CA1288592C - Molded plastic signholder - Google PatentsMolded plastic signholder
- Publication number
- CA1288592C CA1288592C CA 567787 CA567787A CA1288592C CA 1288592 C CA1288592 C CA 1288592C CA 567787 CA567787 CA 567787 CA 567787 A CA567787 A CA 567787A CA 1288592 C CA1288592 C CA 1288592C
- Grant status
- Patent type
- Prior art keywords
- Prior art date
- Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
- Expired - Fee Related
A two-piece plastic signholder and subassembly therefor.
The signholder includes a bracket having a floor and inclined bearing edges which bear against the assembled two like plastic pieces which are molded as mirror images of one another. The bracket and pieces are designed to provide a bias to ensure a top bearing surface between the upper portions of the two as-sembled pieces to securely hold signs therebetween. The pieces include positive engagement elongated mating slots and posts along the bottom edge of the pieces, which also include inner and outer inclined or angled bottom edge pieces and the pieces can be curved or warped toward one another to aid in the biasing of the pieces. The pieces also include a stepped recess and flat support surface in the bottom edge to maintain contact be-tween the bottom edge and the floor of the bracket to resist tipping from side blows.
The invention relates generally to plast~c signholders and more particularly to an improved two-plece molded plastic signholder and bracket which provides a top bearing surface be-tween the two pieces to clamp signs therebetween.
Any number of types of signholders have been utilized in the past to provide a frame to support display cards, sheets or signs. One popular general type of signholder includes a metal bracket into which the sign can be inserted and which provides a metal support frame around the periphery of the sign. Such signholders are designed to be mounted onto a pedestal, hung from a bracket or mounted to a convenient surface.
Interest has been developed in plastic type signholders which can be mounted along one edge in a metal retaining brack-et. The plastic signholders have been developed in one or two pieces with the plastic material providing the support for the sign, poster or card.
The prior art plastic type signholders, as will be further described with respect to Fig. 1, generally have failed to pro-vide an adequate performance for several reasons. The plastic type signholders generally have been glued into the metal retaining brackets and the bond between the signholder and the retaining bracket frequently has failed. Further, the one-piece plastic signholders have been hand folded and the structures of such signholders often have been poor and misaligned. Further, the upper surfaces between the folded or two-piece signholders , --1--.
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have often been separated or misaligned such that the signs easily are misaligned or can fall out of the signholders.
It would be desirable to provide a plastic signholder which does not utilize glue for retention in the retaining bracket and which easily can be removed ~or cleaning or replacement. Fur-ther, the signholder should have proper alignment and the upper surfaces should bear against one another to provide a clamping mechanism -to firmly hold the sign or card therebetween. The signholder of U.S. Patent No. 4,726,132 provided one solution to the problems of the prior art signholders.
The improved plastic signholder of the present invention can provide certain additional advantages not previously ob-tained. These advantages derive from an improved configuration of the lower margin of the planar mating pieces which ormed the previous signholder. In the course of molding these pieces, the lower margins thereof were provided with a depending rounded portion or high spot. This high spot created a condition whereby the signholder potentially was susceptible to lateral :
-~ misalignment or tipping from side blows during handling. Thus, ;20 a side blow to the previous signholder could result in a tilted misalignment of the signholder in its metal retaining bracket, causing an unattractive presentation of the sign. The improved signholder configuration results in greater stability and resistance to side blows.
The above and other disadvantages of prior art plastic signholders are overcome in accordance with the present inven--~8~
tion by providing a molded plastic signholder subassembly, the subassembly forming half of a mating two-piece signholder assembly, said subassembly comprising: a clear, flexible molded synthetic plastic substantially planar piece, said piece adapted to be mated to a second substantially mirror image piece and mounted along a bottom edge in a retaining bracket so that said bottom edge contacts said retaining bracket; said piece including means for biasing said piece in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of said piece and toward said second mirror image piece when mated therewith to form a bearing surface therebetween: means for positively engaging said piece with said second mirror image piece when mated therewith; and said bottom edge of said piece having a length, a width and a stepped recess designed to correspond with a similar recess of said second mirror image piece to maintain the alignment of said signholder assembly ~: within said bracket.
The present invention also provides a molded plastic signholder comprising: a U-shaped retaining bracket having a floor and a pair of walls projecting vertically from the edges thereof;
20 a pair of clear, flexible molded synthetic plastic substantially planar pieces, said pieces being mirror images of one another and adapted to be mated to one another and mounted along corresponding bottom edges in said retaining bracket; each of said pieces including means for biasing said piece in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of said piece and toward the other mirror image piece when mated therewith to form a bearing surface therebetween; means for positively engaging each .
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~2885~2 of said pieces with one another when mated together; and each of said bottom edges of said pieces having a length, a width and a stepped recess, said recess extending the entire length of said edge, said bottom edge being flat and in substantial contact with said floor of said bracket.
The preferred embodiments of this invention will now be described by way of e~ample, with reference to the drawings accompanying this speciEication in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a one-piece prior art plastic signholder;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the signholder of U.S. Patent No. 4,726,132;
Fig. 3 is a partial end plan view of the signholder of the signholder of Fig. 2;
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Fig. 4 is a partial side plan view of one plastic subas-sembly pieca of the signholder of U.S. Patent No. 4,726,132;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged partial sectional view of the signholder of U.S. Patent No. 4,726,132, exaggerated for illustration; and Fig. 6 is a enlarged partial sectional view of the signholder of the invention, exaggerated for illustration.
Referring to Fig. 1, a prior art plastic one-piece signholder 10 is illustrated. The signholder 10 includes a plastic folded sheet 12, which is mounted in one conventional type of metal U-shaped retaining bracket 14. The bracket 14 can be mounted in any number of conventional ways and for illustra-tion purposes is mounted on a post 16 mounted in a pedestal base 18.
The sheet 12 typically is folded around a rod, generally by hand (not illustrated) to form a folded edge 20. The folded edge 20 is mounted into the U-shaped retaining bracket 14 by gluing the sheet 12 into the bracket. The folded sheet 12 thus is mounted into the bracket 14 with an open uppermost edge 22.
The open edge is formed by two uppQr portions 24 and 26 of the sheet 12, which portions are designed to bear against one anoth-er at least along the upper edge 22 and preferably for a dis-tance therefrom to provide a sign clamping surface.
Although the signholder 10 has been illustrated with a per-fectly aligned top edge 22 and upper portions 24 and 26 bearing against one another, such is often not the resu1t of the foldirlg ~8B5512 process. Often the edge 22 is misaligned and also frequently the portions 24 and 26 do not bear against each other uniformly along the length of the edge 26 or at all.
Further, utilization of the signholder 10 often results in the glued bond between the signholder 10 and the bracket 14 being broken and hence the sheet 12 will not be aligned or will fall out of the bracket 14. Also, the cards or signs can in-clude glued labels thereon, which labels can become glued to the inside of the sheet 12 and hence the whole signholder 10 or at least the sheet 12 must be disposed of.
As an attempt to remedy the shortcomings of the one-piece signholder 10, a two-piece signholder (not illustrated) was de-veloped. The two piece slgnholder corrected the problem of the misolded sheets 12, but still presented the problem of bonding the pieces into tha U-shaped bracket 14 by gluing. It then was suggested to clamp the two pieces into the bracket 14 by inclin-ing the upper edges of the bracket 14; however, such a design still did not provide for the propsr upper sign clamping mechan-ism desired.
Referring to Figs. 2 4, a molded two-piece plastic sign-holder of U.S. Patent No. 4,726,132 is designated generally by the reference numeral 30. The signholder 30 includes two mirror image plastic pieces 32 and 34, which interlock together and are friction fitted in a metal retaining bracket 36. The bracket 36 ; has ~nwardly inclined side walls 38 and 40, which retain the pieces 32 and 34 therebetween by frictional forces without any '' ~ , , gluing. This facllitates the removal of one or both of the pieces 32 and 34 for cleaning or replacement.
As most clearly illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4, the pieces 32 and 34 have a respective outer bottom edge piece 42 and 44 each of which has a bracket bearing protrusion 46 and 48 extending therefrom. There preferably are two or more of the protrusions spaced along the length of the edge pieces 42 and 44. The edge pieces 42 and 44 are formed at an angle to the plane of the pieces 32 and 34. The angled or inclined pieces 42 and 44 help ensure that the bracket walls 38 and 40 bearing against the protrusions 46 and 48 force the pieces 32 and 34 together along an upper edge 50 of the signholder 30. Upper portions 52 and 54 of the pieces 32 and 34 thus form a clamping mechanism for the signs, cards or posters which are mounted into the signholder 30.
Each of the piecss 32 and 34 also includes an inner edge piece providing a space 56 between the lower portions of the pieces 32 and 34. The space 56 provides an opening to assist in inserting the signs or posters into the signholder 30. Only an inner edge piece 58 of the piece 34 is shown since the inner edge pieces only extend one-half the length of the pieces 32 and 34 (see Fig. 4). The innar edge pieces preferably also are angled to be more narrow at their upper edges to further ensure that the two pieces 32 and 34 will bear against one another at the top edge 50. A sufficient bearing or clamping force at the top portion 52 and 54 is important, because the cards or signs .
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may only be lnserted into the upper portion of the signholder 30.
The mirror image formation of the pieces 32 and 34 is best illustrated with respect to the piece 34 illustrated in Fig. 4.
The pieces 32 and 34 each form a subassembly for the signholder 30. The inner edge 58 extends a d:istance "A" of one-half the length of the piece 34 or less to accommodate the mating edge (not illustrated) of the piece 32. The mating edge piece of the piece 32 fits against the plane of the piece 34 along the dis-tance "B". The edge piece 58 includes one or more engagementslots 60. The planar mating portion of the piece 34 also in-cludes elongated ensagement posts 62. The slots 60 and the posts 62 fit into respective mating engagement posts and slots on the mirror image piece 32 when the two pieces are mated to-gether for mounting in the bracket 36. The elongated shape of : the slots 60 and posts 62 provide a strony and durable positive : engagement means, which can be engaged and disengaged numerous times without failure.
The importance of having the upper portions bear against one another has required the above and other very specific modifications to the pieces 32 and 34. The pieces 32 and 34 preferably are molded with a slight inward warp or curvature to further ensure that the upper portions 52 and 54 bear against one another. The plastic material selected for the pieces 32 and 34 should be clear, have a low cost, be very flexible and shatterproof as well as being readily moldable. In general, tha .
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plastic material can be selected from any of a number of clear synthetic plastic materials whlch are suitable for injection moldlng. These properties, with the exception of low cost, can be provided by high quality polycarbonate liks materials. One specific suitable plastic material is a rasin sold by Eastman Kodak Company under the tradename Kodar, which also is a low cost material. Another example of a suitable plastic material is an acrylic type resin.
Referring now to Fig. 5, the signholder of the U.S. Patent No. 4,726,132 is shown with lts original configuration exag-gerated for purposes of illustration. It has been found in the course of molding the pieces 32 and 34, that the bottom edges 42 and 44 are provided with upwardly canted surfaces 64 and 66 which have insufficiant contact with the floor 39 of the bracket 36. Although the degree of cant has been exaggerated in Fig. 5, in actuality it is ~ufficient to cause the pisces 32 and 34 to be unstable within the bracket 36. More speeifically, the canted surfaces 64 and 66 create a condition whereby a side blow or normal handling may cause the pair of pieces 32,34 to rotate or become misaligned within the bracket 36. The result of this condition would be an inclined sign and an unattractive signholder.
Referring now to Flg. 6, which depicts the signholder of the invention in exaggerated fashion for purposes of illustra~
tion, a pair of plastic pieces 33 and 35 are shown mounted within the brackat 36. The pieces 33 and 35 are identical in .
configuration to pieces 32 and 34 as shown in Figs. 3 and 4,with the exception of the bottom edges, 43 and 45. Each of the bottom edges 43 and 45 has been provided with a respective stepped recess 68 and 70, each of ~Ihich in the preferred embodi-ment is slightly inclined and extends approximately one-half to two-thirds of the width of the respective piece 33 and 35, how-ever th0 dimensions of the recesses 68,70 ma~ be changed to ac-comodate various applications. The stepped recesses 68,70 ex-tend the length of the pieces 33 and 35.
In addition to the stepped recesses 68,70, the bottom edges ~3,45 are provided with a substantially flat inclined surface 72,74 which is in direct contact with the floor 39 of the brack-et 36. In the preferred embodiment, the flat surface has been dimensioned to extend as close to the edges 37,41 of the floor 39 as possible without interfering with the operation of the ~ignholder 30.
; In the improved version of the signholder 30 of the inven-tion, the downward vector component of the clamping ~orce shown as 76 pushes the mated plastic pieces 33 and 35 down against the 20 inside of the channel, but with the improved configuration, the pieces rest on the flat surfaces 72,74 spaced as far apart as the bracket 36 permits, to provide effective support and great resistance to tipping from side blows or normal handling.
Modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The edge pieces 42, 44 and 58, along with the bracket walls 38 and 40 and the inward _g_ i '' - ' ' . ' , . . ' ~: ' ~88~
warp of the pieces 32 and 34 all provide a biasing means to ensure the formation of the clamping mechanism of the signholder 30. The pieces can be formed in numerous sizes and shapes. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the ap-pended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
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a clear, flexible molded synthetic plastic substantially planar piece, said piece adapted to be mated to a second sub-stantially mirror image piece and mounted along a bottom edge in a retaining bracket so that said bottom edge contacts said retaining bracket;
said piece including means for biasing said piece in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of said piece and toward said second mirror image piece when mated therewith to form a bearing surface therebetween;
means for positively engaging said piece with said second mirror image piece when mated therewith; and said bottom edge of said piece having a length, a width and a stepped recess designed to correspond with a similar recess of said second mirror image piece to maintain the alignment of said signholder assembly within said bracket.
a U-shaped retaining bracket having a floor and a pair of walls projecting vertically from the edges thereof;
a pair of clear, flexible molded synthetic plastic substan-tially planar pieces, said pieces being mirror images of one an-other and adapted to be mated to one another and mounted along corresponding bottom edges in said retaining bracket;
each of said pieces including means for biasing said piece in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of said piece and toward the other mirror image piece when mated there-with to form a bearing surface therebetween;
means for positively engaging each of said pieces with one another when mated together; and each of said bottom edges of said pieces having a length, a width and a stepped recess, said recess extending the entire length of said edge, said bottom edge being flat and in substan-tial contact with said floor of said bracket.
Priority Applications (2)
|Application Number||Priority Date||Filing Date||Title|
|US07092324 US4790093A (en)||1986-06-18||1987-09-02||Molded plastic signholder|
|Publication Number||Publication Date|
|CA1288592C true CA1288592C (en)||1991-09-10|
Family Applications (1)
|Application Number||Title||Priority Date||Filing Date|
|CA 567787 Expired - Fee Related CA1288592C (en)||1986-06-18||1988-05-26||Molded plastic signholder|
Country Status (1)
|CA (1)||CA1288592C (en)|
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