US 3590506 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent m1 3,590,506
 lnventor Rudolph S. Jeski 3,255,725 6/1966 Von Kreidner et al 40/125 X 326 Meyran Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213 3,289,737 12/1966 Kozel 160/24  Appl. No. 784,076 3,314,468 4/1967 Riedel 160/24  Filed Dec.'l6, 1968 3,430,374 3/1969 Woodward 6. 40/129 C  Patented July 6, 1971 OTHER REFERENCES POPULAR SCIENCE page 187 Aug. 1964 40-129 C EMERGENCY VEHICLE SIGNS Primary Examiner-Lawrence Charles 4 Claims 13 Drawing g Altorney-Don J. Smith  US. Cl 40/129, 40/125 [5 ll". l disclose a ign tructure comprising a lurality G09f 1/00 of foldable sign panels, hinge means joining said panels along  Field Discard: 40/125, j nction m ans therebetween, leg means hingedly joined to 129; 160/24. 290 the outer ones of said panels, stabilizing means mounted on said sign structure for stabilizing said panels in an operative  Reterences unfolded mode, and restraining means coupled to said leg UNITED STATES PATENTS means for restraining said leg means to a predetermined exl,823,14l 9/1931 l-lendrickson 160/290 X tent of movement relative to said sign structure.
PATENTED JUL 6l97l SHEET 1 OF 3 Ins/III.
PATENTEDJUL 6l97| 3,590,506
'SHEET 2 or 3 WWW PATENTED-JUL 619m 3.590 506 SHEET 3 [1F 3 EMEERG ENCY VElilllCLlE SIGNS The present invention relates to sign displaying means and more particularly to signs suitable for displaying on or in conncction with a disabled vehicle.
Although the invention is described primarily in connection with emergency signs for disabled vehicles, it will be apparent that the sign structures disclosed herein are readily adaptable for other display purposes, particularly repetitive applications wherein foldable signs are desirable.
With the advent of high speed highways and increasing traffic volumes, it has become quite hazardous to park a vehicle along the highway and in other traffic congested areas. Aside from the likelihood of damage to the parked vehicle, no little personal hazard is involved for the vehicle operator or for a mechanic making essential repairs upon a stalled vehicle. For example, along limited access highways and other high speed roads, the simple operation of changing a tire has become in creasingly dangerous. Hazards are increased by considerable measure along those highways having rather narrow shoulders or other emergency parking areas. At the present time vehicular speeds necessitate the use of visual warnings for a stalled or otherwise parked vehicle, which can be readily observed from a considerable distance by approaching traffic. Most importantly, it is desirable to provide an emergency sign of the character described wherein it is obvious to operators of oncoming traffic either at night or in the daylight hours.
Owing to the limited space available in most highway vehicles, i.e., passenger automobiles, a rather compact emergency sign is appropriate. For the reasons mentioned previously it is highly desirable to park the vehicle on the highway shoulder or emergency strip no longer than is absolutely necessary. The emergency sign accordingly must be one which can be quickly assembled and disassembled, with an operating size which is large enough to provide long range visibility and a folded configuration suitable for storage in the automobile trunk, as an example.
As might be expected, owing to the seriousness of this problem, a number of emergency vehicle signs and similarly storable folding signs have been disclosed in the past. In general, these signs have presented the disadvantages of complexity and difficulty of manufacture and use, insufficient size to provide a long range visual access, or insufiiciently compact for proper attachment to or storage in a vehicle, particularly in passenger automobiles.
The vehicle mounted signs disclosed in the US. Pats. to Meade No. 2,671,423 and to Von Kreidner et al. No. 3,255,725 are demonstrative of these deficiencies. The Meade sign, for example, is entirely too small to afford adequate advance warning, while the Von Kreidner et al. arrangement is complicated in construction, which militates against its manufacture and subsequent use. Both of these signs require unlikely mounting structures which are readily damaged when the signs are stored within or upon the vehicle. The US. Pats. to Halter No, 2,499,859; Oliver No. 2,702,955 and Murray, Sr. No. 2,991,699 disclose signs which are not sufficiently large in their operative or unfolded configuration to provide sufficient visual warning to oncoming uaffic. Certain of these structures in addition cannot be folded into a sufficiently compact structure for vehicle storage. In general, this is true of the sign structures disclosed in the US. Pats. to Goland No. 3,322,093 and RitzWoller No. 2,062,479. These sign structures, moreover, are overly complex for proper manufacture and use for the purposes of the present invention.
I overcome these disadvantages of the prior art by providing sign structures of noncomplex design which can be readily manufactured, used and stored for the aforementioned purposes. The sign structures of the invention provide excellent visual access, by night and day, to oncoming traffic in their displayed condition and yet can be folded or otherwise reduced to a size which can be readily stored in the trunk ofa passenger automobile for example. In their stored conditions, my sign structures do not occupy a significant portion of the automobile trunk, and adequate space remains for articles customarily stored in the trunk. Most importantly, my sign structures are arranged for quick and facile assembly and disassembly such that parking of the vehicle along a busy highway for example is not significantly prolonged by use of the sign.
I accomplish these desirable results by providing a sign structure comprising a plurality of foldable sign panels, hinge means joining said panels alongjunction means therebetween, leg means hingedly joined to the outer ones of said panels, stabilizing means mounted on said sign structure for stabilizingsaid panels in an operative unfolded mode, and restraining means coupled to said leg means for restraining said leg means to a predetermined extent of movement relative to said sign structure.
I also desirably provide a similar sign structure wherein said stabilizing means includes a bar member insertable into a pair of retaining brackets therefore mounted respectively on said panels.
I also desirably provide a similar sign structure wherein said bar member is formed integrally with said leg means.
I also desirably provide a similar sign structure wherein said plurality of the sign panels are so joined in an array including a pair of and panels and at least one panel disposed therebetween, said leg means include a pair of generally L- shaped legs having a stabilizing section and a supporting section, and said stabilizing means include a pair of brackets mounted on each of said end panels respectively and an additional bracket mounted on a central one of said panels for receiving said stabilizing leg sections.
I also desirably provide a sign structure comprising a sign having a pair of rods and a flexible sign member secured at its 7 ends to said rods respectively, bracket means for supporting said sign structure from an external support, said bracket means including a first member for rotatably supporting one of said sign rods and a second member for detachably engaging the other of said sign rods to that said other rod can be removed and displaced from said bracket means to display and store said sign member by unrolling and rolling said sign member relative to said one sign rod.
During the foregoing discussion, various objects, features and advantages of the invention have been set forth. These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention together with structural details thereof will be elaborated upon during the forthcoming description of certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and presently preferred methods of practicing the same.
In the accompanying drawings I have shown certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and have illustrated certain presently preferred methods of practicing the same, wherein:
FIG. ii is an isometric view showing one form of my sign structure in its unfolded or operative mode;
FIG. 2 is a rear isometric view of the sign structure shown in FIG. 1 but illustrated here in a nearly folded condition;
FIG. 3 is a rear isometric view of another form of my sign structure illustrated here in its unfolded mode;
FIG. 3A is a front isometric view of the sign structure of FIG. 3',
FIG. 4 is a partial rear isometric view of a modified form of the sign structure shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 4A is a partial, isometric view showing a modification of the sign structure stabilizing means of FIG. 4;
FIG. 5 is a frontal isometric view of still another modification of the sign structure according to my invention;
FIG. 6 is an isometric view illustrating the folded mode of the sign structure of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a frontal isometric view of still another form of sign structure in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 8 is an isometric view of the sign structure of FIG. 7 in its folded mode;
FIG. 9 is a partial rear isometric view of a vehicle with still another form of my sign structure mounted thereon; and
FIG. is a similar view showing the sign structure of FIG. 9 in its stored position.
FIG. 10A is an end elevational view of the sign structure as shown in FIG. 10.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the exemplary sign structure shown therein comprises panel sections 22, 24 upon which suitable warning indicia such as the indicia 26 of FIG. I are displayed. It will be understood, of course, that additional panels can be utilized and joined for example by the illustrated hinge means 28 and stabilizing means 30 described in detail below.
In its operative or displayed position or mode, the sign structure 20 is supported by a pair of legs 32 which are hinged respectively at 34 to the sign panels or boards 22, 24. If desired, a conventional, limited-opening hinge 34 (maximum opening 3045) can be utilized to facilitate setting up the sign structure 20. In the folded condition (FIG. 2) of the sign structure 20, the legs 32 can be stored by inserting into spring clips 36 likewise secured respectively to the sign panels 22, 24 and positioned so as to engage the legs 32 near the lower ends thereof.
In this arrangement the sign panels 22, 24 are hingedly secured by the aforementioned hinge means 28 which in this example can take the form of strip hinges of cloth or other flexible material. When in its unfolded or operative mode, the sign structure 20 (FIG. I) can be stabilized against unfolding, for example, when used in windy areas or where the highway shoulder or other terrain is not particularly smooth. One form of such stabilizing means 30 include a swivel bar 38 in this example centrally pivoted at 40 to one of the sign boards 22 or 24 in this case the sign board 24. To stabilize the sign boards 22, 24 in their operative position (FIG. 1) the swivel bar 38 is moved to a horizontal position, as viewed in FIG. 1, to engage bracket 42, mounted on the other sign board 22 for engagement with the swivel bar 38 near the end thereof. If desired, a similar bracket 44 can be mounted on panel 24 for engagement with the opposite end portion of the swivel bar 38 to relieve in a large measure the stresses which would otherwise be imparted to the swivel bar pivot 40.
Desirably, the swivel bar 38 is fabricated from relatively thin plywood or metal so as not to interfere with folding of the sign structure 20 as shown in FIG. 2. To facilitate such folding the cloth hinges 28 can be left in a loosened condition adjacent the junction 46 between the sign boards 22, 24 to permit folding the sign boards 22, 24 (FIG. 2) with the swivel bar 38 and brackets 42, 44 therebetween.
In FIG. 3 of the drawings, a modification of my sign structure 20' is illustrated wherein similar reference characters with primed accents denote components similar to corresponding components of FIGS. 1 and 2. In the latter arrangement of my invention, the swivel bar 38 and brackets 42, 44 are omitted and one of the legs 32 of FIGS. 1 and 2 is replaced by a supporting and stabilizing leg 48 in this example of L-shaped construction. In the operative or unfolded condition of the sign structure 20' as illustrated, the leg 48 is hingedly joined to both of the sign panels 22, 24, by inserting its upper section 50 through a pair of eyebrackets 52, 54 secured respectively to the upper rear surfaces of the sign boards 22', 24' respectively. Desirably, the eyebrackets 52, 54 are unequally displaced from the adjacent edges 56, 58 of the sign boards respectively so as not to engage when the sign structure 20' is folded. The insertion of the leg section 50 through the eyebrackets 52, 54 in addition stabilizes the sign boards 22, 24' in their unfolded condition.
Before folding the sign structure 20', the L-shaped leg 48 is removed from the eyebrackets 52, 54 and stored between the folded panels 22, 24' by inserting in spring clamp 36' and in auxiliary spring clamp 60, in this example, similarly placed in an opposite comer of the sign panel 22'. To permit folding of the panel 22', 24' the stored leg 48 is displaced upwardly, as viewed in FIG. 3 to chain outline position 62 thereof. 1
Still another form of supporting leg and stabilizing means are iliustrated by the sign structure 20" of FIG. 4. In this arrangement both of the legs 32 (FIG. 1) are replaced by cooperating stabilizing legs 62, 64, each of which is of generally L-shaped configuration. The upper or horizontal sections 66, 68 of the L-shaped legs are inserted respectively as stabilizing bars through eyebrackets 70, 72 or the like mounted individually upon the sign panels 22, 24'.
One of the legs for example the leg 64 is provided with a sleeve or socket section 74 for receiving and stabilizing the end portion 76 of the other leg 62. This engagement between the legs 62, 64 in turn increases the stability of the sign panels 22, 24' in their operative or unfolded mode of which are hingedly joined to the leg structure 6264 by the eyebrackets 70, 72. If desired, additional stabilization can be provided by eyebrackets 78, 80 secured respectively to the panels 22, 24' and spaced from the first-mentioned brackets 70, 72.
The sign construction 20 can be folded in much the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 2 but more particularly as described in FIG. 3. Thus, the L-shaped legs 62, 64 are first removed from the eyebrackets 70, 72 and from the brackets 78, 80 if used. Then, the legs 62, 64 are secured to spring clips 60' and 82 positioned near the upper outer corners of the sign panels 22', 24' and in lower spring clips or clamps (not shown in FIG. 4) but similar to the spring clips 36 of FIG. 3.
Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4A the sleeve 74 can be omitted and a single eyebracket 79 or the like can be mounted on one of the panels 22, 24 near the junction 46' therebetween. The end portions 81, 83 of the legs 62, 64 respectively can then be inserted in side-by-side relation through the bracket 79 to stabilize the sign structure 20".
A related sign structure 84 is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings and'in this example includes three sign panels 86, 88 and 90 although obviously a different number can be employed. The panels 86-90 likewise can be hingedly joined as by flexible strap hinges 92 secured to the rear surfaces of the panels atjunctions 94, 96 therebetween. Desirably, the hinges associated with one of the junctions for example the junction 94 are gathered, as denoted by reference characters 92a, at the junction 94 to permit outer panel 90 to fold forwardly over the central panel 88, while the other outer panel 86 preferably 1 is folded to the rear of the central panel 88.
In the sign structure 84 supporting and stabilizing legs 98, IOQ are hingedly joined to the outer panels 86, 90 by a pair of eyebrackets 102, 104 or the like secured to these panels respectively adjacent their upper edges. The horizontal leg sections or stabilizing bars 106 of the legs 98, thus are hingedly joined to the panel arrangement 8690 while the generally vertical leg portions 108 maintain the panel arrangement in an upright position when the sign structure 84 is displayed.
For stabilization of the sign structure 84 in its operative mode (FIG. 5) the upper free end portions 110 of the leg sections 106 can be inserted from opposite sides through a suitably shaped bracket 112 secured adjacent the upper edge of the central sign panel 88. In this example, the bracket 112 includes-a tubular member 114 into which the leg ends 110 are inserted for alignment purposes. Alternatively, the central bracket 112 can be replaced with an eyebracket or the like, for example an eyebracket similar to 102 or 104 but of correspondingly larger opening. Additional alignment can be afforded with the leg sleeve arrangement as shown in FIG. 4.
When the sign structure 84 is folded (FIG. 6) the legs 98, 100 can be spring clipped thereto as in FIG. 4 of the drawings, or alternatively they can be removed, for separate storage.
In FIGS. 7 and 8 of the drawings, a sign structure 116 is illustrated which can be provided, if desired, with indicia 118, 120 visible from opposite directions. In this form of my invention the sign structure 116 includes a pair of forward sign panels 122, 124 and a pair of rear sign panels 126, 128. The rear panels are hingedly joined adjacent their top edges to the top portions of the front panels respectively as by flexible strip hinges or other suitable hinge means 130, 132 respectively. In this arrangement, the hinges 130, 132 terminate short ofjunction 134, 136 between the front and rear pairs of panels.
One of the junctions 134, 136 for example the front junction 134 is hinged by suitable hinge means such as flexible strips 138. The strap hinges 138 desirably are gathered at 140, i.e., adjacent the junction 134 so that the sign structure 116, after folding the rear panels against the front panels, can be folded forwardly to produce a compact structure (FIG. 8) for storage purposes. If desired, when the sign structure 116 is in its unfolded or operative mode (FIG. 7) suitable stabilizing means such as described previously can be used to stabilize one or both of the front and rear pairs of panels 122, 124 or 126, 128. Desirably, also the hinging motion of the upper hinges 130, 132 as viewed in FIG. 7 are delimited by flexible strap members 142 secured as shown (FIG. 7) between the front and rear panels respectively.
FIGS. 9 and 10 of the drawings illustrate a vehicle mounted sign structure 144 which according to one application of my invention is mounted upon a vehicle for example on the inside surface of an automobile trunk lid 146. The sign structure 144 is a scroll-type arrangement having upper and lower rods o'r dowels 148, 150 to which is secured a flexible member 152 such as heavy paper. Suitable warning indicia 154 are printed or painted on the paper such that it is visible when the paper 152 is unrolled from the dowels 148, 150.
As illustrated, the dowels 148, 150 project outwardly of each lateral edge of the flexible member or sign paper 152. The upper dowel end portions are inserted respectively into a pair of mounting or suspending means such as supporting clips 156 which are spacedly secured to 'the inside surface of the trunk lid 146. The supporting clips 156 include a first generally cylindrical or tubular sleeve 158 for rotatably receiving the associated end portion of the upper dowel 148. With this arrangement the indicia bearing member 152 can be rolled and unrolled relative to the upper dowel 148 by grasping and rotating the protruding end or ends 160 of the upper dowel relative to the mounting clips 156. In storing the sign structure 144, when the sign member 152 has been substantially rolled onto the upper dowel 148 the lower dowel 150 is then detachably inserted into spring clamp portions 162 also forming part of the supporting means 156. The sign structure 144 can thus be stored in a vary compact condition within the trunk lid 146 as shown in FIG. 10.
To display the sign structure 144, the lower dowel 150 is removed from the spring clamps 162 and downward pressurehas been substantially unrolled to its operative mode, the weight of the lower dowel 150 is sufficient to prevent the flexible sign member 152 from rerolling about the upper dowel 148. As illustrated the size of the sign member is sufficient to promote both daylight and nighttime visibility when fluorescent sign paints are used.
While I have shown and described certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and have illustrated presently preferred methods of practicing the same, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto but may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the following claims.
1. A sign structure for use with an automotive vehicle, said structure including a pair of rods and a flexible sign member secured at its ends to said rods respectively, bracket members shaped to engage the end portions of said rods respectively, said bracket members being further shaped for securance to an inward surface of a lid for a trunk compartment of said vehicle for supporting said sign structure from said trunk lid, said bracket members each including first means for rotatably supporting one of said sign rods and second means disposed adjacent said first means for detachably engaging the other of said sign rods so that said other rod can be displaced from and inserted into said second bracket means of said bracket members to display and to store respectively said sign member by unrolling and rolling said sign member relative to said one sign rod, sax second means being shaped for snap-engagement with said other rod, said sign member having such length that said other rod can be supported adjacent a lower surface of said trunk compartment upon raising said lid and removal of said other rod from said bracket members.
2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein at least one end portion of said one sign rod is extended outwardly of the associates one of said bracket members so that said one rod can be grasped and rotated to facilitate rerolling said sign member upon said one rod.
3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein the weight of said other rod is sufl'icient to maintain said member in its unrolled condition upon removal of said other rod from said bracket members.
4. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said first bracket means include a sleeve member for engaging the adjacent end of said one rod, and said second bracket means inis exerted on the lower dowel 150 to unroll the flexible sign dude a spring clamp shaped for .snap'engagfimem with the member 152 from the upper dowel 148, which rotates in the supporting means 156 as described above. When the sign 144 jacent end of said other rod.