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United States Patent m
[li] 4,070,779  Jan. 31, 1978
 DISPLAY SIGN
 Inventor: Ralph M. Gilmour, Montreal, Canada
 Assignee: Claude Neon Industries Limited, Toronto, Canada
 Appl. No.: 718,667
 Filed: Aug. 30, 1976
 Foreign Application Priority Data
Sept. 2, 1975 Canada 234746
 Int. C1.2 G09F 13/04
 U.S. CI 40/575; 40/573;
 Field of Search 40/132 R, 132 A, 133 R,
40/132 D, 125 H, 125 G, 130 R, 152.2;
24/DIG. 18, 204
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
1,400,296 12/1921 Kusel 40/132 R
2,029,221 1/1936 Burgess et al 40/132 R
2,513,576 4/1950 Luray 40/132 R
2,588,545 3/1952 Lawrence 40/130 R
3,068,599 12/1962 Myerson 40/132 R
3,571,999 7/1969 Downing 52/483
3,824,726 7/1974 Schubert 40/132 R
3,863,372 2/1975 Stilling 40/132 R
3,934,365 1/1976 Stein et al 40/125 G
Primary Examiner—Samuel W. Engle
Assistant Examiner—Ralph Palo
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Rogers, Bereskin & Parr
A display sign is disclosed for displaying printed matter on a backlighted poster or the like. The sign includes a display case defining a first compartment containing a light source, the display case having a front opening for the transmission of light therethrough. A closure panel is adapted to cover the front opening, the closure panel having a central transparent face panel. A concave translucent diffuser panel is located between the face panel and the light source so that the curvature of the concave diffuser panel extends toward the light source to define a second compartment between the diffuser panel and the face panel. VELCRO fastening means locate and retain the poster in the second compartment spaced between the closure panel and the concave diffuser panel. Vent openings communicate with the second compartment for the circulation of air around the poster. The concave diffuser panel and the vent openings help to prevent the accumulation of condensation in the second compartment and consequent moisture damage to the poster.
13 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures
U.S. Patent Jan. 31, 1978 Sheet 2 of 2 4,070,779
This invention relates to display signs of the type having a light source for backlighting a poster contain- 5 ing printed matter or the like.
Display signs have been made in the past having a rectangular case or enclosure with an opening on one side thereof and a light source inside the enclosure. A transparent face panel covers the opening and a poster 10 or printed copy is located inside the display sign adjacent to the transparent face panel so that it is readable when illuminated from behind by the light source. In order to eliminate shadows, a translucent diffuser panel has been located adjacent to the poster between the 15 poster and the light source.
A disadvantage of the prior art signs of this arrangement is that when external sources of heat, such as the sun, strike the sign, the air inside the enclosure is heated to a relatively high temperature. When the air cools, 20 moisture condenses on the transparent and translucent panels wetting the poster. This causes water marks and wrinkles in the poster, which are undesirable. To overcome this problem, the posters could be printed on plastic sheets, but signs printed on plastic are expensive 25 and difficult to produce. The transparent and translucent panels could also be spaced widely apart, so that they do not contact the poster. However, this wide spacing reduces the definition or sharpness of the display and the display sign becomes undesirably wide. 30
The present invention provides a concave translucent diffuser panel located in the sign so that the curvature of the diffuser panel extends away from the poster and toward the light source. This curvature ensures that the diffuser panel does not normally come into contact with 35 the poster, so that moisture tending to condense on the face and diffuser panels cannot accumulate and mark or wrinkle the poster.
According to the invention, a display sign is provided for displaying printed matter on a poster or the like. The 40 display sign has a display case defining a first compartment containing a light sourcte, the display case having a front opening for the transmission of light therethrough. The display case also has a closure panel adapted to cover the front opening, the closure panel 45 having a central transparent face panel. A concave translucent diffuser panel is located between the face panel and the light source, the curvature of the concave diffuser panel extending toward the light source to define a second compartment between the diffuser 50 panel and the face panel. Also, releasable fastening means are provided for locating the poster in the second compartment spaced between the face panel and the concave diffuser panel, so that the poster is viewed through the transparent face panel and may be back- 55 lighted by the light source.
A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view, partly broken 60 away, of a display sign according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG.
Referring to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of 65 a display sign according to the present invention is generally indicated by reference numeral 10. Display sign 10 includes a display case 12 which defines a first
compartment 14 containing a light source 16. Display case 12 has a front opening 18 which is covered by a closure panel 20 having a central transparent face panel 22. A concave translucent diffuser panel 24 is located between face panel 22 and light source 16. The curvature of diffuser panel 24 extends toward light source 16 to define a second compartment 26 (FIG. 2) between face panel 22 and diffuser panel 24. A translucent poster 28 containing printed matter to be displayed is located in second compartment 26 spaced between face panel 22 and diffuser panel 24. Poster 28 is held in position by fasteners 30 which are formed of two cohesive fabrics which adhere when pressed together. One type of such fasteners is marketed under the trade mark VELCRO. When display sign 10 is assembled, a person views poster 28 by looking from the front through face panel 22. If light source 16 is illuminated, poster 28 would then also be backlighted when viewed through face panel 22.
Display case 12 is also formed with lower vent openings 32 communicating with second compartment 26. Upper vent openings 34 communicate with both first and second compartments 14, 26 to permit the passage of air between these two compartments. The purpose of vent openings 32, 34 is to help remove moisture condensing inside second compartment 26, as will be described more fully below.
Turning now to a more detailed description of display sign 10, display case 12 has a main or rear box-like portion formed of horizontal and vertical sides 36 which are made from lengths of extruded aluminum section. Sides 36 have inwardly extending parallel flanges 38, which together with cover members 40 form wiring raceways 42 to accomodate the electrical connections and wiring 43 required for light source 16. A back panel 44 is fastened to rear flanges 38 by rivets 46 to close the back of display case 12.
Sides 36 also have front inwardly extending flanges 48 which support concave diffuser panel 24. Diffuser panel 24 is held in position by elongated retaining strips 50 which are fastened to front flanges 48 by screws 52. Diffuser panel 24 is formed of one-eighth inch thick white acrylic material and is concave in the direction of both the horizontal and vertical axes of the panel, so that it has a maximum deflection or displacement at the centre of approximately three-quarters of an inch. A one half inch planar border edge 54 is formed on diffuser panel 24 to provide a gripping surface for retaining strips 50. Rectangular metal tabs 56 are spot welded to each end of the upper retaining strip 50, and a rectangular piece of VELCRO fastener is attached to each metal tab 56 by a heat resistant adhesive to form part of fastener 30. A mating piece of VELCRO fastener is also adhesively attached to the upper corners of poster 28 on the rear side of poster 28 to form the other or mating part of upper fasteners 30.
As discussed above, the VELCRO type fastener comprises two cohesive fabrics which adhere when pressed together. One of these fabrics has a plurality of tiny plastic hooks and the other fabric has a plurality of tiny plastic loops. The hooks releasably engage the loops when the fabrics are pressed together. In display sign 10, the fabric with the loops is attached to the poster and the fabric with the hooks is attached to display case 10. The reason for this is that the hook pieces have a longer life than the loop pieces, and since the life of a poster 28 is usually shorter than that of display sign 10, the VELCRO fasteners in display sign 10 require