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Publication numberUS20020125201 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/079,924
Publication dateSep 12, 2002
Filing dateFeb 20, 2002
Priority dateFeb 20, 2001
Publication number079924, 10079924, US 2002/0125201 A1, US 2002/125201 A1, US 20020125201 A1, US 20020125201A1, US 2002125201 A1, US 2002125201A1, US-A1-20020125201, US-A1-2002125201, US2002/0125201A1, US2002/125201A1, US20020125201 A1, US20020125201A1, US2002125201 A1, US2002125201A1
InventorsMichael Lamming
Original AssigneeLamming Michael W.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bookend with slider/joiner
US 20020125201 A1
Abstract
A bookend system that has first and second relatively moveable members. Each moveable member has a substantially planar vertical surface for engaging objects to be held therebetween and a horizontal leg. The horizontal leg of the first member has a central open are with opposed parallel interior edges which receives the horizontal leg of the second member, which has interfitting opposed parallel edges. The adjacent edges of the first member and the second member are connected by at least one joiner that slidably captures the parallel edges. The joiner may take the configuration of an I-beam, having upper and lower flanges joined together by a central web. In such an embodiment, the opposed parallel edges of the first and second members are captured in a slot formed between the flanges of the joiner.
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Claims(7)
What is claimed:
1. A bookend having first and second relatively moveable members, each moveable member having a substantially planar vertical surface for engaging objects to be held therebetween, and a horizontal leg, the horizontal leg of the first member having a central open area with opposed parallel interior edges and the horizontal leg of the second member having opposed parallel edges and sized to fit within the open area in the leg of the first member, and at least one joiner for slidably capturing the parallel edges of the horizontal legs of the first and second members.
2. The bookend of claim 1 wherein the vertical leg of the first member has an open central area and the vertical leg of the second member has a shape complimentary to that of the open area in the vertical leg of the first member so that the first and second members may nest with their vertical legs being substantially co-planar.
3. The bookend of claim 1 wherein the joiner has upper and lower flanges joined together by a web, the opposed parallel edges of the first and second members being captured in a slot defined by the flanges of the joiner.
4. The bookend of claim 3 wherein the spacing between the flanges causes the flanges to grip the horizontal legs of the first and second members so as to provide resistance to the movement of the first member with respect to the second member.
5. The bookend of claim 4 wherein the slot defined by the upper and lower flanges is narrower at an entrance to the slot than at the web.
6. The bookend of claim 4 wherein the joiners have a low profile.
7. The bookend system of claim 1 wherein one joiner slidably captures each of the opposed parallel edges of the horizontal leg of the first and second members.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of the filing date of Provisional Application Serial No. 60/269,396, filed Feb. 20, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a bookend and, more particularly, a multi-part bookend with an extendable portion to allow for e.g., note or envelope retention.

[0003] It is well known to provide bookends comprising a pair of generally-L-shaped members made of a sheet metal material. One leg of the L is placed under the books or the other materials that are to be held between the bookends, and the space between the two bookends can be varied to accommodate different volumes of material to be held therebetween.

[0004] Bookends of this type are advantageous because they are lightweight, take up little shelf or desk-top space, and are relatively inexpensive to make. However, such bookholders or bookends are frequently used in areas with limited space. In particular, when used on a desktop, the user may have other notes, envelopes, or the like that also need to be neatly stored. While a separate letter rack could be used, this takes up additional desktop space and can quickly lead to overcrowding of the desk. Additionally, most envelope or letter holders are of a fixed size, thus limiting their versatility.

[0005] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a bookend that provides for both holding books or similar materials, and as a holder for miscellaneous notes or envelopes.

[0006] It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a bookend system that is economical and simple in its manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] These objects, as well as others that will become apparent upon reference to the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, are accomplished by a bookend system that has first and second relatively moveable members. Each moveable member has a substantially planar vertical surface for engaging objects to be held therebetween and a horizontal leg. The horizontal leg of the first member has a central open are with opposed parallel interior edges which receive the horizontal leg of the second member, which has interfitting opposed parallel edges. The adjacent edges of the first member and the second member are connected by at least one joiner that slidably captures the parallel edges.

[0008] The joiner may take the configuration of an I-beam, having upper and lower flanges joined together by a central web. In such an embodiment, the opposed parallel edges of the first and second members are captured in a slot formed between the flanges of the joiner.

[0009] In addition, the vertical leg of the first member can have a central open area which receives the vertical leg of the second member, thus allowing the first and second members to nest with their vertical legs being substantially co-planar.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF THE DRAWING

[0010]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bookend system according to the present invention.

[0011]FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the bookend of FIG. 1.

[0012]FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the bookend taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

[0013]FIG. 4 is an end view of the bookend of FIG. 1 with the pieces nested together.

[0014]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a joiner/slider for use in connection with the present invention.

[0015]FIG. 6 is a side view of the joiner/slider of FIG. 5.

[0016]FIG. 7 is an end view of the joiner/slider of FIG. 5.

[0017]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a bookend according to the present invention in which the vertical portions have decorative cutouts.

[0018]FIG. 9 is an end view of the bookend of FIG. 8, with the sliders/joiners omitted to show detail.

[0019]FIG. 10 is a top view of the bookend of FIG. 8, with the sliders/joiners omitted to show detail.

[0020]FIG. 11 is a side view of the bookend of FIG. 8.

[0021]FIG. 12 is a bottom view of the bookend of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0022] Turning to the drawings, there is seen in FIG. 1 a perspective view of a bookend 10 in accordance with the present invention. A pair of such bookends 10 would typically go together to form a complete bookholding system. It should be appreciated that while the invention is described as a “bookend,” other objects such as record albums, compact discs, file folders, etc., could be held between a pair of such bookends 10.

[0023] The bookend 10 includes a first member 12 and a second member 14, each having, when viewed in profile, a generally L-shaped appearance (best seen in FIG. 11). Specifically, the first member 12 has a generally vertically extending leg 16 that presents a substantially planar surface for engaging the object or objects to be held between a pair of bookends 10. The first member 12 also includes a horizontal leg 18 that at least partially underlies the objects to be held between a pair of bookends 10. The second member 14 is generally similar in appearance to the first member 12 and includes a vertical leg 20 and a horizontal leg 22.

[0024] In keeping with one aspect of the invention, the first and second members 12, 14 are capable of nesting together so that both their vertical legs 16, 20 and horizontal legs 18, 22 are generally co-planar (see e.g., FIGS. 8 and 11). To this end, the vertical and horizontal legs 16, 18, of the first member 12 each have a central open area 24, 26. The central open areas 24, 26 are sized to receive the vertical leg 20 and horizontal leg 22, respectively, of the second member 14 as seen in FIGS. 4 and 8-12. As can be appreciated, the first and second members 12, 14 can be stamped from a single piece of sheet metal having its dimensions defined by the first member 12, with the second member 14 being punched out of the central or interior portion of the first member.

[0025] In keeping with another aspect of the present invention, the first and second members 12, 14 are moveable relative to each other so that the second member 14 can be moved out of its nesting relationship with the first member 12 to create an area 28 (FIG. 1) separate from the book storage area for the storage of smaller items. To this end, the central open area 26 of the horizontal leg 18 of the first member 12 have opposed, substantially parallel edges 30, while the horizontal leg 22 on the second member 14 has similar substantially parallel edges 32. Thus, the second member 14 can slide with respect to the first member 12, the parallel edges 26 acting as a track for the opposed edges 32 to guide the movement of the second member 14 with respect to the first member 12.

[0026] To more securely maintain the proper relationship between the first member 12 and the second member 14 (and more particularly the relationship between the parallel edges 30, 32), two sliders/joiners 34 are employed. Each slider/joiner 34 has the general appearance of a I-beam with an upper flange 36 and a lower flange 38 joined together by a central web 40.

[0027] The space 42 between the flanges 36, 38 is sized so that the flanges will grip the horizontal legs 18, 22. This holds the first and second members 12, 14 during shipping and use, and provides some resistance to the second member 14 sliding outwardly with respect to the first member 12. As best seen in FIG. 7, the upper flange 36 may be formed at a slight angle α off of perpendicular with respect to the web 40 so that the first and second flanges are not parallel. This results in the space 42 between the flanges being slightly smaller at the outer edges of the flanges than adjacent to the web 40, thus helping the flanges to better clamp onto the opposed edges 30, 32 of the horizontal legs 18, 22.

[0028] The sliders/joiners 34 are preferably placed on the opposed parallel edges 30 as close to the vertical leg 16 as possible in order to provide for the maximum range of relative movement between the first and second members 12, 14. Then, the horizontal leg 22 of the second member 14 can be slid into the open slots formed by the flanges to form a complete bookend 10.

[0029] The sliders/joiners 34 may be made by extrusion of e.g., a polymeric material (such as polyethylene or polypropylene) or a metallic material. The flanges 36, 38 of the slider/joiner should be as thin as possible so that the bookend assembly 10, and any books supported thereon, sit generally flat.

[0030] Thus, the inventive bookend provides for at least three specific use configurations. First, the bookend 10 can be used as a conventional bookend with the first and second members 12, 14 having their vertical legs 16, 20 respectively aligned, as seen in FIG. 8. The two members 12, 14 are held in place by means of sliders/joiners 34 to form one bookend.

[0031] Second, the first member 12 and the second member 14 can be used as separate, stand-alone units when the smaller second unit 14 is removed from the larger member 12, as seen in FIG. 2.

[0032] Third, the second member 14 can be pulled outwards from the first member 12 to form an additional storage area beyond the bounds of the first member 12, as seen in FIG. 1. The joiners/sliders 34 maintain the proper relationship between the first and second members 12, 14, while allowing variations in the amount of space 28 selected.

[0033] Thus, a bookend has been provided that meets all of the objects of the present invention. Though the invention has been described in terms of a preferred embodiment, there is no intent to limit it to the same, instead, the invention is defined by the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6695150 *Dec 11, 2002Feb 24, 2004Mitel Knowledge CorporationSupport unit for stacked items
US7854334 *Jan 22, 2009Dec 21, 2010Trion Industries, Inc.Product display with front barrier
US20110062096 *Jan 8, 2010Mar 17, 2011Sparkowski Robert PSliding product reducer assembly
US20130075349 *Sep 26, 2011Mar 28, 2013Eric A. MacDonaldOrganizer
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/43, 211/184
International ClassificationA47B65/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B65/00
European ClassificationA47B65/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 21, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: BLOCK AND COMPANY, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LAMMING, MICHAEL W.;REEL/FRAME:012909/0043
Effective date: 20020417