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247,996 · Pennycuick · "Tile for Illuminating Purposes" · Page 1
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James G. Pennycuick
1 of 12
SPECIFICATION of Letters Patent No. 247,996, dated October 4, 1881.
Application filed June 13, 1881. (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, James G. Pennycuick, of Boston, Suffolk county, Massachusetts, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Tiles for Illuminating Purposes, of which the following is a specification.
    My improvements relate to the illuminating-tiles used in pavements, vault-covers, and in other situations.
    Lenses have heretofore been made for such tiles in simple flat form, and also as prisms, with the object to reflect or scatter the light to the greatest possible extent but heretofore such results have not been obtained on account of the limited area of reflecting-surface and the absorption of the light by the prism.
    The object of my invention is to increase the quantity of light and to project the same over a wide extent of surface, so that the illumination, instead of being limited to the direct light due to the superficial area of the tiling minus the loss by refraction, is increased and diffused to the greatest possible extent.
    My invention consists, first, in illuminating-lenses of semi-prism form and having an extensive reflecting-surface in comparison to the quantity of material used; and, second, in the combination, with such lens, of metal spurs for preventing slipping and to prevent abrasion of the exposed surface, as hereinafter described and claimed.
    In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a longitudinal section of the improved lens of semi-prism as fitted in a frame for use. Fig. 2 is a top view of the lens and Figs, 3 and 4 are elevations, showing modifications in the forms.
    Similar letters of reference indicate corresponding parts.
    A in Fig. 1 is a portion of a vault or pavement plate or frame fitted with the illuminating-lens B, which is preferably made of crown-glass. Lens of semi-prism B is formed with a flanged top portion, a, which may be of circular or angular form to fit a flanged opening in the plate A, whereby the lens is retained, and suitable packing material will be used to render the joint water tight. The upper surface is preferably formed, as shown most clearly in Fig. 2, raised at the center and with radiating
grooves having beveled sides, so as to increase the extent of surface. The beveled surfaces being depressed, they are also protected from abrasion. The upper surface may, however, be of simple conical form, as in Fig. 4; or in certain situations a plain flat surface, as in Fig. 3 may be used.
    At the center of the upper surface a metal spur or spurs, c, is fitted in a recess in the lens, so as to project slightly and protect the surface. The frame A is formed, as shown, with knobs or projections d between the tiles, so that the feet or persons walking over the frame shall be kept entirely off the lens, and slipping thus prevented. From the head a the lens projects downward in form of a tongue, h. This downwardly-extending portion may be described generally as a semi-prism having an inclined flat reflecting-surface, e, and an inclined back face, f, that may be flat or nearly flat, convex, or concave. The angle of the surface e will vary according to location, and is of the first importance. For a pavement-light, as shown, it should be slightly less than forty-five degrees to the plane of frame A. It is lengthened by the inclination of the back surface, f, from the head a to the lower point, so that while only a limited amount of material is used, thereby saving weight and loss of light, an extensive reflecting-surface is obtained at the proper angle.
    The frame A can be placed in a horizontal, vertical, or inclined position, the angle of the semi-prism being varied to correspond. The lens shown in Fig. 3 is adapted for a vertical frame as a substitute for a window. The tiles can also be formed in clusters instead of singly for certain locations.
    With this illuminating-tiling the light is magnified greatly in strength and a soft diffusive light obtained which is superior to direct sunlight for most purposes. The tiling is especially useful where only an indirect light is to be had, as such light is concentrated and strengthened instead of being partly cut off. They may also be used with great advantage for gas-chandeliers and in connection with the electric light. In all cases the reflecting-surfaces glow with a silver-white light most agreeable to the eyes.