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Publication numberUS3638342 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 1, 1972
Filing dateOct 13, 1969
Priority dateOct 13, 1969
Publication numberUS 3638342 A, US 3638342A, US-A-3638342, US3638342 A, US3638342A
InventorsStanish Robert B, Winslow Frank T
Original AssigneeWinslow Frank T, Stanish Robert B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display apparatus
US 3638342 A
Abstract
A liquid that is opaque or translucent and colored is drawn out of passageways in one or several aligned transparent plastic vacuum-formed passageway panels from one or more than one outlet in each panel to uncover lines and areas on one or several design panes, which lines and areas overlie portions of the passageways to form a design of either of two types, which are: (1) formed of lines that are opaque on an opaque background of different color with the design being positioned behind a passageway panel so that the lines of the design are uncovered to daylight as the liquid is drained out of the passageway panel; and (2) with the lines forming the design being transparent or translucent with an opaque background and aligned with a lamp so that the passageways permit light to shine through the transparent or translucent lines and areas as the liquid is withdrawn. In each of the embodiments special display effects are obtainable through the use of bubbles, ultraviolet light and color mixing.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 5] Feb. 1, 1972 ABSTRACT A liquid that is opaque or translucent and colored is drawn out of passageways in one or several aligned transparent plastic vacuum-formed passageway panels from one or more than one outlet in each panel to uncover lines and areas on one or rlie portions of esign of either of two types, which that are opaque on an opaque with the design being positioned Primary ExaminerRobert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Richard Carter L 60632; Robert B. Sunfish Attorney-Vincent L. Carney Chicago, lll. 60608 [57] several design panes, which lines and areas ove the passageways to form a d are: (1) formed of lines background of different color Frank T. Winslow, 4611 South Whipple, Chicago, 3023 South Farrell Oct. 13, 1969 [2]] Appl. No.: 865,925

Field References Cited United States Patent Winslow et al.

CG St um 11 2]. 55 [l [54] DISPLAY APPARATUS [72] lnventors:

[22] Filed:

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A md mm S eu hc U wwwww ll/l/ 7 205 traviolet light and color mixing.

13 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures ....40/l06.2l ....40/106.21 X

Stechemesser Simson..............

9 a r a 7 1 r PATENTEU mm 1272 $538,34

saw an? 3 DISPLAY APPARATUS This invention relates to display apparatuses and more particularly relates to display apparatuses and methods for using display apparatuses in which a design is uncovered and displayed as a liquid is removed from the display apparatus.

One type of display apparatus includes a front panel having translucent or transparent portions forming a design with a lamp behind the panel to illuminate the transparent or translucent portions. Liquids are pumped through passageways between the lamp and the translucent or transparent portions to block the light from the lamp and are drained from the passageways to cause the design to be slowly uncovered thus presenting the impression of lines being drawn to form the design.

In the prior art display apparatuses of this type, the transparent or translucent portions and the passageways are transparent or translucent tubes shaped to form letters or other simple designs. The tubes are located behind an opaque panel having openings aligned with the portions of the tubes that form part of the design.

The prior art display apparatuses have several disadvantages, which are: (1) they are expensive to make because the plastic tubes must be shaped into the design and attached to the display apparatus by hand; (2) they are limited to designs formed with lines having a width substantially the same as the diameter of the tubes and of a single color; (3) they are limited to relatively simple designs because tubes that are formed into complex shapes or are small in diameter offer too much resistance to the fiow of the liquid; (4) the speed of drawing the lines must be constant or else relatively expensive equipment must be used to vary the flow rate of the liquids; (5) the simultaneous drawing of different lines at different locations on the display apparatuses is relatively expensive and difficult to achieve; (6) they are not able to display lines drawn at overlapping locations; and (7) they cannot provide more than two colors at any one location, one during the display of the design and the other when no design is displayed, without relying upon the radiation of the liquid or panel with ultraviolet light.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a novel display apparatus.

it is a further object of this invention to provide an inexpensive display apparatus which is capable of displaying moving indicia.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide display apparatus operated by the flow of a liquid and presenting a moving display including art work having lines of different sizes and colors forming complex designs.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a display apparatus in which a moving display of art work formed on a replaceable sheet is animated under the control of the flow of a liquid.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a display apparatus that permits simultaneous sequences at spacedapart locations on the display apparatus.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a display apparatus under the control of a liquid which permits lines to be drawn at overlapping locations.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a display apparatus under the control of the flow of liquid which permits more than two different colors to be displayed at different times without the use of ultraviolet light.

In accordance with the above and further objects of the invention, the display apparatus includes a transparent plastic passageway panel, a lamp, and a design pane having an opaque background with translucent or transparent lines and areas of different colors, shapes and sizes forming a design. The transparent plastic passageway panel is formed from a transparent plastic sheet by any process such as vacuum forming to provide a panel containing integrally formed channels covered by another transparent sheet sealing the edges of the channels to form a plurality of liquid control passageways, light control passageways, and reservoirs.

The passageways and reservoirs communicate with a source of a translucent colored liquid or an opaque liquid. ln some embodiments of the invention, the liquids include a dye that emits visible light when irradiated by ultraviolet light. The design pane, which may also be plastic, is positioned over the passageway panel with the translucent and transparent lines and areas overlying the light control passageways and the lamp is positioned on the opposite side of the passageway panel so that the passageway panel is between the lamp and the design pane.

To provide a moving display, a liquid is pumped into the passageways of the passageway panel and then the lamp is illuminated. While the lamp is illuminated the liquid is withdrawn from the light control passageways to permit light from the lamp to shine through the translucent and transparent lines and areas providing the impression that the design is being drawn. in some arrangements the liquid is withdrawn from the passageways from a plurality of different locations to create different sequences of lines at spaced-apart locations at the same time. Moreover, in some embodiments colored liquids are combined with the colors of the translucent areas of the design so that when passageways are full of liquid, the colored liquid and the colored translucent areas combine to provide a darkened area or an area of the same color as the background but when the liquid is withdrawn the light shines through the translucent area to provide a line or area of a color brighter and different than the background.

The design pane may include a plurality of both narrow and broad lines of any color and the lines may overlie wide light control passageways or narrow light control passageways. With this arrangement several effects are obtainable such as: (l) a line inclined in a horizontal direction over a wide light control passageway is uncovered more rapidly than a line inclined in a vertical direction as the liquid is withdrawn; (2) the liquid is withdrawn more slowly from wide passageways than narrow passageways so that the speed of exposing lines and the delay between exposing different portions of a design is controlled by the width of the passageways; (3) the lines over a wide passageway may be complex, composed of many parts and of any width although the passageway is not complex; and (4) several separate lines on the design pane may be located horizontally to each other over the same passageway to be drawn simultaneously.

To provide another visible display while the passageways of one display are being filled with a liquid in one embodiment of display apparatus, the lamp to the rear of the display device is extinguished and the display surface of the display apparatus is irradiated with ultraviolet light. A design of material that emits visible light under ultraviolet radiation is on the design pane to provide a design while the passageways are being filled. In another embodiment of display apparatus, two designs under the control of the liquid are positioned side by side so that one design is drawn while liquid is evacuated from the passageways overlying it and liquid is pumped into the passageways overlying the other. The process is then reversed so that the other design is drawn while liquid fills the passageways for the first design.

In another embodiment of display apparatus, the design pane is positioned behind the passageway panel with the passageway panel being between the design pane and the front viewing surface of the display apparatus. With this arrangement, a lamp is not necessary and the design pane is entirely opaque with a colored design covered by the light control passageways in the passageway panel. The light control passageways are filled with a liquid that matches the background of the design pane so that when they are full the design is not shown and when the liquid is withdrawn the design is drawn on the viewing surface.

in still another embodiment, two passageway panels and two design panes have aligned portions which aid in forming a design common to both panels and panes. Some light control passageways on one panel are aligned with light control passageways on another panel and some are not aligned. However, there are translucent or transparent areas in both design panes that are aligned with the light control passageways on at least one of the passageway panels.

In one mode of operation, as the liquids are evacuated from the passageway panels, overlapping lines and images are drawn by the light control passageways in the two different panels, which lines and designs change color by color mixing to provide several color changes for the same area of the design and to add portions of an image at a delayed time in the same area. In another mode of operation, one passageway panel has liquid withdrawn from it while the other one has liquid applied to it so that some lines are being drawn on the display while others are being erased. Ultraviolet light may also be used to obtain additional effects similar to those described as part of other embodiments.

The above-noted and other features of the invention will be understood more fully from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a display apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevational sectional view of the display apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a motor and pump arrangement which may be used in an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 5 is another schematic diagram of a motor and pump arrangement which may be used in still another embodiment of the invention.

GENERAL CONSTRUCTION OF FIRST EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 an elevational view of a display apparatus is shown having a casing 12 and a design pane 14. The design pane 14 includes four designs, which are: (l) a border 16; (2) the head of a man 18; (3) five letters 20 spelling the word CANAY; and (4) four letters, 22 spelling the word BEER.

The design pane 14 has an opaque background and the designs [6, 18, 20, and 22 are formed of translucent or transparent lines and areas on the opaque background of the design pane 14 although these lines are shown as black lines in the drawings for clarity.

Behind the transparent or translucent lines in the designs l6, 18, 20, and 22 are light control passageways 24 interconnected by a plurality of liquid control passageways 26 shown in hidden lines. At one location, there is an air reservoir 28 to which one end of each of the liquid control passageways 26 is connected and at another location there is a liquid reservoir 30 shown in hidden lines and communicating with the other ends of the liquid control passageways 26 near the inlet-outlet orifice for the passageway panel. An inlet-outlet passageway section 32 is shown in hidden lines and communicates between the liquid reservoir 30 and a source of liquid. In the preferred embodiment the air reservoir is vented to the atmosphere.

At one or more locations along the liquid control passageways 26 are inlet-outlet orifices such as the four orifices at 34, 36, 38, and 40, which orifices are adapted to receive tubular conduits such as the plastic tubes 42 and 44 shown in hidden lines in FIG. 1. The conduits that enter the orifices may be directly connected to a source of liquid or may be connected between different orifices in the liquid control passageways 26 as jumper conduits. For example, the tubes 42 and 44 shown in FIG. 1 provide continuous passages along the liquid control passageways 26, but could be repositioned to supply liquid to the passageways from an external source of liquid or to cross-connect different sections of the passageways 26.

In FIG. 2, a passageway panel 46 is shown having a flat raised background area 48 and a plurality of depressed areas forming channels for the liquid control passageways 26, the

light control passageways 24, the air reservoir 28, and the liquid reservoir 30. The four orifices 34, 36, 38 and 40 are holes in the liquid passageway panel 48 to permit the passageways to communicate with tubing such as 42 and 44 (FIG. 1) behind the panel.

The passageway panel 46 is located behind the design pane 14 (FIG. 1) with the liquid control passageways 26 being covered by opaque portions of the design pane 14 and with the transparent and translucent lines and areas of the design 16, 18, 20 and 22 on the design pane 14 overlying and being smaller than the light control passageways 24.

The passageway panel 46 may be formed in any convenient manner but is economically formed by vacuum-forming a transparent plastic sheet to fonn channels and covering its surface having the channels with a flat transparent plastic sheet attached to the background area 48 to seal the liquid control passageways 26, the light control passageways 24, the air reservoir 28, and the liquid reservoir 30. After the passageways and reservoirs are sealed by a transparent or translucent sheet, different design panes 14 are positioned in front of the passageway panel 46 each of which may be replaced by another. In the alternative, a design pane such as 14 may itself be attached. to the background area 48 of the liquid passageway panel 46 to seal the passageways 24 and 26 and reservoirs 28 and 30 instead of the flat transparent plastic sheet.

To supply liquid to the passageways 24 and 26 in the passageway panel 46, a pump 50 is provided having a low horsepower pump motor 52 such as a synchronous motor or the like, an eccentric 54 driven by the shaft of the motor 52, and an expandable bellows 56. A rod 58 is pivotally attached to a top plate 60 of the expandable bellows 56 at one end of the rod and pivotally attached to the eccentric 54 at its other end so that the expandable bellows 56 is collapsed and expanded by the motor 52 as the motor 52 drives the eccentric 54.

To permit liquid to flow between the passageway panel 46 and the pump 50, a conduit 62 communicates at one end with the interior of the expandable bellows 56 and at its other end with one of the passageways 26 that extends beyond the edge of the passageway panel 46 or to an orifice such as 34, 36, 38, or 40 positioned at some location along a liquid control passageway 26. A liquid is always present in some portion of the system that includes the passageways of the passageway panel 46, the conduit 62, and the expandable bellows 56. This liquid is forced through the passageways 24 and 26 of the passageway panel 46 as the expandable bellows is collapsed by the motor 52 and withdrawn from the passageways 24 and 26 as the expandable bellows 56 is expanded by the motor 52.

To illuminate the display panel 10, a lamp 64, is positioned behind the passageway panel 46 to shine light through it and onto the design pane 14. Since the passageway pane 46 is of transparent or translucent material, the light impinges directly upon the reverse side of the design pane 14 except where it is blocked by an opaque liquid in the passageways 24 and 26 of the passageway panel 46. A colored or translucent liquid in the passageways of the passageway panel 46 causes the light to impinge upon the reverse side of the design pane 14 in color by removing some frequencies of light as it passes through those passageways containing the liquid. Since the light control passageways 24 are wider than the translucent or transparent lines on the design pane 14, the light from the lamp 64 passes through the translucent or transparent lines of the design pane 14 wherever it is not blocked by either liquid in the passageways of the passageway panel 46 or the opaque portions of the design pane 14.

GENERAL OPERATION For the purposes of explanation, one general mode in which the display apparatus 10 is operated will first be described and then other modes of operation will be described by explaining the variations in the steps from the general mode of operation.

In the general mode of operation, the design pane 14 is positioned in front of the passageway panel 46. The liquid control passageway 26 is closed at 66 and 68 so that no liquid can enter the right side of the panel. With this arrangement, light from the lamp 64 always passes through the light control passageways 24 of the passageway panel 46 to cause the words CANAY and BEER to be illuminated. In this mode of operation the right side of the panel may be omitted entirely so that only the left-hand side design 18 of the head of a man is displayed.

ln this general mode of operation, the panel on the left is completely blank at first and then the head of the man forming the design 18 is slowly traced in lines of light which are colored or white depending upon the color of the transparent or translucent lines forming the design 18.

During the time that the panel is completely blank, the lamp 64 does not emit light and the motor 52 drives the eccentric 54 downward to collapse the bellows 56 forcing an opaque liquid to flow through the conduit 62 to the liquid reservoir 30 and from the reservoir 30 into the first section of the liquid control passageway 26 connecting the reservoir 30 to the light control passageway 24 that underlies the translucent or transparent lines forming the design 18 on the design panel 14. The reservoir 30 always contains at least some liquid to compensate for the slight escape of liquid from the liquid system of the display apparatus.

When the bellows 56 is completely collapsed, the liquid has flowed from the first section of the liquid control passageway 26 into all of the light control and liquid control passageways 24 and 26 connecting and underlying the design 18, into the light control and liquid control passageways underlying and connecting the border design 16 that passes around the outer edge of the design pane 14 and into the section 74 of liquid control passageway connecting the light control passageways of the head design 18 to the light control passageway of the border design 16 which section 74 is covered by an opaque portion of the design pane 14. Once the border passageways have been filled, the liquid flows through another section 72 of liquid control passageway from the border passageways into the air reservoir 28. Any bubbles in the system, are forced into the air reservoir 28 and flow to the top surface thereof where they leave the liquid so that it will thereafter be relatively free of bubbles as it is drained from the display apparatus.

To cause the border design 16 and the design 18 of the head of a man to be traced in white or colored light on the surface of the display apparatus 10, the lamp 64 is illuminated and the motor 52 rotates the eccentric 54 to pull the rod 58 upwardly causing the expandable bellows 56 to expand and withdraw liquid from the passageway panel 46 through the conduit 62. As liquid is withdrawn from the passageway panel 46, the air reservoir 28 is emptied of the liquid, which drains through the section 72 of the liquid control passageway 26. The interface between the liquid and the air then scans through the liquid control passageway 26 to the orifice 40 and through the tube 42 (FIG. 1) to the orifice 36 of the liquid control passageway 26. From there the interface enters the light control passageway 24 forming a portion of the border design 16 causing this passageway 24 to be slowly emptied towards the right along the top. As the top passageway is emptied, light shines through the translucent or transparent lines of the design 16 so that a white or colored line is traced along the top portion of the border.

The interface between the liquid and air continues around the entire border 16 to form a square borderline and then enters the horizontal section of the liquid control passageway 26. The interface then flows through the following units in the order named, which are: (l) the orifice 34; (2) the tube 44; (3) the orifice 38; (4) the section 74 of the liquid control passageway 26; and (5) the light control passageways 24 forming the passageways underlying the design 18 of the head.

As the liquid drains through the liquid control passageways 26 underlying the design 18 of the head, the head is drawn in light just as the border 16 was previously drawn. After the liquid has been entirely drained from the light control passageways 24 of the head design 18, it flows through the liquid control passages 26 back to the reservoir 30. At this time the border design 16 and the head design 18 are fully visible to an observer. The lines and areas forming the designs assume the color of the translucent or transparent lines and areas of the design pane 14 which is white or colored. Moreover, some portions of the design may be of one color and others of a different color depending upon the color of the translucent portions of the design pane 14.

Portions of the light control passageways 24 and liquid control passageways 26 are larger in area than others. For example, in the passageways underlying the design 18 of a head, the sections 76, 78, and (FIG. 2) of the light control passageways 24 are larger in area than most other passageways. ln filling these passageways with a liquid, the liquid enters from the bottom of the larger area passageways and, when emptying these larger passageways, the liquid flows out of the bottom. This arrangement reduces turbulence in the liquid as it is entering or being withdrawn from the larger passageways.

While some of the light control passageways 24 are wider in areas than others, it is not always true that the translucent or transparent lines and areas of the design overlying larger areas are wider than other portions of the translucent or transparent design. The translucent or transparent portions of the design overlying the larger areas of the passageway are of any size narrower than the passageway itself.

The increased area of the light control passageways 24 and the liquid control passageways 26 enables four special effects to be displayed to the viewer of the display apparatus 10, which are: (1) the speed with which a line is drawn varies in proportion to the size of the light control passageway underlying it since a larger passageway is emptied more slowly than a small passageway; (2) time delays before starting the drawing of a line are provided by interposing a large liquid control passageway 26 in the passageway system immediately before the light control passageway 24 that is to start the time delay; (3) horizontal lines are illuminated at the same time across their entire length and lines slightly at an angle from the horizontal are illuminated very rapidly because a single large area light control passageway 24 underlies the horizontal or substantially horizontal line such as shown at 82 in FIG. 1; and (4) a plurality of individual small lines are drawn at the same time if they are in a horizontal line overlying a single wide light control passageway 24.

Large area light control passageways also have the advantage of permitting different design panes 14, each with a different design, to be used with the same passageway panel 46 at different times. This is possible because different designs may overlie the same wide light control passageways 24 so that different design panes 14 may be inserted over the passageways providing its translucent or transparent lines and areas overlie the light control passageways.

LAMP CONTROL To turn the lamp 64 on and off automatically, the electric power source for the lamp is connected to the lamp through a single-pole, double-throw toggle switch 84 having a switch arm 86 that makes with either of the two contacts 88 or 90. The lamp 64 is electrically connected to the source of power through the following elements in series in the order named, which are: (l electrical input terminal 92 for the lamp 64; (2) a conductor 94 connected at one end to the input terminal 92; (3) the movable switch arm 86 electrically connected to the other end of the conductor 94; (4) the contacts with which the movable switch arm 86 makes in one of its two positions; (5) a conductor 96 electrically connected at one end to the contact 90; (6) a plug prong or terminal 98 adapted to be connected to one side of the AC source of electrical power; (7) the source of electrical power; (8) the terminal or plug prong 100 adapted to be connected to the other input terminal of the source of electrical power; (9) a conductor 102 electrically connected at one end to the prong or terminal I; and 10) a second input terminal 104 for the lamp 64.

The rod 58 includes a first actuating arm I positioned on the rod at such a location that it contacts the switch arm 86 when the rod 58 is near its lowermost position, causing'the switch arm 86 to make with the contact 90 and a second actuating arm 109 positioned lower on the rod 58 in such a position that it moves the switch arm 86 to break with the contract 90 and make with the contract 88 when the rod 58 is near its highest position.

In operation, the switch arm 86 of the switch 84 is closed to contact 88 interrupting the power to the lamp 64 while the eccentric 54 is moving the rod 58 downward. This causes the lamp 64 to be off while liquid is being forced through the conduit 62 to fill the liquid control passageways 26 and the light control passageways 24 of the passageway panel 46.

When the eccentric moves the rod 58 downwardly at the bottom of its sweep just before starting in an upward direction, the actuating arm 105 contacts the switch arm 86 causing it to break with the contact 88 and make with the contact 90. At this time a circuit is completed from the lamp 64 through the conductor 94, the switch arm 86, the contact 90, the conductor 96, the source of power and back to the lamp 64 through the conductor 102. The lamp 64 is illuminated as the rod 58 begins its forward motion to withdraw liquid from the passageway panel 46 causing a line to be drawn on the display apparatus as the liquid is withdrawn from the passageway panel 46.

When the rod 58 nears its upper position, the actuating arm 108 contacts the switch arm 86 causing it to break with the contact 90 and make with the contact 88. With this mechanization, the source of power to the lamp 64 is extinguished after the liquid has been withdrawn from the passageways 24 and 26 and remains extinguished until the passageways have been refilled with liquid.

SINGLE LANE PLURAL LINE PATHS In another mode of operation of the display apparatus 10, the liquid control passageways are not closed at 66 and 68 and all of the liquid control passageways and light control passageways shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are able to receive liquid and to have liquid drained through them.

When the display apparatus 10 is operated in this mode, all of the passageways are open so that liquid is caused to flow in the refilling portion of the cycle through not only the border design passageways I6 and passageways underlying the design 18 but also through the passageways underlying the designs 20 and 22. The liquid flows under the design 22 at the same time that it is under the design 18 and then continues from the passageways underlying the design 22 into the passageways underlying the design 20 to fill them. After the design 20 is filled, the liquid flows into the air reservoir 28.

Although in the display apparatus shown in FIG. 2, the air reservoir 28 and the liquid reservoir 30 are shared for the passageways underlying each of the designs, separate reservoirs could also be used if desired.

When the bellows 56 is expanded by the rod 58 to remove liquid from the passageway panel 46, the liquid is removed from the air reservoir 28 through both the sections 72 and 68 of the liquid control passageways 26 that are connected to the air reservoir 28 at the same time. When all of the liquid has been removed from the air reservoir 28, the interface between the liquid and the air moves through both the sections of the liquid control passageway 72 to the passageway underlying the border design 16 and through the section 62 of the liquid control passageway to the passageway underlying the design 20.

As further liquid is removed, the light from the lamp 64 begins to show through the border design 16 to cause a line to move to the right as shown in FIG. 1 and at the same time moves downwardly across the first letter, C, of the word CANAY in the design 20 causing the C to be written. As the line continues to move around the border, successive other letters of the word CANAY are exposed from top to bottom. The letters are exposed from top to bottom while the line drawing the border design 16 moves around in several different directions in succession so that at times it is moving downwardly in the same direction that the letters are being written and at other times at right angles or in an upwardly direction. Both the border and letter lines are written independently in this mode of operation and may move in the same direction or opposite directions or some transverse direction depending on the direction of the light control passageways 24 that underlie them.

Once the passageways of the border design 16 have been evacuated of liquid so that the border shows through in color or in white light, the interface between the liquid and the air begins to move through the light control passageways underlying the design 18 of the head of a man. Similarly, once the letters of the word CANAY have been written, the interface between the liquid and the air moves downwardly through the section 106 of the liquid control passageways 26 then upwardly through the section 108, writing a long line from the right-hand bottom of the display apparatus 10 upwardly to a point above the letter Y. The interface then moves underneath each of the letters of the word CANAY to fonn a plurality of loops one under each letter.

After forming these loops the interface moves downwardly to draw a long line towards the bottom of the display apparatus 10 near the center and then proceeds to expose, one by one, the letters of the word BEER. After both the design 18 of the head of a man and the design 22 of the word BEER have been written, the liquid remains only in the reservoir 30, the passageway 32, the conduit 62, and the expandable bellows 56 of the pump 50. A new cycle is now ready to be started.

CHANGING THE DIRECTION OF WRITING The direction, the starting points, and the ending points of the writing on the display apparatus 10 can be altered by inserting tubes into the passageways of the passageway panel 46 to cause the liquid to enter or to leave at different points. This is done by jumper tubes that connect one passageway to another or by tubes that connect passageways to the air reservoir 28 or to the pump 50.

In FIG. 1 jumper tubes 42 and 44 are illustrated. In the previous mode of operation these jumper tubes 42 and 44 connected the orifice 36 to the orifice 40 and the orifice 34 to the orifice 38 so that the liquid flowed in a straight path through the liquid control passageways 26. However, these jumpers may be changed in position so that the jumper 44 is connected between the orifice 34 and the orifice 40 and so that the jumper 42 is connected between the orifice 36 and the orifice 38. With these connections, the direction of evacuation of the passageway 24 that underlies the border design 16 is opposite from the direction of evacuation with the jumper 42 connected between the orifice 36 and the orifice 40 and the jumper 44 connected between the orifice 34 and the orifice 38. With the new arrangement the liquid from the air reservoir 28 drains through the section 72 to the orifice 40 and from the orifice 40 through the jumper 42 to the orifice 34. It then proceeds to the section 75 and around the border until it reaches the orifice 36. It then flows from the orifice 36 to the orifice 38 and then to the passageways underlying the design 18 of the head ofa man.

BUBBLING EFFECTS The display apparatus 10 is operated in either of two additional modes, each of which creates a different bubbling effeet. In one of these bubbling effects a large number of bubbles of light suddenly flows through all of the translucent or transparent lines in the border design 16, the design 18, the design 20, and the design 22 prior to the writing of these designs. In the other effect, a plurality of bubbles flow through the translucent or transparent lines as the writing is being accomplished and the bubbles are fewer in number than occur in the first bubbling effect.

The first bubbling effect is accomplished by reducing the amount of liquid in the system. The amount of liquid is reduced to such a low volume that there is an insufficient volume to fill the reservoir 30 at the end of the downward stroke of the rod 58.

With this amount of liquid in the system, the last portion of the downward stroke of the rod 58 compresses the bellows 56 to force air through conduits 62, the reservoir 30, and through each of the liquid control and light control passageways 26 and 24. The air flows as a plurality of bubbles through each of these lines providing an effervescent effect on the display. As the bubbles pass through the light control passageways 24, the light from the lamp 64 passes through the bubbles to display the bubbles moving through the passageways. After the bubbles have been forced through the passageways, the rod 58 begins its upward stroke, draining the liquid from the passageways in the normal direction to write the designs into the display apparatus 10.

The second bubbling effect is obtained by changing the timing between the portion of the cycle that fills the passageways of the passageway panel 46 and the portion of the cycle that withdraws liquid from the passageway of the passageway panel 46. In normal operation there is a period of time after the passageways have been filled in which the bellows 56 continues to force liquid into the reservoir 28 even though all of the passageways in the passageway panel 46 are full. During this time bubbles that are trapped in the passageways by the liquid that is filling the passageways in the normal operation of the display apparatus move upwardly into the air reservoir 28 where they rise to the surface. This causes the liquid to be bubble free by the time it is withdrawn. However, if the liquid is withdrawn immediately after the passageways have been filled, the bubbles that are normally trapped in these passageways remain so that, when the lamp 64 is illuminated they appear as bubbles of light that are slowly covered by the moving line that draws the design.

The time between the two portions of the cycle may be shortened by shortening the radius between the center of revolution of the eccentric 54 and the pivot pin or gudgeon that holds the rod 58 to the eccentric 54.

STRUCTURE OF SECOND EMBODIMENT In FIG. 3 an exploded perspective view is shown of another embodiment 110 of a display apparatus having a pump 50, a

lamp 64, and a switch operated by the pump to control the lamp (not shown in FIG. 3) that are substantially the same as the pump, lamp, and switch disclosed in the embodiment illustrated by FIGS. 1 and 2. The embodiment shown in FIG. 3 also includes an ultraviolet lamp 107 positioned to radiate ultraviolet light upon the front of the display apparatus 110, a front section 112 and a back section 114 of the display apparatus 110, a conduit 116 communicating with the expandable bellows 56 and with the front section 112 of the display apparatus 110 and a conduit 118 communicating with the expandable bellows 56 and with the back section 114 of the display apparatus 110.

The display apparatus 110, like the display apparatus 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, is operated in several different modes. In some of these modes of operation only a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 3 is necessary. It is to be understood that the unnecessary apparatus may be entirely omitted for display apparatuses that are to operate in the modes not requiring some parts of the apparatus shown in FIG. 3.

The front section 112 includes a casing 120 supporting a passageway panel 122. The casing also supports two vertical front brackets 124 and 126 adapted to receive a design pane such as the design pane 128 shown at 130 in a position to slide between the brackets 124 and 126 and to be held thereby in front of and parallel to the passageway panel 122. The same design pane 128 is shown at 132 in position to slide between similar brackets, one of which is shown at 134, which brackets are supported by the casing at a location behind the passageway panel 122.

Similarly, the back section 114 includes a casing 136 supporting a second passageway panel 138 in a vertical position. The casing 136 also includes two vertical front brackets on opposite sides of the casing 136 one of which is shown at 140, to receive a second design pane 144 shown at 146 being slid between the side brackets to a location parallel with and in front of the passageway panel 138. The design pane 144 is also shown at 148 being slid between two back vertical brackets, one of which is shown at 150, to receive and support the design pane 144 in back of and parallel to the passageway panel 138.

DAYLIGI'IT OPERATION The display apparatus 110 may be operated without the use of lamps such as 107 or 64 and using only the front section 112. To use the display apparatus 110 without lamps relying only upon external light such as sunlight or store lamps, the design pane 128 is inserted in the rear brackets of the casing 120, one rear bracket 134 being shown in FIG. 3. The display apparatus is now operated in daylight, using only the pump 50, the passageway panel 122, and the design pane 128.

For use in the daylight mode of operation, the design pane 128 must be a positive having lines and areas that are not translucent or transparent but are opaque and colored. The background of the design pane is the same color as the liquid used to fill the light control and liquid control passageways of the passageway panel 122.

In operation, the design on the design pane 128 is visible from the front of the display apparatus 110 whenever there is no liquid within the light control passageways 24 of the passageway panel 122 because the passageway panel 122 if completely translucent or transparent. The liquid in the reservoirs matches the background of the design pane 128 and is not seen.

As the pump 50 fills the light control and liquid control passageways 24 and 26 with the liquid, the design on the design pane 128 is covered by the liquid and matches the background. When all of the light control passageways 24 have been filled with the liquid, the display apparatus 110 does not show the design on the design pane 128 at all.

When the pump 50 begins to withdraw liquid from the passageway panel 122, the design on the design pane 128 is slowly uncovered to display the design. This design is clearly visible even when viewed only by the daylight or artificial light that is not emitted by the display apparatus 110.

GENERAL OVERLAPPING SEQUENCES By using more than one passageway panel, special efiects can be obtained. With two passageway panels such as the front passageway panel 122 and the back passageway panel 138, two sequences of moving designs which are independent in time but overlapping are drawn.

To obtain two overlapping sequences that are independent in time, a first design pane such as 128 is inserted through the front brackets 126 of the front passageway panel 122 and a second design pane such as 144 is inserted through the brackets such as at 146 in front of the back passageway panel 138. When the display apparatus 110 is operated in this mode, the design panes 128 and 144 are not completely opaque in those areas that are to overlie the background portion of the passageway panel against which they are held. Instead, transparent or translucent lines and areas are included in the front design pane 138 which do not overlie any light control passageway 24 in the passageway panel 122 but are aligned with a light control passageway 24 in the passageway panel 138 and conversely translucent or transparent areas are including in the design pane 144 which do not overlie light control passageways 24 in the passageway panel 138 but are instead aligned with light control passageways in the passageway panel 122.

With this construction, a moving design is under the control of any of three arrangements of light control passageways which are: (1) only under the control of the light control passageway on the front passageway panel 122 because translucent or transparent lines and areas overlie or are aligned with these passageways on both the front design pane 128 and the rear design pane 144 but no light control passageways in the passageway panel 138 are aligned with the same translucent or transparent areas; (2) only under the control of the light control passageway in the back passageway panel 138 because there are transparent or translucent lines and areas aligned with these light control passageways on both the front design pane 128 and the design pane 144, but no light control passageways in the passageway panel 122 aligned with the light control passageways in the panel 138; and (3) under the control of aligned light control passageways in the front and back passageway panels 122 and 138 because there are translucent or transparent lines and areas aligned with these light control passageways in both design panes 128 and 144.

This type of control with the passageways in both the passageway panel 122 and the passageway panel 144 being drained simultaneously is illustrated by the wide area passageway 152 in the passageway panel 122 with a design pane 128 inserted in the front brackets 124 and 126 having a B upon it in translucent lines of one color within a translucent disk of another color. At an aligned location in the passageway panel 138 there is a light control passageway shaped as a smaller disk (not shown) just larger than the B on the design pane 128, and the design pane 144 is inserted in front of the passageway panel 138 with a disk-shaped transparent or translucent area the same size and aligned with the passageway 152.

The passageways in the passageway panel 122 and the passageway panel 138 are arranged so that it takes longer to drain the passageway 138 to the light control passageway in the shape of a small disk than it does to drain the large area passageway 152 in the panel 122. With this arrangement, the large area passageway 152 is drained first causing light to shine through from the lamp 64 around the filled light control passageway in the shape of a small disk in the passageway panel 138 to display a disk with a circle around it. Later as the light control passageway in the panel 138 is drained, the B on the design pane 128 shows through and the small disk disappears.

GENERAL OUT-OF-PHASE OPERATION OF TWO PASSAGEWAY PANELS The two panels 112 and 114 may be operated so that the passageways in one panel are being drained at the same time that the passageways in the other panel are being filled. When the operation is in this mode, the lines and areas of a design are erased at the same time that other lines and areas of the same design or another design are written onto the display apparatus.

It is possible to use this mode of operation either with the lamp 64 or without the lamp 64 and relying only upon daylight.

If the lamp 64 is to be used, the design pane 128 is in front of the passageway panel 122 and the design pane 144 is not needed but may be included, and located in front of the passageway panel 138. Both panels must have opaque backgrounds and designs in transparent or translucent areas and lines. The transparent or translucent lines and areas on the design pane 128 overlie light control passageways in the passageway panel 122 but only those portions of the design that are to be erased have aligned light control passageways on the passageway panel 138.

In operation, while the lamp 64 is on, the liquid is drained through the conduit 116 causing the design to be written on the display apparatus 110 as the liquid is removed. To erase a portion of the design while the writing is still occurring, liquid is pumped into the passageway panel 138 through the conduit 118 so that the light from the lamp 64 is blocked from the aligned transparent or translucent portions of both the design pane 128 and the design pane 144 where the line is to be erased.

If the lamp 64 is not used, the design pane 128 is not needed but can be located behind or in front of the passageway panel 122, if desired. The design pane 144 is located behind the passageway panel 138. The design panes 128 and 144 have aligned designs if both are used but the design on the design pane 128 is in transparent or translucent lines and areas while the design on design pane 144 is in opaque lines. The portions of the design that are to be erased are covered by light control passageways of one of the passageway panels and portions of the design that are to be drawn are covered by the light control passageways of the other passageway panel. In operation, the liquid is drained from one passageway panel to uncover the design on design pane 144 while liquid is pumped into the other passageway panel to cover the portions of the design that are to be erased.

For the purpose of draining liquid from a panel through one conduit and pumping liquid into the other panel through another conduit, a special arrangement is necessary and this pumping arrangement is shown in FIG. 4 explained hereinafter.

SPECIAL PUMP STRUCTURES In FIGS. 4 and 5 two different pumps are shown, which pumps are useful in particular modes of operation of the display apparatus. The pump shown in FIG. 4 is used when liquid is to be pumped into one passageway panel and withdrawn from the other at the same time. The pump shown in FIG. 5 is used when liquids of different colors are to be pumped into different passageways of several passageway panels or the same passageway panel at the same time.

The pumps shown in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 each include a motor 52, an eccentric 54, and a rod 58 that are similar to the corresponding parts of the pumps shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. However, each of these pumps is arranged to drive two or more expandable bellows.

In FIG. 4, a pump 154 is shown having a pump lever 156 mounted to a frame by a pivot pin 158 near its center. At one end of the lever 156, there is attached a first expandable bellows 160 and at the other end of the lever 156 there is attached a second expandable bellows 162 and a rod 58. With this arrangement, the expandable bellows 162 is compressed as the rod 58 moves downward while the expandable bellows 160 is expanded, and as the rod 58 moves upward, the expandable bellows 160 is compressed while the expandable bellows 162 is expanded. The liquid is pumped through one conduit from the expandable bellows 162 while it is drawn into the other bellows 160 and is expelled from the bellows 160 while it is drawn into the bellows 162. This pump is used in the embodiment of FIG. 3 when a portion of a design is written on the display apparatus while another portion of the design is being erased.

In FIG. 5, the rod 58 is pivotally attached to a support plate 164. Each of three expandable bellows 166, 168, and is pivotally attached to the other side of the support plate 164 so that the expandable bellows I66, 168, and 170 are compressed as the rod 58 moves downwardly and are expanded as the rod 58 moves upwardly. This pump is used to supply a plurality of liquids of different colors to either different passageway panels or to the same passageway panel. The colors are used as explained hereinafter in embodiments of the invention that employ color mixing.

COLOR MIXING In one of the embodiments illustrated by FIGS. 1 and 2, the lines and areas of the designs such as 18 are translucent and colored and the liquid is not opaque nor of the same color as the opaque portion of the design pane 14 which forms the background of the design but has a color that, when mixed with the color of the translucent lines and areas of the design,

provides the same color as the opaque portion of the design pane 14 or is itself opaque.

In this embodiment, the lines and areas of the design appear in colors contrasting with that of the background as the liquid is drained from the passageway panel. This arrangement and choice of colors enables the background of the design to be colored and the lines and areas to be drawn in the design in a contrasting color.

This feature also permits the conversion of existing colored displays or signs to animated displays or signs. For such a conversion, the background of the display remains as it is but the lines of the design are cut away and replaced with a colored translucent plastic. A liquid is used having a color, that when combined with the color of the translucent plastic, matches the background of the design or is opaque, but when the liquid is removed results in colored lines forming a visible design.

In the embodiment disclosed in FIG. 3 having two separate display apparatus sections 112 and 114, even greater variations are permitted in the color of the design through the use of color mixing. In portions of such a design in which the front design pane 128 and the rear design pane 144 have aligned translucent areas and lines with only one of the two passageway panels 122 and 138 having an aligned light control passageway, a variation of two colors is possible as in the display apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 having only one display apparatus section. The two colors are formed by the combination of the colored liquid and the colors of the translucent design panes and the other color is formed only by the combination of colors in the aligned translucent portions of the two design panes.

In the portions of the design in which there are aligned light control passageways in both the passageway panels 122 and 138 and aligned translucent areas and lines in both the front design pane 128 and the rear design pane 144, three colors are obtainable. The first color is obtained by a mixture of the colors of both colored liquids in the light control passageways with the colors of the design panes and this color matches the background. The second color is formed by the color of one of theliquids in one of the light control passageways and the colors of the translucent areas and lines on both of the design panes and this color is formed after one of the liquids has been drained from the display apparatus at that location. The third color is formed only by the combination of the colors in the translucent areas and lines of the design panes after both liquids have been withdrawn from the display apparatus at that location.

For example, the design pane 128 has a translucent disk area of one color with a B of another color in its center overlying the large area light control passageway 152 in the passageway panel 122 and the design pane 144 has a translucent disk-shaped area (not shown) of the same size and aligned with the light control passageway 152 which diskshaped area overlies a B-shaped light control passageway in the panel 138. The liquids are selected to pass light with little enough attenuation to permit the light to illuminate the front design pane after passing through both liquids and both design panes.

In operation, the light from the lamp shines through the liquid in the light control passageway 152 of the passageway panel I22, through the liquid in the B-shaped light control passageway of the'passageway panel 138, and through both design panes to provide a colored B on a background of a different color. When the liquid is drained from the light control passageway 152, the B is shown in another color and the background in still another because the B is still influenced in color by the colored liquid in the light control passageway of the passageway panel 138. After the second liquid has been withdrawn, the 8 again changes color so that now it is influenced only by the color of the B on its design pane 128 and the color of the disk-shaped area on the design pane I44.

ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT In some embodiments, ultraviolet light provides a visible design while the liquids are being pumped into the passageway panels of the display apparatus.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, a design is included on the from design pane 128 using material that emits light upon being irradiated with ultraviolet light and another design is formed of translucent or transparent lines and areas. While the liquids are draining from the display apparatus 110, the design formed in translucent or transparent lines and areas provides a design to the viewer. While the light control passageways are being filled, the lamp 64 is extinguished and the ultraviolet lamp 107 is energized. With the lamp 107 energized the design formed in luminescent materials shows while the light control passageways are being filled. Once the light control passageways are filled the ultraviolet lamp 107 is extinguished and the lamp 64 illuminated to start another display cycle.

Ultraviolet light is also used in other embodiments in which the design pane 128 when located at 132 has.a fluorescent coating over the regular design.

In operation, the regular design is formed as the liquid drains through the passageway panel 122. In one embodiment this design is seen only with the aid of daylight and in another embodiment the lamp 64 is used. Once the liquid has been drained from the passageway panel 122 revealing the full visible design, the lamp 64 is extinguished if it has been on and the lamp 107 is illuminated. Now the same design appears from the fluorescent materials activated by the ultraviolet light. This design is cancelled as the liquid is again pumped into the light control passageways of the passageway panel 122 or a fluorescent dye is included in the liquid, in which case the liquid also glows from the ultraviolet radiation as it fills the light control passageways. With this dye in the liquid the design remains visible as the passageways are filled. The glow of the liquid is of the same color as the design behind or of a different color, in which case, the display shows one color slowly erasing another color.

In the embodiments using ultraviolet light another effect is obtainable. As the ultraviolet light moves upwardly and emits light, a strong edge glow occurs above the advancing liquid. This glow results from the channeling of light upward towards the narrow edge of the liquid. The edge glow provides a pronounced visual effect that, in some instances, improves the display.

OPERATION WITHOUT A PUMP In each of FIGS. 2 and 3, a single display apparatus is shown operated by a pump. However, it is possible to arrange a plurality of the display apparatuses, and in doing so, permit operation without a pump. In such an arrangement, each of the display apparatuses are attached to the periphery of a cylinder that has a horizontal axis of revolution so that one display apparatus is vertical and faces the viewer at a time with the apparatus facing the viewer being periodically moved upward and a new display apparatus moved from the bottom of the cylinder to face the viewer. The passageways in the passageway panels of each of the display apparatuses communicate with one another and a sufficient amount of liquid is in this system to fill at least one display apparatus.

At first the display apparatus at the bottom of the cylinder has passageways completely filled with liquid. When it is moved upwardly to face the viewer, the liquid begins to drain from the passageways to cause the design to slowly appear to the viewer. While the liquid is drained from the passageways of the display apparatus facing a viewer, the passageways of the bottom display apparatus are being filled with liquid. When the bottom display apparatus has its passageways filled, the vertical passageway panel being viewed has a completed design upon it. The cylinder may now be rotated to raise the next display apparatus into viewing position to begin the process again.

Although several embodiments of the invention have been described with some particularity, many modifications and variations in the invention other than those specifically described may be made within the light of the above teachings.

What is claimed is:

1. Display apparatus comprising:

a passageway panel having a first wide side and a second wide side substantially parallel to and oppositely disposed from each other, said passageway panel being adapted to be illuminated by a source of light;

said passageway panel including at least one continuous channel extending substantially parallel to said first wide side and second wide side;

at least one section of said continuous channel being capable of passing light;

a fluid in said continuous channel; said fluid being capable of blocking at least some frequencies of light;

a design pane having a first wide surface and a second wide surface substantially parallel to and oppositely disposed from each other and including at least one design on said wide surfaces;

said design pane having one of its first and second wide surfaces positioned against one of the first and second wide sides of the passageway panel with said one design being opposite to said one section of said continuous channel, whereby light passing through said one section of continuous channel illuminates said design; and

means for causing the fluid to move into and from the one section of the continuous channel, whereby the one design is darkened as the fluid moves into the section and is illuminated as the fluid leaves the section of continuous channel;

said design pane including at least one solid portion; said one design including a plurality of spaced-apart lines and areas on said solid portion positioned opposite to said section of continuous channel so that light rays perpendicular to said design pane and passing through the lines and areas also pass through said one section of continuous channel, with some of said lines extending in directions independent of the direction of the continuous channel and some of said lines and areas having sizes smaller than the continuous channel, whereby an artistic design is animated under the control of a passageway panel having a relatively simple continuous channel.

2. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which:

said one section of said channel includes two sidewalls defining between them a channel width substantially parallel to said passageway panel and to said design pane;

said passageway panel being adapted for fluid flow in a first direction within said one section to darken the one design and in a second direction to illuminate the one design;

the lines of said one design being arranged with some of said lines being generally parallel to the second direction whereby they are illuminated rapidly and other of said lines being generally transverse to the second direction whereby they are illuminated slowly as said fluid flows from said one section of said channel; and

a plurality of said lines being positioned side by'side over said channel width so as to be crossed by the projection of an imaginary horizontal line which is substantially parallel to said wide sides of the passageway panel and between said sidewalls of said one section, whereby said plurality of lines are illuminated at substantially the same time.

3. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which at least some of the lines and areas are of a different color than others of the lines and areas opposite to the same continuous channel.

4. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which said fluid is of a different color from said design and is capable of passing some frequencies of light.

5. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which: said continuous channel includes a second section communicating with said one section;

said display apparatus further comprising means for blocking light from passing through said second section to prevent illumination of said design pane opposite said second section, whereby said second section provides a reservoir for fluid to control the time of illumination of said one design.

6. Display apparatus according to claim 5 in which:

said continuous channel includes a third section, said third section being capable of passing light;

said design pane includes a second design opposite to said third section; and

said third section communicates with said second section and said second section is above said one and third sections, whereby fluid flows between said second section and both said one and said third sections to darken and illuminate said one design and said second design at substantially the same time.

7. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which:

said passageway panel comprises two sheets of light-passing material;

one of said sheets includes a groove, the other of said sheets closing said groove to form said continuous channel, whereby said first and second wide sides of said passageway panel are solid continuous surfaces.

8. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which:

said design pane includes a second design; said means for causing the fluid to move into and from the section of the continuous channel includes an external conduit, orifice means in said passageway panel through which the external conduit communicates with the continuous channel and pump means communicating with the conduit for withdrawing fluid from and forcing fluid into the continuous channel;

said one section includes at least two subsections extending in different directions with respect to said orifice means, a portion of one of said two subsections being behind said one design and the other subsection being behind the second design, whereby said one and second designs are illuminated at substantially the same time as fluid is withdrawn from said channel; and

said display apparatus further includes means for blocking light from at least a portion of one of said subsections that is between the one and second designs, whereby said one and second designs are spaced apart.

9. Display apparatus according to claim 8 in which:

said pump means includes a source of fluid; said orifice means includes a plurality of openings communicating with said channel, said channel being continuous between said openings; and

said display apparatus further includes means for enabling any of said openings selectively to communicate with the source of fluid, to be closed, and to communicate with another opening, whereby said fluid may be caused to flow between said source of fluid and said channel and flow in a selected direction through said channel to control the sequence in which different portions of the design are illuminated.

10. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which:

said design pane includes opaque portions and portions capable of passing light, at least one portion of said design being on said portions capable of passing light;

said display apparatus further including a source of light;

said passageway panel being between said source of light and said design pane, whereby light from said source of light passes through said one section of continuous channel to illuminate said one portion of said design when said fluid is not in said one section; and

said passageway panel includes a second section of said continuous channel, said second section being opposite to an opaque portion of said design pane.

11. Display apparatus according to claim 1 in which:

said display apparatus has a viewing surface with a background area and an animated design area;

said design pane is entirely opaque; said passageway panel is located between said viewing surface and said design pane;

said fluid being of a color to match the background area of said viewing surface;

said design being of a different color from said background area, whereby said design is covered by a fluid matching the background area of said viewing surface as said fluid flows into said one section of channel and is uncovered as said fluid flows from said one section.

12. Display apparatus according to claim 1 further includa second design formed of a phosphor that emits visible light when irradiated by ultraviolet light;

an ultraviolet lamp positioned adjacent to the design pane and passageway panel: and I means for periodically illuminating said ultraviolet lamp to} illuminate the second design at different times than thel first design is illuminated. v V

Display apparatus according to claim 1 further including:

a second passageway panel having a first wide side and a second wide side substantially parallel to and oppositely disposed from each other;

a second design pane having a first wide surface and a second wide surface substantially parallel to and oppositely disposed from each other and including at least one design on said wide surfaces;

said second passageway panel including at least one continuous channel extending parallel to said first wide side and second wide side;

at least one section of said continuous channel of the second v cies of light;

said first-mentioned design pane including opaque portions and portions capable of passing light, with said design being positioned over said portions capable of passing light;

said first-mentioned passageway panel being positioned between said first-mentioned design pane and said second design pane with the one section of continuous channel of the first-mentioned passageway panel being opposite to the designs on said first-mentioned and second design panes;

said second passageway panel being positioned against the second design pane with the one section of continuous channel of the second passageway panel being opposite to the design on the second design pane;

said design on said second design pane including a plurality of spaced-apart lines and areas opposite to sections of said first-mentioged design pane that are capable of said means for causing the fluid of the first-mentioned passageway panel to move into and from the one section of the continuous channel of the first-mentioned passageway panel including a means for moving the fluid of the second passageway panel into and from the one section of continuous channel of the second passageway panel at a time overlapping with the time that the fluid of the first-mentioned passageway panel is moved into the corresponding position, whereby the first-mentioned design and the second design are illuminated in overlapping sequences.

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Referenced by
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US4144663 *Apr 11, 1977Mar 20, 1979Norlux A/SSwitchable sign
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Classifications
U.S. Classification40/406
International ClassificationG09F13/24, G09F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/24
European ClassificationG09F13/24