US 3593448 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  lnventors Herbert R. Schoept Salt Lake City; John L. Babcock, Sandy, both 01, Utah [21 1 Appl. No. 843,368  Filed July 22, 1969  Patented July 20, 1971  Assignee Nu-Art Lighting and Manufacturing Company Salt Lake City, Utah  INTERNALLY LIGHTED, OVERHEAD, TRAFFIC SIGN FOR STREETS AND HIGHWAYS 12 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
 US. CL... 40/132 [51) 1nt.Cl. 609i 13/00  Field of Search 40/125, 128, 130, 132
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,148,341 7/1915 Spencer 40/132 Primary Examiner- Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner- Richard Carter Altomey- Mallinckrodt & Mallinckrodt ABSTRACT: An internally lighted, overhead sign for streets and highways that is so constructed as to be quickly legible to passing traffic and easily maintained. A housing framework made up of extruded aluminum components receives and hinges sign panels that can be swung open and closed for quick and easy maintenance. The framework includes extruded clamping strips for normally holding the sign panels tightly closed, sealing strips, and drip guards'overhanging the sign panels for protection from precipitation. Reflectors for directing light to-opposite panel sides converge along the vertical axis of the sign in alignment with longitudinal axes of lighting elements. Hangers provide for controlled swinging movement of the sign to accommodate wind currents.
PATENTEB JULZOIHTI 3.593448,
nutgghnunuunu INVENTORS HERBERT 1R SCHOEPF JOHN L BABCOCK 20a 30 "20 ATTORNEYS INTERNALLY LIGHTED, OVERHEAD, TRAFFIC SIGN FOR STREETS AND HIGHWAYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION tion is made up of two panel sectionshinged to opposite sides of an elongate hood, sothey can be swung outwardly. It has also been recognized that light can be distributed to advantage by using reflectors that converge to mutually aligned apices that are also in alignment with the'central axis of a lamp, see US. Pat. Nos. 2,175,505 and 3,009,054.
OBJECTIVES ,In the making of the present invention, it was a primary purpose to provide for the economical fabrication of a sign having all of the foregoing special features in a particularly advantageous form adapted for use in connection with highspeedtraffic on-modern streets and highways.
SUMMARYOF THE INVENTION The sign of the invention includes a housing framework fabricated from extrusions of aluminum or the like to receive ,andhold reflectors internally of the housing and to mount sign panels for-hinged opening and closing movement and for tight clamping in closed, weatherproof condition. Suspension hangers, having rotary friction joints on horizontal axes,.provide for restrained swinging movement of the sign to accommodate ,wind currents.
THE DRAWINGS .In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate a specific construction presently contemplated as the best mode of carrying outthe invention:
FIG. 1 represents a full face elevational view of a highway sign of the invention suspended from the mast arm of a decorative standard supporting a conventional traffic signal;
.FIG. 2 a view in vertical section taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, drawn to a larger scale, and showing .the sign in end elevation;
FIG. 3, a fragmentary verticalsection taken on the line 3-3 of 'F IG. 1 anddrawn to a still larger scale;
FIG. 4, an enlarged fragmentary view of the upper left hand corner ofFIG. 3;
' FIG. 5, a similar view of the lower left hand corner of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6, a horizontal section taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 3 and drawn to the scale of FIGS. 4and 5;
FIG. 7, an inside full face elevation of one of the end plates perse .drawn to the same scale as FIG. 2; and
FIG. 8, a fragmentary vertical section taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 3, showing details of the hanger.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF BEST MODE CONTEMPLATED The specific illustrated embodiment of the invention designated 10in FIG. I is shown suspended from the mast arm 11 of a decorative standard 12 that supports a traffic signal 13 of conventional type. The sign 10 includes an internally illuminated sign housing 14 and suspension hangers l5 and I6.
The sign housing 14 is elongate from end to end along the horizontal axis and converges from top to bottom along the vertical axis. This is advantageous for minimizing wind loads and providing maximum visibility and readability for the sign. Such housing comprises a structural framework 17, FIG. 3, made up longitudinally of extruded structural shapes, preferably. aluminum or a similar metal for combining strength andlightness with durability, but not restricted to metal since extrusions of a suitable plastic material could also be used. The ends of the framework 17 are provided by formed plates 18, see'especially FIG. 7, configurated to receive and retain thelongitudinal extrusion of the framework.
In the form illustrated, the longitudinal extrusions include a housing top wall 19 and bottom wall 20. These are formed to receive, along their opposite longitudinal margins, respective upper sign-framing hinge strips 21 and respective lower signclamping strips 22.
Thus, housing top wall 19 is formed with sets of flanges along respective, opposite, longitudinal margins, each set including an'inwardly extending, outwardly concave strip 19a that is curved on a radius in transverse cross section, a flat strip 19b extending inwardly therefrom as a continuation thereof, an outwardly extending strip that is upwardly concave in confronting relationship with the outward concavity of strip 19a as a hinge element, and a depending flat flange strip 19d for weather-sealing cooperation with an upper signframing hinge strip 21. Both the upwardly concave strip 190 and the depending strip 19d advantageously extend from the junction of strips 19a 1912, as illustrated.
For hingingcooperation with a strip 19, each sign-framing hinge strip 2I'has a longitudinal pintle member 21a extending along an outwardly curved member 21b that projects upwardly from bifurcated, sign-receiving member 21c. A limit stop member 21d projects upwardly from pintle member 21a.
Attached to either sign-framing strips 21 or to strips 19d, as by an adhesive, are gaskets 23, respectively, for weather-seal- .ing the housing when the sign panels .24 are closed. The sign panels are preferably transparent sheets of acrylic plastic or the like, although they may be of glass, having appropriately sign markings. They are fitted into bifurcated members 210, respectively, and corresponding members 25a, respectively, of lower sign-framing strips 25, along with respective U-shaped, weather sealing gaskets '26.
Forprotection of the sign panels against precipitation drip, it is advantageous to provide top wall extrusion 19 with outwardly extending, longitudinal, drip guard strip members l9e overhanging the sign panels 24 along opposite sides of the sign housing 14.
The bottom wall extrusion 20 is provided with upwardly directed longitudinal flanges 20a and with inturned longitudinal flanges 20b extending along opposite sides, respectively, thereof to define respective pockets 27 for receiving clamping means. Upstanding from and extending along the flanges 20!; adjacent to the inner ends thereof are flange strips 200, respectively, for weather-sealing cooperation with the lower sign-framing strips .25, respectively. .As with the upper flange strips 19d and sign-framing strips 21, gaskets are attached to either sign-framing strips 25 or to flange strips 200 for weather-sealing the housing when the sign panels 24 are closed. These gaskets, designated 23a, will normally be part of the gaskets 23, which are preferably each formed in an endless, rectangular, framing strip.
In this illustrated form, the sign-clamping strips 22 are formed as structural angles encompassing the lower edges of the sign housing 14, respectively, as defined by bottom wall extrusion 20. Clamping means are provided by thumbscrews 29 whose threaded shanks 29a, FIG. 5, pass through clamping strips 22 and the upwardly directed flanges 20a of bottom wall extrusion 20 and receive nuts 30 within the pockets 27. Longitudinally extending, latching projections 22c and 25b are advantageously provided on the strips 22 and 25, respectively, for greater security.
The flange strips 19d and the flange strips 20c are provided with longitudinal grooves 31 and 32, respectively, along their inner faces for receiving respective lateral edges of a downwardly convergent reflector 33 and of an upwardly convergent reflector 34, respectively, internally of the housing H4. in the illustrated embodiment, an upwardly and downwardly convergent intermediate reflector 35 is provided between the reflectors 33 and 34, leaving longitudinally extending spaces 36 for the reception of fluorescent lamp tubes 37 that have their ends inserted in receiving sockets of lampholder turrets 38.
Each of the end plates 18 are formed with upper and lower, extrusion-supporting projections 18a and 18b, respectively, and with lateral, sign panel abutment projections 18c, respectively, at its inside surface. Such end plates are preferably castings of aluminum or other lightweight material. Screws or rivets (not shown) may be used to fasten the ends of top and bottom wall extrusions to the end plate projections 18a and 18b.
Signframing end strips 39 are applied to opposite ends of the respective sign panels 24 to complete the framing thereof and to provide for weather-sealing cooperation with the abutment projections 18c of end plates 18 by means of gaskets 23b, which, as in the instance of gaskets 23a, are preferably integrally formed with the upper gaskets 23 as parts of the endless rectangular framing strip.
For suspending the sign housing 14 from an arm, such as the mast arm 11, mutually spaced and confronting structural angle members 19f extend longitudinally and superficially of the top wall extrusion 19 at opposite ends of the housing to provide open-ended retainers for respective mounting bars 40, which are slid into place from open ends of the respective retainers. Each of the suspension hangers 15 and 16 comprises a mounting block 41 secured to its corresponding mounting bar 40 as by means of screws 42. The mounting block has an upstanding bearing member 41a that is rotatably connected to the eye 43a, FIG. 8, of an eyebolt 43 by means of a pivot pin 44. The upper end of the eyebolt is secured by nuts 45 to the depending bracket arm, 15a or 16a, of a clamping member 15b or 165, which, .in turn, is secured to the mast arm 11.
The pivot pins 44 are bolts, as indicated in FIG. 8, that are cinched sufficiently tight to keep the sign from swinging freely, withodt preventing swinging altogether. Thus, swinging movement of the sign is controlled.
Whereas this invention is here illustrated and described with respect to a particular preferred construction, it should be realized that minor changes in structural details are possible.
We claim: 1. An internally lighted, overhead, traffic sign for streets and highways, said sign having a housing that is elongate along the horizontal axis and convergent from top to bottom along the vertical axis and provided internally with reflectors that converge toward one another to respective apices aligned on said vertical axis, with provision for mounting lamps between confronting apices of said reflectors, said housing comprising a structural framework made up of longitudinal, top and bottom wall extrusions; longitudinal, upper and lower sign-framing extrusions; and opposite end plates formed to receive and support the longitudinal extrusions; and
sign panels mounted in and between said sign-framing ex trusions and said end plates at opposite longitudinal faces of said framework.
2. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 1, wherein top wall extrusion is formed with longitudinally extending drip guards along respective opposite sides thereof.
3..A traffic sign in accordance with claim I, wherein the top wall extrusion is formed with inturned and longitudinally extending flanges along respective opposite sides thereof defining respective pockets for receiving, at their opposite ends,
confiiurated to fit snugly within said pockets.
4. traffic sign in accordance with claim 3, wherein the flanges each comprise an outwardly concave strip portion and a strip portion extending inwardly of the housing therefrom, said concave strip portion being curved in transverse cross section on a radius; and wherein there is additionally provided at and along each side of the top wall extrusion an upwardly concave flange strip extending from and along the junction of the first-named flange strips as a hinge element for receiving in and along its concavity a hinge pintle member of the corresponding upper sign-framing extrusion, the upper sign-framing extrusions of the structural framework including respective hinge pintle members adapted to fit into and pivot on said upwardly concave flange strips, respectively.
5. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 4, wherein there is additionally provided at and along the junction of the firstnamed flange strips and the upwardly concave strip a dependent flange strip for weather-sealing cooperation with the corresponding upper sign-framing extrusion; and wherein weather-sealing means is interposed between said dependent flange strip and said upper sign-framing extrusion.
6. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 5, wherein the inside faces of the end plates are formed with upper and lower projections for receiving the ends of the upper wall extrusion and the lower wall extrusion, respectively, and with lateral projections as abutments for the sign panels.
7. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 5, wherein the inner faces of the dependent flange strips are provided with respective longitudinal grooves for receiving respective lateral edges of an upper, downwardly convergent reflector internally of the housing.
8. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 1, wherein the bottom wall extrusion is provided with upwardly directed flanges and inturned flanges extending longitudinally along opposite sides thereof, respectively, to define longitudinally extending pockets for the reception of sign panel-clamping means; sign panel-clamping strips are provided along the outer faces of said pockets; and clamping means are provided through said clamping strips and the upwardly directed flanges for tightly clamping the sign panels in position.
9. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 8, wherein upstanding flange strips for weather-sealing cooperation with the lower sign-framing extrusions, respectively, are provided adjacent to the inner ends ofthe inturned flanges, respectively.
10. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 9, wherein the upstanding flange strips are provided with respective longitudinal grooves for receiving respective lateral edges ofa lower, upwardly convergent reflector internally of the housing.
11. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 1, wherein the top wall extrusion of the housing includes, at each of its opposite ends, a pair of mutually spaced, confronting structural angle members extending longitudinally and superficially of such top wall extrusion to provide an open-ended retainer for a mounting bar, and a mounting bar within said retainer; and wherein there is a suspension hanger at each of the opposite ends of the housing secured to the corresponding mounting bar for suspending the sign from a supporting arm.
12. A traffic sign in accordance with claim 11, wherein each of the suspension hangers comprises a mounting block secured to the mounting bar and having an upstanding bearing; a hanger bracket having means at its upper end for attachment to a supporting arm and a hearing at its lower end; and a pivot pin on which said bearings are journaled in common.