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Patents: 134 of 511
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
ELIHU VEDDER, OF NEW YORK, N. Y.

ILLUMINATED STRUCTURE.
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Elihu Vedder
1 of 2

SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 259,346, dated June 13, 1882.
Application filed March 29, 1882. (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, ELIHU VEDDER, of the city, county, and State of New York, have invented certain Improvements in Illuminated Structures, of which the following is a Specification.
    The object of my invention is to secure an improved illumination and in some cases a more ornamental and artistic effect in those structures where light is transmitted through blocks of transparent or translucent substance set in opaque frames, plates, or sheets of any material; and such effects I secure by the means hereinafter fully described.
    In that class of structures in which glass blocks, crystals, or transparent mineral substances are set in opaque frames or plates-- such as vault-lights, skylights, lead sash ornamental screens, &c.-- there is great loss of light from the amount of non-transparent space occupied by the frame or setting. As only the direct rays passing at right angles to the face of the setting are transmitted freely, the amount which penetrates the screen when the source of light is at an angle to the structure is relatively very small. The small illuminating-power of such structures is further due to the shape of the ends of the blocks, which are such that the rays generally leave the inner surface in almost parallel lines.
    In my improved structure I use a suitable support, which I term generally a "frame," although it may be rigid-- as of metal-- or flexible-- as of leather, felt, or cloth-- and I collect and transmit a greater number of light-rays and disperse the same on the side to be illuminated by silvering or imparting to those parts of the blocks embedded in the frame a polished reflective surface, forming a solid speculum, so that rays of light penetrating the block and striking such reflecting-surface at any or various angles, instead of being absorbed by the surrounding frame or refracted, will be reflected at different angles through the block into the space upon the other side, and the dispersion of the rays will greatly increase the area over which the light is distributed. This reflective surface may be formed by silvering the glass block or by inclosing the same in a polished sheet, sleeve, or band of any suitable material,
or in any manner that may be found effective; and when colored glass is employed the greater amount of light transmitted permits of the use of deeper colors, and thus secures a rich tone and brilliant effect not otherwise obtainable. To further aid in the collection of the rays of light I extend the block above the supporting-surface, rounding the same, so that the light-rays falling in different directions, instead of being refracted, will be bent and transmitted through the body. In like manner I extend the lower ends of the blocks through and beyond the supporting-frame, imparting much greater width to such ends than to the body, and round or swell the same, so that the light-rays, instead of passing parallel, shall be dispersed radially. In some instances I widen the inner ends of the blocks to form flanges, completely covering the supporting-frame, no portion of which is exposed, thus affording a transparent covering through which the light is spread in a manner to make the entire surface more or less luminous, the diffusion of the light being such as to hide the casing, producing fine effects and securing a better illumination than would otherwise be possible. By combining these elements in one block-- that is, imparting an outer reflecting-surface and rounding the upper and swelling the lower end-- I am enabled to secure a most effective collection, transmission, and dispersion of the light.
    It has been common to cement the blocks in the supporting-frames, to clamp them between plates, and secure them by metal flanges, all of which modes are objectionable from the skill required to make the attachment and from the reduction of the extent of the luminous surface. To avoid these objections, as well as obtain other advantageous results, I make studs of the transparent or translucent material, which studs have shouldered ends projecting beyond the face of the frame, and I shrink rings or washers of rubber or soft metal between said shoulders and the frame, so as to retain the studs in place and form water-tight joints.
    The accompanying drawings show in detail the various constructions to which I have referred. Figure 1 is a sectional view of a plate, A, showing a transparent or translucent block,