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Патент USA US2111455

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March 15, 1938..
.N. J. MACOMBER'
2,111,455
MULTIDIRECTIONAL SIGN WITH ILLUMINATION
Filed June 25, 1937
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‘2,111,455
Patented Mar. 15, 1938
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,111,455
MULTI-DIRECTIONAL SIGN WITH ILLUMI
NATION
Naum J. Macomber, Lima, Ohio, assignor of
forty-nine percent to James E. Grosjean, Lima,
Ohio
Application June 23, 1937, Serial No. 149,952
6 Claims.
sion to the viewer through selected arrangement
of letters or other symbols or through pictorial
wires,‘ and especially in which the individual in
representation.
dicia are mounted upon branches of a rigid wire
rality of different angles during both day and
5 night, illumination of course being provided for
night-time visibility.
My invention is especially concerned with signs
of the type in which opaque indicia are disposed
in the path of light transmission or re?ection.
10 The term “sign” is intended to include any suit
able device which conveys a thought or impres
It is the primary object of the present inven~
tion to devise an improved multiple-direction
sign in which a plurality of signi?cant images
are clearly visible from a plurality of widely
separated points of obseruation. The several
images may be identical or may differ from each
other, but usually they will be identical as is
desirable for example, in a store-front advertising
sign designed to be read from both directions on
the street and perhaps also from a point across
25 the street.
In connection with the foregoing it is a further
object to construct such a sign for economical
15
and eifective operation with a common source of
light for producing the several signi?cant images.
30
(Cl. 40-130)
ranged behind the third set and disposed to pro
duce re?ection of light from said surfaces to
ward said parallel sets.
The present invention further contemplates a
multi-directional sign in which the indicia are 5
readily detachable and in which like indicia may
be interchangeable throughout the several sets
of indicia.
Another object of this invention resides in con
struction of an illuminated sign in which the 10
sign structure is supported or carried by the con
duit or piping which houses the electrical feed
The present invention relates to multi-direc
tional or multiple sided signs and particularly to
signs of this type which are visible from a plu
It is a major object of the present invention to
illuminate one or more sets of opaque indicia
in such manner with .a background of re?ected
light as to render said indicia clcarly'readable
from remote points and very easily and correctly
35 readable from all points within the range of visi
bility. This object is contemplated particularly
with comparative reference to signs heretofore
constructed in which either the indicia themselves
or the background for the same have produced
40 such glare as to make them readable with diffi
cultly at all ranges and illegible when viewed
from relatively remote points.
More speci?cally the present invention con
templates an illuminated sign in which at least
45 two sets of opaque indicia are arranged to face
in respectively different directions, and in which
a pair of re?ecting surfaces are illuminated from
a common light source to form accentuating
background for said two sets of indicia.
It is an object of my invention to devise a
50
three-way sign comprising two substantially
conduit assembly.
15
The foregoing and further and more speci?c
objects of the present invention will become
more clear from a study of the following descrip
tion when taken in conjunction with the accom
panying drawing and the appended claims.
Figure l is a front elevational view of one pre
ferred multi-sided sign structure embodying the
present invention, the view being obtained from
a point of observation in front of a set of in
dicia that is arranged between two further sets
of indicia;
Figure 2 is a horizontal section taken through
the device of Fig. 1 substantially on the plane of
line _2--2;
Figure 3 is a view in left side elevation of the
device of Figs. 1 and 2, as seen when looking to
ward the line 3-—3 in the direction of the arrows;
and
Figure 4 is a view in rear elevation of one of
the letters of the front set of indicia, viewed on
the plane of line 4-4 in Fig. 2.
With continued reference to the drawing,
wherein like characters are employed to designate
like parts, the illustrated sign consists essentially
of an upright structure S for concealing an elec
' trical conduit and for affording a pair of re
versed light re?ecting surfaces; a pair of sets of
indicia, M and N, substantially identical and
arranged back to back adjacent the respective 45
re?ecting surfaces; and a third set of vindicia, P,
substantially perpendicular to the sets M and N
and designed to conceal a source of illumination
for the pair of re?ecting surfaces.
The upright structure S comprises a vertical 50
member 4, preferably formed of sheet metal in
parallel sets of indicia and a third set of indicia
such manner as to provide a pair of oppositely
approximately perpendicular to said parallel sets,
facing and concavely curved re?ecting surfaces
5 interconnected by a bridge portion 5. The sur
means affording re?ecting surfaces between the
55 parallel sets, and a source of illumination ar
20
' In the drawing:
faces 5 as shown are quarter-sections of substan
55
2
2,111,455
tially parallel cylinders but, as will be apparent
later the curvatures as well as the relationship of
the surfaces may be varied in accordance with
possible variations in other parts of the assem
bly. The rear side of the member 4 has a pair of
parallel Wings 7 extending from top to bottom,
and at the bottom the member is closed by a plate
8 having an upstanding flange 9 which ?ts within
said member as a closure and strengthening
10 means.
A similar plate may be provided at the
top.
The structure S may be secured directly to a
store front or other chosen support in any de—
sired manner but preferably it is supported by a
15 rigid conduit assembly which comprises a ver
tical main pipe 10 having a series of vertically
spaced horizontal branch pipes [2. The trunk or
main Ill carries electrical wires l3 which supply
current to branch wires in the pipes l2. Pipe [0
extends through the plates 8, and the series of
pipes l2 extend through the bridge 6 to support
the set of indicia P in a manner yet to be de
scribed. The branch wires lead from pipes 12
to insulated sockets it which carry conven
tional electric lamps or bulbs Hi. The sockets M
are detachably supported in desired positions by
the indicia P as will be described later.
It will be understood, for example, that the
40
in Fig. 2 the letter “M” is shown in section as
comprising not only a front face plate 23 in the
shape of the letter but also a plurality of back
wardly turned or attached ?anges 24, 25, 26, etc.,
which constitute, in effect, a single ?ange fol
lowing the outline of the letter. This letter struc
ture includes an integral or rigidly attached strip
of metal 21 at its rear, parallel to the front plate
23, for the purpose of securely mounting the
letter upon the forward end of one of the branch 10
pipes 12 by means of a pair of nuts 28 and 29,
for example, threaded upon the pipe terminal.
In like manner the other letters of the set of
indicia P are detachably secured to the other
pipe branch extremities.
15
Each letter of the set P preferably carries a
plurality of lamps l5, although it will be appre
ciated that one or more of proper capacity will
suffice when properly located to illuminate the
background and give the desired light reflection. 20
In the illustrated form, where four lamps are
provided where possible for each letter of the
alphabet, the lamps are located at spaced points,
in symmetry. In the letter “M”, for example,
the lamps are concealed in the four corners of 25
the letter. The sockets Ill preferably are made
in two separable parts, each detachably carried
by an apertured sheet metal bridge 3| which is
back or open side of the structure S faces the
front of
building, that the front or bridge 6
faces toward the opposite side of the street on
which the building is located and that the con
cave re?ecting surfaces 5 face generally in oppo
site directions “up and down” the street respec
tively. The wings ‘I of the structure S have a
plurality of horizontal brackets l5 secured there
welded or otherwise secured to the side ?anges
of the letter structure.
From the foregoing it will vbe seen that, as the
bridge 6 is very narrow much of the light from
the lamps 15 will be transmitted to the surfaces
5 and thence re?ected by them in the general
directions of the two sets of indicia. M and N. 535
The latter, like the indicia P, comprise letters
to by fastening assemblies l1, these brackets ex
tending toward the front of the sign and, where
which have opaque front plates 36 in the shape
of letters. They also preferably have ?anges 32
the three sets of indicia M, N and P are to be
on one side which give them better form for var
substantially identical, being equal in number
ious angles of approach in the daytime and for 40
assisting somewhat in proper re?ection at night.
to the branch pipes l2 and arranged in the same
vertically spaced relation as the latter.
In order that the sign may have a pleasing
appearance in the daytime, as well as at night, the
rear side of the structure S is substantially
framed in an ornamental rectangle comprising
The indicia M and N stand out very clearly in
silhouette outlines as the result of re?ected light
and illuminated background produced by the re
spective curved surfaces 5, 5. The indicia P have
.a similar appearance, partly as the result of il
horizontal top and bottom pieces l8 and I9, and
vertical side pieces 29. These four pieces may be
luminated background and partly following from
secured to the structure in any suitable manner,
or may be interconnected at their ends to hold
them in position as a unitary frame.
the surfaces 5, 5 and the bridge 6. Each set of
re?ection of light toward their rear sides from
indicia can be seen from greater distances and
much more clearly within the range of visibility,
The apparatus thus far described comprises
than can a set of indicia which transmit light or
the means for supporting and illuminating or
are outlined by direct glaring light.
The surfaces 5 may consist of polished metal,
rendering visible the three sets of indicia M, N
and P, which in the illustrated example are
designed to spell the word “Thom” vertically so
that it will be seen in triplicate from three dis
tinctly different directions. The letters of course
are constructed in block or other conventional
type, and it will be understood that other sym
bols, or pictorial representations, may be sub
stituted. The individual letters of the indicia M
or enameled or painted material of any sort.
Preferably they are provided by painting the illus
trated smooth sheet metal structure in a color
such as cream, white, or chrome yellow. A varia
tion or shading of these colors can be employed
effectively. The interior surfaces of the letters 60
of the set P preferably are polished orcoated with
light~re?ecting material. .
and N may be identical per se, although some
what differently arranged and are mounted on
The several sets of indicia are rendered clear
ly visible at night with a single source of illumi
the brackets l6 substantially in parallelism by
nation, thus effecting large economy in opera
tion. For example, a letter 18 inches in height
and its two associated wing letters can be fully
screw and nut assemblies 22 or any suitable
equivalent which, preferably, is designed to per
mit ready attachment and detachment of the
letters. The letters of indicia P are considerably
different, as follows.
The letters of indicia P must be designed to
conceal the electrical lamps l5 from view in all
directions from which the sign is readable and
accordingly each letter is constructed with one
or more rearwardly turned ?anges. For example,
illuminated with a single 100 watt lamp, or with
two 50 watt lamps, or with four 25 watt lamps.
The letters are readily detachable, and most of
the letters of sets M and N are interchangeable
by reversing them front to back and top for bot
tom when transferring from one set to the other.
All letters of these two sets may be made fully
interchangeable by duplicating the ?ange 32 for
3
2,111,455
each letter; and of course they may be designed
to form stock portions for the more complex let
ters of the series P. The structure S may be
made up in sections of stock length so that it
can be assembled in suitable lengths for a sign
of any number of letters or symbols.
The two sets of indicia M and N are shown in
pair of upright members having re?ecting sur
faces of approximately quarter-cylindrical curva
parallelism but it will be appreciated that they
structures disposed respectively opposite the said
may be angularly arranged while still separated
re?ecting surfaces in positions where each stands
out against the re?ecting background formed by 10
10 by the structure S, and that the curvature of the
surfaces 5 may be varied to obtain maximum
light re?ection toward these sets of indicia while
retaining a suf?cient background of illumination
for the set of indicia P.
Various other changes obviously may be made
15
within the scope of the invention, and therefore
I desire to be restricted in protection only with
in a reasonable interpretation of the appended
20
claims.
I claim as my invention:
1. A multi-way sign comprising two substan
tially parallel‘ sets of indicia, and a third set of
indicia arranged approximately perpendicular to
so
ture, a light source common to said surfaces and
disposed adjacent one vertical edge of each of
them, an image'forming structure concealing said
light source and having said surfaces as a back
ground, and a pair of further image forming
said surfaces.
-,
5. A multi-way sign comprising a structure
having a'pair of curved external surfaces facing
substantially in opposite directions and approxie
mately tangent to each other along a locus of 15
close proximity, a set of symbols in the form of
housings spaced outwardly from said locus and
containing sources of arti?cial light, said hous
ings having opaque walls concealing said sources
from view in the directions in which said curved 20
surfaces are presented to View and having re
?eeting surfaces designed to assist in illuminat
ing said curved surfaces, and symbols associated
said parallel sets; means affording a pair of re
?ecting surfaces between said parallel sets; and a
source of illumination arranged behind said third
set to produce re?ection of light from said sur
With said curved surfaces in such manner as to be
faces toward said parallel sets.
6. In an electrically lighted sign structure of
the character described, a pair of members hav
a
2. In the construction de?ned in claim 1, all
of the sets of indicia being opaque, and the source
of light being concealed by said third set.
3. A sign structure comprising a rigid conduit
provided with rigid branches, a symbol individual
to and supported entirely by each branch, elec
35 .rical lighting means carried by each symbol,
wires housed by said conduit and the correspond
ing branch for supplying current to each of said
lighting means, light re?ecting means supported
by the conduit and branch assembly to receive
40 light from said lighting means, and at least one
further set of symbols arranged in the path of
light re?ected. from said re?ecting means.
4. A multi-way sign structure comprising a
rendered visible by the illumination, whereby 25
three distinct sets of symbols are rendered visible
by a common set of light sources.
ing surfaces of approximately quarter-cylindrical 30
curvature joined to produce a device approxi
mately V-shaped in cross section, a rigid elec
trical conduit concealed by said surfaces and
arranged substantially at the vertex thereof, a
series of branch conduits extending rigidly-from 36
said concealed conduit outwardly from said ver
tex, housing and re?ecting means secured to
said branch conduits with electric lamps con
cealed in said means to illuminate said quarter
cylindrical surfaces, and sets of indicia associ 40
ated individually with said surfaces to be ren-_
dered visible by the illumination.
NAUM J. MACOMBER.
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