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Publication numberUS3797151 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 19, 1974
Filing dateDec 6, 1971
Priority dateDec 6, 1971
Publication numberUS 3797151 A, US 3797151A, US-A-3797151, US3797151 A, US3797151A
InventorsH Dexter
Original AssigneeH Dexter
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stranded motorists{40 {11 sign
US 3797151 A
Discloses a stranded motorists' distress sign for use by motorists stranded on the interstate highway system. The sign comprises a board carrying a visible distress legend which is supported by a base member. A magnetized mounting means is utilized for mounting the sign to the metallic top of an automotive vehicle, so as to be visible to passing motorists, who can send help to the location.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Dexter [4 1 Mar. 19, 1974 1 STRANDED MOTORISTS SIGN [76] Inventor: Halton B. Dexter, 2632 S. Third St.,

Louisville, Ky. 40208 22 Filed: Dec. 6, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 204,960

[52] US. Cl. 40/129 C, 40/142 A 2,959.832 11/1960 Baermann 40/142 A 3,024,552 3/1962 MacLea 40/129 c 3,237,330 3/1966 Dinstbir 40/129 C 3,422,556 1/1969 Lyons et al. 40/142 A X 3,525,493 8/1970 Chrietzberg 40/11 x Primary ExaminerRobert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras [5 7 ABSTRACT Discloses a stranded motorists distress sign for use by motorists stranded on the interstate highway system. The sign comprises a board carrying a visible distress legend which is supported by a base member. A magnetized mounting means is utilized for mounting the sign to the metallic top of an automotive vehicle, so as to be visible to passing motorists, who can send help to the location.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENT [D MR 19 I974 FIG.

FIG. 2


STRANDED MOTORISTS' SIGN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a stranded motorists distress sign which may bedetachably mounted to the metallic top of an automotive vehicle so that the legend on said sign is easily visible to passing motorists. More specifically, this invention relates to an improved mounting means for said detachably connected stranded motorists sign whereby the sign is held in position on the automotive vehicle top through magnetic attraction.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Identification markers and distress signs for use with automotive vehicles are not new. Identification markers and distress signs which are detachably mounted onto the top of automotive vehicles by magnets have previously been disclosed in the art. See, for example, the U.S. Fat. to Grabow No. 3,507,245 and the US. Pat. to Lyons et al. No. 3,422,556. Problems have been encountered, however, in supplying sufficient magnetic attraction to prevent the signs from being'blown over by winds and by drafts caused by passing trucks and automobiles. To prevent this, Grabow, provided an octagonal shaped sign with a large aperture in the center to reduce wind resistance. Lyons, et al. provided a flexible hinge like member for his identification marker which would bend with the wind rather'than pulling the entire sign from the top of the automobile.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, an improved mounting means is provided which provides sufficient magnetic force to hold the sign in position while the automobile is stranded on the side of the highway. This force is provided by an improved mounting means involving a magnetized member fitting into a groove near the bottom surface of the base of the distress sign. In a preferred embodiment the magnetized member may be fabricated of a high molecular weight polymeric material in which magneticized metal or metal oxide has been finely dispersed and the member molded or extruded into a shape conforming to the groove in the base of the sign. By this method, a firm line of magnetic flux is provided which allows strong attraction of the base of the sign to the metallic top of the automobile so that the sign is not easily blown over. Y

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 3 is an enlarged'end view of the magnetized member of this invention.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view, in perspective, illustrating a modification of the base of the distress sign of this invention and illustrating one of the magnetized mem-' bers being inserted into a groove in the body of said base.

' DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Due to attack and malicious mischief, organizations, such as the National Safety Council and the American Automobile Associationhave suggested to motorists,

stranded motorists distress sign, attachable to the metallic top of an automobile, the distress signal may be visible to passing motorists and yet the stranded motorists may wait in safety in their locked automobile. As may be noted from the drawing, the distress legend 2 on board 1 is SEND HELP rather than HELP. This is for the purpose of sending only authorized persons, such as state troopers to assist the motorist. The board 1 is held in upright position by the base 3 which contains two longitudinally upstanding members 4 forming a slot 5 into which the lower edge of the rectangular board fits. The base 3 has a body 6, a top surface 7 and a bottom surface 8 and is preferably fabricated of a plastic material such as one of the high molecular weight polymeric resins. As will be noted, the base is mounted to the top of an automobile by means of a mounting means 9 which consists of the groove 10 near the bottom surface 8 of the body of base 3. In the modification shown in FIG. 2, the groove 10 contains a vertical portion 11 and a horizontal portion 12 which extends laterally of the vertical portion into the body 6 of the base 3. The magnetizable member 15 preferably fabricated of high molecular weight polymeric material containing one of several magnetized powders is molded or extruded into a shape so as to contain a flat planar portion 17, an upstanding flange 18 and a laterally disposed lip 19. If a flexible polymeric material is used, the flange l8 and the laterally disposed lip 19 may be pulled medially and snapped into the groove 10 so that'the upstanding flange 18 fits in the vertical portion 11 of the groove while the laterally disposed lip 19 snaps into the laterally disposed horizontal portion 12 of the groove.

In the modification of the mounting means, shown in FIG. 4, two grooves 10 are extruded into the body 6 of the base so as to be close to the bottom surface 8 of the base member 3. Magnetiz ed members, preferably molded of a stiffer type of polymeric material 15 can then be inserted into the formed grooves 10 so that the magnetic flux will extend through the area between the bottom of the groove 10 and the lower surface 8 to hold the base to the automotive vehicle top by magnetic action.

As'previously indicated, the high molecular weight polymeric materials used as materials of fabrication may be somewhat flexible so as to allow the base and the magnetized member 15 to conform to the slight curvature of the automobile top. The technique of dispersing magnetic powders into high molecular weight polymeric materials and forming them into extruded pieces is known in the art. Any of the metal powder magnets may be used. These include sintered ALNICO or sintered ALCOMAX. Additionally, some of the metal oxide magnets, such as Katos oxide or isotropic barium ferrite may be utilized in the shaped magnetic member.

In any event, by providing an elongated magnetic member 15, fitting into an elongated groove 10, in communication with or near the bottom surface 8 of the base member 3, it is possible to provide a long, strong line of magnetic flux sufficient to hold the sign to the top of the automobile and allow the sign bearing 3 4 the distress legend to be held firmly and not be bent bottom surface of said base member, over or blown over by the wind or by drafts of passing 2. an elongated magnetized member fitted into said motor vehicles. elongated groove for providing an elongated line Many modifications will occur to those skilled in the of magnetic attraction to the metallic surface of art from the detailed description herein above given, 5 an automotive vehicle, in which:

and such description is meant to be exemplary in naa. said magnetized member comprises a flat plature and non limiting except so as to be commensurate nar portion and an upstanding flange,

in scope with the appended claims. 1. said upstanding flange, projecting from said I claim: flat planar portion and fitting into said elon- 1. A stranded motorists distress sign comprising: gated groove, and,

A. a flat double faced board member in which at least 2. said flat planar portion fitting in abutting reone face of said member bears a distress legend, lation with the flat planar surface of said base and, member.

B. a base member for holding said board member in 2. A stranded motorists sign, as defined in claim 1,

generally upright orientation, which comprises: in which:

1. a flat planar portion, A. said elongated groove includes a vertical portion 2. a pair of relatively spaced longitudinally extendand a horizontal portion, said horizontal portion,

ing, upright members projecting from the upper projecting from the top of said vertical portion latsurface of said flat planar portion, and, erally into the body of said base member, and,

3. a slot, formed by said relatively spaced upright B. said upstanding flange includes a lip, said lip promembers, for retention of the lower edge of said jecting laterally from the top of said flange of said board member, magnetized member, and fitting into the horizontal C. the improvement of a mounting means for detachportion of said groove.

ably securing said distress signal to an automotive 3. A stranded motorists distress sign, as defined in vehicle, which comprises, claim 2, in which the flange and lip of said magnetized 1. an elongated groove near the bottom surface of member are flexible so as to snap into engagement with said flat planar portion of said base member, the vertical and horizontal portions of said groove. a. in which said elongated groove opens in the

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Referenced by
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US4028827 *Jan 15, 1976Jun 14, 1977Servicemaster Industries Inc.Sign
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U.S. Classification40/592, 40/600
International ClassificationB60Q7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60Q7/005
European ClassificationB60Q7/00A