance as a covering material taking on the configuration generally of the character or design formed by the tubing. The overlay is conveniently formed of an elastomeric silicone resin impregnated with suitable pigment and arranged to form a self holding overlay.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention herein relates particularly to neon signs and displays. Neon tubing is widely used for these purposes. The tubing itself whether illumined or not is subject to being enhanced a good deal in appearance. It is desirable to make the tubing more attractive by applying a suitable overlay to the tubing with the overlay to be carried by the tubing.
With respect to the art, the closest reference patent known is US. Letters Patent No. 3,056,221 to Brienza which embodies the use of rigid translucent plastic having a rear wall which carries the tubing and a front wall spaced therefrom and secured thereto having light passing therethrough. Other known reference material is on the order of US. Letters Patent Nos. 2,778,134, 2,895,245, and 2,823,474. These patents disclose three dimensional signs comprising clock-like letters which house the neon tubing and provide for the passage of light therethrough.
It is an essential element and a principal object of this invention to provide a flexible pigmented translucent material to comprise an overlay to be applied directly to tubing such as neon tubing to be carried thereby and to be self secured thereto.
hance the appearance of said tubing.
It is also an object of this invention to provide an overlay for neon tubing comprised of a substance which may 'be used to self secure the overlay to said tubing.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views and in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan broken view showing the device herein in operating position;
FIGS. 2-4 are views siimlar to FIG. 1 showing views in front elevation, side elevation and rear elevation;
FIG. 5 is a broken view in section of a detail on an enlarged scale taken on line 55 of FIG. 2 as indicated;
FIGS. 6-8 are broken views in section of a segment of "ice the device herein showing a channel therein, the deforming of the segment to receive a portion of a tube and a segment in operating position showing some modification in connection therewith; and
FIG. 9 is a rear view in perspective of the device herein.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, a neon sign 10 of conventional construction is indicated with only as much thereof being shown as is necessary for disclosure of the invention herein.
Said neon sign comprises conventional tubing 12 having supporting brackets 14 indicated securing said tubing to a supporting surface 15, which surface may form the back wall or plate of the sign. The term neon tubing is used here in a generic sense having reference to a tube containing an inert gas for illumination. The major portion of the tubing here shown is in the form of the character N.
The invention herein represents an improvement in providing means to enhance and make more attractive the illumination which is produced with bare neon tubing and to improve the appearance of the sign whether illumined or not.
A member comprising an overlay 20 forming the invention herein is provided for said tubing and particularly for the characters formed by said tubing or for the design formed thereby. The overlay is attached to and is carried by and does not support the tubing. The overlay may be variously formed other than as described in connection with the particular embodiment disclosed here n.
Said overlay is here disclosed as comprising a flexible translucent body of material 21 providing good diffusion of both the natural and artificial light passing therethrough. To enhance said diffusion of light, the forward side 22 of said body 21 has formed therein a multiplicity of indentations or recesses 23 which act on the order of lens in providing intensification or rays of diffused light. Said body 21 is preferably impregnated with fluorescent pigment 24 in addition to the coloring material used to provide said overlay in a relatively wide selection of colors.
Said body of material 21 will be formed or molded of commercially available materials and preferably of a pourable silicone resin forming a molding compound such as the Dow Corning translucent resin known as Sylgard 186 together with a suitable curing agent and conventional pigments. The method of forming molds is well known in the art as is the molding of the material and these are not part of the invention herein. The invent on herein has to do with the product of said resin as a molded body of material. 'In the disclosure herein, the body of material 21 corresponds to the character N formed by the tubing.
The material indicated provides a desirable resilience or elasticity and can readily stand wide extremes of temperature for out-of-door use.
It will be appreciated that fluorescent pigment and other coloring material is readily mixed into the compoundwhich forms said body of material 21.
With reference to FIGS. 6-8, sectional views of said body of material 21 are shown in which the rear side 26 thereof has formed therein a channel 27 to accommodate said tubing 12. The particular cross sectional configuration of said member 21 is a matter of design. Said channel is shown having enclosing means in the form of separable overlying cover or Wall portions 28 and 29. As indicated in FIG. 7, said member 21 will yield under pressure to be reversely deformed crosswise and said cover portions 28 and 29 are separated sufiicient y in connection therewith to permit said tubing to be readily received and disposed within said channel 27 and to be retained therein with said member 21 and said cover means 28 and 29 in their normal positions, as indicated in FIG. 8. If desired and as indicated in FIG. 8, the line of separation between said walls or cover portions 2 8 and 29 may be sealed by being overlaid with a ribbon or bead of the compound used to form said body of material 21 which will be applied in a liquid state to form a permanent sealed enclosure for said tubing. This is indicated by the reference numeral 30 in FIG. 8. l
Also with reference to FIG. 8, a nontransparent r'efiective coating 31 is shown applied to the outer surfaces of the portions 28 and 29 to provide improvement in the forward projection of light from the neon tubing. Sai'd coating may be variously applied such as spraying or by the application of adhesive material. Such application is known in the art.
It will be understood that the scope of invention herein embraces overlaying not only characters or designs present in a neon sign but the entire tubing of the sign if desired and tubular signs or lighting fixtures generally.
The overlay provided herein is light in weight and is readily carried by the tubing onto which it is mounted as described, providing an attractive and desirable ornamentation for the tubing. The fluorescent pigment within the member 21 makes the overlay a particularly attractive ornamentation with both natural light and the illumination from the tubing.
Thus it is seen that I have provided a substantial improvement with respect to the ornamentation of neon tub ing in improving the appearance of neon signs.
It will of course be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details, arrangement and proportions of the parts, without departing from the scope of the invention herein which, generally stated, consists in a device capable of carrying out the objects above set forth, in the parts and combinations of parts disclosed and defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is: 1. In connection with a tubular lighting means, a body of translucent flexible material in the form of an indicia, the rear surface of said indicia carrying a channel of deformable material conforming to the outline of said indicia, and said channel having separable walls to permit the passage therebetween of a tubular lighting element made in the outline of said indicia.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,095,291 10/ 1937 Schneider. 2,202,396 5/ 1940 Owen. 2,286,588 6/ 1942 Taaife. 2,740,216 4/ 1956 Lieberman 40 131 3,056,221 10/ 1962 Brienza.
FOREIGN PATENTS 1,351,833 12/1963 France.
'EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner R. CARTER, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 40131