Tag "signs"

Talking dummies, with human voices that draw a crowd’s attention, have been devised for advertising purposes by a Brooklyn, N. Y., technician. The voice is supplied by a loudspeaker, connected to a hidden microphone or a phonograph pick-up. Some of the dummies represent persons prominent in public and industrial life. Thus the phonograph voice of a well-known automobile manufacturer may talk of his car’s merits.

Tiny Blimps Carry Flying Electric Signs (Nov, 1939)

Tiny Blimps Carry Flying Electric Signs

BILLBOARD blimps, carrying” flashing neon signs through the night sky above big cities, form the latest innovation in spectacular advertising. The aerial electric signs, developed and patented by Goodyear Rubber Co. experts, spell out sentences a word at a time like many of the big displays on New York’s Great White Way.

Ten lighting units, each approximately six feet high and four feet wide and formed of a maze of curving and zigzag neon tubes, are attached to the side of the semirigid dirigible before the take-off. An ingenious hooking arrangement permits them to be attached or removed in a few minutes. Each unit is capable of producing any number or any letter of the alphabet.

During the flight, an automatic mechar nism makes the proper contacts to spell out the desired words on the side of the blimp. Perforated tape, similar to that used in player pianos, runs through the switching mechanism, the perforations tripping mechanical fingers to make the electrical connections. The sign remains the same until the next series of perforations is encountered, flashing on another series of letters.

They Travel To Keep Motorists Posted (Apr, 1940)

They Travel To Keep Motorists Posted

LIVING like gypsies in their own trucks, signpost crews of the Automobile Club of Southern California have erected 500,000 signs of 125 types in their area. They cover 200,000 miles a year, posting 50,000 signs annually to keep abreast of changing road conditions. Often the crews are gone from headquarters ten days at a time, sleeping in beds which swing down from the roofs of their trucks and cooking on gas stoves which slide out onto the back platform.

Planes “Type” Messages in Sky (Oct, 1949)

Planes “Type” Messages in Sky

Radio taps the keys as seven-ship flying typewriter prints 15-mile-long placards at 10,000 feet.

By Herbert Johansen

WRITERS in the sky have abandoned old-fashioned, one-plane “penmanship.” Now they’re “typing” out their aerial messages in neat block letters.

The “keys” of Skytyping are seven planes that fly a straight, parallel course across the sky. Electronic controls puff smoke at preselected intervals to form celestial letters as in the word “T E S T,” shown in the photo at the top of this page.

A “mother” plane, flying in the center of the formation, automatically controls the entire operation. It transmits a constant stream of radio tone signals at one-second intervals. As receiving sets in each of the seven planes, including the mother plane, pick up the signals, switches are thrown in a control board that has 200 plug-in sockets. The board in each plane has been preset according to a message pattern.

Automatic Betting Board Ousts ‘Bookie’ From Race Track (Sep, 1929)

Automatic Betting Board Ousts ‘Bookie’ From Race Track

Practically eliminating the “bookie” of the race track, this automatic totalizer shows the betting odds on all horses racing, the total of races won and lost, and all details necessary to make a bet. The huge board is operated electrically from central controls, where reports of the races are received. A keyboard much like that of a typewriter regulates the rollers showing tallies. Reports are obtained by telephone directly from the judges’ stand.

Red Hand Signal Directs Traffic (May, 1934)

Red Hand Signal Directs Traffic

A RED hand controls the heavy traffic on Fifth avenue in New York City.

Faced with the problem of speeding up pedestrian traffic and cutting down casualties, experts have evolved a new scheme.
New signal towers have signals for auto-ists and signals for pedestrians, the latter in the form of a red hand on all four faces
of each tower.

Under this plan, pedestrian traffic will be given twenty seconds to clear in all directions as the signals change. Then automotive traffic travels in a specified direction for a period ranging from thirty to fifty-eight seconds.

A five second pause is permitted between the twenty seconds allotted pedestrians and the next automotive “go” signal.

News Bulletins Written in Lights (Jul, 1932)

It’s kind of difficult to tell if they mean that the perferations are coded letters, or if they are actual characters cut out and then projected onto photo receptors, like this one (Living Shadow Dances on Giant Electric Sign).

News Bulletins Written in Lights

A UNIQUE news bulletin service, the first of its kind in America, is now in operation in Los Angeles. Local, state and national news in the form of short briefs is printed in 4′ incandescent letters which move across an 80′ bulletin board, broadcasting the late news flashes every evening from 7 o’clock until midnight.

Living Shadow Dances on Giant Electric Sign (Mar, 1941)


Living Shadow Dances on Giant Electric Sign

PIROUETTING in front of a bank of photo-electric cells, Dixie Dunbar, New York dancer, recently cast a living silhouette on the world’s largest animated electric sign above the Great White Way. Her shadow, thrown on the electric eyes, blacked out lights in corresponding areas of the sign. In regular operation, animated-cartoon silhouettes are projected on the cells from a movie film.