US3706148A - Display assembly - Google Patents

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US3706148A
US3706148A US3706148DA US3706148A US 3706148 A US3706148 A US 3706148A US 3706148D A US3706148D A US 3706148DA US 3706148 A US3706148 A US 3706148A
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display
elements
support
positions
surfaces
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Shaun C Johnston
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SHAUN C JOHNSTON
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SHAUN C JOHNSTON
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F11/00Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the complete information is permanently attached to a movable support which brings it to the display position
    • G09F11/02Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the complete information is permanently attached to a movable support which brings it to the display position the display elements being secured to rotating members, e.g. drums, spindles
    • G09F11/025Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the complete information is permanently attached to a movable support which brings it to the display position the display elements being secured to rotating members, e.g. drums, spindles the members being rotated simultaneously, each face of the member carrying a part of the sign
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F9/00Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the information is built-up on a support by selection or combination of individual elements
    • G09F9/30Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the information is built-up on a support by selection or combination of individual elements in which the desired character or characters are formed by combining individual elements
    • G09F9/37Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the information is built-up on a support by selection or combination of individual elements in which the desired character or characters are formed by combining individual elements being movable elements

Abstract

A display assembly comprises a plurality of display elements mounted on a framework in a composite array. Each display element is provided with a plurality of display surfaces having distinct appearance characteristics. The elements may be individually rotated on the supporting framework to any one of a plurality of display positions wherein one of its surfaces is in display orientation. Means are provided for facilitating this process by simultaneously tilting all elements out of their coplanar display orientation. Means are also provided for automatically returning all display elements to a predetermined tilted orientation corresponding to a predetermined composite pattern, said means being in the form of a display element engaging means movable between first and second positions. Each time said display element engaging means is thus moved the elements projecting into its path are rotated to their next position until they all reach the predetermined orientation in which they remain clear of the display element engaging means.

Description

United States Patent Johnston [541 DISPLAY ASSEMBLY Shaun C. Johnston, 215 W. 83rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10024 [22] Filed: Jan. 21, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 108,519

[72] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl. ..40/77.7, 40/28 C [51] Int. Cl. ..G09f 11/02 [58] Field of Search ..40/77.4, 77.6, 77.7, 77.8, 40/28 C; 35/77 [56] References Cited 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,267,595 8/1966 Levy et al. 40/28 C 3,410,011 11/1968 Bowman 40/77.6 3,543,419 12/1970 Santini ..40/77 3,462,857 8/1969 Glass et a1. ..35/77 2,628,338 2/1953 Smalley ..40/77.6

Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-J. H. Wolff Att0rneyJames and Franklin [57] ABSTRACT A display assembly comprises a plurality of display elements mounted on a framework in a composite array. Each display element is provided with a plurality of display surfaces having distinct appearance characteristics. The elements may be individually rotated on the supporting framework to any one of a plurality of display positions wherein one of its surfaces is in display orientation. Means are provided for facilitating this process by simultaneously tilting all elements out of their coplanar display orientation.

Means are also provided for automatically returning all display elements to a predetermined tilted orientation corresponding to a predetermined composite pattern, said means being in the form of a display element engaging means movable between first and second positions. Each time said display element engaging means is thus moved the elements projecting into its path are rotated to their next position until they all reach the predetermined orientation in which they remain clear of the display element engaging means.

22 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures SHEET 2 OF 3 ATTORNEY DISPLAY ASSEMBLY The present invention relates to a display assembly and particularly to such an assembly of the type having a plurality of display elements each having a number of different display surfaces.

In display assemblies of this type, the elements are arranged in an array and are adapted to be moved such that any of their operative display surfaces is positioned in display orientation. Each display surface is provided with a particular display appearance characteristic. Thus a variety of different display patterns may be formed by moving individual display elements such that the desired display surfaces thereof are brought into the proper display orientation.

Such assemblies are useful in a wide variety of applications. Devices of this type have proved useful for instance, as ornamental devices (i.e. wall decorations), games or toys, educational devices, record keeping devices and even as prototype models for weaving or sewing patterns or the like. For example, in the field of education display assemblies of this type may be helpful as an aid in teaching mathematics or logic. The display surfaces in such instances might be adapted to carry indicia such as numbers, letters, or other symbols related in some mathematical or logical way. Alternatively the display elements might be references by lettered or numbered coordinates, particular display patterns being defined by a particular set of coordinates. On the other hand, the display surfaces might carry pictorial matter or designs coordinated in such a way to form a variety of overall composite pictures, designs or mosaics depending upon which display surfaces are positioned in display orientation. Many other applications of display assemblies of this type will be apparent.

In virtually all of these applications it is desirable that the individual display elements be adapted for convenient and rapid movement to any of its various display positions. While it is possible to design complex mechanisms for this purpose, as has been done in the past, it will be appreciated that the user preferably should not be overburdened with such complicated modes of operation. Thus it has been found that the most desirable mode of operation involves a simple rotatable mounting of the display elements such that they may be rotated to any of their display positions by a simple finger engagement of the appropriate element. Of course an element once moved to the desired position must be stabilized in that position until the necessary finger engagement is again effected to turn it to a different position.

With this arrangement, however, other problems arise. Thus it is generally desirable to be able to rapidly bring all elements to a predetermined display position corresponding to a predetermined pattern, usually the starting pattern. For instance, inmathematical or record keeping applications where the elements carry numerical indicia it may be desirable to reset all elements to 0. In other applications the predetermined pattern might comprise a starting configuration as for instance in a game or toy.

In conventional devices of this type, where it is desired to return to such pattern, it is generally necessary to effect the required finger engagement of each element to individually return it to the appropriate position. Not only is this extremely cumbersome and time consuming, it may also present difficulties for the user when the original pattern involves different indicia or appearance characteristics for different elements. Thus he may simply not remember the pattern. Even if he does remember the overall pattern, he may still have difficulty in determining which elements must be moved to which display position to effectuate the tion, however, it is difficult for the user to engage individual elements from the front of the array to rotate them to a different display position. Thus it is often necessary to provide additional structure on the display elements to facilitate this process, such additional structure detracting from the overall appearance of the composite.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to design a display assembly adapted to display a variety of patterns or composite designs which is simple to operate and inexpensive to manufacture.

It is another object of the invention to design a display assembly having an array of display elements each having a plurality of operative display surfaces characterized by distinct display appearance characteristics in which the elements may be easily and rapidly moved to any one of a plurality of display positions by a simple finger engagement therewith without the necessity of additional structure provided on said elements for this purpose.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a display assembly of the type described in which all elements may be rapidly moved to a predetermined display position without the necessity of individually engaging each element.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a display assembly of the type described including means for automatically returning the overall display to a predetermined pattern which does not depend upon the memory of the user.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a display assembly of the type described in which all display elements are adapted to be simultaneously moved between a composite display position in which the operative display surfaces are arranged in a coplanar array and a sorting position in which they are easily accessible for movement to any one of their individual display positions.

To these ends the present invention provides a display assembly having a plurality of display elements mounted in an array on a frame. In a preferred embodiment each display element is provided with a plurality of display surfaces each of a designated color. The elements are arranged in a plurality of rows and columns on the frame. Means are provided for mounting each element with any one of its operative display surfaces in coplanar alignment with the display surfaces of other elements, thereby to form a composite pattern made up of the selected display surfaces.

The support means is in the form of a plurality of support elements extending through apertures provided in the display elements for this purpose. Each row of elements is thus-supported by one support element. Means are provided for shifting all support elements relative to the frame to a position effective to tilt the formerly coplanar display surfaces out of their common plane. In this tilted or sorting position the elements are easily accessible from the front of the assembly and are adapted to be individually rotated on their respective support elements to any one of a plurality of the thus tilted positions corresponding to said plurality of flush display positions. When the desired pattern has been reached the elements are again returned to the flush coplanar display position, thereby to form the desired composite pattern.

Means are provided on said frame for automatically returning all display elements to a predetermined tilted orientation corresponding to a predetermined composite pattern, said means being in the form of a display element engaging means. movable between first and second positions. Thedisplay elements in their tilted positions normally project into the path of said engaging means and are adapted to be successively shifted to e a different one of their tilted orientations each time said engaging means moves therepast. Means are provided on the display elements for varying the tilt thereof when the element is supporting in a designated one of its tilted orientations such that the element in said designated orientation remains clear of said display element engaging means. As a result successive movements of said engaging means from its first to its second position is effective to flip each element to successive ones of its tilted orientations until it reaches its designated orientation, whereupon there is no further sorting engagement. Thus if each element has N stable positions corresponding to N operative display surfaces, N-l movements of the display element engaging means between its first and second positions will be effective to return all elements to their predetermined tilted orientations whereupon the elements are again shifted to their flush coplanar display positions to display said predetermined composite pattern.

To the accomplishment of the above and to such other objects as may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to a display assembly asdefined in the appended claims and as described in this specification, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. l is a front elevation of the display assembly showing the display elements mounted in a composite display orientation;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of an individual display element;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing the display element support means and the sorting bar;

FIG. 4 is'a fragmentary side elevational view of the assembly of FIG. 1 showing the linkage mechanism for shifting the support elements; and

FIGS. 5-7 are schematic illustrations showing the various steps involved in sorting starting with elements in the blue, green and red display positions, respective- As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the display assembly of the present invention comprises a framework generally designated 10 upon which ismounted a plurality of display elements 12. Purely by way of example elements 12 are arranged in a plurality of transversely extending rows and columns on framework 10. As shown, the elements 12 are thus adapted to form a composite rectangular pattern (shown for convenience as square). It will be appreciated, however, that the elements may be arranged in various other relative positions to form composite patterns of various shapes and sizes all within the scope of the present invention.

As best shown in FIG. 2A each element 12 comprises a cylinder having a plurality of operative display surfaces. Again by way of example, the elements 12 are here illustrated as triangular cylinders having three equally dimensioned square display surfaces. For purposes of this disclosure the three surfaces of each element are designated G, B and R, respectively, indicating the colors green, blue and red, respectively. It will be understood, however, that the display elements may have any number of outwardly facing display surfaces, each having an appearance characterized by shape, size, texture, design or other indicia in lieu of or in addition to color. Moreover, while for purposes of the present disclosure, each element 12 is provided with three display surfaces of the same three different colors it will be appreciated that a single element may have more than one display surface having a given appearance characteristic and the display surfaces of some elements may have appearance characteristics which are absent from all display surfaces of other elements. The choice of the number, location and type of display appearance characteristics will of course depend upon the particular use to which the assembly is to be put.

The elements 12 are hollow in their axialdirection as at 14, having three internal surfaces 1, 2 and 3. Internal surface 1 of each element is provided with an axially extending ridge 15, the purpose of which will be explained in detail hereinafter.

Framework 10 comprises a generally square frame 16 having a top panel 18, a bottom panel 20, a rear panel 21 and two vertical side panels 22 and 24, respectively. A plurality of vertical grid panels 26 are mounted on frame 16 and extend between top and bottom panels 18 and 20 in equally spaced generally parallel relationship from side panel 22 to side panel 24. As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, side panels 22 and 24 and grid panels 26 are each provided with a series of vertically spaced aligned. apertures 28. Apertures 28 are shaped in the form of a sector of a circle with two radial sides 30 and 32 and an arcuate side 34.

Display elements 12 are supported in framework 10 by a support means generally designated 36, comprising a plurality of elongated support elements 38. Each support element is in the form of a flat support strip extending through one set of aligned apertures 28 in panels 22, 24 and 26. One display element 12 is supported at one of its three internal surfaces 1, 2 or 3 by a support strip 38 between consecutive vertical panels 22, 24 and 26. Thus, in the case illustrated in FIG. 1

there are nine vertical panels (seven grid panels 26 and two side panels 22 and 24) defining eight vertical columns, each panel having eight apertures 28, each mounting one support strip 38 thereby defining eight horizontal rows.

It will be apparent that support strips 38 may come to rest in apertures 28 in either one of two stable positions. In FIGS. 3 and 4 strips 38 are shown in their forwardly inclined positions in which they are operatively supported by radial sides 30 of apertures 28. Strips 38 in turn engage elements 12 at one of their three internal surfaces in supporting contiguous relationship. As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the angular inclination of sides 30 of apertures 28 is such that the thus supported display elements 12 are aligned with one display surface of each in vertical coplanar display relationship. Thus starting from the top row in FIG. 3, the first element is supported at internal surface 1, display surface B being disposed in vertical display position; the second element is supported at internal surface 3 with display surface G in vertical display position; the third element is supported at internal surface 2 with display surface R in vertical display position, and so on. This relationship holds true for each of the three display positions in the case illustrated as a result of the equiangular disposition of the three internal and display surfaces of each display element. More particularly, in order to provide this relationship for a display element having a given number of display surfaces it is only necessary to maintain a given angular relationship between the internal supporting surface and its associated extemal display surface.

In order to facilitate sorting by rotation of individual display elements, all elements in a row may be moved to a tilted orientation such as that shown in FIG. 5 (second element from the left) by rotating its supporting strip 38 approximately 100 clockwise within apertures 28 into engagement with radial sides 32 thereof. When this is done, for instance, with the top element shown in FIG. 3, the element itself rotates 60 counterclockwise relative to supporting strip 38, its internal surface 3 coming to rest on strip 38 (FIG. 5). Thus, a net rotation or tilting of the element of approximately 40 is produced. In this tilted orientation the element is easily accessible for counterclockwise rotation to any one of three stable tilted positions. The operator merely taps the lowermost portion of the thus tilted display surface (B in the case of FIG. 5) with sufficient force and the torque thus applied will be effective to topple or rotate the element counterclockwise bringing the next display surface into the tilted display orientation.

Accordingly, when a new pattern is to be displayed it is desirable to tilt all elements out of their flush coplanar display orientations to facilitate individual sorting. For this purpose a linkage mechanism generally designated 40 is provided. As best shown in FIG. 4 linkage mechanism 40 comprises a pair of elongated vertically extending links 42 and 44 operatively rotatably attached to all supporting strips 38 at opposite ends thereof. The rotatable attachment is effected near the top of each supporting strip by suitable means such as pins 46 extending outwardly from strips 38 and received in corresponding apertures in links 42 and 44.

Links 42 and 44 are provided with laterally inwardly extending pegs 48 at their upper and lower ends, said pegs being slidably received in arcuate guide slots 50 at the upper and lower ends of side panels 22 and 24, respectively, and laterally secured therein by suitable fastening means 52. As links 42 and 44 are moved rearwardly within guide slots 50 all support strips are thus rotated within their supporting apertures to the rearwardly inclined supporting position and thus all display elements, as previously described, are rotated to their tilted sorting orientations. It should be noted that this maneuver in all respects'pre'serves the original display pattern. Thus if support strips 38 are rotated back to their forwardly inclined display positions without having toppled any of the elements while disposed in their tilted sorting orientations, the identical pattern will reappear in display position. Indeed, the display pattern is clearly visible, as it must be, while the elements are in the tilted sorting position, enabling the user to pick and choose the particular pattern he desires by rotating individual elements. This is best seen in FIG. 5 (second element from the left).

As previously noted, it may be desired to rapidly return all elements to a predetermined display orientation, thereby to produce a predetermined starting composite pattern. For this purpose I provide a sorting mechanism generally designated 54 which comprises an elongated laterally extending sorting bar 56 slidably received at either end in vertically extending slots 58 in side panels 22 and 24. Slots 58 are disposed slightly rearwardly of grid panels 26 so that bar 56 may be slid vertically within slots 58 without interference. Bar 56 may be provided with handle portions 60 at opposite ends thereof extending laterally outwardly from side panels 22 and 24. Handles 60 serve to facilitate the gripping of the bar 56 at either end and also serve to prevent lateral movement thereof out of either of slots 58.

The purpose of ridges 15 on the internal surfaces of elements 12 will now be apparent from the following description with reference to FIGS. 5-7. As there shown, starting at the left, the elements in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are oriented in display position with display surfaces B, G and R, respectively, disposed in the coplanar display orientations. When it is desired to return to the predetermined starting pattern, all elements are moved to their tilted sorting orientations in the manner previously described. This orientation is illustrated by the second element from the left in FIGS. 57. Asshown, the elements in FIGS. 5 and 6 display the blue and green surfaces respectively and are supported on internal surfaces 3 and 2, respectively, which lie flat on strips 38. Thus the display surfaces take on substantially the angular orientation of strips 38 (i.e. 40 to the vertical). In this orientation the elements project at their lower righthand portions into the vertical path of sorting bar 56 as it moves within guide slots 58.

However, the element of FIG. 7 is supported on intemal surface 1 and, as shown, support strip 38 engages only one side 60 of ridge 15 whereby a slightly greater tilt is imparted to the element. This slightly greater tilt is effective to rotate the lower righthand portion thereof out of the path of sorting bar 56. The degree of incremental clockwise tilt is determined by the angular orientation of the upper surface 60 of ridge 15 with respect to internal surface 1. Thus surface 60 should be inclined sufficiently from surface 1 to produce the required incremental tilt.

As sorting bar 56 is moved upwardly within guide slots 58 from its lowermost to its uppermost position all elements which project into its path are effectively rotated counterclockwise to their next tilted sorting positions. This is illustrated by the third element from the left in FIGS. -7. As there shown the element in FIG. 5 has been rotated to a position displaying its red surface R and the element in FIG. 6 has been rotated to a position displaying its blue surface B. The element of FIG. 7, however, remains in its initial position displaying its red surface as a result of its incremental tilt removing it from the path of sorting bar 56. As the bar is returned toits lowermost position it-momentarily engages those elements projecting into its path. However, it will be apparent from the drawings that this engagement will be insufficient to topple the thus engaged elements to a different one of its three stable positions.

When the sorting bar 56 is again moved upwardly within guide slots 58, the element of FIG. 6 is again engaged at its lower righthand-porjecting portion and toppled to its next stable position, which as illustrated is that displaying its red surface R. However, since both the elements of FIGS. 5 and 7 are supported at surface 60 of ridge in the incrementally tilted position neither is affected by the second pass of sorting bar 56. The sorting bar is again returned to its lowermost position, all elements now being supported on surface 60 in the incrementally tilted position. i

For purposes of illustration the incrementally tilted position of all elements has been shown corresponding to the tilted display position of the red display surface of all elements. Thus, as supporting strips 38 are again rotated counterclockwise to the forwardly inclined position all elements display their red surfaces in a coplanar array. Thus, in the example given, to return all elements to red one need only rotate all elements to the tilted sorting orientation, make two passes with the sorting bar and return allelements to the flush position. It will be appreciated of course that the location of the appearance characteristics on the various display surfaces may be varied so as to produce any desired starting pattern. Moreover, once the desired starting pattern is produced, variations of that pattern may be made before returning the elements to theirflush coplanar display positions by toppling individual elements to their desired positions.

The display elements may be inexpensively manufactured by molding or extruding from a plastic material or the like. In addition provision may be made for changing the appearance characteristics of the display surfaces as by providing attachable and detachable mask surfaces thereby increasing the range of appearance characteristics which may be used with a given display unit.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing that I have provided a display assembly of novel construction which is inexpensive to manufacture, easy to use and extremely versatile. The display elements are adapted to form a neat composite coplanar array and may be simultaneously moved to a tilted position to facilitate the movement of individual elements to any one of a number of different orientations to form a variety of composite patterns. This may be accomplished by an extremely simple finger engagement which is effective to topple the element to its next stable orientation. An extremely simple but effective mechanism is provided for returning all elements to a predetermined orientation thereby to rapidly return to a desired starting pattern without the cumbersome and time consuming process of individually engaging each element.

While only a single preferred embodiment of the present invention is herein specifically described, it will be appreciated that many variations may be made therein all within the scope of the present invention as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. A display assembly comprising a frame, a plurality of display elements, said display elements each having a plurality of operative display surfaces, each display sur-. face of each of said display elements having a display appearance characteristic, support means adapted in a given position to mount said displayelements in a twodimensional array on said frame in a given display configuration, said display elements, in said given display configuration, having a plurality of stable positions-in which said plurality of operative display surfaces, respectively, are viewable at one side of said frame, and being individually manually engageable at said one side of said frame and. movable by said manual engagement successively to each of said plurality of stable positions, display element engaging means comprising a member movable in a direction parallel to the plane of said twodimensional array in a given path between first and second positions on said frame, said display elements in said given display configuration and in all but a given one of said stable positions thereof having a portion projecting into the path of movement of said display element engaging member, means on said display elements engaging said support means in said given one stable position of said given display configuration and effective to maintain said display elements clear of said path of said display element engaging means only in said one stable position corresponding to the viewable position of a given one of its operative display surfaces, successive reciprocal movements of said display element engaging member between said first and second positions being effective to engage said projecting portions of all of said display elements and to move same to successive stable positions thereof thereby to bring successive ones of said operative display surfaces into view until said given operative display surface is brought into view, whereupon further movement of said display element engaging means between said first and second positions is ineffective to produce further movement of said display elements, whereby said given operative display surface of all of said display elements may be brought into view by Nl cycles of movement of said display element engaging means between said first and second positions, where N is the number of operative display surfaces on said elements.

2. The display assembly of claim 1, wherein said display elements are arranged in a plurality of intersecting rows and columns, said support means comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending support elements, each of said support elements supporting one row of display elements.

3. The display apparatus of claim 2, wherein each of said display elements is provided with an aperture extending generally parallel to its operative display surfaces, said support elements extending through said apertures in said display elements in supporting relationship.

4. The display-assembly of claim 3, wherein said display elements comprise hollow polygonal cylinders having N sides, each of the N sides thereof comprising one of said operative display surfaces and wherein said hollow comprises N internal surfaces, said support elements being adapted to operatively engage any one of said N internal surfaces adjacent the apex of intersecting internal surfaces in supporting relationship thereby to support said display elements in each of N stable positions in which said N operative display surfaces, respectively, are viewable.

5. The display assembly of claim 4, further comprising projection means on one of said N internal surfaces adapted to operatively engage its associated support element in said given position in one of said N stable positions of said display elements, said projection means being effective to' vary the angular orientation of said display element in said one stable position such that in said one stable position said display element is clear of the path of said display element engaging means.

6. The display assembly of claim 5, wherein said support means is movable to a second position in which said display elements are mounted on said frame in a second display configuration in which said elements have N stable display positions corresponding respectively to said N stable display positions of said given display configuration.

7. The display assembly of claim 6, wherein said N internal surfaces are planar, said one internal surface extending between a first apex and a second apex of said hollow, said projection means projecting from only a portion of said one internal surface near said first apex, the remainder of said one internal surface near said second apex being planar, said supporting element in its given position being adapted to supportingly engage the projection on said one internal surface near said first apex and in said second position being adapted to supportingly engage said planar portion of said one internal surface near said second apex, whereby in said second position of said support element the viewable display surfaces in said N stable positions are disposed in identical angular orientation.

8. The display assembly of claim 7, wherein all of said operative display surfaces in said second display configuration are coplanar.

9. The display assembly of claim 6, further comprising means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display elements from one to the other of said first and second display configurations.

10. The display assembly of claim 3, wherein said display elements comprise hollow triangular cylinders each of the three sides thereof including one of said operative display surfaces and wherein said hollow comprises three internal surfaces, said support elements being adapted to operatively engage any of said three internal surfaces adjacent the apex of intersecting internal surfaces in supporting relationship thereby to support said display elements in each of said three stable positions.

11. The display assembly of claim 10, further comprising projection means on one of said three internal surfaces adapted to operatively engage its associated support element in said given position in one of said three stable positions of said display elements, said projection means being effective to vary the angular orientation of said display element in said one of its three stable positions such that in said one stable position said display element is clear of the path of said display element engaging means.

12. The displayassembly of claim 1, wherein said support means is movable to a second position effective to mount said display elements on said frame in a second display configuration in which said elements have a plurality of stable display positions corresponding respectively to said plurality of display positions of said given display configuration.

13. The display assembly of claim 12, wherein said display elements are arranged in a plurality of intersecting rows and columns, said support means comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending support-elements, each of said support elements supporting one row of display elements.

14. The display assembly of claim 13, further comprising means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display ele-. ments from one to the other of said first and second display configurations.

15. The display assembly of claim 13, wherein each of said display elements is provided with an aperture extending generally parallel to its operative display surface, said support elements extending through said apertures in said display elements in supporting relationship.

' 16. The display assembly of claim 15, wherein said display elements comprise hollow triangular cylinders each of the three sides thereof including one of said operative display surfaces and wherein said hollow comprises three internal surfaces, said support elements being adapted to operatively engage any of said three internal surfaces adjacent the apex of intersecting internal surfaces in supporting relationship thereby to support said display elements in each of said three stable positions of said given and second configurations.

17. The display assembly of claim 16, wherein said means for maintaining said display elements clear of the path of said display element engaging means comprises projection means on one of said three internal surfaces adapted in said given position of said support elements to operatively engage its associated support element in one of said three stable positions of said display elements, said projection means being effective to vary the angular orientation of said display element in said one of its three stable positions of said given display element configuration such that in said one stable position said display element is clear of the path of said display element engaging means.

18. The display assembly of claim 17, wherein said three internalsurfaces are planar, said one internal surface extending between a first apex and a second apex of said triangular display element, said projection means projecting from only a portion of said one of said internal surfaces near said first apex thereof, the remainder of said first internal surface near said second apex being planar, said supporting element in its given position being adapted to supportingly engage the projection on said one internal surface near said first apex and in said second position being adapted to supportingly engage said planar portion of said internal surface near said second apex, whereby in said second position of said supporting elements said viewable display surface is in an identical angular orientation for each of said three stable positions of said display element.

19. The display assembly of claim 18, wherein all of said operative display surfaces in said second display display elements are arranged in a plurality of intersecting rows and columns, said support means comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending support elements, each of said support elements supporting one row of display elements.

22. The display assembly, of claim 21, further comprising means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display elements from one to the other of said first and second dis play configurations.

Claims (22)

1. A display assembly comprising a frame, a plurality of display elements, said display elements each having a plurality of operative display surfaces, each display surface of each of said display elements having a display appearance characteristic, support means adapted in a given position to mount said display elements in a two-dimensional array on said frame in a given display configuration, said display elements, in said given display configuration, having a plurality of stable positions in which said plurality of operative display surfaces, respectively, are viewable at one side of said frame, and being individually manually engageable at said one side of said frame and movable by said manual engagement successively to each of said plurality of stable positions, display element engaging means comprising a member movable in a direction parallel to the plane of said twodimensional array in a given path between first and second positions on said frame, said display elements in said given display configuration and in all but a given one of said stable positions thereof having a portion projecting into the path of movement of said display element engaging member, means on said display elements engaging said support means in said given one stable position of said given display configuration and effective to maintain said display elements clear of said path of said display element engaging means only in said one stable position corresponding to the viewable position of a given one of its operative display surfaces, successive reciprocal movements of said display element engaging member between said first and second positions being effective to engage said projecting portions of all of said display elements and to move same to successive stable positions thereof thereby to bring successive ones of said operative display surfaces into view until said given operative display surface is brought into view, whereupon further movement of said display element engaging means between said first and second positions is ineffective to produce further movemenT of said display elements, whereby said given operative display surface of all of said display elements may be brought into view by N-1 cycles of movement of said display element engaging means between said first and second positions, where N is the number of operative display surfaces on said elements.
2. The display assembly of claim 1, wherein said display elements are arranged in a plurality of intersecting rows and columns, said support means comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending support elements, each of said support elements supporting one row of display elements.
3. The display apparatus of claim 2, wherein each of said display elements is provided with an aperture extending generally parallel to its operative display surfaces, said support elements extending through said apertures in said display elements in supporting relationship.
4. The display assembly of claim 3, wherein said display elements comprise hollow polygonal cylinders having N sides, each of the N sides thereof comprising one of said operative display surfaces and wherein said hollow comprises N internal surfaces, said support elements being adapted to operatively engage any one of said N internal surfaces adjacent the apex of intersecting internal surfaces in supporting relationship thereby to support said display elements in each of N stable positions in which said N operative display surfaces, respectively, are viewable.
5. The display assembly of claim 4, further comprising projection means on one of said N internal surfaces adapted to operatively engage its associated support element in said given position in one of said N stable positions of said display elements, said projection means being effective to vary the angular orientation of said display element in said one stable position such that in said one stable position said display element is clear of the path of said display element engaging means.
6. The display assembly of claim 5, wherein said support means is movable to a second position in which said display elements are mounted on said frame in a second display configuration in which said elements have N stable display positions corresponding respectively to said N stable display positions of said given display configuration.
7. The display assembly of claim 6, wherein said N internal surfaces are planar, said one internal surface extending between a first apex and a second apex of said hollow, said projection means projecting from only a portion of said one internal surface near said first apex, the remainder of said one internal surface near said second apex being planar, said supporting element in its given position being adapted to supportingly engage the projection on said one internal surface near said first apex and in said second position being adapted to supportingly engage said planar portion of said one internal surface near said second apex, whereby in said second position of said support element the viewable display surfaces in said N stable positions are disposed in identical angular orientation.
8. The display assembly of claim 7, wherein all of said operative display surfaces in said second display configuration are coplanar.
9. The display assembly of claim 6, further comprising means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display elements from one to the other of said first and second display configurations.
10. The display assembly of claim 3, wherein said display elements comprise hollow triangular cylinders each of the three sides thereof including one of said operative display surfaces and wherein said hollow comprises three internal surfaces, said support elements being adapted to operatively engage any of said three internal surfaces adjacent the apex of intersecting internal surfaces in supporting relationship thereby to support said display elements in each of said three stable positions.
11. The displAy assembly of claim 10, further comprising projection means on one of said three internal surfaces adapted to operatively engage its associated support element in said given position in one of said three stable positions of said display elements, said projection means being effective to vary the angular orientation of said display element in said one of its three stable positions such that in said one stable position said display element is clear of the path of said display element engaging means.
12. The display assembly of claim 1, wherein said support means is movable to a second position effective to mount said display elements on said frame in a second display configuration in which said elements have a plurality of stable display positions corresponding respectively to said plurality of display positions of said given display configuration.
13. The display assembly of claim 12, wherein said display elements are arranged in a plurality of intersecting rows and columns, said support means comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending support elements, each of said support elements supporting one row of display elements.
14. The display assembly of claim 13, further comprising means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display elements from one to the other of said first and second display configurations.
15. The display assembly of claim 13, wherein each of said display elements is provided with an aperture extending generally parallel to its operative display surface, said support elements extending through said apertures in said display elements in supporting relationship.
16. The display assembly of claim 15, wherein said display elements comprise hollow triangular cylinders each of the three sides thereof including one of said operative display surfaces and wherein said hollow comprises three internal surfaces, said support elements being adapted to operatively engage any of said three internal surfaces adjacent the apex of intersecting internal surfaces in supporting relationship thereby to support said display elements in each of said three stable positions of said given and second configurations.
17. The display assembly of claim 16, wherein said means for maintaining said display elements clear of the path of said display element engaging means comprises projection means on one of said three internal surfaces adapted in said given position of said support elements to operatively engage its associated support element in one of said three stable positions of said display elements, said projection means being effective to vary the angular orientation of said display element in said one of its three stable positions of said given display element configuration such that in said one stable position said display element is clear of the path of said display element engaging means.
18. The display assembly of claim 17, wherein said three internal surfaces are planar, said one internal surface extending between a first apex and a second apex of said triangular display element, said projection means projecting from only a portion of said one of said internal surfaces near said first apex thereof, the remainder of said first internal surface near said second apex being planar, said supporting element in its given position being adapted to supportingly engage the projection on said one internal surface near said first apex and in said second position being adapted to supportingly engage said planar portion of said internal surface near said second apex, whereby in said second position of said supporting elements said viewable display surface is in an identical angular orientation for each of said three stable positions of said display element.
19. The display assembly of claim 18, wherein all of said operative display surfaces in said second display configuration are coplanar.
20. The display assembly of claim 18, further comprises means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display elements from one to the other of said first and second display configurations.
21. The display assembly of claim 12, wherein said display elements are arranged in a plurality of intersecting rows and columns, said support means comprises a plurality of longitudinally extending support elements, each of said support elements supporting one row of display elements.
22. The display assembly of claim 21, further comprising means to simultaneously move all of said support elements between said first and second positions thereby to simultaneously move all of said display elements from one to the other of said first and second display configurations.
US3706148A 1971-01-21 1971-01-21 Display assembly Expired - Lifetime US3706148A (en)

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Cited By (8)

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US4034523A (en) * 1975-10-02 1977-07-12 Saunders Reginald E Graffiti protection
US4597209A (en) * 1983-08-26 1986-07-01 Hukill Marlin E Changeable display device
US5057828A (en) * 1988-10-12 1991-10-15 Jacques Rousseau Display device comprising rotating display elements having a plurality of faces, and display panel composed of such devices
US5412891A (en) * 1993-03-10 1995-05-09 Fmb Communications, Inc. Changeable sign
US5692330A (en) * 1995-10-10 1997-12-02 Anderson, Jr.; Tazwell L. Multiple image display device
US6028582A (en) * 1995-12-18 2000-02-22 Reader Vision, Inc. Solenoid for scanned flip-disk sign improvements
US20120182207A1 (en) * 2011-01-18 2012-07-19 Samuel Mark Cowan High resolution scintillating display and method of use
US20130283656A1 (en) * 2012-04-27 2013-10-31 John J. Melic Louver display panel system for multi-story building

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US2628838A (en) * 1947-01-29 1953-02-17 Daniel F Smalley Rotary block game apparatus
US3267595A (en) * 1963-06-05 1966-08-23 Levy Display unit
US3410011A (en) * 1966-07-22 1968-11-12 Richard G. Bowman Device having elements displayable in different patterns
US3462857A (en) * 1968-11-21 1969-08-26 Marvin Glass & Associates Toy
US3543419A (en) * 1968-08-26 1970-12-01 Victor H Santini Educational device intended to stimulate foreign language learning and awareness to language relationship

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2628838A (en) * 1947-01-29 1953-02-17 Daniel F Smalley Rotary block game apparatus
US3267595A (en) * 1963-06-05 1966-08-23 Levy Display unit
US3410011A (en) * 1966-07-22 1968-11-12 Richard G. Bowman Device having elements displayable in different patterns
US3543419A (en) * 1968-08-26 1970-12-01 Victor H Santini Educational device intended to stimulate foreign language learning and awareness to language relationship
US3462857A (en) * 1968-11-21 1969-08-26 Marvin Glass & Associates Toy

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4034523A (en) * 1975-10-02 1977-07-12 Saunders Reginald E Graffiti protection
US4597209A (en) * 1983-08-26 1986-07-01 Hukill Marlin E Changeable display device
US5057828A (en) * 1988-10-12 1991-10-15 Jacques Rousseau Display device comprising rotating display elements having a plurality of faces, and display panel composed of such devices
US5412891A (en) * 1993-03-10 1995-05-09 Fmb Communications, Inc. Changeable sign
US5692330A (en) * 1995-10-10 1997-12-02 Anderson, Jr.; Tazwell L. Multiple image display device
US6028582A (en) * 1995-12-18 2000-02-22 Reader Vision, Inc. Solenoid for scanned flip-disk sign improvements
US20120182207A1 (en) * 2011-01-18 2012-07-19 Samuel Mark Cowan High resolution scintillating display and method of use
US20130283656A1 (en) * 2012-04-27 2013-10-31 John J. Melic Louver display panel system for multi-story building
US9038296B2 (en) * 2012-04-27 2015-05-26 John J. Melic Louver display panel system for multi-story building

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