Illuminated sign
United States Patent 2165835

This invention relates to an improved illuminated sign, or the like. In recent years, the growth and development of the illuminated sign industry has been notable. Myriads of signs have been installed in cities, large and small-and throughout the civilized world-to advertise business. Vast...

Brady, Clare W.
Robinson, Ray J.
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Brady, Clare W.
Robinson, Ray J.
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Other Classes:
248/27.3, 359/545
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This invention relates to an improved illuminated sign, or the like.

In recent years, the growth and development of the illuminated sign industry has been notable.

Myriads of signs have been installed in cities, large and small-and throughout the civilized world-to advertise business. Vast sums of money have been expended in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of these signs.

And, due to the natural increment of commercial activities, the industry continues to move forward unrelentlessly.

Generically, the present invention contemplates the provision of an illuminated sign which is marked by extreme simplicity of structure, economy of manufacture and operation and the readiness with which characters, designs or other features constituting the sign may be seen, despite the angle of display.

To the accomplishment of the recited object and others co-ordinate therewith, one embodiment of our invention resides in the construction and arrangement of parts hereinafter described, illustrated in the accompanying drawing and embodied in the scope of the appended claim.

In said drawing, Fig. 1 is a front elevation of a sign embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section along lines 2-2 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged detail of a portion of the panel, the lens and locking collar, in side elevation.

Fig. 4 is a transverse section on lines 4-4 of Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the lens and collar removed from the panel.

Fig. 6 is a top plan view of a modified form of locking collar.

Fig. 7 is a section along lines 7-I of Fig. 6. ) Fg. 8 is a fragmentary section of the panel illustrating another modification of the lens locking collar, and Fig. 9 is a section on lines 9-9 of Fig. 8.

With more particular reference to the drawing, i 10 designates any suitable support, which will be styled a panel, and which is adapted to serve as a background for the layout of any characters, designs, etc., which may comprise the make-up of the display. As an example, in Fig. 1 appears ) the outlines of three letters "E" "N" "Y".

Each letter, symbol, or the like, includes a plurality of lenses disposed at convenient distances apart, in delineation of the particular characterand with respect to the type of lens taken inSconjunction with its fastening means thereforherein lies one of the outstanding features of the invention. Relative to the lens per se, as best seen in Figs. 3, 4 and 5, it is illustrated at I and embodies a rotund-like or globular solid head 12 with a tubular shank 13-these components being integral and preferably formed of translucent glass, Catlin, Lucite or any similar light-diffusing medium.

The lens II is designed for insertion in the opening 14 of the panel 10 and protrudes therethrough on either side-the base of the head resting to a nicety against the wall of the perforation, the head itself jutting out in bold relief exteriorly of the panel, and the shank extending to the rear.

At first blush, it may appear to the uninitiated that the length of the shank is excessive, but there is a definite reason for this, namely, the thicknesses of the panels vary and by elongating the shank, compensation is made for the thicknessvariance factor which obtains within the normal range of panels. Another point in connection with the shank is the'relative thinness of its wall, in other words, the wall 15 is constructed of just sufficient thickness to withstand the cooperative action of its fastening means-a full explanation of which will now be given.

Adapted to be constrained over the periphery ,of the shank, the latter occupying the position exhibited in Fig. 4, is a collar or ring 16, preferably constructed of metal and including a flat rim I1, and an inner annular, offset flange 18.

Rim I bears against the inner wall of panel 10, while the distal, knife-like edge 19 of flange 18 bites into the outer surface of the shank, thus effectively precluding loosening or displacement of the lens. Obviously, it is essential that edge 19 of the collar should fit exceedingly snug with regard to the shank-there should be only enough latitude to barely permit the collar to be forced over the shank. A modification of the particular type of locking collar is shown in Figs. 6 and 7, wherein the offset 18 is radially split at equidistantly spaced intervals, as designated by the reference character 20. From such arrangement and construetion a slightly more flexible operation obtains.

A still further modification of the lens-anchoring means resides in the provision of a conical, spiral spring 21, which is encircled about the shank--see Figs. 8 and 9-with its outer free end 22 engaged in the\outer surface of said shank (note particularly Fig. 9) and the inner helices 23 progressively increasing in diameter to provide maximum surface engagement with the inner wall of the panel. In this last mentioned modification it will appear manifest that terminal 22 serves to sustain the locking unit in place.

After the assembly has been completed, whether it be in relation to a conventional sign, an awning or marquise, a source of light 24 is properly positioned in the rear. In turn, the light rays are transmitted through the tubular shanks and heads of the lenses; the hollow characteristic of the shanks making a light-ray way whereby the rays reach the heads with substantially their most brilliant intensity and are then diffused in all directions to a superlative degree.

Each lens-head virtually has the appearance of being surrounded by a halo or corona, and collectively they can be clearly and definitely seen in true delineation at remote distances and diverse angles.

The brilliancy of the sign may be enhanced in various ways, as by providing a white or similar background immediately adjacent the lenses; or, if desired, an effect which is kind to the eyes may be produced by tinting the lenses or coloring the source of light.

The collar or ring 16 and the spiral spring 21 effect contractible inherently resilient fastening elements for use with the lens, each encircling the shank rearwardly of the panel for frictionSally gripping the outer surface of the shank and contacting with the rear face of the panel entirely about the opening therein.

Recapitulating, it will be seen that we produced a sign which is especially meritorious because of its extreme inherent simplicity; because of its low cost of production and operation; and because it diffuses light to the best possible advantage.

In its broader aspects the invention comprehends the employment not only of the means described, but of equivalent means for performing the recited functions. It is desired to reserve the right to effect such changes as may come fairly within the scope of the appended claim.

We claim: A lens fitting for a sign having a panel of a determined thickness provided with an opening entirely through the same, comprising a lens body having an elongated shank of a length considerably greater than the thickness of the panel for adjustably fitting the opening in the latter and extending beyond the rear face of said panel, said shank being of uniform cross-sectional diameter throughout for presenting an even outer surface, and a contractible inherently resilient fastening element completely encircling the shank rearwardly of the panel for frictionally gripping the outer surface of said shank and contacting with the rear face of the panel entirely about the opening therein.