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Publication numberUS3864861 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1975
Filing dateSep 21, 1973
Priority dateSep 21, 1973
Publication numberUS 3864861 A, US 3864861A, US-A-3864861, US3864861 A, US3864861A
InventorsHill Jr Richard H
Original AssigneeHill Jr Richard H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated display device
US 3864861 A
Abstract
The illuminated display device, operated by either alternating or direct current sources, is primarily designed for lighting house number, street names or other alpha-numerical indicia intended to supply information. The display device includes a closed housing having a lamp mounted therein and a transparent cover plate to view the indicia. A reflector assembly mounted within the housing surrounds the light and includes a first reflector having upwardly and outwardly extending side walls, with the upper edges of the side walls terminating near the transparent cover plate of the housing. A transparent reflector cover, with suitable indicia mounted thereon, is seated on the upper edges of the first reflector in close proximity to the transparent reflector cover of the housing. A second reflector, open at its ends, extends across the lamp within the confines of the first reflector and is provided with light transmitting areas. The reflectors are opaque. The lamp is connected to a source of current. When energized the rays of light from the lamp are emitted from the open ends of the second reflector and from the light transmitting areas provided thereon and impinge upon and are reflected by the side walls of the first reflector to illuminate the cover plate and the indicia with substantially uniform intensity.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Hill, Jr.

[ 1 Feb. 11,1975

1 1 ILLUMINATED DISPLAY DEVICE [76] Inventor: Richard H. Hill, Jr., 20173 Hull St.,

Detroit, Mich. 48203 [22] Filed: Sept. 21, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 399,385

[52] US. Cl. 40/132 R, 40/130 R, 40/132 D, 40/133 B [51] Int. Cl. G09f 13/14 [58] Field of Search 40/130 R, 132 R, 133 B, 40/132 D, 130 K, 130 B, 133 R; 240/41.l

[56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 704,122 7/1902 Scott 40/130 R 1,189,461 7/1916 McNeal 40/133 B UX 1,685,822 10/1928 Lowinger 40/133 B 1,911,962 5/1933 Morrison 40/1061 2,118,900 5/1938 Schade 40/1522 UX 2,999,148 9/1961 Kay 40/130 K X 3,521,047 7/1970 Smith 40/130 R 3,590.50? 7/1961 Wren 40/133 B 3,671,735 6/1972 King 240/41.1

Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant ExaminerJohn F. Pitrelli Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Whittemore, Hulbert & Belknap ABSTRACT The illuminated display device, operated by either alternating or direct current sources, is primarily designed for lighting house number, street names or other alpha-numerical indicia intended to supply information. The display device includes a closed housing having a lamp mounted therein and a transparent cover plate to view the indicia. A reflector assembly mounted within the housing surrounds the light and includes a first reflector having upwardly and outwardly extending side walls, with the upper edges of the side walls terminating near the transparent cover plate of the housing. A transparent reflector cover, with suitable indicia mounted thereon, is seated on the upper edges of the first reflector in close proximity to the transparent reflector cover of the housing. A second reflector, open at its ends, extends across the lamp within the confines of the first reflector and is provided with light transmitting areas. The reflectors are opaque. The lamp is connected to a source of current. When energized the rays of light from the lamp are emitted from the open ends of the second reflector and from the light transmitting areas provided thereon and impinge upon and are reflected by the side walls of the first reflector to illuminate the cover plate and the indicia with substantially uniform intensity.

6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEUFEHI 1 I975 SHEET 10F 2 Flea PATENTED FEB] 1 I975 SHEET 2 OF 2 ILLUMINATED DISPLAY DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The illuminated display device is intended to be used with house numbers and street names to illuminate same during periods of darkness in order to make the information thereon more readily noticeable and available to the public.

2. Description of the Prior Art This invention relates to an illuminated display device operated from alternating or direct current sources. Display devices and signs of the general type disclosed herein are disclosed in the following prior art US. Pat. Nos.: C. C. Scott 704,122, issued July 8, 1902; K. J. Mislin 2,074,412, issued Mar. 23, 1937; L. J. Frazekas 2,958,969, issued Nov. 8, 1960; G. K. C. Hardesty et a1. 3,423,865, issued Jan. 28, 1969; and the A. Lee 3,673,413, issued June 27, 1972. The devices disclosed in the prior art patents have certain features in common with the present invention but none of them include a housing having a generally closed reflector assembly therein consisting of first and second reflectors surrounding a lamp for uniformly illuminating the indicia carried thereby.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The illuminated display device comprises a continuous frame, a base and a transparent cover plate cooperatively forming a closed housing. A lamp is mounted on the base within the housing. An opaque first reflector is mounted on the base within the housing around the light and it includes inclined side walls extending upwardly and outwardly from the base, with the upper edges of the side walls terminating near but spaced from the transparent cover plate. An opaque second reflector substantially smaller in size than the first reflector is mounted in the lower portion of the first reflector and extends across the lamp. The second reflector is open at its ends and is provided with light transmitting areas. The reflector assembly further includes a transparent reflector cover mounted on the upper edges of the side walls of the first reflector adjacent the transparent cover plate. Indicia such as numbers and/or letters is mounted on the reflector cover, with the reflector cover and the indicia occupying the space between the first reflector and the cover plate of the housing. The lamp is connected to a source of current for energizing same. The lamp when energized emits rays of light from the open ends of the second reflector and from the light transmitting areas provided therein, with the result that the light rays impinge upon and are reflected by the side walls of the first reflector to illuminate the cover plate and the indicia thereon. The illumination of the indicia is readily viewable through the transparent cover plate of the housing.

The present invention is further characterized in that the second reflector includes a top panel and a pair of side panels, with light transmitting areas being provided in each of the panels. Such areas may be in the form of openings provided in the panels or may be defined by light transmitting sheet material which covers the openings provided in the panels.

A feature of the present invention is the provision of an outwardly turned continuous rim on the upper edges of the side walls of the first reflector, with the transparent reflector cover being mounted on the rim to define with the first reflector a generally closed reflector assembly which isolates the lamp from other areas of the housing.

Another feature of the present invention is the provision of a guide and lamp holder or element secured to the base within the housing, with the lamp being carried by the guide element and with the first reflector having an opening at the bottom thereof surrounded by a mounting rim which fits over the guide element. The mounting rim is shaped to conform to the shape of the guide element and thus to accurately locate the first reflector in the housing.

A further feature of the present invention is to provide an illuminated display device having an alternating current printed circuit board interposed between the base and the guide and lamp holder.

A still further feature of the present invention is to provide a battery operated illuminated display device having one or more batteries located in the housing exteriorly of the reflector assembly and operatively connected to the lamp.

Still another feature of the present invention is to provide an illuminated display device which is easy to assembly, economical to manufacture and to operate and is efficient in operation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the illuminated display device;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the illuminated display device taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and also illustrating by dotted lines a modification of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is an exploded pictorial view of the component parts of the illuminated display device illustrating the manner in which the component parts are assembled.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The illuminated display device is designated by the numeral 10. It is designed for use with an external alternating current source or with a direct current power source, as an example, conventional flashlight batteries contained within the housing of the display device 10. The display device 10, as an example, may be interconnected in the usual alternating current door bell circuit of a house such as disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 2,958,969.

The illuminated display device 10 includes a closed housing defined by a generally rectangular frame 12, a base 14 at the bottom of the frame 12 and a transparent cover plate 16 at the top of the frame 12. The frame 12 may be made, as an example, from ABS plastic or from polystyrene and includes a pair of parallel side walls 18, 20 and a pair of parallel side walls 22 and 24. The cover plate 16, as an example, may be made from a clear acrylic material, glass or other transparent material.

The upper edges of the side walls of the frame 12 are provided with downwardly and inwardly turned elements forming a continuous flange 26. The bottom edge of the flange 26 terminates in a continuous rim 28 and in a continuous collar 30, as illustrated in FIG. 2, which are used for certain locating and holding functions to be subsequently described.

The lower edges of the side walls of the frame 12 are provided with recesses which define a continuous opening 32 adapted to receive the upstanding legs 34 provided on the base 14 as best illustrated in FIG. 2. The base 14, as an example, may also be made from ABS plastic or other suitable material.

When the illuminated display device is to be associated with an alternating current source, a printed circuit buss or board 36 is provided as best illustrated in FIG. 3. The board or buss 36 is of conventional construction and includes a circuit having a pair of lamp contacts 38, a fuse 37 and a pair of lead wires 40 which are adapted to be connected in a circuit containing a source of alternating current, as an example, a doorbell circuit in a house as is well known in the art. The buss 36 is provided with a pair of aligning holes 39 which are adapted to extend over the pins 42 and 44 provided on the base 14 so as to locate the buss 36 in the required position on the base 14.

An elongated lamp holder and guide element 46 of rectangular or U-shaped configuration made, as an example, from plastic or other suitable material is also provided with a pair of aligning holes 47 which are adapted to fit over the pins 42 and 44 to position the guide element 46 against the buss 36 on the base 14. A lamp 50 is carried by the lamp holder 46 and is provided with a pair of electrodes or wires, not shown, on the underside of holder 46 which contact the contacts 38 of the buss 36.

The display device 10 is provided with a closed reflector assembly which includes an opaque first and outer reflector 52 and an opaque second and inner reflector 54. The first reflector is relatively large when compared with the second reflector 54 and it includes at the bottom thereof an opening 55 defined by a generally vertical rim or sleeve 56. The sleeve 56 conforms to the outer configuration of the lamp holder and guide element 46. Guide element 46 thus retains the first reflector 52 in the proper position on base 14. The first reflector 52 further includes a pair of upwardly and outwardly extending end walls 58 and 60 and a pair of upwardly and outwardly extending side walls 62 and 64. The upper edges of the reflector walls 58, 60, 62 and 64 are provided with outwardly extending generally horizontal edges which define a continuous rim 66 which is vertically spaced from the continuous collar 30 of flange 26 as shown in FIG. 2.

The second and inner reflector 54 is elongated and is of generally U-shaped cross section. It includes a top panel 66 and a pair of side panels 68. Each panel 66, 68 is provided with a pair of triangular shaped openings 70. The openings 70 in panels 66 and 68 may be provided with a light transmitting film or sheet of material designated in FIG. 2 by the numeral 72. The use of the sheet material 72 is believed to assist in dispersing the light rays from the lamp 50 through the openings 70 although for certain cases such material 72 is not required. The first reflector 52 is made from an opaque light gloss white plastic material having a thickness of .060 inch. The second reflector 54 is made from an opaque high gloss plastic having a thickness of .030 inch.

A transparent reflector cover 76 made from a translucent white acrylic material is mounted on the rim 66 of the first reflector 52. Suitable numbers, letters or other indicia are superimposed on or mounted upon the reflector cover 76. As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the indicia 78 comprises a series of inserts 80 upon which numbers, as an example, are superimposed. The inserts are made from a translucent plastic such as Mylar of approximately .015 inch in thickness. The numbers are black in color. Each insert 80 is provided with a pair of downwardly and inwardly turned flanges 82 forming channels which permit the insert 80 to be slid on the reflector cover 76.

In assembling the illuminated display device 10 it is apparent from reviewing FIGS. 2 and 3 that after the number inserts 78 have been mounted on the reflector cover 76 and that assembly in turn superimposed upon the first reflector 52, the transparent cover plate 16 is placed thereon. Thereafter the frame 12 is mounted on the base 14 with the result that the collar 30 of the frame flange 26 bears against the outer periphery of the supports 80 to hold same in position. In addition the continuous rim 28 provided on the flange 26 serves to locate, position and hold the cover plate 16 in abutting relationship with the indicia-reflector assembly as best illustrated in FIG. 2.

As stated previously, the illuminated display device 10 may also be utilized with a DC source. FIG. 2 illustrates a modification of the present invention in dotted lines. The modification includes one or more D.C. batteries 84 which are appropriately carried by brackets 86 fixedly located on the base 14 of the housing exteriorly of the reflector assembly. Lead wires from the light bulb 50 would be connected to the batteries as is well known in the art.

The display device may be provided with an electronically controlled photocell device which is responsive to changes in light exteriorly of the device to energize and de-energize the lamp 50 or a manually operated on-off switch may be provided In use the lamp 50 is energized. The rays of light are emitted from the ends of the second reflector 54 and from the light transmitting areas provided therein and thereafter impinge upon and are reflected by the inclined walls 58, 60, 62 and 64 of the first reflector. The reflected light rays are directed towards the reflector cover 76 due to the angle provided on the side walls. The reflected light rays uniformly illuminate the cover 76 and the number inserts 80. The light is of equal intensity throughout the entire area of the reflector cover 76.

What is claimed is:

1. An illuminated indicia device comprising a continuous elongated frame of rectangular configuration, a base and a transparent cover plate forming a closed housing, a lamp mounted on said base within said housing an elongated first reflector mounted on said base within said housing around said lamp, said first reflector including four inclined side walls having reflecting surfaces, each of said side walls extending upwardly and outwardly from said base towards said cover plate and said frame respectively, with the upper edges of said side walls terminating in an outwardly turned continuous rim which is located near but spaced from said cover plate, an elongated second reflector opened at its ends mounted in said first reflector and extending across said lamp, said second reflector including a top panel and a pair of parallel side panels, each of said panels having light transmitting areas provided therein, said top panel being spaced from and extending across the top of said lamp and said side panels being spaced apart and extending along the opposite sides of said lamp, said reflectors being made from an opaque material, a transparent reflector cover mounted on said rim of said first reflector adjacent said cover plate, indicia mounted on said reflector cover, said reflector cover and said indicia occupying the space between said rim and said cover plate, and means for connecting said lamp to a source of current for energizing same, the light rays from said lamp when energized being emitted from the open ends of said second reflector and from said light transmitting areas provided in said panels and thereafter impinging upon and being reflected by the side walls of said first reflector to illuminate said cover plate and said indicia.

2. The illuminated indicia device of claim 1 wherein an elongated guide element is secured to said base within said housing, said lamp being carried by said guide element, said first reflector having a hollow mounting rim mounted on said guide element, said mounting rim being shaped to conform to the shape of said guide element and thereby accurately locate said first reflector in said housing.

3. The illuminated indicia device of claim 2 wherein an AC. printed circuit board is interposed between said guide element and said base and is connected to said lamp.

4. The illuminated indicia device of claim 2 wherein at least one battery is located in said housing exteriorly of said reflectors and is'connected to said lamp.

5. The illuminated indicia device of claim 1 wherein said frame has an inwardly extending continuous flange overlying and spaced from the rim on said first reflector, said flange being inclined towards said reflectors and including portions abutting the outer edges of the indicia on said reflector cover and said cover plate.

6. An illuminated indicia device comprising a continuous elongated frame of rectangular configuration having a base at one side of the frame and a transparent cover plate at the other side of the frame thereby forming a closed housing, an elongated guide element secured to said base within said housing, a lamp mounted on said guide element, an elongated first reflector mounted on said base within said housing around said lamp, said first reflector including four side walls having reflecting surfaces, each of said side walls extending upwardly and outwardly from said base towards said cover plate and said frame respectively, with the upper edges of said walls terminating in an outwardly turned continuous rim which is located near but spaced from said cover plate, with the lower edges of said side walls being provided with depending flange portions forming a hollow mounting rim shaped to conform to and to engage said guide element, an elongated second reflector opened at its ends mounted in said first reflector and extending across said lamp, said second reflector including a top panel and a pair of parallel side panels, each of said panels having light transmitting areas provided therein, said top panel extending across the top of said lamp and said side panels being spaced apart and extending along the opposite sides of said lamp, said reflectors being made from an opaque material, a transparent reflector cover mounted on said rim of said first reflector adjacent said cover plate, indicia mounted on said reflector cover, said reflector cover and said indicia occupying the space between said rim and said cover plate, means for connecting said lamp to a source of current for energizing same, the light rays from said lamp when energized being emitted from the open ends of said second reflector and from said light transmitting areas provided in said panels and thereafter impinging upon and being reflected by the side walls of said first reflector to illuminate said cover plate and said indicia, said frame having an inwardly extending continuous flange at said one side thereof overlying and spaced from said rim on said first reflector, the flange of said frame being inclined towards said base and including portions abutting the outer edges of said indicia on said reflector cover and said cover plate.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4009535 *Oct 1, 1975Mar 1, 1977William StockIlluminated house number sign
US4064555 *Sep 27, 1976Dec 20, 1977Research Fuels, Inc.Gasoline pump modification apparatus
US4192090 *May 30, 1978Mar 11, 1980Marion SethVehicle safety light
US4263736 *Oct 11, 1978Apr 28, 1981Colorado Time Systems, Inc.Modular display system
US4765080 *Sep 30, 1985Aug 23, 1988Conti William LIlluminated information display apparatus
US4951406 *Jun 17, 1988Aug 28, 1990Lemire Honore MIlluminated sign for residence street address
US4953067 *Nov 17, 1989Aug 28, 1990Deborah MooreSuspension and power connector for illuminated house number signs
US5041952 *Jul 31, 1989Aug 20, 1991Intermatic IncorporatedControl circuit for a solar-powered rechargeable power source and load
US5086267 *Jan 4, 1991Feb 4, 1992Intermatic IncorporatedControl circuit for a solar-powered rechargeable power source and load
US5221891 *Jan 31, 1992Jun 22, 1993Intermatic IncorporatedControl circuit for a solar-powered rechargeable power source and load
US5410453 *Dec 1, 1993Apr 25, 1995General Signal CorporationLighting device used in an exit sign
US5459955 *Dec 1, 1993Oct 24, 1995General Signal CorporationLighting device used in an exit sign
US5526236 *Jul 27, 1994Jun 11, 1996General Signal CorporationLighting device used in an exit sign
US5539623 *Oct 12, 1994Jul 23, 1996General Signal CorporationLighting device used in an exit sign
US6658774 *Dec 18, 2002Dec 9, 2003Keith F. MunterIlluminated identification system
US7578085 *Feb 1, 2008Aug 25, 2009Albert ChaoSolar powered address indicator with rechargeable and replaceable batteries
US7594286Aug 24, 2006Sep 29, 2009Brigham & Women's HospitalAngle indicator
DE202012101308U1 *Apr 12, 2012Jul 15, 2013Zumtobel Lighting GmbhLeuchte, insbesondere Hinweisleuchte
EP0050267A2 *Oct 6, 1981Apr 28, 1982Paul AlbrechtDevice for illuminating indicating boards from the rear
EP1646062A1 *Sep 30, 2005Apr 12, 2006Alps Electric Co., Ltd.lllumination device
WO1998038622A1 *Feb 27, 1998Sep 3, 1998Caliper Inc XScrolling display device
WO2007025010A2 *Aug 24, 2006Mar 1, 2007Brigham & Womens HospitalAngle indicator
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/576, 40/563
International ClassificationG09F13/04, G09F13/14
Cooperative ClassificationG09F2013/0454, G09F13/14, G09F2013/145, G09F2013/045, G09F13/04, G09F2013/0422
European ClassificationG09F13/04, G09F13/14