US 3715821 A
A sign assembly for use on a vehicle having at least one generally vertically adjustable window for mounting a clamp portion of the sign thereto. The clamp portion supports a standard and frame section of the sign assembly generally upwards and above the roof of the vehicle in order for the sign to be visible from all directions. Adjustment and locking means are provided on the standard to provide substantially vertical positioning of the sign regardless of the configuration of the window edge. In a first embodiment the sign has a flag portion mounted to the frame section which is rotatable in order to attract attention. The sign frame section is adapted to easily mount and dismount different flag portions to the assembly and at the same time to hold the flag portions taut and securely mounted. In a second embodiment, the sign is securely fastened to the standard and adjustment means are provided not only to vertically position the sign but also to adjust and lock the sign in any axial rotational position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
lJnited States Patent 1191 Hawes VEHICLE SIGN  Inventor: Edward L. Hawes, 405 East Goulson, Hazel Park, Mich. 48030 22 Filed: o6t.12,1970
21 Appl.No.: 79,727
 1.8. Cl. ..40/129 C, ll6/l73 [5 l Int. Cl ..G09f 7/00  Field of Search ..40/125, l29, 10, l29 C;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Feb. 13,1973
Primary Examiner-Jerome Schnall Assistant ExaminerWenceslao .l. Contreras Attorney-Haukc, Gifford & Patalidis 5 7 1 ABSTRACT A sign assembly for use on a vehicle having at least one generally vertically adjustable window for mounting a clamp portion of the sign thereto. The clamp portion supports a standard and frame section of the sign assembly generally upwards and above the roof of the vehicle in order for the sign to be visible from all directions. Adjustment and locking means are provided on the standard to provide substantially vertical positioning of the sign regardless of the configuration of the window edge. In a first embodiment the sign has a flag portion mounted to the frame section which is rotatable in order to attract attention. The sign frame section is adapted to easily mount and dismount different flag portions to the assembly and at the same time to hold the flag portions taut and securely mounted. in a second embodiment, the sign is securely fastened to the standard and adjustment means are provided not only to vertically position the sign but also to adjust and lock the sign in any axial rotational position.
10 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB13 I975 3.715821 sum 1 or 2 I INVE NTOR EDWARD L. HAWES WM 4W PATENTED FEB 1 3 I973 SHEET 2 0F 2 FIGII INVENTOR EDWARD L. HAWES VEHICLE SIGN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to sign construction, and more particularly to a sign assembly mountable to the window of a vehicle and including means for adjusting the vertical positioning of the sign regardless of the manner in which the window edge is formed.
II. Description of the Prior Art Signs for vehicles, at rest or in motion, have generally been of the types which remain stationary in a fixed configuration relative to the vehicle and which are designed to alert approaching traffic of the presence of the vehicle and to designate generally that the vehicle is disabled, involved in some ceremonious affair or should be noticed for other reasons. There are relatively few signs however which will clamp to the window of the vehicle and which are provided with adjustment means to properly position the sign above the roof of the vehicle regardless of the configuration of the window edge and of the vehicle roof. Signs of this type which are clamped to the upper edge of a vehicle window have in the past not been adaptable to the newer automobiles wherein curved side windows are used. A clamp designed for use with vehicle windows which are flat will cause the signs to extend obliquely from the vehicle if used with a curved window. Bending or twisting the standard weakens and eventually causes the standard to break.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The present sign assembly in a first embodiment meets the requirements of being easily rotatable and attachable to the vehicle and has the capability of having its flag portion readily interchanged, and at the same time securely maintaining the flag portion taut. The sign assembly is intended to be mounted to a vehicle with a generally vertically adjustable window and the sign has a support rod, shaft or standard with adjustment means for extending the standard substantially vertically upwards to have mounted at the'free end a rotatable sign frame which is adapted to securely retain and hold taut interchangeable flag portions. The rotatable frame rotates about an axis formed by the conjunction of the adjustment means and the generally vertically extending shaft and is pivotally connected to the shaft, maintaining contact with the shaft at relatively frictionless bearing points. The adjustment means permits the standard to be adjusted about an axis perpendicular to the axis of the standard so that the standard can be adjusted relative to the clamp to position the standard to extend vertically from the vehicle regardless of the position of the clamp.
In an alternate embodiment of the present sign assembly, the flag portion or indicia carrying member, is rigidly attached to the standard in a fixed nonrotatable member. In addition to the adjustment means to vertically position the flag portion, a second adjustment means is included for adjusting and locking the rotation of the standard with its attached flag portion.
In each embodiment the adjustment means permits the sign to be attached to the vehicle window regardless of the configuration of the window and to extend above the vehicle roof at the proper angle so that it is clearly visible.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A better understanding of the present invention will be more apparent upon reference to the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vehicle illustrating a sign assembly of the present invention in use;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the sign illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the sign shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary partial cross-sectional view of a vehicle frame and window in position to securely fasten a portion of the sign shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary partial cross sectional view of a portion of the sign frame shown in FIG.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a portion of the sign shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the adjustment means shown in FIG. 2; and and FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another sign member of the present invention,
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of another bracket construction of the present invention;
FIG. 10 is a view of an assembled sign member utilizing the bracket of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a view of a portion of the bracket shown in FIGS. 9 and 10.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A first embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 1-7, comprises a sign assembly 10 as shown in FIG. 1, extending generally vertically upwardly from a vehicle 12, and more particularly from a generally vertically adjustable window 24 to which it is mounted and is indicated as being rotatable about a substantially vertical axis. The upper portion of sign assembly 10 is free to rotate and to align itself with any relative air flow and to thereby present a minimum resistance to any air flow. The sign assembly 10 is mounted to be readily visible and it is expected that under conditions of generally gusty winds or of frequently changing air flow directions that the sign will rotate about the vertical axis and thereby succeed in attracting the attention of viewers.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the sign assembly 10 shown in use in FIG. 1. The sign assembly 10 consists of two major sections; a standard section 14 and a frame section 16, as best illustrated in FIG. 3. The standard section 14 includes an elongated upper standard 17 which is generally rigid and may be of hollow or solid construction. Adjustment means 18 which will be described in more detail below connect the upper standard 17 to a lower standard 19. Attached to the bottommost end of the lower standard 19 is a clip or clamp 20, which is secured to the lower standard 19 by a weld spot 22 or by any other convenient means. The clamp 20 is made from a generally resilient material and is formed to have a generally U-shaped appearance in section. The clamp 20 may be coated with any generally known soft pliable rubber-like elastomer coating to preclude damage to the portion of the vehicle 12 to which the clamp 20 fastens.
The adjustment means 18, as can best be seen in FIG. '7, permits the upper standard to be disposed in a generally vertical position regardless of any rotary displacement around an axis 21 extending through the upper edge of the vehicle window 24. Such rotation would be present if the window 24 is not flat or if it does not extend in a vertical plane. The adjustment means 18 preferably comprises a lower flange 100 welded or otherwise fastened near the top of lower standard 19. Similarly, upper flange 102 is welded or otherwise fastened near the bottom of the upper standard 17 and a bolt 108 is welded or otherwise secured to the flange 102 to extend outwardly therefrom on an axis substantially perpendicular to the axis of the upper standard 17 The bolt 108 is adapted to be received in a hole 110 provided in the lower flange 100 and to receive a wing nut 112 to fasten the upper standard 17 to the lower standard 19. The lower flange 100 is positioned such that the axis of the hole 110 is substantially parallel to the axis 21 so that rotation of the clamp 20 about the axis 21 can be compensated for by adjustment means 18 to mount the upper standard 17 in a vertical position. Serrations 104 and 106 provided on the flanges 100 and 102, respectively, aid in maintaining the standard 17 in the adjusted position.
The upper standard 17 has attached to its uppermost end a rigid cylindrical extension tube 26. The upper end of the upper standard 17 extends part-way into the opening of the cylindrical extension tube 26 in order to be securely fastened thereto. Fastening of the tube 26 to the upper standard 17 can be accomplished by a weld-bead 30, as best seen in FIG. 5, or any other known method such as crimping or the like. The extension tube 26 extends above the upper standard 17 somewhat to form a chamber for a portion of frame section 16 to be engaged therein. Although it is convenient to use the extension tube 26 to form the chamber, other means are available, such as the upper standard 17 itself being hollow at its uppermost end, thereby precluding the necessity of adding an additional element.
On the upper standard 17, intermediate adjusting means 18 and the extension tube 26 is an anti-friction bearing sleeve 32 securely fastened in a location along the upper standard 17 by any convenient means such as retaining clips 34 and 35. The anti-friction bearing sleeve 32 may, if desired, be molded directly to the upper standard 17, thereby eliminating the need for retaining clips 34 and 35. Whether molded to the upper standard 17 or retained by the retaining clips 34 and 35, the bearing sleeve 32 is generally composed of a non-corrosive material having low friction properties. Retaining clips 34 and 35 may be of the type which snap into slots included in the upper standard 17 or of the type which press-fit tight with the upper standard 17 As can best be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the frame section 6 consists generally of an elongated longitudinally extending frame 36, two radially extending arms 38 and a planar indicia bearing flag member 40. The frame 36 is of a rigid material and has its uppermost end turned back upon itself to form a substantially U-shaped hook 42. The base of the hook 42 is generally curved. The bottommost end of the frame 36 has a ring portion 44 which is generally annular in shape and which is in a plane substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal length of the frame 36. The ring portion 44 has its imaginary centermost point substantially on an imaginary line parallel to the longitudinal length of the frame 36 extending from the U-shaped hook 42. The ring por' tion 44 is formed at a predetermined distance from the end of hook portion 42 in order to encircle the bearing sleeve 32 when the end of the hook portion 42 of the frame 36 is fully engaged in the chamber formed by the cylindrical extension tube 26 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5. The retaining clip 34 for the bearing sleeve 32 is mounted a distance A" (FIG. 2) above the ring portion 44 which is less than a distance B (FIG. 5) which is the distance the hook portion 42 of the frame 36 is engageable with the chamber formed by the cylindrical extension tube 26. These differential distances are maintained in order to preclude the frame section 16 from becoming disengaged with the standard section 14 when the frame section 16 is moved upwards by a relative upwardly directed wind. Retaining clip 34 should be of sufficient outside diameter or outside dimension to prevent the ring portion 44 from passing upwards of it.
Attached to the frame 36 are spaced apart substantially parallel radially extending resilient arms 38. The parallel extending arms 38 are illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, S and 6. FIGS. 3 and 5 best illustrate the method of attachment of the arms 38 to the frame 36 which is shown as weld spots 45. As illustrated, the end of each arm 38 opposite the frame 36 has a bent portion 46 which is turned back upon the longitudinal length of each arm 38 to forma portion 47 parallel to the arm 38.
The flag member 40 is preferably constructed of fabric or plastic type material having information included thereon and is engageable with arms 38. Although other shapes are possible, the flag member 40 is shown to be of rectangular shape and has at its uppermost and bottommost ends hemmed portions 48. The turned back portion 47 of each arm 38 is of sufficient length to prevent disengagement of the flag member 40 from the arms 38 without compound relative movement of these members. The loop formed by the hemmed portion 48 is large enough to have each arm 38 and the turned back portion 47 of each arm 38 pass therethrough so that with proper manipulation of these members the flag member can be readily removed and replaced. This ease of interchangeability promotes the use of the sign assembly for numerous occasions and for it to display sundry information.
In order to mount any flag member 40 to the frame section 16, each parallel extending arm 38 is flexed towards the other and the respective hemmed portions 48 are passed over each arm 38 and its turned back portion 47. The flag member 40 is slid along the arms 38 until further passage is restricted by frame 36. At this point, the hemmed portions 48 will not be fully engaged with the turned back portion 47 of each arm 38 at the end of the flag member 40 farthermost from frame 36. In order for the flag member 40 to become engaged with the turned back portion 47 of arm 38, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the flag member 40, being of suitable fabric, is bent or wrinkled inwardly toward the frame 36 in order for the hemmed portions 48 to pass over each turned back portion 47 and then for the hemmed portions 48 to be smoothed out and to be disposed between each arm 38 and its turned back portion 47 and to be thereby fully engaged with the arms 38.
The resilient arms 38 are generally biased away from each other. After a flag member 40 is fully engaged, the biased arms 38 return to their normal positions and thereby stretch-out the fabric-like material of the flag member 40 and hold it taut.
The shape of the flag member 40, although generally rectangular, may vary. As long as one hemmed portion 48 substantially extends the length of one arm 38, the member 40 will be securely retained. If the secured attachment feature is not desired, the member 40 can be of any conceivable shape.
In operation, the sign assembly is mounted to a generally vertically adjustable window 24 of a vehicle 12. As best seen in FIG. 4, the vertically adjustable window is moved downwards from its closed position to a location where the clamp can be slid over the uppermost edge 29 of the window 24 until the inside surface of the clamp 20 engages the inside surface 25 and outside surface 27 and the uppermost edge 29 of the vertically adjustable window 24. Ideally, the window 24 is then moved upwards towards its closed position so that the door frame 31 is brought into contact with the outside surface of the clamp 20 to thereby lock the clamp to the vehicle. When the clamp 20 is properly seated, wing nut 112 may be loosened, thus permitting the upper standard 17 to be rotatably adjusted around the bolt 108 until the upper standard 17 extends in a substantially vertical position. The wing nut 112 is then retightened to lock the upper standard 17 in place. Such an adjustment will be necessary when the window 24 is curved or does not extend or move in a vertical plane and will permit the flag member 40 to be positioned above the vehicle roof in the proper position to achieve maximum visibility.
The frame section 16 is engageably mounted to the standard section 14 to be easily rotatable about a vertical axis substantially formed by the upper standard 17. Generally any relative wind will strike the flag member 40 and, because of its relatively large surface area, will cause it and, correspondingly, the frame section 16 to align themselves with the direction of the wind. The edge of the flag member 40 closest to frame 36 will be the leading edge and the edge of the flag member 40 farthermost from frame 36 will be the trailing edge in the relative wind. As the wind direction changes, frame section 16 will correspondingly align itself.
The frame section 16 is easily rotatable about the upper standard 17 because of the method of mounting of the hook portion 42 of the frame 36 in the chamber and the freedom of the ring portion 44 to circle about the bearing sleeve 32 mounted to the upper standard 17. The hooked portion 42 ideally has minimum contact with the inner walls of the pivot chamber formed by the cylindrical extension tube 26 and the uppermost end of the upper standard 17. In addition, the inside of the ring portion 44 has minimal contact with bearing sleeve 32 and between the two points of contact there is little resistance to prevent rotation. It is recognized that the upper end of the frame 36 need not bear against the uppermost end of the upper standard 17 inside the pivot chamber formed by the cylindrical extension tube 26 and the uppermost end of the upper standard 17 in order for the frame section 16 to rotate. Other embodiments of the present invention could easily provide for rotation by maintaining contact between other areas, such as the uppermost end of the extension tube 26 and the base of the U-shaped hook section 42.
It is often desirable, however, or even necessary to have the banner remain in a stationary position regardless of the direction of the wind. Such would occur, for example, when the present invention is utilized as an emergency sign on a disabled vehicle or when the present invention is used as an advertising sign and it is desirable for the banner to be displayed towards a certain direction such as towards a road. In accordance with this requirement a second embodiment of the present invention will now be described in which both the vertical positioning of the sign and the axial position of the sign around the standard may be adjusted and locked in place.
Referring to FIG. 8, an upper standard 200 has welded or otherwise fastened securely thereto a pair of parallel extending resilient arms 238. The arms 238 are formed with turned back portions 247 to receive and retain a flag member 240 substantially in the manner described above with respect to the first embodiment. Unlike the first embodiment, however, the flag member 240 is fixed with respect to the standard 208 and will not rotate.
The second embodiment includes an adjustment means 218 like the adjustment means 18 of the first embodiment and therefore includes an upper flange member 302 attached to the lower portion of the standard 200 by a spot weld or any otherfastening means. An angle bracket 220 has an upper vertical portion 222 with a hole 224 adapted to receive a bolt 308 extending from the upper flange member 302. The hole 224 is also provided with radial serrations 226 which will intermix and lock with serrations 306 formed on the upper flange member 302 when the bolt 308 extends through the hole 229 and a wing nut 312 is tightened on the bolt 308. The upper standard 200 and its attached banner 240 may thereby be locked into any desired vertical position in the manner described above with respect to the first embodiment.
The angle bracket 220 also has a lower portion 228, substantially perpendicular to the upper portion 222, thereby lying in the horizontal plane. A bolt 230 is fastened in a generally vertical position to the lower portion 228 of the angle bracket 220 by any conventional fastening means, such as spot welding or the like.
A lower standard 119 has a clip member 20 secured to the lower end thereof for fastening to the upper edge of an automobile window 24. The upper end of the lower standard 119 is bent in a horizontal plane and is looped at the end to form an eyelet 234 for receiving the bolt 230. A wing nut 236 is provided to tighten the upper serrated surface 238 of the eyelet against the lower serrated surface 241 of the angle bracket 220.
After the clip 20 has been inserted over the upper edge of the vehicle and then moved up to its closed position the upper standard 200 with its attached banner 240 is adjusted to the desired vertical positioning by rotating the member 302 with respect to the bracket 220 and the wing nut 312 is tightened onto the bolt 308 which extends through hole 224, to thereby lock the upper standard 200 to the angle bracket 220. The upper standard 200 with its attached banner 240 may then be rotated until the banner 240 is facing towards the desired direction at which time the wing nut 236 is tightened onto the bolt 230 which extends through the loop 234 in the lower standard 119 thereby firmly locking the upper standard 200 to the lower standard 1 19 in the desired position.
- The adjustment means thus provide sign assemblies in which the flag member can be properly positioned above the roof of the vehicle regardless of the configuration of the automobile window to which the sign is attached. The adjustment means 18 provides for vertical positioning of the standard while the adjustment means formed by the bracket 220 affords an additional rotational adjustment so that a fixed flag member can be rotated to and locked in a position to present the indicia carried by the flag member to face a desired direction.
While only two embodiments have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention. Thus, this invention is described by way of illustration rather than limitation and, accordingly, it is understood that this invention is to be limited only by the appended claims taken in view of the prior art.
I claim: a
l. A sign for a vehicle comprising:
an elongated first support rod having a first and second end; a second support rod having a first and second end; first means fixed to the first end of said second support rod, adapted to be mounted to said vehicle;
second means adjustably connecting and locking said first end of said first support rod and said second end of said second support rod;
third means at said second end of said first support rod for supporting an indicia bearing member;
said third means comprising a rotatable frame having a ring portion encircling a section of said first support rod intermediate the first and second ends of said first support rod, an opening formed at the second end of said first support rod, a hooked portion spaced apart from said ring portion pivotally mounted in said opening so that said frame is rotatable about a vertical axis substantially formed by said first support rod in conjunction with said second means wherein said indicia bearing member is mounted to said rotatable frame.
2. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 1, wherein said rotatable frame has an arm upon which said indicia bearing member is mounted, said arm having two ends, at least one end of which has an integrally connected extension spaced from and disposed parallel to said arm projecting toward said frame to form a locking hook for retaining said indicia bearing member, and wherein said indicia bearing member has means engageable with the locking hook of said arm to retain said indicia bearing member to said frame.
3. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 2, wherein said rotatable frame has two resilient, spaced apart, substantially parallel, horizontal arms extending from the vertically mounted support rod, each arm having a first end and a second end, the first end of each arm mounted to said frame, the second end of each arm having a hook engageable with said indicia bearing member and wherein said indicia bearing member has two hems, each respective hem being engaged with one of the two arms and the hook of that arm, said indicia bearing member being held taut by said resilient arms.
4. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 1, wherein said rotatable frame has two parallel spaced apart horizontally extending arms, each arm having two ends, at least one end of each arm being directed back upon itself to form an open end hook for retaining said indicia bearing member and wherein said indicia bearing member has means engageable with the open end books of said anns for retaining said indicia bearing member to said rotatable frame.
5. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 1, wherein said rotatable frame has two resilient parallel spaced apart horizontally extending arms extending from the vertically mounted support rod, each end of each arm which extends farthest from said support rod being bent to form hooks engageable with said indicia bearing member, and wherein said indicia bearing member has two hemmed portions engageable with said arms by passing said resilient arms of said frame through each respective hemmed portion when said resilient arms are flexed toward each other, said hook of each arm engaging the hemmed portions after said arms have been extended through the hemmed portions of said indicia bearing member.
6. The sign for a vehicle, as defined in claim 1, wherein said vehicle has at least one generally vertically adjustable window, and wherein said first means of said rotatable sign is mounted to said generally vertically adjustable window.
7. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 6, wherein said first means mounted to said generally vertically adjustable window comprises a resilient clamp adapted to be compressively fitted to said generally vertically adjustable window.
8. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 1, wherein said third means forming an opening at the second end of said first support rod comprises a tubular extension mounted to the second end of said first support rod to form an open end pivot chamber.
9. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 1, wherein said third means forming an opening at the second end of said first support rod includes means to form a bearing surface upon which said hooked portion of said rotatable frame pivots.
10. The sign for a vehicle as defined in claim 1, wherein said ring portion of said rotatable frame bears upon a bearing member fixed to said support rod intermediate the first'and second end of said support rod at the section of said support rod which said ring portion encircles.
UNTTED STATES PATENT OFFICE (IFRTWEQATE (W (1Q RREQ'EWN Patent No. 715,821 Dated Februar 13, 1973 lnven'tor(s) Edward L Ha eS It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 22, delete "and" (second occurrence) Column 3, line 60, delete "6" and insert -l6t--.
Column 5, line 8, delete "stretch-out" and insert --stretch out--.
Column 6, line 38, delete "hole 224" and insert -upper vertical portion 222-.
Signed and sealed this 3rd day of July 1973.
EDWARD M.PLETCHER,JR. Rene Tegtmeyer Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents "ORM PO-IOSO (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-3 69 u.s, GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1959 0-366-334