US 3905139 A
An illuminated directory is disclosed herein having a case for supporting a plurality of removable strips carrying the names and locations of occupants in a public or private building. The main part of the case includes an outer frame of identical extruded sections constituting the four sides of the case. When assembled the opposite sides of the case form opposing slots which slidably and insertably retain the opposite ends of the removable name strips. The strips are nested together on top of each other in interlocking relationship. Lights are mounted behind the strips on the back of the case for illuminating the names formed on the strip and a hinged glass door protects and covers the plurality of strips.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Cooper [451 Sept. 16, 1975 DIRECTORY DISPLAY CASE  Inventor: Andrew K. Cooper, 22635 Flamingo St., Los Angeles, Calif. 91364  Filed: Oct. 29, 1973  Appl. No.: 410,510
 US. Cl. 40/64 R; 40/132 R  G09F 13/12  Field of Search 40/63 R, 64 R, 65, 152.2,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,079,402 11/1913 Cornwall 40/141 X 1,359,510 11/1920 Komicker 40/141 X 1,447,918 3/1923 Zacher 40/64 R 2,293,106 8/1942 Bourdakofi' 40/133 A 3,270,451 9/1966 Bartleson et al.. 40/152.2 X 3,419,978 l/1969 Van Ostrand.... 40/63 R 3,707,792 1/1973 Mabrey 40/219 3,824,722 7/1974 Maruscak et a1. 40/64 R Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-John H. Wolff Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Roger A. Marrs 1 1 ABSTRACT} An illuminated directory is disclosed herein having a case for supporting a plurality of removable strips carrying the names and locations of occupants in a public or private building. The main part of the case includes an outer frame of identical extruded sections constituting the four sides of the case. When assembled the opposite sides of the case form opposing slots which slidably and insertably retain the opposite ends of the removable name strips. The strips are nested together on top of each other in interlocking relationship. Lights are mounted behind the strips on the back of the case for illuminating the names formed on the strip and a hinged glass door protects and covers the plurality of strips.
5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENT SEP 1 6 H375 DIRECTORY, DISPLAY CASE BACKGROUND THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to display cases and, more particularly, to a novel display apparatus for mounting a plurality of removable name strips employing grooved extruded side sections having opposing'slots cooperating to support the strips in an assembly, support a hingable glass door, and retain the various electrical components in a modular unitary construction.
2. Description of the Prior Art In the past, it has been the conventional practice to provide directories with a case for holding letters or lettered strips in an orderly sequence. The case is bulky and requires installation into a wall cavity for mounting and attachment to the wall. Obviously, construction of a suitable wall cavity and installation of the case is time consuming and uneconomical.
7 Furthermore, conventional directories require that the case and its component parts must be taken apart in order to remove or substitute name or lettered strips. Generally, a tongue and groove construction interconnects the strips or mounts the strips to the case. Removal or replacement requires proper alignment of the components so that one will slide or move into connection or engagement with the other component.
Therefore, there has been a long standing need to provide a new display means for holding a plurality of names that may be readily seen regardless of adverse lighting conditions and that is composed of modular components cooperating with one another so as to reduce the number of parts and ease of assembly and disassembly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, the above problems and difficulties are obviated by the present invention which provides a novel display case for holding a plurality of strips so that lettering formed on the strips is readily visible. The individual strips are removably carried in opposing slots formed in side extrusion sections forming these sides of the case while a back panel forms the back of the case and top and bottom sections, identical to the side extrusion in cross section, form the top and bottom of the case. The side extruded sections further include opposing slots which support a hingable door means carrying a transparent panel for protecting the name strips. The name strips are carried on an assembly with side retainers and a translucent panel. Illuminating means are carried on the back panel in close proximity to the translucent member so that light is cast behind the name strips whereby the lettering on the strips is illuminated and made visible thereby.
A feature of the invention resides in the forming of the identical side sections and top and bottom sections as an extrusion so that a one piece construction is produced serving a variety of functions. By providing the extruded sections, assembly and disassembly of the components parts is greatly simplified and the utility of the invention greatly enhanced.
Therefore, it is among the primary objects of the present invention to provide a novel display case for lettered strips wherein the letters are readily made visible under adverse lighting conditions.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel display case or apparatus for removably supporting a plurality of lettered strips in a removable assembly which includes extruded components adapted to retain and support a variety of component parts.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel means for supporting a plurality of name strips on top of one another in an assembly so that the strips give the appearance of a solid panel and yet these strips are individually removablefrom the assembly.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel extruded section or component adapted to support a variety of modular components when a pair of such extrusions are arranged so that openings and slots formed therein are opposed to one another for retaining the opposite ends of the component parts.
Yet another object of the. present invention is to provide a novel display case for assembly and installation on a flush wall of a building so that a plurality of removable name strips are readily visible and wherein the construction includes specially extruded sections for retaining and holding the various component parts of the apparatus.
A further object resides in providing a relatively slim display case that may be directly mounted onto the exterior surface of a supporting wall.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the novel display apparatus of the present invention incorporating a plurality of lettered strips carried in a case;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the display case shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the perspective door in its open position to expose the lettered name strips therebehind;
FIG. 3 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the display case shown in FIG. 2 as taken in the direction of arrows 33 thereof;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the leaf spring carried by a side extruded section constituting a resilient means for holding the door in a closed position;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a hinge for the door as taken in the direction of arrows 55 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a name strip employed in the invention; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-section view of the plurality of name strips and illustrating the method of removing a selected strip from the plurality.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, the display apparatus of the present invention is illustrated in the general direction of arrow 10 which includes a case mounted on a wall 11 such as in the main lobby of an office building so as to display the names and titles of the occupants. The names, titles and room number of the occupants are carried on a plurality of strips such as the strip identified by numeral 12 lying immediately behind a glass cover 13 which is partially broken away to expose a portion of the strips. The cover 13 is composed of smoked transparent material and is held in a frame identified in general by the numeral 14 which .is composed of four identical extrusion members. The case further includes a back panel 15, a bottom section 16 and a top section 17. To complete the over-all construction of the case per se, extruded side sections 20 and 21 are included which serve to support the door, the plurality of name strips and other components of the assembly. The sections are all identical in cross section so as to form a rigid outer frame.
Referring now in detail to FIG. 2, the door carrying the protective smoked transparent glass 13 is open to expose the plurality of name strips 12 therebeneath. It can be seen that immediately behind the name strips, there is provided an illuminating means constituting a pair of fluorescent light tubes 22 and 23 which are arranged to provide light behind the plurality of strips. A starter 24 and a ballast 25 are of conventional design and are included in the circuit for controlling the illumination means. These later elements are carried on the extruded side section 21 as will be explained later. Disposed between the illumination means 22 and 23 and the plurality of strips 12, there is provided a translucent panel 26 which functions as a sight trap for concealing the fluorescent tubes 22 and 23 and yet permitting light rays or illumination from the tubes to radiate evenly outward to the plurality of name strips.
Referring now in detail to FIG. 3, it can be seen that the plurality of strips 12 are located in spaced relationship between the transparent panel 13 and the translucent panel 26. The strips are.held in an assembly at their opposite ends in insertable relationship with a pair of elongated retainers 30 and 31 that are of U-shaped configuration in cross-section. The retainers are adhesively secured to the surface edges of panel 26. In combination with an extruded partition 32 a slot is defined for receivably retaining the upper and lower edge marginal regions of the panel 26 so as to be removably secured to the outer frame. The extruded partition is indicated by numeral 32 with respect to extrusion'side section 20. It is to be understood that the extrusion side section 20 and 21 are identical and therefore, for clarity, extrusion side section 20 will be described. The extrusion comprises a base wall 33 forming the exterior side of the outer frame and integral partitions such as wall partition 31 extend outwardly therefrom at a right angle. In spaced apart relationship from wall partition 32, there is provided an integral thickened portion 34 that includes a longitudinal slot that may be employed for receiving screws, bolts or the like so as to retain the top and bottom sections onto the case. Also, each extruded side section includes a wedge shaped slot such as is indicated by numeral 35 that may be used for receiving other components and parts. For example, wedge shaped slot 35 is employed for receiving a coaxial-pivots 36 carried on plates 37 and 39 which the door is rotatably carried. Plates 37 and 39 are mounted in a similar wedge shaped slot carried on the frame 14 of the door and section 16. The wedge shaped slot carried on similar extruded side section 21 is employed for retaining a leaf spring 38 which is more clearly shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 4 further illustrates that the seat, indicated by numerals 40 and 41 at the opposite ends of leaf spring 38 are slidably received within the wedge shaped slot formed in the extrusion side section 21. Also, the case is provided with a pair of reflectors designated by numerals 42 and 43 which are angularly disposed between the illumination means and the extruded side sections. Light from the illumination means is reflected from the elongated surfaces of the reflectors 42 and 43 to enhance the visibility of the letters and names carried on their respective strips 12. The side extrusion section also includes a portion rearward of the wall partition 32 .that includes an integral brace having opposing shoulder portions 44 adapted to receive a L-shaped bracket 45 for holding the joining corners of the outer frame extrusion sections. It is to be understood that the same construction is employed with respect to extruded side section 21. Furthermore, the extruded side section is of reduced width at the rear and includes a flange member 46 providing a support or retainer for securing the back member 15 thereto. I
FIG. 5 more appropriately shows the hinge or pivot means for the door and its swing mount on the bottom panel 16.
Referring now to FIG. 6, an enlarged view of strip 12 is shown wherein the top of the strip is in a V-shaped configuration identified by numeral 50 while the underside of the strip is illustrated as having a wedge shape indicated by numeral 51. Therefore, it can be seen that the respective strips may be nested on top of each other as is illustrated more clearly in FIG. 7 to eliminate any light leaks between strips. In FIG. 7, strip 12 may be readily removed by manually moving strip 12 upwardly to the position shown in broken lines so that the underside of strip 12 may be readily grasped and pulled outwardly so that either of its opposite ends may dislodge from its slidable insertion with U-shaped retainer 30 or 31, respectively. Once the strip has been removed, any strips on top of it may be lowered to rest on the then upper most strip in the stack.
Therefore, it can be seen that the novel display case of the present invention provides a unique manner for constructing, assembly and holding a plurality of name strips so that they may be readily changed and that once installed, they may be made visible for reading purposes, when engraved with the appropriate means and/or other information. Also, the employment of extruded side sections greatly aid in the assembly of the device as well as the construction thereof since predetermined grooves, slots and walls are formed integrally thereon. When the door has been opened, the name strips may be removed as a unit by removing the top of retainers 30 and 31 from the slot in section 17 and drawing the assembly out through the opening and then lifting the assembly to remove the bottom of the retainers from the slot in section 16. 7
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An illuminated display directory adapted to be mounted on the exterior wall surface in the lobby of a building, the combination comprising:
a casehaving a back section,.a top section, a bottom section and a pair of side sections;
a door pivotally mounted between said top and bottom sections along a selected one of said side sections;
said door having a continuous frame extrusion holding a sheet of transparent material and adapted to occupy an area leading into the interior of said case;
a plurality of strips removably held in a stack as an assembly between said pair of side sections and each strip provided with transparent portions characterized as indicia;
illuminating means carried on said back section behind said plurality of strips so as to radiate light energy through said strip indicia transparent portions;
said assembly including a pair of retainers carried on a further panel composed of translucent material removably carried between said pair of side sections and said pair of retainers having means whereby said plurality of strips have their opposite ends removably disposed in said retainer means;
light reflector means mounted about said illumination means for intensifying the light energy radiated to said plurality of strips;
said illuminating means comprises a pair of fluorescent lights mounted substantially along the centerline of said case; and
each of said strips includes a top edge having a V- shaped projection and a bottom edge having a V- shaped slot whereby respective adjacent edges of said strips mate in a nested, stacked relationship. 2. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said pair of retainers are coextensive with said stack of strips and are located in a common plane with said strips and are matingly cooperative with the opposite ends of said strips respectively.
3. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein: each of said side sections includes a single extrusion incorporating a wedge shaped slot for receiving portions of said door frame, a thickened portion mounting means for insertably receiving retainers holding the end of said strips, and a slot for retaining the edge marginal region of said translucent panel. 4. The invention as defined in claim 3 wherein: said side section extrusion is a unitary structure including a cantilevered rear wall as an attachment member for the edge marginal region of said back section. 5. The invention as defined in claim 1 including said pair of elongated retainers having opposing slots for insertably receiving the opposite ends of said strips so as to constitute an assembly of strips removable as a unit.