US 3824725 A
A pole banner sign construction which has rugged permanent hardware for supporting a flexible banner generally in a fixed position on a pole. All of the hardware excepting simple mounting plates at the upper and lower ends of the banner is removable from the pole. A simple rectangular flexible banner is supported under tension on the hardware and is adapted to be folded into a small package for shipment in an envelope. Rigid pull rods are located in hems at the upper and lower edges of the flexible banner. The hardware support means at the upper and lower ends of the flexible banner holds the pull rods in parallelism and maintains longitudinal tensional pull on the flexible banner between the rigid parallel pull rods. The hardware in maintaining the pull rod parallelism under tension also holds the pull rods against pivotal movement on, or twisting and turning movement about, the pole. A pair of flexible banners may be mounted in the same way on opposite sides of the pole, and any banner may be changed from time to time without the use of any tools merely by unhooking several hooks from banner engagement, then transferring pull rods from an initial banner to a replacement banner, and then hooking the replacement banner in place.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Friedrichsen 1 1 July 23, 1974 POLE BANNER SIGN CONSTRUCTION  Inventor: Thomas Friedrichsen,Massillon,
 Assignee: The Massillon-Cleveland-Akron Sign Company, Massillon, Ohio 22 Filed: Aug. 23, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 283,100
 U.S. Cl. 40/125 G, 40/145 R  Int. Cl G09f 07/18, G09f 17/00  Field of Search 40/125 G, 145 R, 128
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,960,785 11/1960 Kies 40/125 G 3,589,048 6/1971 Mollet et al 40/145 R X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 612,320 4/1935 Germany 40/125 G Primary ExaminerRobert W. Michell Assistant ExaminerJohn F. Pitrelli  ABSTRACT A pole banner sign construction which has rugged permanent hardware for supporting a flexible banner generally in a fixed position on a pole. All of the hardware excepting simple mounting plates at the upper and lower ends of the banner is removable from the pole. A simple rectangular flexible banner is supported under tension on the hardware and is adapted to be folded into a small package for shipment in an envelope. Rigid pull rods are located in hems at the upper and lower edges of the flexible banner. The hardware support means at the upper and lower ends of the flexible banner holds the pull rods in parallelism and maintains longitudinal tensional pull on the flexible banner between the rigid parallel pull rods. The hardware in maintaining the pull rod parallelism under tension also holds the pull rods against pivotal movement on, or twisting and turning movement about, the pole. A pair of flexible banners may be mounted in the same way on opposite sides of the pole, and any banner may be changed from time to time without the use of any tools merely by unhooking several hooks from banner engagement, then transferring pull rods from an initial banner to a replacement banner, and then hooking the replacement banner in place.
3 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1 POLE BANNER SIGN CONSTRUCTION CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT The invention involves improvement in the construction of the pole banner sign shown in Mollet and Friedrichsen U.S. Pat. No. 3,589,048.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to banner display signs mounted on poles. Pole signs historically have been of great marketing importance in the oil and gasoline retail industry as an effective means of attracting the passing motorist to the retail outlet.
Flexible pole signs of the types shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,764,830 and 3,589,048 have been received favorably by the oil and gasoline retail industry and long have served the stated marketing purposes. Such pole signs involve flexible banner members supported at their upper ends and spring tensioned at their lower ends on a pole. The flexible banner members sometimes are tied together with spacer wires'at one or both of the top and bottom corners of the flexible banners. The tops of the flexible banners have pivotal connection at the upper pole support means in the device of U.S. Pat. No. 2,764,830, and the lower ends of the banners have pivotal spring-tensioned connection with the lower pole support means of the devices of both U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,764,830 and 3,589,048. The flexible banners are detachable for easily changing the banner message from time to time in an advertising campaign wherein a; series of signs is displayed.
2. Description of the Prior Art The early design of such pole signs, shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,764,830, contemplated that substantially all of the hardware for pivotally supporting and tensioning the flexible banners should be permanently mounted. However, poorly engineered systems, improper installations, rusting hardware, etc. have resulted in the majority of oil companies preferring temporary pole sign systems wherein new hardward is installed with each pole sign installation.
However, even with temporary systems there is a weak link in that the dealer who installs the system may do so improperly. He may provide too much or not enough tension on the flexible banners which display the sign message. He may not have removed all old hardware from the pole with the possibility that the old hardware may poke holes in the new flexible sign banners.
These considerations have led to long periods of testing of many permanent and temporary hardware systerns for flexible pole signs, and to testing of various flexible banner and hardware arrangements and mountings, for determining the best way in which to resist injury, damage or destruction of the flexible banners by the infinitely varying weather conditions to which the signs may be subjected.
1n the past, testing of the effect of weather conditions on various sign structures has involved long and time consuming tests without always necessarily subjecting the signs to the worst weather conditions that can occur. That is, heretofore, testing has been accomplished by erecting various pole sign structures on the roofs of buildings or at other open test areas, so that the sign is exposed to the weather conditions that may occur during the test period, which may run from months, or even may run for more than a year. Such prior open area testing heretofore has been relied on as the best means of determining the characteristics of pole sign constructions. At best, the results of such tests are limited to the actual changing weather conditions encountered during the test, regardless of the length of testing time involved; and particularly to the velocity of winds or kinds of wind, rain, snow or ice storms, that occurred during the testing period.
Recently a completely new testing procedure has been discovered by which any flexible pole sign structure and mounting may be tested under the worst possible weather or wind conditions in a very short time period of hours or days rather than months or years. Such new testing procedures can be carried out in a few hours or a few days, to subject the signs to wind velocity conditions from any direction, that may exceed miles per hour, as related to the pole sign construction undergoing test.
Information obtained by such tests has indicated that sign constructions such as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,589,048, are the least desirable from the standpoint of resisting damage by weather and wind conditions. This defect was discovered to arise because the flexible banner components are rigidly held at the top, but pivotally tensioned at the bottom. With such construction the top corners of the flexible banner material are subjected to a great amount of torque when blown by wind gusts, which may tear the banner material at the banner corners.
Further, it was discovered by such tests that when both the upper and lower ends of the flexible banner components are pivotally connected to the pole support means as in U.S. Pat. No. 2,764,830, as well as in sign structures such as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,882,630, 2,893,147, 3,310,899 and 3,581,420, torque at the top corners of the flexible banners is relieved somewhat, and the flexible banners can, by twisting motion around the pole dump heavy wind gusts. However, relative twisting and pivoting of the upper with respect to the lower supports can subject the flexible banners to some torque loading.
That is, the devices of U.S. Pat. No. 2,764,830, wherein the flexible banner components are pivotally supported at their upper and lower ends on the pole under tension, and wherein the corners of two opposite flexible banner components are tied together by spacer wires, are less subject to damage from wind and weather conditions than devices of U.S. Pat. No. 3,589,048, wherein the two flexible banner components are rigidly mounted at their upper ends on the pole and pivotally tension supported at their lower ends on the pole.
The new testing procedures led to the further discoveries that most materials from which the flexible banners are made, are strong enough in themselves to withstand the heaviest wind gusts, if all torque effect on and twisting of the flexible banners is eliminated. I have discovered that this may be accomplished .by holding the upper and lower ends of the flexible banner material in fixed headers, while at the same time maintaining sufficient spring tension on the flexible material to accommodate stretch and billowing factors or forces on the material.
These discoveries have led to a complete change in the requirements for and engineering of flexible pole sign constructions and systems to avoid failures, to provide for changing the flexible banners to change messages, and to provide designs of various kinds of heardware most acceptable to particular purchasers, installers or users of pole signs.
Thus, a need has been presented, as a result of these discoveries, for rugged. permanent hardware having the beneficial characteristics of the construction of U.S. Pat. No. 3,589,048, while avoiding the disastrous torque difficulties encountered in the use thereof, such that flexible banners may be tensioned in position on a pole with hardware that, except for simple inconspicuous mounting plates, may be removed when not in use, and which readily may be 'used to change flexible banners from time to time without the use of any tools; and wherein the flexible banners, per se, may be folded in a small conveniently handled package for envelope shipping in order rigidly to mount and display successively a series of different flexible banners on the hardware to carry out an advertising campaign, while eliminating torque loading on the corners of the flexible banners incident to heavy wind gusts.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objectives of the invention include providing a pole banner sign construction which releasably suspends and mounts a flexible material rectangular banner member or component in tensioned condition extending vertically on a pole with the flexible banner located between upper and lower hardware suspension or support means of a permanent nature, and which holds and maintains fixed parallelism of rigid pull rods carried by the upper and lower hems of the flexible rectangular banner, while holding the pull rods against pivotal movement on or twisting or turning movement about the pole to avoid torque loading of the flexible banner material at the corners thereof, and while at the same time maintaining a longitudinal tensional pull on the flexible rectangular banner between the rigid pull rods; providing such permanent suspension or support means hardware with its principal components removably mounted on the pole; providing a construction with which successive flexible banners may be mounted to replace one with another without the use of any tools; providing a construction in which the permanent hardware which rigidly holds and maintains the banner pull rods in parallelism at both endsof the flexible banner member involves only the engagement of the flexible banner material and pull rods in hems on the banner by hook members which extend through the pull rods and flexible material in mounting the flexible banner on the hardware, and, in turn, on the pole; and providing a construction which achieves minimum shipping costs for replacement flexible banner members, by the use of banner member components which may be folded to small package size and shipped in relatively small envelopes.
These objectives and advantages may be obtained by the pole banner sign construction, the general nature of which may be stated as including the combination of a flexible banner member generally rectangular in shape, formed of foldable cloth, fabric or plastic material having a hem at each of its upper and lower edges; a rigid, preferably metal, rod or tube pull stick member removably contained in the hem at each upper and lower banner edge upper and lower hardware support and tensioning means adapted to be mounted on a pole for suspending the banner component; the upper and lower support means each comprising a mounting plate adapted to be permanently mounted on the pole; the upper support means including a suspension plate removably wedge-mounted on the upper mounting plate having a pair of spaced hooks engageable in fixed position with the hemmed edge and pull rod at the upper end of the banner member; the lower support means including a lower bracket removably wedge-mounted on the lower mounting plate having a pair of spaced hooks engageable in fixed position with the hemmed edge and pull rod at the lower end of the banner member, and spring-tensioning means connected between the lower spaced hooks and bracket tensioning the banner member between the upper and lower pull rods; and the fixed hook engagement between flexible banner and the upper and lower pairs of hooks maintaining the pull rods in parallelism.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of the invention illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles is set forth in the following description and shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the improved pole banner sign construction of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view, looking down on the top ofthe pole sign in the direction of the arrows 22, FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one of the mounting plates oriented for use as a part of the lower support hardware of FIG. 1, detached from a pole;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the lower support and tensioning hardware assembly for a flexible banner;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary bottom sectional view, looking up toward the pole sign in the direction of the arrows 5-.5, FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 6-6, FIG. 4, showing the lower hardware tensioning assembly, illustrating the parts thereof in full lines in an unengaged position, and illustrating the parts in dot-dash lines in a position when engaged to tension a flexible banner member;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view, on an enlarged scale, with parts broken away, looking in the direction of the arrows 77, FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view looking in the direction of the arrows 88, FIG. 1.
Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the various figures of the drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The improved pole banner sign construction is indicated generally at l and includes a generally rectangular flexible banner member 2, and upper and lower support and tensioning means, generally indicated at 3 and 4, for suspending the flexible banner member 2 on the pole 5 under tension. One pole banner sign 1 (FIG. 1) is mounted on one side of the pole 5, and a similar pole banner sign la may be mounted in identically the same manner on the other or opposite side of the pole 5 completely separate from and unconnected with the pole banner sign 1.
The upper support means 3 has a mounting plate generally indicated at 6, and the lower support means 4 has a similar mounting plate 6. These mounting plates are illustrated in FIG. 3 which shows a plate 6 oriented in the manner in which it is mounted on the pole for the lower support means 4. Each upper and lower mounting plate 6 is permanently mounted on a pole 5, by screws 7 (FIGS. 2 and 5) which extend through holes 8 in the plate 6.
Each mounting plate 6 has a U-shaped member 9 and a connected winglike plate member 10, with offset shoulders. 12 that converge toward the bottom as shown in FIG. 3 when the mounting plate 6 forms a part of the lower support means 4, and which converge toward the top when the mounting plate 6 forms a part of the upper support means 3.
An upper suspension plate 13 having fixed thereon a pair of spaced hooks 14 with sharpened upwardly directed points 15, is removably wedge-mounted on the upper mounting plate 6 by slipping portions thereof located at either side of a downwardly opening trapezoidal slot formed in plate 13, between the wings 11 and U-shaped member 9 of the upper mounting plate. 6. The trapezoidal slot formed in upper plate 13 may be similar to a slot later described in connection with the lower support means 4 shown in FIG. 4, and plate 13, hooks 14 andslot in plate 13 may be constructed as shown in said US. Pat. No. 3,589,048.
The lower support means 4 includes a tensioning de vice connected to a lower tensioning plate 16 having a pair of spaced hooks 17 thereon with sharpened points 18 directed downwardly as shown. Lower plate 16 is similar to upper suspension plate 13 excepting for omission in plate 16 of a trapezoidal slot which is present in upper plate 13.
Lower tensioning plate 16 preferably is welded at 19 to the upper end of an inner tubular spring housing member 20, preferably rectangular in cross section, which is telescoped within a similar outer tubular member 21 welded at 22 to a lower mountengaging plate 23 having an offset shoulder 24 terminating in bifurcated end 25 which is formed with an upwardly opening trapezoidal slot 26. Slot 26 is similar to the slot formed in upper suspension plate 13.
A coiled compression spring 27 with a lower connecting hook rod 28 and an upper connecting hook rod 29 extending through the coil (FIG. 7) is located within the telescoped squared spring housing tubes 20 and 21. Each hook rod 28 and 29 has a hook 30 at one end engaged with an end of the coil spring 27, and each has a projecting eye 31 at the other end thereof. The eye 31 of lower hook rod 28 engages a bolt 32 extending through the lower end of outer tube 21. The eye 31 of upper hook rod 29 engages a bolt 33 extending through the upper end of inner squared tube 20, normally to bias inner tube 20 telescoped into outer tube 21, as indicated by the arrow 34 in FIG. 7, to the normal position shown in full lines in FIG. 6.
When the lower plate 23 is held in fixed position on lower mounting plate 6 (FIG. 1) and an upward pull indicated by the arrow 35, is exerted on the hooks 17, as shown by the dot-dash position of FIG. 6, spring 27 is compressed and exerts a tensional reaction on the hooks 17 to counter the directional pull represented by the arrow 35. t
The flexible generally rectangular banner 2 may be formed of foldable cloth, fabric or plastic material with a hem 36 formed at each of its upper and lower edges. The flexible banner 2 may be imprinted with, or otherwise display, an advertising sign or message on its surface facing outwardly with respect to the pole, viewing 5 FIG. 1. A rigid pull rod, preferably a metal tube 37, is
inserted in each hem 36 of the flexible banner 2 for suspending the banner 2 on the pole 5. Holes 38 are formed in pull rod tube 37 to receive the hooks 14, the banner fabric in hems 36 being punched opposite holes The removable upper suspension member 13 is assembled and mounted on the upper mounting plate 6, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 to install a flexible banner 2 on a pole 5. In a similar manner, the bifurcated end 25 of lower plate 23 is engaged with the lower mounting plate 6, as shown in FIG. 1. The upper end of flexible banner 2 and the pull rod 37 at the upper hem 36 are engaged by the spaced hooks 14 of the upper suspension plate 13, the hook points 15 extending through pull rod holes 38, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The lower tension plate 16 of the lower support means 4 then is pulled upward, as indicated by the arrow 35 in FIG. 6, against the tension of spring 27 and the hooks 17 are engaged with the lower edge of flexible banner 2 and through holes 38 in pull rod 37 in the ner 2 is held in the rigid fixed position shown by the upper pull rod 37 and hooks 14, and pivotal movement of the upper banner end, with respect to the pole 5 or swinging movement thereof around the pole is prevented by the fixed position of the upper pull rod.
Similarly, the lower plate 16 and spaced hooks 17 thereon, extend through holes 38 in the lower pull rod 37, hold the lower end of theflexible banner 2 against any pivotal movement with respect to the pole 5, or any swinging movement around the pole. The upper and lower pull rods are maintained in parallelism against any relative movement excepting tensioned vertical movement of the lower pull rod upward toward the upper pull rod.
Such tensioned movement can occur if wind blows the flexible banner 2 to billow it outward or inward with respect to the pole 5. Such blowing or billowing of flexible banner 2 is resisted by the tension of the lower support means 4 returning the banner to a taut position as shown in FIG. 1, when the wind gust subsides.
The fundamental aspect of the invention involves -maintaining parallelism of the upper and lower pull rods 37 engaged with the upper and lower hems 36 of the flexible banner 2 so that there can be no relative to another portion or with respect to the pole 5, or between the pull rods and pole excepting for billowing of banner 2 and vertical movement of the lower pull rod 37 with respect to the upper pull rod in parallel relation. This control prevents torque forces from being It is usual, as shown in FIG. 1, to mount two banners back-to-back on any pole to display in opposite directions signs suspended from the pole. This is accomplished as illustrated in FIG. 1 by permanently mountmovement of one portion of the banner 2 with respect ing the upper and lower mounting plates 6 on the pole S in properly spaced relation. Other than the fact that plates 6 are mounted on the pole, there is no connection between the banner sign 1 on one side of the pole and the sign 1a on the other side of the pole 5.
Advertising campaigns frequently use a series of advertising messages displayed one after another from poles located at service stations. In accordance with the invention, this is accomplished by replacing flexible banners 2 with new banners from time to time. The replacement can be accomplished readily merely by unhooking flexible banners 2 from the hooks l4 and 17 and pull rods 37, then by removing pull rods 37 from the banners to be discarded, then by inserting the pull rods 37 into the hems of replacement banners 2, then by punching holes in the fabric of new banners opposite the pull rod holes 38, and then by suspending the new banners from the books 14 and 17 with the hooks extending through the pull rods at the upper and lower ends of each flexible banner 2. No tools of any nature whatsoever are required to make such change, all hardware being present at and remaining on the pole during such change.
If a campaign is terminated and no new banner is to be displayed from the pole 5 for a period of time, the banners 2 are removed. The pull rods 37 and upper suspension plates 13 and lower tensioning plates 16 assembled with the telescoping spring housing 20-21 are removed from the pole 5 and stored at the service station. Only inconspicuous mounting plates 6 and bolts 7 remain on the pole.
All hardware is of rugged and strudy construction and may be formed of rust-resisting or nylon coated metal components which are trim-appearing when installed. The spring tensioning means is enclosed in the telescoped square tube housing which conceals the spring. The telescoped tubes 21 and 22, sliding one inside the other, allow the flexible banner 2 to flex up and down from wind gusts and to compensate for material stretch. The square tubes 21 and 20 do not allow the flexible banner 2 to torque thereby keeping stress off of its corners. At the same time the square tube control screws at 7. The pole may be drilled initially and the screw run in with a socket wrench. Another means of installing the mounting plates 6 is to use an electric torque wrench, the screw 7 drilling its own hole and threading itself into the pole.
Accordingly, the new pole banner sign construction provides a sign which incorporates all the advantageous characteristics of the sign of US. Pat. No. 3,589,048 while eliminating the undesirable flexible banner damaging torque characteristic; provides a construction utilizing permanent hardware in which only the flexible banners per se are changed and discarded to change signs; provides a construction in which rigid pull rods located in hems at the end of a flexible banner are mounted with one end fixed in position on a pole, and with the other controlled so that it can only move vertically with respect to the pole in parallelism with the one; provides a construction in which the flexible banner mounted and controlled as indicated may be tensioned to compensate for and absorb the force of wind tending to blow the flexible banner out of stretched, taut position, and to billow the flexible material; provides a flexible banner which may be mounted to achieve the stated advantages and which may be folded into a small package and shipped in an envelope to a place of use; provides a new construction which may be mounted readily on any kind, type, size or material of any existing pole; and provides a construction eliminating difficulties that have characterized prior devices and which solves problems which have been discovered to exist in the art.
In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness and understanding; but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirements of the prior art, because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is by way of example, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.
Having now described the features, discoveries, and principles of the invention, the manner in which the improved pole sign construction is constructed and used, the characteristics of the new construction, and the advantageous, new and useful results obtained; the new and useful structures, devices, elements, arrangements, parts and combinations are set forth in the appended claims.
1. In pole sign construction of a type in which a flexible banner is removably suspended and tensioned on a pole, in which the flexible banner is formed with a hem at each of its upper and lower edges, and in which rigid pull rod means is removably mounted on each hem; the combination of hardware support means adapted to be mounted at spaced upper and lower locations on the pole for suspending the flexible banner; the upper and lower support means including upper and lower mounting plates adapted to be permanently mounted in fixed spaced relation on the pole; one of the upper and lower support means also including a rigid suspension plate removably mounted on one of the mounting plates, a pair of spaced hooks mounted on the suspension plate engageable in fixed position with the hemmed edge and pull rod at one end of the flexible banner; the other of the upper and lower support means also including a rigid tensioning plate having a pair of spaced hooks mounted thereon engageable in fixed position with the hemmed edge and pull rod at the other end of the flexible banner; said other support means also including a mount-engaging plate, spring-tensioning means connected to and applying tension between the tensioning and mount-engaging plates; the spring-tensioning means including a pair of telescoping tubular members rectangular in cross-section; a coil spring housed within the telescoped tubular members, with one end of said coil spring being connected with one tubular member and with the other end of the coil spring being connected with the other tubular member; the telescoping tubular members rectangular in cross section controlling tensioned movement of the tensioning plate in a plane passing through the tensioning plate; the mountengaging plate being removably mounted on the other mounting plate; the fixed hook engagement between the ends of the flexible banner and the two pull rods maintaining the pull rods in parallelism; and the parallel pull rods extending in directions parallel with said plane and perpendicular with the direction of movement of the tensioning plate.
2. The construction defined in claim 1 in which the coil spring is a compression spring; in which the telescoped tubular members comprise an inner member and an outer member; and in which a first hook rod connects one end of the spring with one end of the inner tubular member, and a second hook rod connects the other end of the spring with the opposite end of the telescoped into the outer tubular member.