Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1242872 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1917
Filing dateOct 21, 1916
Priority dateOct 21, 1916
Publication numberUS 1242872 A, US 1242872A, US-A-1242872, US1242872 A, US1242872A
InventorsClarence Saunders
Original AssigneeClarence Saunders
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-serving store.
US 1242872 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



APPLICATION FILED ocr. 21. l9l6.

' Patented Oct. 9, 1917.





Patented Oct. 9,1917.


snow M01,

attorney -C. SAUNEERS.


APPLICATION FILED OCT. 2!. I9I6. Lww'm Patented 00 5. 9,1917.



dppllnatlen filed ember an, mic. serial no. raaaee,

To all whom it may concern:

, Be it known that 1, Gwen SAUNDERS,

Memphis, Shelby county, and State of ennessee, have invented and discovered certain new and useful Improvements in Self-Serving Stores, of which the following is a specification.

The object of my said invention is to provide a store equi ment by which the customer will be enahled to serve himself and, in so doing, will be required to review the entire assortment of goods carried in stock, conveniently and attractively dis layed, and after selecting the list of goods dhsired, will be required to passa checking and paying station at which the goods selected may be billed, packed, and settled for before retiring from the store, thus relieving the store of a large proportion of the usualincidental expenses or overhead charges, required to operate 1t, all as will bevhereinafter more fully described and'claimed.

One purpose of the invention is to provide an arrangement for distributing the inerchandise of a store in such a manner that the goods may be selected and taken by the customers themselves while making a circuitous path through the store; and whereby a large number of customers may be accommodated at the same time without contu sion,'and in an expeditious manner.

Another purpose is to utilize all the avail- I able floor space of the room to the best advantage; to dispense with the employment of many clerks who are usually engaged to wait upon the customers; and to insure that the customers become acquainted with the variety. of lines of goods in thestore and with the various itemsin the several lines.

It is also contemplated to have a supplyor stock room located immediately in the rear of and ad acent to the'sales department and so communicating therewith that said sales department maybe constantlykept' similar reference characters indicate corresponding parts, illustrate an arrangement of "a store equipment and furniture, such as I have .found suitable to accom lish the purposes above stated. said ,tWmgs- I. (hisa, 'veillra? l--"" Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented @ct. a, tea a,

the interior of a store as seen from the front end thereof, arranged and a citizen of the United States, residin at cordance with my invention,

Fig. 2 is a-horizontal plan view, Fig. 3 is affront lan, and Fig. 4 a longitudinal section. Referring to the construction in further detail, the store consists of a room provided with front and rear partitioning walls 5 and 6, dividing the floor space 7 into a lobby (forming an entrance and exit room) 8,. at

the front; a sales department 9, in the middle; and a sup ly or stock room 10 atthe rear of the building, allproportioned with re ard to the size "of the store andthe particu ar kind of business for which it is designed.

The sales de artment 9 has two rows of merchandise display cabinet s or holders 11 arranged against the side walls of the room, and intermediate of these a series of display cabinets 12. Said cabinets 12' are constructed with shelves on opposite faces and are arranged in the room in line with and spaced from each other and have their respective alternate" ends spaced from the partition walls 5 and 6 to provide passage-Ways 13.

equipped in ac- The spaces between'the cabinets form aisles 14 which, with passage-ways 13, form a circuitous path between the respective rows of shelving or cabinets 11 and 12. Thiscircuitous path must be traversed by every purchaser who enters the sales room, and, while following the path, the customer has displayed before him for selection, the varied stock of goods that is odered for sale. The

- difierent kinds of goods are contained in packages suitable for vconvenient handling and assorted in lots ofthe dii'erent classes, as required to accommodate the difierent needs of diderent customers and enable them ,to conveniently select what they want of each item, all as will be understood. The two display cabinets 11,"on the side walls of the-store, extend for the full length of the sales room, andat thevrear end of the room, a", e at the partition wall 6, said cabinets 11 are connected by similar cabinets, or v shelving, 15, while cabinets 12 are only a distance apart to provide aisles of convenient width, and thereby allof the available space of'the salesflroom is utilized to the best advantage. A portion of one of the display cabinets 12', preterabl the forward artof the display ca inet, has coni t the a refrigerator 16 (seeFigs be employed. Access from the storeroom 10 into the display room is had through the passage-ways 20 provided respectively with galleriesv 23 :and additional shelving may 2 and 4) adapted for keeping produce of a perishable nature and preferably formed with a glass front. tents to advantage store, and to this'end the partition with 5 has a screened opening 17 (see Fi 3) that allows saidglass front and the re rigerator contents to be seen from the room 8 and also end of the store, is also provided with series of shelves l8 and 19, appropriately arranged onthe side walls and partitioning wall fl; e set up in the central part of the storage room, or any other suitable way for keeping supply stock handy for delivery into the sales room may the swinging doors 21, and a stairway or ladder 22 leads from the-supply room to the thatare provided on the tops of the display cabinets 11 and 12. Either of the galleries may be conveniently .reached by the passage-ways 24 extending transversely .of the store and at the rear of the sales room. The several galleries 23, and the connecting passage-ways 24 thereof, are suitably guarded bya banister or rail structure 25 (see Figs.- 3 and 4) that follows the configuration of the gallery and aisle arrangement. It is contemplated that these galleries may be used by a floor-walke-r or other employee of the establishment, for the purpose of directin or instructing those who are not acquainte with the method to be "followed while actually in the aisles, and also for supervising the sales and inspecting the amount of stock on hand without interfering with those who are in the aisle-ways making purchases.

The space or tered from the street through the doorway 26. To the left of the entrance there is a counter or display cabinet 27 forming a passage or inclosure 28. Grates29 and 3Q are located respectively at the entrances to the passage 28 and the first or beginning aisle of the circuitous path. A suitable tripping device 31 is provided for openin the gate 30,- fromone side only, by the we; ht of the person entering the store room, an the gate. (30) may be fitted with a lockor fastening that will automatically secure the same an thereby allow passage therethrou h in one direction only, a. "e; n the way 0 1 r for displaying its confrom the front of the lobby 8 of the store is ennaeaem the sales room. The shelf or cabinet conor merchandise holders 32 and 33 is located at the front and on one side of the room 8 to' provide a fruit department, or this space niay be utilized as a meat department, or for any otherfpurpose, as will be understood.

The space to the right of the room '8, as

one enters the building, is utilized as the checking and settlement department of the store and consists of a partition or fence structure 34 providing an aisle 35 that communicates with the exit end of the last aisle 20 of the circuitous path. Said partition has 'a shelf 36 along its side at a convenient height which may be utilized by customers for-resting their baskets while the purchases ofthose in advance are being checked up, wrapped, and paid for. Another basket resting shelf is provided along the front end of the aisle and'another, 37 is located on the opposite side of the aisle 35, as shown. relatively long counter or table 38 is located adjacent the partition 34 and therewith forms. the exit aisle 39 that communicates with the outlet aisle 35 of the circuitous,

path. *When each customer enters theexit aisle 39, he places his basket on the counter,-

the goods which he has selected are taken from the basket, checked up, billed on' the adding machine 100, or in any other con "venient manner, and wrapped, and'payment is made therefor and the sale and payment I recorded on the cash register 101 before the purchaser passes through the exit and trip actuated gate 40 and leaves the store. The gate 40 is provided with a self-locking de-' vice similar to that of the gate 30 and allows the same to be opened only from one side, z'. e. in the direction for leaving the store.

The method of utilizing my invention will be readily understoud from the foregoing description, and its advantages in the saving of time, labor and expense will be I appreciated. In actual operation it has been found that the usual margin of profit on the sale of goods allowed for the successful operation of what known as cash groceries may be reduced by more than half without reducing the measure of profits. It has also been demonstrated that the sales capacity of a store, equipped in accordance with my invention and operating in accordance with my system, is. increased several times, e.,- the sales of a store thus equippedhave exceeded, by three orgfour times, the

ountof sales that it would be pessible l i W y, c

' the store.

to handle in the SRIIIOSLOI'Q waited upon by clerks in the usual way.

It is also apparent that, by this arrangement of store, the goods for sale are protected from handling and disarrangement, except by those having business in the store and by, at least, prospective customers, thus protecting the goods to this extent. It will also be apparent that while the store shown and described is designed expressly for the vending of groceries, the arrangement is equally valuable for the sale of goods of other classes; for example, such stores as 10cent stores could employ this system to great advantage. In suchstores the-merchandise containing cabinets would, of course be of the construction and arrangement best adapted to serve the purpose of It is obvious that those skilled in the art may vary the details of construction and arrangement of parts without materially de-' parting from the spirit of my invention, and I therefore do not wish'to be limited to such features except as may be required by the claims.

Having thus ,fully described my said in ventiolnwvhat I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:

1. An apparatus for the vending of merchandlse having a series of merchandise holders or display cabinets arranged parallel with each ot er and with spaces between them to form aisles and with the ends of alternate cabinetsspaced from the Wall or partition in the store, whereby a circuitous path is provided through which the customer must pass from the entrance to the exit, substantially as set forth.

2. An apparatus for the vending of merchandise having a section closed to customers except for an entrance and an exit and a series of merchandise display cabinets ar-' ranged within said section in rows in line with each other forming aisles for the passage .of customers, the adjacent aisles of which communicate at alternate opposite endsof said section and form a continuous passage-way from said entrance to said exit, substantially as set forth.

3. A store for the vending of merchandise having a partition .dividing the room into an ante-room or lobby on one side there-' tous path which the customer must traverse from theentrance to the exit, and a structure located adjacent the exit arranged to provide a checking and settlement station, substantially as set forth.

4.. A storefor the vending of merchandise having a partition dividing the room into an.ante-room or lobby and a salesroom, said partition being constructed to provide an entrance and an exit, a closure for the entrance, a closure for the exit,,.a series oflnerchandise display cabinets or holders arranged 1n rows m-the salesroom and at distances apart to form aisles and having passage-ways at alternate ends whereby a'continuous circuitous path'is formed from said entrance to said exit, and a structure adJacent the terminal of the path at its exit end providing a checking up andsettlement sta- Y 'o a E'NoE SAUNDERS. L1 s1] Witnesses E. W. BRADFORD, E. S. CLEMENTS.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5111943 *Jan 22, 1991May 12, 1992Marley Mouldings Inc.Method and apparatus for displaying a plurality of articles
US5234113 *May 11, 1992Aug 10, 1993Marley Mouldings, Inc.Method and apparatus for displaying a plurality of articles
US5297685 *Jul 16, 1993Mar 29, 1994Ramey Arthur JMethod and apparatus for displaying a plurality of articles
US5727352 *Dec 19, 1994Mar 17, 1998Rewjb Dairy Plant AssociatesPrefabricated, transportable, drive-thru convenience store
US6681985Oct 5, 2001Jan 27, 2004Washington Mutual, Inc.System for providing enhanced systems management, such as in branch banking
US6964321 *Sep 18, 2001Nov 15, 2005Outdoor Merchandising Solutions, LlcMethod and system for presenting merchandise at an outdoor paved surface
US9370263 *Jun 4, 2014Jun 21, 2016Arbor Valley Holdings, LLCCargo container and method for selling consumer fireworks utilizing the cargo container
US20140360815 *Jun 4, 2014Dec 11, 2014Arbor Valley Holdings, LLCCargo container and method for selling consumer fireworks utilizing the cargo container
US20150208875 *Jan 29, 2014Jul 30, 2015Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.Shower door assembly display
USD758771Jan 29, 2014Jun 14, 2016Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.Shower door display
USD763023Jan 29, 2014Aug 9, 2016Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.Shower door display
USD767380Jan 29, 2014Sep 27, 2016Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.Packaging castors
USD777564Mar 13, 2015Jan 31, 2017Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.Carton divider
U.S. Classification52/33, 186/52
International ClassificationE04H3/04, A47F9/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47F9/04, E04H3/04
European ClassificationE04H3/04, A47F9/04