Title:
SIGN FRAME ASSEMBLY
United States Patent 3835613


Abstract:
A frame assembly for an internally illuminated sign having a low profile appearance and a minimum of exposed frame wherein the frame assembly includes a lower access frame member, a pair of laterally spaced side frame members, and an upper frame member each having a front and a rear retainer mounted thereon and adapted to receive and retain an edge portion of a respective display face therein. The lower, side, and upper frame members each have walls defining a front and a rear outwardly open recess each adapted to receive and engage a projection extending from a respective front and rear retainer. The lower, side, and upper frame members and the retainers thereon each have respective portions thereof substantially coplanar one with the other to define respective exterior edges of the frame assembly.



Inventors:
DAVIES D
Application Number:
05/344881
Publication Date:
09/17/1974
Filing Date:
03/26/1973
Assignee:
CARTER WATERS CORP,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/549
International Classes:
G09F13/04; (IPC1-7): G09F13/04
Field of Search:
52/476,498,502,499,500,501,211,212,656 40
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
Faw Jr., Price C.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fishburn, Gold & Litman
Claims:
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is

1. Frame assembly members for internally-lighted signs having a pair of spaced apart translucent display faces and illuminating means disposed therebetween to transmit light through the display faces comprising:

2. In a frame assembly for internally lighted signs having at least one translucent display face and illuminating means adjacent same to transmit light through the display face, frame structure comprising:

Description:
The present invention relates to internally illuminated signs and more particularly to a frame assembly for such signs and having a low profile appearance and novel mounting of retainers for display faces.

The principal objects of the present invention are: to provide a sign frame assembly having a wide frame with respective edge defining components thereof substantially coplanar one with the other to define respective substantially flush exterior edges of the frame assembly; to provide such a sign frame assembly wherein display face retainers are easily installed and removed from the exterior of the sign frame assembly; to provide such a sign frame assembly wherein the component parts thereof are easily assembled and frame members and display face retainers mounted thereon have cooperating portions to help support the retainers while increasing the holding power to support the weight of display faces; to provide such a sign frame assembly having a wide and low profile appearance with a minimum of the frame members exposed and a maximum portion of the display faces exposed; to provide such a sign frame assembly having a lower cover member adapted to be easily removed from the exterior of the sign frame assembly thereby providing access for repair or replacement of wiring, ballasts, or the like, all without removal of display face retainers; and to provide such a sign frame assembly which is strong and durable in construction, attractive in appearance, economical to manufacture, and particularly well adapted for the proposed use.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this invention.

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include an exemplary embodiment of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features of the sign frame assembly.

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a lower corner of a frame assembly for an internally-illuminated sign embodying features of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of components forming a lower portion of the frame assembly.

FIG. 3 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of components forming one side portion of the frame assembly.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse sectional view through a side frame member of the frame assembly.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentray vertical sectional view through a lower frame member and upper and lower display face retainers.

Referring more in detail to the drawings:

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. However, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

In the disclosed embodiment of the present invention, the reference numeral 1 generally designates a frame assembly for an internally illuminated sign having a wide and low profile appearance and maximum exposure of display faces. The frame assembly 1 includes a lower access frame member 2 and a pair of side frame members 3 and an upper frame member (not shown) each having a front retainer 4 and a rear retainer 5 mounted thereon and adapted to receive and retain therein respective peripheral edge portions of front and rear display faces 7 respectively. The lower, side, and upper frame members each have walls defining outwardly open front and rear recesses 8 and 9 respectively each adapted to engage and receive a projection 10 extending from the respective front and rear retainers 4 and 5. The lower, side, and upper frame members and the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 thereon each have respective portions thereof substantially coplanar one with the other to define respective exterior edges of the frame assembly 1.

The illustrated lower access frame member 2, as best seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 has a web portion 11 and a pair of generally parallel flange portions 12 and 13 depending from front and rear edges respectively of the web portion 11. The lower access frame member 2 has ribs 14 and 15 extending from the front and rear flange portions 12 and 13 respectively. The ribs 14 and 15 are substantially coplanar and are positioned at the lower edges of the flange portions 12 and 13 respectively.

The flange portions 12 and 13 have the front and rear recesses 8 and 9 respectively therein and the recesses 8 and 9 are positioned adjacent the ribs 14 and 15. The recesses 8 and 9 are each formed by upper and lower wall members 16 and 17 extending from respective interior sides of the flange portions 12 and 13 and a connecting wall member 18 extends between the wall members 16 and 17. The upper and lower wall members 16 and 17 are substantially parallel with the web portion 11 and the connecting wall member 18 is substantially parallel with the respective flange portion. The flange portions 12 and 13 each have an enlarged portion 19 extending outwardly from an exterior side thereof and defining upper and lower shoulders, 19' and 19" respectively, for a purpose later described.

The side frame members 3, as best seen in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4, and the upper frame member (not shown) are substantially similar in construction and each include a web portion 20 positioned to form part of a respective outer edge of the sign frame assembly 1. Generally parallel flange portions 21 and 22 project from front and rear edges respectively of the web portion 20 and extend toward an interior of the sign frame assembly 1. The side frame members and the upper frame member each have ribs 23 and 24 extending from the free edge of flange portions 21 and 22 respectively with the ribs 23 and 24 being substantially coplanar.

The flange portions 21 and 22 each have a pair of parallel spaced wall members 25 and 26 extending from the interior sides thereof and substantially parallel with the web portion 20 and a connecting wall member 27 extends between the wall members 25 and 26 to define the front and rear recesses 8 and 9 respectively.

The flange portions 21 and 22 of the side frame members and the upper frame member each have an enlarged portion 28 on an exterior side thereof and positioned between the respective recess and the web portion 20, for a purpose later described.

As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, a lower cover or closure member 29 is mounted on the lower access frame member 2 in a manner to close same and define a lower edge of the sign frame assembly 1. The illustrated lower cover member 29 has a web portion 30 and opposite edge portions 31 and 32 engageable with the ribs 14 and 15 respectively of the lower access frame member 2. The edge portions 31 and 32 have suitable enlarged portions 33 thereon adapted to receive suitable fastening devices, such as screws 34, extending through the edge portions 31 and 32 and into ribs 14 and 15 respectively. The lower cover member 29 has opposite edge flanges 35 and 36 engageable with exterior sides of the flange portions 12 and 13 and the upper edges of the edge flanges 35 and 36 may engage the enlarged portion 19 on the flange portions 12 and 13.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 to 5 inclusive, the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 each have interior and exterior walls 37 and 38 respectively defining an entrance portion and an enlarged display face receiving portion or chamber 39. The interior wall 37 has an offset portion 40 to thereby increase the spacing between the interior and exterior walls 37 and 38. The front and rear retainers 4 and 5 have a flange portion 41 extending from the walls 37 and 38 and adapted to be substantially coplanar with the ribs 14 and 15 of the lower access frame member 2 or substantially coplanar with the web portion 20 of the side frame members or the upper frame member to form a portion of a respective exterior edge of the sign frame assembly 1.

A rib 42 extends from the flange portion 41 and is preferably substantially parallel with the interior and exterior walls 37 and 38. The rib 42 is adapted to be positioned in engagement with a respective flange portion 12 or 13 of the lower access frame member 2 or in engagement with a respective flange portion 21 or 22 of the side frame members, or in engagement with a flange portion of the upper frame member of the sign frame assembly 1. The projection 10 extends outwardly from the rib 42 and is adapted to be received between the wall members 16 and 17 of the lower access frame member 2 or between the wall members 25 and 26 of the side frame members or between the wall members of the upper frame member.

As best seen in FIG. 5, the rib 42 on the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 respectively which are mounted on the lower access frame member 2 is shaped to be in engagement with a respective one of the edge flanges 35 and 36 of the lower cover member 29 and in engagement with the upper shoulder 19' defined by the enlarged portion 19 and with the respective flange portion 12 or 13.

As best seen in FIG. 4, the rib 42 on the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 respectively which are mounted on the side frame members or on the upper frame member has a recess adapted to receive therein the enlarged portion 28 while engaging the exterior side of the respective flange portions 21 and 22.

The display faces 7 may be formed of any suitable translucent material, such as plastic or the like, and each preferably has an enlarged edge portion 43 adapted to be received within the chamber 39 in the respective front and rear retainer 4 and 5 mounted on the upper frame member.

Assembly of the components of the sign frame assembly 1, constructed as illustrated and described, is fast and simple. The side frame members 3 are positioned adjacent respective opposite ends of the lower access frame member 2 and a connecting member 44 has respective portions positioned in engagement with the web portion 20 of the side frame members 3 and with the ribs 14 and 15 of the lower access frame member 2. Suitable fastening devices, such as bolts 45, are extended through the respective portions of the lower access frame member 2 and the side frame members 3 and through the respective portions of the connecting member 44 where suitable nuts 46 are mounted thereon. The upper frame member extends between and is connected to the side frame members 3 in substantially the same manner except that portions of the connected member 44 are in engagement with interior faces of the respective web portions 20 thereof. The illuminating means (not shown) are then mounted in the assembled frame and preferably extend between the web portion 11 of the lower access frame member 2 and a suitable member mounted on the upper frame member. The respective front and rear retainers 4 and 5 are mounted on the lower, side, and upper frame members and suitable fastening devices, such as screws, are mounted therein. The retainers 4 and 5 for the lower access frame member 2 have screws 47 extending through a respective one of the ribs 14 and 15 and through the wall members 16 and 17 and the projection 10. The retainers 4 and 5 mounted on the side frame members 3 and on the upper frame member (not shown) have screws 48 extending through a suitable enlarged portion 49 on the web portion 20 and through the wall members 25 and 26 and the respective projection 10. The lower cover member 29 is then mounted on the lower access frame member 2, by suitable fastening devices, such as the screws 34, extending through one of the enlarged portions 33 of the lower cover member 29 and through a respective rib 14 and 15 on the lower access frame member 2.

The sign frame assembly 1 is particularly adapted to permit easy repair or replacement of wiring, ballasts, and the like which is positioned within the space defined by the web portion 11 and the flange portions 12 and 13 of the lower access frame member 2 and the lower cover member 29. Removal of the screws 34 permits easy removal of the lower cover member 29 and thereby access to wiring, ballasts, and the like for any necessary servicing, repair, or changes all from the outside of the sign frame assembly 1 without removing the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 and the display faces 7 therein.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 5, the flange portion 41 of the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 and the web portion 30 of the lower cover member 29 are substantially flush thereby providing a substantially smooth surface across the bottom or lower surface of the sign frame assembly 1.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 4, the web portion 20 of the side member 3 and the flange portion 41 of the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 mounted thereon are substantially coplanar whereby the sides and top of the sign frame assembly 1 are also substantially flush.

When it is necessary to have access to the interior of the sign frame assembly 1, such as to replace the illuminating means, it is an easy and simple operation to remove either the front retainer 4 or the rear retainer 5 from the side frame members 3 and from the upper frame member (not shown) thereby permitting removal of the respective display face 7. The screws 48 are removed from the side frame members 3 and from the upper frame member (not shown) thereby permitting the respective projection 10 to be removed from the front recess 8 or the rear recess 9 all from the exterior of the sign frame assembly 1. To remove the front retainer 4 or the rear retainer 5 from the lower access frame member 2, it is necessary to first remove the lower cover member 29 and then the screws 47 all of which may be accomplished from the exterior of the sign frame assembly 1.

The frame members and the retainers 4 and 5 mounted thereon have cooperating portions which are in engagement to increase the strength and holding power to support the weight of the display faces 7. The edge portions 31 and 32 and the edge flanges 35 and 36 of the lower cover member 29 cooperate with and engage respective portions of the lower access frame member 2 and the rib 42 of the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 is in engagement with the edge flanges 35 and 36 respectively of the lower cover member 29 whereby the lower cover member 29 cooperates with the lower access frame member 2 and the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 mounted thereon to increase the supporting ability of the sign frame assembly 1.

The screws 34 and 47 are substantially parallel with each other and also substantially parallel with the flange portions 12 and 13 of the lower access frame member 2 and thereby substantially normal or perpendicular to the projection 10 of the front and rear retainers 4 and 5 and the wall members 16 and 17 defining the front and rear recesses 8 and 9 in the flange portions 12 and 13.

It is to be understood that while I have illustrated and described one form of my invention, it is not to be limited to this specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown.