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Publication numberUS3623254 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 30, 1971
Filing dateJan 8, 1970
Priority dateJan 8, 1970
Publication numberUS 3623254 A, US 3623254A, US-A-3623254, US3623254 A, US3623254A
InventorsEdward W Parish Sr
Original AssigneeEdward W Parish Sr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Changeable sign exhibitor
US 3623254 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

N v- 1971 E. w. PARISH, SR 3,623,254

CHANGEABLE SIGN EXHIBITOR Filed Jan. 8, 1970 FIG. 23

h w FIRST AID: I I AMBULANC POLICE M I l 14 j J LEI INVENTOR.

EDWARD W PAR/SH, 51?.

United States Patent 3,623,254 CHANGEABLE SIGN EXHIBITOR Edward W. Parish, Sr., 519 N. Highland St., Memphis, Tenn. 38122 Filed Jan. 8, 1970, Ser. No. 1,518 Int. Cl. G09f 7/00 US. Cl. 40-129 C 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for supporting a plurality of interchangeable plates, each having a keyword used for constructing a communicative sentence or phrase. The device of the present invention is directed toward providing the stranded occupants of a motor vehicle in distress a way to intelligently communicate to passersby the extent and nature of the particular problem.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of the invention This invention relates to sign exhibiting and more particularly, to changeable exhibitors having interchangeable plates.

('2) Description of the prior art The concept of suspending a plurality of interchangeable plates, each having indicia thereon prevailed prior to the turn of the century as evidenced by the Heitzman Patent, No. 381,472. Since that time, numerous inventions have been patented each of which employ an interlocking system for suspending a plurality of plates in a vertical array. Such patents. that are known by applicant to exist are: The Harding Patent No. 1,009,409; the Fetters Patent No. 1,418,144; the Meurisse Patent No. 1,467,140; the Fetters Patent No. 1,478,511; the Fairbanks Patent No. 1,866,554 and the Hirschhorn Patent No. 2,509,059. Each of the above patents pertain to displaying advertising indicia which may be changed according to varying circumstances, i.e., restaurant menus, different flavored ice cream, etc. The Falconbridge et al. Patent No. 3,455,044 pertains to a vehicle sign having a plurality of leaves, each having indicia which may be displayed like the separate pages of a book, for placarding a truck, i.e., explosives or flammable material. The Dinstbir Patent No. 3,237,330 pertains to a warning device for vehicles which is intended to be attached to the horizontal surface of the dashboard portion of the vehicle and has indicia to remind the driver of the vehicle to turn on and off the headlights of his vehicle, i.e., lights on. The Lawlor Patent No. 2,933,841 pertains to a highway distress signal which is mountable in conjunction with a vehicle window for conveying a message of distress on both faces thereof. None of the above inventions can be considered to provide the stranded occupants. of a motor vehicle in distress a suitable means to intelligently communicate with the use of interchangeable plates, to passersby the extent and nature of the particular problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed towards overcoming the heretofore-mentioned and other disadvantages in prior devices. The important feature of the present invention is that it provides the occupants of a motor vehicle a means of communicating to the passersby the extent and nature of their particular problem. The white handkerchief tied to a door handle or radio antenna has merit as a distress signal but is ineffective in many respects, as was recognized by the Lawlor Patent 2,933,841 which provided the stranded occupant a means of conveying a Patented Nov. 30., 1971 specific message. The present invention enables the stranded occupant to assemble a plurality of plates having indicia thereon that collectively constructs a sentence or phrase. For example, displaying the words Help Need Gas would prompt a larger group of passersby to offer assistance because each motorist is provided with the elements of the problem, enabling him to assess the situation and determine has ability to render assistance. Likewise, displaying the words Help Need Doctor would prompt not only doctors and nurses to stop to render their professional assistance, but it also would convey the seriousness of the problem to other passersby, causing them also to stop, assess the situation, inform the stranded occupant of their intentions which undoubtedly would include obtaining the proper assistance in an expeditious manner.

The device is adapted to -be secured to the rear of vehicles, i.e., a truck, a station wagon or the opened end of a trunk deck lid of the typical passenger car. In unusual situations, the device could be held in the hands of a person standing along the highway or it may be tied to any object near the vehicle in distress, i.e., a telephone pole or the like. The device of the present invention would also be extremely beneficial to highway patrolmen or the like, enabling one police officer to perform the dual function of communicating to the approaching traffic, e.g., Accident Drive Carefully or Danger Wreck Ahead Caution Merge Left and at the same time, be free to fully engage himself in the problem.

A feature of the present invention is to provide a plurality of plates having different indicia thereon which comprise a set. The set includes sufficient words which may be arranged so that collectively they construct a sentence or phrase for communicating the nature of substantially all anticipated situations involving the vehicle and its occupants. :A plurality of appropriate plates are selected from the set and are secured to the vehicle by a novel pair of holding straps. The upper end of each strap is preferably secured to a smooth surface of the vehicle by a typical suction cup which is secured to each of the two straps and the lower ends of the straps are secured by a string or the like toconvenient appendage of the vehicle, e.g., the bumper or the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 shows the device of the present invention fully assembled, using only six of the plates and is prominently displayed on the rear of a 'vehicle.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the elongated holding strap.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the elongated holding strap taken as on line IIIIII of FIG. 2-.

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the assembled device with portions broken away.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the assembled device taken as on the line VV of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the annular locking clasp portion of the holding strap taken as on the line VIVI of FIG. 2.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the annular locking clasp portion engaged around the stud portion taken as on the line VIIVII of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The device 11 of the present invention includes a plurality of interchangeable sign plates 13 each having indicia or a key word 15 imprinted or otherwise provided on at least one face thereof used collectively for constructing a communicative sentence or phrase. The device 11 also includes a pair of holding straps 17, 19 which support the plurality of plates 13 in a vertical array and have removably attached at the upper ends thereof a pair of typical suction cups 21, 23.

Each plate 13, having identical dimensions and four identically spaced holes 25 with one hold 25 adjacent each corner thereof, is interchangeable with the other. The indicia 15 is preferably of a color having a high contrast with the background and preferably has a high reflectorizing character of the incident lighting from oncoming headlights. Thus, it presents a conspicuous and legible message during the hours of darkness and restricted visibility.

The two holding straps 17, 19, formed from a low density polyethylene plastic or like substance having considerable resiliency, have identical structure and shape with the one strap 17 intended for the left side of the vehicle 27, as best viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2. The other strap 19 is inverted for attachment to the right side of the vehicle '27. Since the straps 17, 19 are identical in every respect, a detailed description of the strap 17 is intended to include the strap 19.

The elongated holding strap 17 includes the suction cup 21 which is removably attached at the upper end thereof. A metallic threaded shank portion 29 is molded into the suction cup 21 at the one end with the other end of the shank 29 protruding through a suitable aperture 31 adjacent the upper end of the strap 17 and is removably secured thereto by a knurled annular nut 33. The lower end of the strap 17 has an aperture 35 for receiving a string 37, or the like, which is used to anchor the lower end of the device 11 to any suitable appendage of the vehicle 27, such as a bumper 39, thus obviating a tendency for billowing or kiting due to strong wind currents. The strap 17 also includes a plurality of strapettes 41, the longitudinal axes of which are perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the strap 17. The strapettes 41 are attached at one end to the same edge of the strap 17, preferably being molded concurrently therewith, at a uniformly interspaced distance. Each strapette 41 has a pair of gussets 43, 45, preferably being molded concurrently therewith, which give added strength to the root thereof. The strapettes 41 extend outwardly, substantially parallel one with the other, to an annular locking clasp 47, thence terminate at a protruding tab portion 49.

The locking clasps 47 have a hole 51 which is defined by a beveled or frusto-conical surface substantially as depicted in FIGS. 2, 6. Each clasp 47 forms one portion of a securing means or lock 52 and a corresponding stud 53 for each clasp 47 forms the other portion of lock 52. The studs 53 are positioned at the converging center lines of the holding strap 17 and the strapettes 41. It should be understood that the interspacing distance between adjacent studs 53 is equal to the spacing between the two holes 25 at the ends of the plates 13, with each plate 13 having identical structure and spacing of holes 25. The stud 53 protrudes outwardly from the surface of the strap 17 with the longitudinal axis thereof being perpendicular to the plane of the strap 17 and is bonded thereto, preferably being molded concurrently therewith.

Positioned intermediate the length of the stud 53, is an annular recess 55 into which the clasp 47 is snapped, as will be better understood in the description to follow, to constrain the locking clasp 47. The end of the stud 53 is rounded to facilitate receiving the locking clasp 47. The hole 51, being beveled, has a large diameter 57 on the one side and a small diameter 59 on the other. The strapettes 41, having considerable resiliency, may be doubled so that hole 51 may be forced to encircle the stud 53. The locking clasp 47, having been made with the large diameter 57 first encountering the stud 53 when the strapette 41 is doubled, frictionally grips the stud 53. The large diameter 57 of the locking clasp 47 substantially equals the diameter of the stud 53 and the small diameter 59 substantially equals the reduced diameter of the annular recess 55, The inward taper of the walls of the hole 51 permits the clasp 47 to easily slip over the rounded end of the stud 53, thus expanding the small diameter 59 until reaching its locking position as shown in FIG. 7. Conversely, the clasp 47 does not so readily move from the locked position because the small diameter 59 first encounters the sharp rising wall of the annular recess 55, thus providing a positive locking device. The tab portion 49 facilitates disengaging the clasp 47 from the stud 53. This is easily accomplished by gripping the tab portion 49 between the thumb and finger and applying a lifting force.

The device 11 would preferably be carried at all times in the vehicle 27. When an incident develops that would create a necessity for displaying the device 11, the user would select from the set of plates 13 the appropriate words 15 which collectively convey the most desirable message. The two straps 17, 19 are arranged substantially parallel with each other so that the strapettes 41 are directed outwardly and the suction cups 21, 23 are at the uppermost ends thereof. The appropriate studs 53 are inserted through the apertures 25 in each plate 13 so that the plates 13 overlay the straps 17, 19 as best viewed in FIG. 4. Each of the intermediate plates 13 have a margin overlapping the adjacent plate 13, accordingly, each stud 53 has sutficient length to receive two plates 13, as heretofore described, the strapettes 41 are doubled back over the end of each plate 13 and the locking clasp 47 is forced over the stud 53 until the small diameter 59 encircles the recess 55 to lock the plates in place. The device 11 is then preferably secured to the rear of the vehicle. However, certain situations may dictate otherwise, e.g., attaching the device 11 to a telephone pole, etc. Assuming the preferred method of securing the device 11 is appropos, the suction cups 21, '23 are pressed on any smooth surface of the vehicle, i.e., on the rear glass of station wagons or the like and on the smooth surface of an opened truck deck lid of a typical sedan-type vehicle, the object being to erect the plane of the plates 13 in a substantially vertical position. The two strings 37, or the like, are tied to suitable appendage, such as the bumper 39, thus preventing billowing or kiting from strong wind currents.

Although the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. The combination with a vehicle of a message exhibitor comprising a pair of straps, a pair of mounting means respectively attached to said straps adjacent the upper ends thereof mounting said straps on a vehicle with said straps depending from said mounting means in parallel spaced apart relationship, a plurality of plates each having indicia on at least one face thereof, said plates being arranged in a vertical row with the indicia thereon collectively providing a message from the occupants of said vehicle to passersby and with the opposite ends of each of said plates respectively being contiguous with said straps, each of said plates being provided with apertures adjacent said straps, a plurality of lock means respectively attached to said straps and extending through said apertures in said plates for removably securing said plates to said straps.

2. A sign exhibitor comprising a pair of straps, a pair of mounting means respectively attached to said straps adjacent the upper ends thereof for mounting said straps on a vehicle or the like with said straps depending from said mounting means in parallel spaced apart relationship, a plurality of plates each having indicia on at least one face thereof, said plates being arranged in a vertical row with the indicia thereon collectively providing a message and with the opposite ends of each of said plates respectively being contiguous with said straps, each of said plates being provided with apertures adjacent said straps, a plurality of lock means respectively attached to said straps and extending through said apertures in said plates for removably securing said plates to said straps; each of said lock means including a stud attached to a said strap and projecting forwardly therefrom through a said aperture, and a resilient clasp having a hole therethrough, said clasp being removably fitted over said stud on the outside of a said plate with said stud extending through said hole to retain said plate on said stud.

3. The sign exhibitor of claim 2 in which said stud is provided with an annular recess into which said clasp is removably received.

4. The sign exhibitor of claim 3 in which said hole in said clasp is defined by a frusto-conical surface with the large diameter thereof being substantially the same as the diameter of said stud and the small diameter thereof being substantially the same as the diameter of said annular recess.

5. The sign exhibitor of claim 4 in which is included a plurality of flexible strappettes respectively joining said clasps with one of said straps, and in which each of said strapettes includes a tab portion at the distal end thereof.

6. The sign exhibitor of claim 2 in which each of said mounting means includes a suction cup.

7. The sign exhibitor of claim 2 which includes means attached to the lowermost one of said plates for holding down the lower end of said sign exhibitor.

8. A sign exhibitor comprising a pair of flexible straps, suction cup means respectively attached to said straps adjacent the upper ends thereof for mounting said straps on a vehicle or the like with said straps depending from said suction cup means in parallel spaced apart relationship, a plurality of plates each having at least one word on at least one face thereof; said plates being arranged in a vertical row with adjacent edges thereof being in overlapping relationship with the words thereon collectively providing a message, and with the opposite ends of said plates overlapping said straps; each of said plates being provided with four apertures, two on each end of said plates through the portions thereof overlapping said straps; the apertures on the ends of said plates being spaced apart the same distance and at least one aperture on each end of ,said plates being in alignment with an aperture on an adjacent plate, a plurality of studs attached to said straps and projecting outwardly therefrom, said studs being spaced along said straps the same distance apart as the apertures on the ends of said plates, said studs respectively extending through said apertures, each of said studs being provided with an annular recess, a plurality of flexible strapettes respectively attached to said straps adjacent said studs and extending laterally outwardly therefrom, a plurality of resilient clasps respec- 6 tively provided on said strapettes remote from said straps, each of said clasps having a hole therein, said strapettes being respectively doubled back towards said straps and said clasps being respectively received over said studs with said studs respectively extending through said holes to removably lock said plates in place on said straps.

9. The sign exhibitor of claim 8 in which said stud is provided with an annular recess into which said clasp is removably received.

10. The sign exhibitor of claim 9 in which said hole in said clasp is defined by a frusto-conical surface with the large diameter thereof being substantially the same as the diameter of said stud and the small diameter thereof being substantially the same as the diameter of said annular recess.

11. A sign exhibitor comprising a pair of flexible straps, suction cup means respectively attached to said straps adjacent the upper ends thereof for mounting said straps on a vehicle or the like with said straps depending from said suction cup means in parallel spaced apart relationship, a plurality of plates each having at least one word on at least one face thereof; said plates being arranged in a vertical row with adjacent edges thereof being in overlapping relationship with the words thereon collectively providing a message, and with the opposite ends of said plates overlapping said straps; each of said plates being provided with four apertures, two on each end of said plates through the portions thereof overlapping said straps; the apertures on the ends of said plates being spaced apart the same distance and at least one aperture on each end of said plates being in alignment with an aperture on an adjacent plate, a plurality of studs attached to said straps and projecting outwardly therefrom, said studs being spaced along said straps the same distance apart as the apertures on the ends of said plates, said studs respectively extending through said apertures, and means engaging said studs for preventing accidental removal of said studs from said apertures.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 574,584 1/1897 Slaten 40128 811,008 1/1906 Wallech 40l24 1,009,409 11/ 1911 Harding 40128 2,278,695 4/1942 Fluss 40-4221- 2,509,059 5/1950 Hirschhorn 40-128 2,939,234 6/1960 Hill 40-124 ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner W. I. CONTRERAS, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3751015 *Jun 22, 1971Aug 7, 1973Barmag Barmer MaschfScrew extruder with radially projecting pins
US3810092 *Nov 24, 1972May 7, 1974C TuckerWarning and distress signal device for a disabled vehicle
US4158925 *Jan 23, 1978Jun 26, 1979Gagnon Sylvester PAuto aid
US4208820 *Jul 28, 1978Jun 24, 1980Cole Edwin LSign for disabled motorist
US4475299 *Nov 3, 1983Oct 9, 1984American Mobile Advertising Corp.Jitney sign
US4979323 *Oct 10, 1989Dec 25, 1990Uniek Plastics, Inc.Front-loading display frame
US5042418 *Mar 15, 1990Aug 27, 1991Prideflags, Inc.Flag display device
US5075991 *Apr 20, 1990Dec 31, 1991Uniek Plastics, Inc.Front-loading display frame
US5263272 *Apr 30, 1991Nov 23, 1993The Wise Child Inc.Highway emergency safety sign
US5315777 *Jun 7, 1993May 31, 1994The Wise Child Inc.Highway emergency safety sign
US7154383Jul 9, 2003Dec 26, 2006Steven Earl BerquistDynamic mobile advertising system
WO1990003753A1 *Oct 12, 1989Apr 19, 1990Uniek Plastics IncFront-loading display frame
WO2011008176A1 *Jul 13, 2009Jan 20, 2011Yirikoglu Trafik Ve Is Guvenligi Plastik Makina Sanayi Ticaret Limited SirketiFoldable warning flag without physical deformation and damage, a method and system to manufacture it from reflective folio formed for hard and metal grounds
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/591
International ClassificationG09F15/00, B60Q7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60Q7/005, G09F15/0006
European ClassificationB60Q7/00A, G09F15/00B