US 2157264 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 9, 1939. s, B. KIRBY. JR
ILLUMINATED STRUCTURE Filed June 9, 1936 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 III v S14/vento@ Samuel K/'rby, Jr:
w www@ i thou/aq May 9, 1939- s. B. KIRB'Y. JR 2,157,264
ILLUMINATED s'rRLwTURE Filed June 9, 1956 2 Sheets-Shree?I 2 Patented May 9, 1939 UNirEn srarss PATENT OFFICE 2 claims.
This invention relates to the art of illumination and has particular application to the lighting of the interior ci structures customarily having a plurality of compartments with dimly lighted recesses therein. One illustration of the application of the invention is depicted herewith in` connection with a conventional kitchen cabinet. However, it is obvious that the invention is limited in no way to the precise structure thus disclosed, but on the contrary may be adapted to widely varying forms of structure.
As is well known, the forms of cabinets now used for housing kitchen utensils, dishes, food stuifs and miscellaneous articles comprise either a portable or stationary enclosed structure having walls, shelves and doors. In the average kitchen such a cabinet is stationed against a wall and may extend from the ricer to a substantial height. Usually the only illumination provided in the kitchen is obtained from windows along the walls and artiiicial lights positioned adjacent the ceiling. As a result of this situation the intensity of light falling upon the exterior cf the cabinet is relatively low and the interior of such cabinet l is maintained irl-total darkness when its doors are closed. Consequently, when the doors of the cabinet are opened any purpose the amount of light entering the same is rarely suflicient to illuminate the entire interior of the cabinet.
Furthermore, the presence of articles within the cabinet obstructs the entrance of light and in addition the party inspecting the cabinet customarily stands between the source of light and the cabinet and thus obstructs the path of light. As a result of these disadvantages, it is often difficult for the housewife to locate an article resting in the dimly lighted rear corners of a shelf. Moreover, it is diflicult to clean the cabinet thoroughly or to eradicate insects, mice or other nuisances which may be lodged in the dark corners of the cabinet.
The present invention therefore is intended to overcome these disadvantages and has as an object the provision of an illuminated structure having a Well lighted interior.
A second object is the provision of an indirect lighting means for the inner recesses of cabinet structures;
Another object is the provision of means for lighting the interior of structures with a germicidal form of light;
A further object is the provision of means for maintaining the interior of a cabinet ina lighted condition while the doors of the same are closed.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a iront elevation View of a cabinet illustrating one application of the invention;
Figure 2 is a sectional View taken on line 2--2 of Figure 1,
Figure 3 is a detail view showing one manner of securing the inserts in place,
Figure 4 is a front elevation view of a cabinet illustrating one modification of the invention, while Figure 5 is a sectional View taken on line 4-4 of Figure 3.
As will be apparent, the invention herein disclosed may be adapted to many types of structures such as kitchen cabinets, filing cases, cupboards, open shelving and similar enclosures merely by following the teaching hereinafter made and by simply designing the structure in accordance with the degree of illumination required. The application of the invention to a particular kitchen cabinet, therefore, illustrates only one usage of the same and is not to be considered as limiting the invention to that sole use. Referring now to the drawings, Figure 1 shows a conventional kitchen cabinet comprising a work shelf l extending forwardly from a rear wall 2. Beneath the work shelf is a plurality of drawers adapted to contain miscellaneous articles and beneath said drawers is a shelf 4 disposed above the bottom 5 of the cabinet. Side walls 6 and 1 and lcwer doors 8 which may close against a support member 9 complete the enclosure of the lower part of the cabinet and divide the same intol a plurality of separate compartments. The inner surfaces of the doors, walls and shelves are covered with a light reflecting paint, enamel or the like for a purpose which will later become apparent.
Rigidly secured to rear wall 2 at a convenient height abovethe Work shelf I is a bottom shelf I I and a top member I2 for the upper part of the cabinet. Side walls 6 and 'I extend upwardly from the lower portion of the cabinet and cooperating with upper doors I3 which may close against a support strip I4 complete the enclosure of the upper part of the cabinet. If desired, additional shelves I5 and I6 may be interposed between the lower shelf II and top I2 in order to divide the cabinet into a plurality of separate compartments. As in the lower portion of the cabinet the inner surfaces of the upper cabinet portion are covered with a light reilecting paint.
As thus described, the cabinet comprises the usual features of construction and is subject to fi o the disadvantages hereinabove enumerated. In order, therefore, to overcome these disadvantages source cf light 2t is positioned adjacent rear wall 2 between work shelf I and the bottom shelf il of the upper part of the cabinet. As one example, this light is shown as radiating from a tubular bulb affixed to rear wall 2 by any suitable fastening means. It is intended that a light switch (not shown) will be positioned adjacent the bulb and that suitable wiring leading to a convenient source of electricity will be used. In order to direct the light rays upon the work shelf and to avoid a glare in the eyes of the party using the cabinet, a shade member I9 of any suitable construction may be employed.
As indicated by dotted lines in the drawings, the rays of light emanating from the light source will illuminate the work shelf I for the convenience of the person using the same. In order to illuminate the interior recesses of the cabinet which are normally maintained in total darkness a series of inserts through which light may pass are provided for the various shelves. Such an insert shown at 2l is placed in shelf il immediately above light 20 and is made of such dimensions as will permit the light rays to spread both longitudinally and transversely of the compartment above the shelf. It is proposed to place the insert in an aperture cut into the shelf with a close t and to rest the insert upon a ledge such as shown in Figure 3. The insert is thus made readily removable for cleaning and due to its cooperation with the integral ledge of the shelf will be able to sustain the weight of such articles as may be placed upon the same.
Similar inserts 22 and 23 are positioned in shelves i and i6 and are of such dimensions as to receive and transmit the light rays radiated from light source 20.
In order to illuminate the lower portion of the cabinet a similar insert 25 is positioned in work shelf I beneath light 20. A light space or well 2G is provided rearwardly of the movable drawers 3 and permits the light rays to fall upon an insert 2`I positioned in lower shelf 4. It is proposed to use a material pervious to light for the inserts thus described and in the usual case such inserts may be made of transparent or translucent glass of substantial thickness, such as plate glass. In a preferred form, however, in order to secure certain advantages outlined below a type of glass now on the market which is pervious to light and does not filter out the ultra violet rays of the spectrum will be used. In such a case the light source 2G will comprise the bulb used in ultra violet ray lamps and will flood the interior of the cabinet with the type of light known to posses-s germicidal properties. In this manner the growth of fungi, minute plant and insect life and the like may be inhibited in the remote recesses of the cabinet where ordinarily such nuisances occur.
The advantages of the structure thus disclosed will be made more apparent upon actual use. It is found that the location of light 2S and the respective shelf inserts adjacent the rear wall 2 of the cabinet illuminate the rear portions of the inner cabinet compartment so that when the doors 8 or I3 are opened the interior of the compartments are bathed in an indirect light. The party inspecting the cabinet can then locate any object therein, whereasI heretofore such person would stand between the source of light and the cabinet and obstruct the light. Since light means 20 is placed exteriorly of the cabinet, it may be readily switch off and on or be replaced or cleaned when occasion demands. It will be apparent that a switch not shown for light means 26 may be incorporated into doors 8 or I3 if the same should be desired, whereby the light could be switched on when the doors are opened and switched olf when the doors are closed. As will be obvious, modifications of this nature can be devised by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention.
One modification of the invention may comprise the use of lights disposed internally of the cabinet between various shelves or adjacent the bottom shelf 5 or the top member I2 and functioning in the same manner as the structure shown in Figures l to 3. It is also contemplated that sliding doors will be employed in lieu of the swinging doors 8 and I3 whenever such construction becomes more desirable.
As a practical matter, it is found that if light 20 is switched on when the cabinet is being used, the resulting illumination of the interior of the cabinet at varying intervals will tend to drive out any insects, mice or other nuisances which inhabit dark recesses of the usual structure. Cabinets of this nature are often positioned near a water pipe and despite the care of a housewife such nuisances frequently occur even in the most meticulous kitchen.
Due to the use of glass inserts having substantial strength heavy objects such as stacks of dishes may be placed upon the inserts. It is found that the presence of such objects does not destroy the illumination of the interior of the cabinet. On the contrary, these objects are usually circular in form and a substantial amount of light passes through the intervening spaces bctween the objects. Moreover, considerable light is diffused in the compartments due to the presence of such objects upon the inserts.
Referring now to Figure 4 a modified form of illuminated cabinet having a work shelf 3l extending forwardly from a rear wall 32 is shown. A plurality of drawers 33 is positioned beneath the work shelf and has a light well 46 disposed between the rear wall and the drawers. A lower shelf 34 disposed above the bottom 35 of the cabinet cooperates with side walls 3G and 3l and doors 38 closing against support 3S to enclose the cabinet and form a plurality of separate compartments'.
Above the work shelf 3I a bottom shelf 4I and a top member 42 are secured to the rear wall 32 to form an upper portion of the cabinet. The side walls 36 and 37 extend upwardly and cooperate with upper doors 43 closing against support member 44 to enclose the upper part of the structure. Additional shelves 45 and 45 may be placed between the lower shelf and top member to form a plurality of separate compartments.
For purposes of illumination a pair of light sources 40 and 5B are positioned against side walls 3% and 3l' adjacent the rear wall 32. These lights may comprise any desired type of bulb connected to any suitable source of electricity through wiring and switches (not shown). Disposed in lower shelf 4I of the upper portion of the cabinet in line with the light sources is a pair of inserts 5I and 52 ofthe nature hereinabove described and having a length and width of such dimensions as to receive an appreciable amount of light. Since a convergence of light rays from the two spatially disposed light sources will result from this construction a single insert 53 is provided in shelf 45 and a single insert 54 of larger dimensions is also provided in the upper shelf 46.
In constructing the cabinet for illumination of the lower portion thereof a pair of inserts 55 and 56 are positioned inthe work shelf 3| in line With light sources 40 and 50. Light rays passing through these inserts pass through light well 46 and illuminate the compartment above shelf 34. A portion of the light rays from both sources converge upon a single insert l positioned in shelf 34 and pass through into the lowermost compartment of the cabinet, By means of this construction the interior of the structure is bathed in light .when the light sources are illuminated and by coating the interior surfaces of shelves, walls, doors and the like with a light reflecting paint the advantages sought are easily obtained.
It will be obvious that shields may be provided for lights 40 and 50 should the same be desired. Moreover, it is apparent that the invention herein disclosed may be applied to stationary or builtin cabinets as well as to portable cabinets. Since the invention may be used in either domesticc structures or in commercial structures such as display apparatus it is contemplated that the inserts provided for the respective shelves may be colored so as to cast a colored light upon the inner portions of the structure.
Having thus disclosed the invention, I claim:
1. A unitary, portable kitchen cabinet having a rear wall integral with the remainder of said cabinet, a Work shelf with an open Working space thereabove, in front of said wall, a closed cabinet portion spaced vertically below the shelf, means providing access to the closed cabinet from the front, a light positioned in the open Working space adjacent the rear thereof, and light pervious means positioned in the shelf adjacent the rear thereof in the path of the light rays whereby the rear portions of the interior of the cabinet may be illuminated by light passing through the light pervious means and may be visible when the front of the cabinet is opened.
2. A unitary, portable kitchen cabinet having a rear wall integral with the remainder of said cabinet, a work shelf with an open Working space thereabove, in front of said wall, a closed cabinet portion spaced vertically above the shelf, a closed cabinet portion spaced vertically below the shelf, means providing access to said closed cabinet portions from the front, a light positioned in the open working space adjacent the rear thereof, light pervious means positioned in said upper cabinet portion adjacent the rear thereof in the path of the light rays, and light pervious means posi` tioned in the shelf adjacent the rear thereof in the path of the light rays whereby the rear por tions of each cabinet portion may be illuminated by light passing through the light pervious means and may be visible when the front of the cabinet is opened.
SAMUEL B. KIRBY, JR.