US 3821860 A
An internally illuminated sign comprising a hollow body of translucent material, a reflective material on the inner perimetral surface of the body, and a source of light in the form of an ordinary flashlight secured to the body such that the lens is disposed internally of the body and the handle projects therefrom and serves as a means of manually holding the sign as desired.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,821,860 Patty July 2, 1974 PORTABLE INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED 3,279,110 10/1966 Lelicoff 40/129 R SIGN 3,605,309 9/1971 Beaty et al. 40/130 B  Inventor: Richard L. Patty, I152 Hartzcll St., primary w Grieb New 46774 Assistant liraminer-John F. Pitrelli 122 s 9, 973 v Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Gust, lrish, Lundy & Welch [21 Appl. No.: 330,943 7 7 ABSTRACT An internally illuminated sign comprising a hollow  US. Cl 40/129 A, 40/130 B body of translucent material, a reflective material on [51 Int. Cl. G09f 13/16 the inner perimetral surface of the body, and a source  Field of Search 40/l29 A, I29 R, 130 B oflight in the form of an ordinary flashlight secured to the body such that the lens is disposed internally of 56] References Cited the body and the handle projects therefrom and serves UNITED STATES PATENTS as a means of manually holding the sign as desired. 1,848,951 3/1932 Haynes 40/129 A X 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 22 "1 1 50 I F f i e 111 2" i l I r PORTABLE INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED SIGN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to signs and more particularly to an internally illuminated sign which utilizes as its source of light an ordinary flashlight.
2. Description of the Prior Art Internally illuminated signs are quite common, normally utilizing a number of incandescent or neon bulbs internally thereof for illuminating the sign itself. The material of the sign is usually translucent with opaque letters and symbols thereon.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the broader aspects of this invention, there is provided an internally illuminated sign comprising a hollow body which is at least in part translucent, a reflective material on predetermined portions of the inner surface of the body, and the source of light disposed internally of the body having means for directing light onto predetermined portions of the reflective material wherebythe body is illuminated interiorly so as to irradiate the translucent material of the body.
It is an object of this invention to provide a portable sign which is inexpensive, highly visible and light in weight.
It is another object of this invention to provide a portable sign which utilizes as the light source and handle an ordinary flashlight.
The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevation of one embodiment of this invention, the back elevation appearing the same;
FIG. 2 is a side view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevation partly sectioned for clarity of illustration;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view showing the details of mounting a flashlight internally of the sign, and
FIG. 5 is a perspective exploded view of a part of the structure shown in the preceding Figs.
Referring to the drawings, an ordinary sixor ninecell flashlight has an extension handle 11 secured thereto whereby the total sign may stand to a height about equal to the height of an ordinary adult individual. The flashlight includes the usual bowl-shaped reflector 12, a lens-retaining ring 14 threadedly secured to the reflector l2 and a lens (not shown) mounted in the retaining ring 14 and secured to the reflector 12 according to conventional design.
The sign is generally indicated by the numeral 16 and is formed primarily of translucent plastic material which is of light weight and easy to fabricate. Such plastic material includes those which may be vacuum formed and according to chemical composition may take the form of certain of the suitable thermoplastic vinyl plastics.
In the embodiment shown, the sign is of hexagonal shape and in the form of a STOP sign. The body is formed in two halves l8 and 20 joined together at outwardly extending perimetral flanges 22, glue or threaded fasteners being used for joining the flanges 22, hence the two body halves l8 and 20 together. The two halves 18 and 20 are of identical design. The opposite faces 22 and 24 are bowed slightly outwardly as viewed more clearly in FIG. 2 and are spaced apart by the perimetral sides sufflciently to receive the lens portion 12, 14 of the flashlight between the two faces-22 and 24 as shown.
The flashlight 10 is mounted'on one side 26 of the hexogonal body such that the lens portion 12, 14 is disposed internally of the body but the handle 28 projects therefrom. A hole 30 is provided in the side 26 large enough to receive the lens assembly 12, 14 therethrough as shown. Mounted on the inner surface of the side 26 is a bracket 32 having inwardly extending parallel sides 34 and a bottom member or window 36. This bracket 32 is preferably formed of transparent plastic and provided with outwardly extending flanges 38 which engage and mount on the inner surface of the side 26. The spacing between the two sides 34 of the bracket 32 is substantially coextensive with the diameter of the hole 30 'as well as the largest diameter portion of the lens assembly 12, 14 such that the latter may be freely inserted into and withdrawn from the pocket defined by the bracket 32 and furthermore held against relative lateral movement with respect to the bracket.
A clamping plate 38 is secured to the outer surface of the side 26 and is provided'with an opening 40 of a diameter substantially coextensive with that ofa flashlight handle 28. All of the parts just described are so dimensioned that the smallest diameter portion of the reflector 12 will be engaged by the perimeter of the hole 40 in the plate 38 thereby to clamp the lens assembly 12, 14 against the bracket window 36 when threaded fasteners 42 are used to secure the plate 38 and the flanges 37 to the side 26 as shown. The hole 40 may be notched to receive the switch 44 on the flashlight handle 28 therethrough so as to position the plate 38 as described.
The flashlight is symmetrically mounted as shown so as to direct a beam of light toward the opposite side 26a of the sign body. Molded integrally with this side 26a is a V-shaped support 46 having its apex 48 in line with the optical axis of the lens assembly l2, 14, one half of the V-support being on one of the sign halves 18 and the other half on the other.
The inner perimetral surface of the sides 18, 20 is covered with a highly reflective material such as chrome tape having pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side thereof, with the exception, of course, of the window 36 of the mounting bracket 32. The flat sides of the V-shaped support 46 are also covered with the same reflective material. Thus, a beam of light emitted by the flashlight 36 will first impinge the V-shaped reflector 46, 48 and from there will be reflected to and between the other internal flat sides 50. This results in filling the sign body with light by reason of this specular reflection which thereby results in internally illuminating the sign body.
Suitable light reflective letters 52 of phosphorescent or fluorescent material are secured to the opposite faces 22 and 24 of the sign, these letters in the usual instance being more opaque to stand out in marked contrast on the background of the translucent body.
By forming the sign body of translucent plastic material which is of red color and the letters of more opaque white color, the sign will stand out in the darkness and be visible for a relatively great distance.
The sign has particular utility for use by crossing guards near schools to warn motorists to stop to permit the passage of students across a street or roadway.
The retaining ring 14 being threaded to the reflector 12 may be unscrewed slightly so as to elongate the lens assembly l2, 14 thereby to increase the length of the assembly to fit snugly the pocket formed by the bracket 32 and plate 38. Therefore, the handle 28 of the flashlight becomes the handle of the sign.
The structure may be easily disassembled for replacing the bulb in the lens assembly 12, 14 and furthermore, the same flashlight may be used with different sign bodies without requiring duplication of the flashlight.
As will appear from the foregoing, the structure is light in weight, inexpensive and completely portable. In the darkness, it vividly stands out and is therefore easily observed, thereby providing a measure of safety in warning approaching motorists to observe the instruction on the sign.
While there have been described above the principles of this invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An internally illuminated sign comprising a hollow body which is at least in part translucent, a reflective material on angularly related inner surfaces of said body, said body having opposed translucent faces and a perimetral side opposite at least one of said surfaces, a flashlight mounted on said body with the lens and reflector thereof disposed within said body such that the optical axis is substantially parallel to said faces, said reflector being bowl-shaped and said lens being sccured to the open end thereof, an opening in said opposite perimetral side which receives said reflector and lens, a bracket secured to the inner surface of said opposite perimetral side and having upstanding sides and a bottom which define a pocket with said perimetral side for receiving said reflector and lens, said lens engaging said bottom which is transparent in the portion thereof in registry with said lens, a retaining member secured to the outer surface of said opposite perimetral side and engaging a smaller diameter portion of said reflector thereby to secure said flashlight to said body, the handle of said flashlight serving as a handle for said slgn.
2. The sign of claim 1 in which said angularly related surfaces including a V-shaped surface having the apex thereof axially centered and projecting toward said lens.
3. The sign of claim 2 in which said body is hexagonal in shape and having opposed translucent faces, said angularly related surfaces including the perimetral sides of said body, said V-shaped surface being disposed on the side opposite said lens, and said flashlight being mounted in the perimetral side opposite to said V- shaped surface.
4. The sign of claim 1 in which said body is of translucent plastic having oppositely disposed separated faces,
said body being of two halves joined together at the pebottom of said bracket.