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Publication numberUS2365255 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 19, 1944
Filing dateOct 14, 1941
Priority dateOct 14, 1941
Publication numberUS 2365255 A, US 2365255A, US-A-2365255, US2365255 A, US2365255A
InventorsEager Wesley W
Original AssigneeEager Wesley W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Partition construction
US 2365255 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 19, 1944. w. w. EAGER PARTITION CONSTRUCTION 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 14, 1941.

I! 83 I! V .51 1.96


44 TTOR/VEK Patented Dec. 19, 1944 UNITED. STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,365,255 PARTITION CONSTRUCTION Wesley W. Eager, Pasadena, Calif.

Application October 14, 1941, Serial No. 414,912

3 Claims. (01; 26 4) 1 This invention relates to buildingconstruction, and more particularly to partitions of the type commonly employed to divide arelatively large room into aplurality of smaller enclosures; thus making possible the provision of a plurality of 7 private or semi-private offices orrooms at. a materially smaller cost thanrequired for solid wall construction. v

An "object of my invention is the provision of a novel partition construction of the general character indicated, in the form of the necessalty-number oi -separate units, each of which is produced as 'aunitary structure complete in itself; constructed to exact, final size, as determined by the requirements of the ultimate in stallation, thereby making for maximum efliciency of manufacture and exactitude of dimensions, as well as assuring nicetyof fit between adjacent portions of the ultimate partition, inasmuch as theconstruction of the several units can becompleted under factory orshop conditions, with the most efficient machinery and other equipment, leaving only the final assembly of the several units to be performed at the location wherethe partition is tobe erected.

A further object in this connection is the provision of a partition construction as described, wherein certain ones of the constituent units are provided with means adapted to interfit with others and thereby aid inthe assemblyjof'the" finished partition to such an extent as to reduce materially the labor and cost of its erection.

Another object of my present invention is to provide apartition construction in the design. of which particular attentionhas beendirected to facility of installation with perfect accuracy; 1. e., straight, level, and plumb, without any depend!- ency uponwhether' or. not the floor. upon which thepartition is .to. be installed is levelor flat.

A..m.0re detailed object. in this connection .is

theprovision of, a partition construction embodying a horizontal-stretcher member of sufficient rigidity to enable it. to function asaninverted beamv and mounted at. predetermined elevation above the floor by suitable supports adjacent the ends of the stretcher. The beam and the supconstruction of the present invention .in that it is of such small dimensions that it isadapted to "beinterposed between the bottom edge of one of the panels without necessitating providing an opening for its accommodation larger than that customarily employed for air circulation in order to meet therequirements of modern air conditioning, and yet capable of. developing a pushing force ampleto press the panel against thestretcher sufficiently firmly to insure rigidity of the assembledstructure.

A. more. general object of my invention is to providei a partition constructionadapted' to be erected in; the location of its 'final'install'ation withthe greatest of ease within a minimum .of time, andwith'the least disturbance to persons in. the immediate vicinity, and yet, when installation is completed; presentsan appearance of permanence, and is possessed of strength and rigidity, considerablyin excess of partitions constructedmore' conventionally.

A. still further object is to provide a partition construction as described whereinmeans are provided. at frequent. intervals throughout the length of thepartition'lior theaccommodation and concealment. of said service facilities astelephone and buzzer. wires, electric service, and'even tubes for wat'engas and air service.

The invention: possesses other objects and valuable features, some. of which,.with those enumerated', will beset 'forth in the following description of. the preferred. embodiment of. my invention illustrated in thedrawings accompanying and forming part'of the specification. It is to beunderstoodthatI do not limitmyself to the showing; made by said drawings and description,

' asI mayladopt variations of the preferred form i ance with theprinciples of the present invention.

ports differ. in function from more conventional .larly adapted for use as a portion of the partition within the scopepi my invention as defined in the claims. v

Referring totbadrawin'esz. i Figure. Lisa view. in. front, elevationof a length of partition constructed and erected in accord- Fig- 2 is. an enlarged. detail viewinhorizontal sectiontaken upon'the line l2-,2 of Fig. 1 with themdirection oilview asindicated. Portionsot the .figure are'brokenaway to reduce its size.

Fig. 3 isv an enlarged perspective view of the upper portion atom of the post members of my improved partition. constructionwhich serves as acorner ofthepartition.

-Fig.. 4 is an. enlarged, horizontal, compound, sectionalv'iew, the planes of sections being indicated by thelinesQk- -d of Big. 1 and the direction of view by the arrow.

Fig. 5 is an enlarged, horizontal, sectional view taken upon the lines 55 of Fig. 1 with the direction of view as indicated.

Fig. 6 is a horizontal, sectional view drawn to reduced scale, the plane of section being indicated by the line 6-6 of Fig. l and the direction of view by the arrow.

Fig. 7 is an enlarged, transverse, vertical sectional view, the plane of section being indicated by the line 1'I,of Fig. '1 and the direction of view by the arrow.

Fig. 8 is a more highly enlarged, detail view taken in vertical, medial section through one of the jacks used in conjunction with the panels ofmy improved partition construction and is showing the manner of cooperation of the jack with said panel.

Fig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 8, but showing the jack employed to support a pair of panels instead of a single panel a in the case of Fig. 8.

Fig. 10 is a bottom plan view of the jack. This figure may be considered as a horizontal, sectional view taken upon the line lfll0 of Fig. 9 with the direction of-view as indicated.

Specifically describing my improved partition construction in what at, present appears to be its preferred embodiment, Fig. 1 illustrates the partition as comprising four basic portions, each of which is adapted to beconstructed separately as a unit complete unto itself but arranged to cooperate with the other units in such a manner as to facilitate assemblythereof into a complete partition structure which possesses an appearance of greater permanence and which is possessed of greater strength and rigidity than are partitions constructed according to more conventional plans. These four units comprise the panels H, the horizontal header or stretcher l2 extending across the tops of the panels H, the post or pillar members l3 which operate to maintain the stretcher 12 at predetermined elevation above the floor l4 and the jack [6 which cooperates with the panels H and whose function it is to pressthe panels upwards into retentive abutment with the under surface of the stretcher l 2; I,

-As is clearly shown in Fig. 1 the panel may take any one of several forms, to-wit: the panel H may be constructed entirely of wood or other non-transparent material as is illustrated at l l-A, or it may be provided with a, window light i l-B, or it may be constructed with a wicket ll-C. Similarly, thepanel H may be provided with hinges H and suitable latch hardware l8, thus providing a door i l-D, in which case the adjacent panels H or post members 13, as the case might be, are provided with suitable jambs 19, as illustrated in Figure 2. In any event, however, the panel as in the case of each of the'other four units of the partition is. adapted for factory or shop manufacture, ,i. e'., it is not my intention that the materials of which the panels are to be constructed be cut, interconnected and assembled at the point of ultimate installation where such der certain circumstances it is advantage us Even to apply the final finish to the unit at the shop, since no cutting, fitting, nailing or similar hand work is required to mount the panels in their supporting framework as will appear more clearly hereinbelow.

The framework for each group of panels H is comprised of the associated stretcher l2 and two spaced vertical posts I3; and as hereinabove pointed out these members also are subject to manufacture in the shop where conditions for their production expeditiously and accurately are most expedient. The stretcher member I2 can be of any suitable design either of solid construction or, as shown in Fig. 7, it may be of boxlike construction consisting of opposed sides 3| interconnected by top and bottom 32 and 33, respectively. All four of these members extend longitudinally and are of sufficient length to define the stretcher I 2 in the length desired for the particular installation. One reason that construction of the stretcher l2 in box-like form as described is that it presents a hollow interior 34, thus leaving an opening for the slidable reception of a key 36 at each end of the stretcher l2. Preferably suitable ornamentation is applied to the outer surfaces of the side members 3|, such as a longitudinally extending groove 31 which imparts to the stretcher l2 the appearance of a conventional partition header. A longitudinally extending groove 38 is provided in the under surface of the header [3, a convenient method of providing this groove being by means of a pair of spaced strips 39 of molding secured to the lower edges of the side members 3| and/or to the under surface of the bottom member 33 as clearly shown in Fig. '7. This groove 38 is adapted to receive the upper edges of the panels I I associated with that stretcher and retain them against lateral displacement.

The stretcher I2 is carried by two of the pillars or posts l3 disposed vertically and in suitably spaced relation to receive the stretcher 12 between their upper ends. Here again the member is adapted to be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the particular installation for which the member is being designed. For example, thepost l3a at the left hand end of Fig. 1 is constructed to function as a corner member, i. 'e., where two perpendicularly arranged runs of the partition meet, whereas the post I3b at the right hand end of Fig. 1 functions as a juncture between a lateral run 4! (see Fig. 6) of the partition and the body or main portion of the partition at some point intermediate the end of the latter. The post [3a is in the form of two vertically disposed flanges 42 and 43 arranged at right angles with respect to each other; whereas the post 13?) consists of threeflanges 44, 45, and 45, two of which are in planar alignment with each other and the third is positioned in such a manner as to constitute the perpendicular bi,- sector'of their plane. It is readily apparent, therefore, the posts I3 lend themselvestoward production in numerous other forms, for exam.- ple, with four flanges meeting atright angles so as to serve as the point of juncture of two parti-' tions thatcross each other or in certain installations the flanges might be disposed at angles other than right angles. In all cases, however, each post I 3 is a separate, unitary and self-contained unit complete in itself. Its flanges 42 and 43, or 44, 45 and 46, as the case might be, are interconnected as by glueing in compliance with conventional practice before they are taken to the location where the partition is to be installed.

Each of v the posts I3 is also provided at its upper is only slightly longer thanthe bore 53.

end with ahead'er 41 (see Fig. 3)" preferably corresponding in shape; sizev and ornamentationv to the; stretcher 1 2 with. which they are to cooperate.

Further, the posts are so. proportioned and; arranged that their headers 41' are supported at the/same elevation above theefioor Mas. and in alignment with, the header 12: which they are to support. Consequently; in the. completed assembly-thezheaders 47 at therupper endsof the posts I 3 present the appearanceof being direct con tinuations of the stretchers l2 with which. theyv are associated. I i

two different parts of-a unit and the like, can be performed where manufacturing conditions are best suited for thatparticular purpose.

Whereas, as far as appearance is concerned, each of the. posts I3 is similar to corresponding .members. of conventional partitions, in function they are. quite. different inasmuch'as they are intended to be subjected to tension instead. of compression. t3foperates tov retain thestretcher. l'2.whichthey That is. to say, eachofi'the posts r support against movementin an. upward. direction. This derives from. the fact. that. the panels I I associated with. each stretcher l2.abut.against the. undersurfaceof. the. stretcher and areforced upwards. thereagainstwith. sufficient strength to assuretheir. retention in selected position. Ac.- cordingly, each stretcher l2 operates asan inverted beam and. the posts 13. which are connected to its. ends. are subjectedto tension inasmuch as. they operate to prevent the beam. which they carry from moving upwards. Accordingly, means are provided for securing the lower ends of; the posts. I3 to the floor [4 retaining them not only against lateral displacement but also against upward movement away from the floor. For purposes of economy and uniformity of appearance I prefer to employ one or more of the same jacks [B as those employed to press, the panels upward, for the purpose of anchoring the lower endsof the posts in position, but in. this instance instead of operating as jacks they will function merely as hold-down brackets. Jacks l6 functioning in this manner are illustrated in Fig. l as indicated at 5|. As clearly shown in Figs. 8, 9, and 10 each of these jacks comprises'a relatively low base or housing 52 having a vertical bore 53- interiorly threaded asindicated at 54- to receive thethreaded end of a spindle 56 which The purpose behind" the use of these members con- :structed' of minimum length is to reduce the overall height ofthe jack" "5- to thesmallest possible figure consistent with thecapability ofthe instrument to develop then-ecessary strengthin' pushing the panels I! upwards. Means are provided for preventinglateral displacement of the jack l6 formed with a screw hole- 58- preferably at the center thereof throughwhich a screw 59, or the like; may extend to hold-the jack l 6' securely-down upon the floor M as indicated in Fig. 9; A supporting. bracket, 6 i1 rests upon the upper: end. of.

- the spindle. 56v and preferabl issecured' thereto by aswivel connection suchzas opposed oifset fiangesBZ seated within a groove 63intheperiphery'of the spindlev 56 adjacent its upper end, the engagementbetween theflanges: 62. and. the spindle 56, however, being sufiiciently. loose. to permit thespindle 56 to turn whilethe bracket 6| remains stationary. Two forms of bracket 6| are illustrated,.that in Fig.8 being provided. with an upwardly extending-flange 64 atone end of the bracket, and the jack IS. in Fig. -9 being providedwith a bracket 8 la having two opposed, upwardly extending'flanges BB-andB'L The former, i. e'., the jack l6 illustrated in' Fig. 8; is intended to be employed where itsupports only one panel H2 or an anchoring post. l3 only; Hence, this jack It is dispcsedentirelyunder only: onepof these. members. In Fig; 9., however, the jack I6. is disposed under two adjacent panels I l and functions tov support both: of them. Accordingly, the-centerline of the jack is. is disposed directly under a. line midway between the two proximal edges of these associated panels. Furthermore, the flanges 66 and 61 of the bracket Iii-A, being spaced apart a predetermined distance as clearlyv shown in Fig. 9, function as spacers to determine accurately the precise spacing between the panels i l= associated with that jack. Preferably the "upper end of the spindle 56 is also providedwithw .an enlarged annular portion 68 within which aplurality of holes 69, preferably four, are formed at equaldistances throughoutthe periphery of thespindletheseholes being. adapted to receive a pin whereby the spindle can be rotated within its body 52' for the purpose of; raising or lowering the spindle 56 and thereby causing the device to 'function as ajack. readily apparent, therefore-that a wide range of adaptability of the jacks I6 is afforded. In their preferable manner of-application, however, one jack I6 is located below eachspace between adjacent panels. I rand below each space between a panel H and a postl3, except where one of such panels is hingedly mounted to enable it to serve as a door, and in those cases a jack I6 is placed entirely under the fixed element of that painthus avoiding interference with movement of the door and obstruction of the doorway. This arrangement preserves uniformity of appearance throughout the lengthof the partition and it also is possessed of the advantage that-it places at least two jacks in association with: each: post, thereby adding to the security with which each-post is held down in opposition to the upward thrust of the jacks l6 asso-,..

I panels or the space between a panel and a post,

but in the latter case the jack is secured to the down. At such locations in the installation, reliance is placed in the jack associated with the opposite edge of the associated panel for the support of that entire panel". Although this arrange ment provides support for that panel adjacent one side edge only, in most'instan'ces it is not conducive to a cooked position of the panel due to the fact that the'upper edge'of the panel, which. is quite accurately perpendicular to the side edges, is pressed firmly against the horizontal stretcher member I2. However, if and when any tendency for any such cocked-position of a panel might develop, a second jack can easily be placed under the sagging comer of the panel to support the panel accurately in its proper position.

As stated,'in the assembled partition the headers 4'! on the upper ends of the several posts 13 appear as continuations of the stretchers l2 with which they are associated. Accordingly, it is desirable to employ invisible means for interconnecting the stretchers 12 with their associated posts [3. Toward this end the keys 36 which are employed for this purpose are concealed entirely within keyways which are provided by the hollow interior 34 of each of the stretcher members I2. Each of these keys may conveniently take the form of a piece of wood of suitable length and of cross section which permits it to be slidably received within the hollow interior 34 of the stretcher [2. Such a key is illustrated in Fig. 3. Just before placing the stretcher I! in operative relation to its supporting posts [3, one of these keys is slid into each open end of the stretcher. The posts l3 which are to serve as supports for the stretcher having first been placed accurately in position and fastened securely down to the floor 14 by one of the screws 59 extending to the bottom of each of the jacks I 6 associated with each post and by a screw 14 extending through the flange 64 of each of those jacks, the stretcher I2 is then placed into position between v and interconnecting the headers 4'! and the upper ends of the posts l3. The key 36 at each end of the stretcher is then worked across the line of juncture between that end of the stretcher and the associated post [3, for which purpose a small opening 16 (see Fig. 7) is provided in the upper member 32 of the stretcher l2 adjacent each end thereof. After the key has been worked to approximately the position wherein one is illustrated in Fig. 3 it preferably is securely fastened in that position as by one or more wood screws 1'! driven through the upper member 32 of the stretcheror the corresponding member of the header of the post or both.

After the stretcher l2 has thus been positioned at predetermined elevation above the floor 14 v and securely anchored in that position against Ebe'mg pushed upward, the several panels H; which are to. be associated with that stretcher are then placed in position by engaging their upper edges within the groove 38 in the under surface of the stretcher. In so placing the panels care should be exercised that they be spaced apart far enough to leave a slot or opening 18 therebetween, corresponding to the spacing between the outer facing of the flanges 66 and 81 of one of the jacks Hi. This not only permits insertion of the jack it in such a manner that each jack supports two panels but it also assures that the space 18 between panels is accurately of the necessary width to receive the two opposed legs 19 (see Figs. 4, and 9) of the spring bracket 8! which are secured to the inner surfaces of the batten 82 adapted to be received in. covering relation with the openings 18 between panels H on either or both faces thereof. Preferably the configuration of the outer faces of the battens 82 correspond to those of the jambs [9 so asto present a completed structure, all the' visible details of which are in harmony.

One of the important features of this detail of my invention is that such a space 18 is left in the partition at frequent intervals throughout the entire length thereof and as these spaces 18 extend all the way from the top to the bottom thereof they serve conveniently as wire chases for the reception of wires for telephone or electriclight service or, in fact, for tubing for compressed air and for gas service thereby making such, services conveniently extendable at any point throughout the entire length of the partition but keeping them completely concealed. It is apparent from the hereinabove description that the jack l6 associated with the simple panel I I should be operated to press those panels upward against the underside of the stretcher l2 associated therein. In fact, this pressure should be of sufficient magnitude to take the entire weight of the stretcher members l2 and to impose at least a certain amount of tension upon the posts l3 associated therewith thereby enhancing the securit of the interengagement between the panels II and the stretcher 12. In this manner a resultant structure is obtained which is possessed -of a surprising amount of rigidity. In fact, a partition constructed in accordance with the principles of the present in-- vention is found to be more rigid than most partitions constructed according to more conventional design.

Another important feature of the construction of the present invention is that all the posts l3 and panels I i are so elevated above the supporting floor by the jacks l6 that a space 83 is left below their lower ends. This space has proven itself of real value inasmuch as it permits freedom ofcirculation of air between the several compartments separated by the partition. The importance of this feature is most apparent when used in an air-conditioned building which here;- tofore required the employment of a grill in the door of the partition separating each two adja' cent compartments so as to permit maintenance of the same atmospheric conditions in both. The space 83, however, is even more desirable than the more commonly employed grill intercommunication for the reason that not only does it provide for far more adequate flow of air between adjacent apartments but it also eliminates drafts. However, if it should be desired in any particular type of installation to close the space 83 beneath the partitions, it is entirely feasible to employ a baseboard construction such as that indicated in dotted lines 84 in Figure 7. Since the base 5| of each of the jacks I6 is slightly wider than the lower ends of the panels H it is preferred that if such a baseboard construction be employed, the lower edge of the inner face of the baseboard be relieved as indicated at 85 to accommodate the base 5! of the several associated jacks l6.

In certain installations it may be desirable to employ a partition of lesser height than that illustrated such for example as a counter wherein a horizontal shelf is at the upper edge of a partition-of approximately three feet height. The only difference between such an installation and that hereinabove described is that the posts and panels of this shorter partition would be shorter than those of the modification already described. Furthermore, in certain installations it may be desirable to close the space between the stretcher l2 and the ceiling 86. This can easily be accomplished through the expedient of transom paneling of any suitable design, indicated at 81 in Figs. 1 and 7, though it should be understood that such overhead paneling is not necessary for the rigidity and strength of my improved partition.

I claim:

1. In a knockdown pair of spaced .posts, releasable means for fastening the lower ends thereof to the floor, a horizontal stretcher secured to said posts adjacent the upper ends thereof, the under side of said stretcher having a groove extending longitudinally thereof, a panel disposed below said partition construction, a

stretcher with its upper end seated within said groove, and a jack interposed between the lower edge of said panel and the floor and operable to raise said panel into retentive abutment with groove and pressing upwards against said stretcher and supporting at least a portion of stretcher with its upper end seated within said surface of said stretcher.

operable to raise said panel into retentive abutment with said stretcher, and guide means on said jack restraining the lower end of said panel against lateral displacement.

3. In a knockdown partition construction, a pair of spaced posts, releasable means for fastening the lower ends thereof to the floor, a stretcher interconnecting said posts, means for fastening said stretcher to said posts at predetermined elevation above the fioor, said fastening means comprising a key associated with each end of said stretcher and slidable within aligned parts of a keyway in said stretcher and the associated post optionally to extend across the juncture therebetween to fasten said stretcher to said post or to be withdrawn therefrom to release said stretcher from said post, a plurality of panels disposed in planar alignment below said stretcher and means for pressing said panels upwards into retentive abutment with the under WESLEY W. EAGER.

the weight thereof, a jack interposed between 1 the lower edge of said panel and the floor and

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3133325 *Dec 21, 1959May 19, 1964Triangle Millwork & Sapply CorInterior partitions
US3160244 *Apr 11, 1960Dec 8, 1964Kushner Leonard HBuilding parttion systems
US3321877 *Feb 24, 1964May 30, 1967Armstrong Cork CoAcoustic ceiling
US3411252 *Oct 21, 1965Nov 19, 1968Interior Contractors IncInterior wall system
US4625476 *Dec 20, 1984Dec 2, 1986Nihon Shuno System Kabushiki KaishaPartition wall
US5511348 *Oct 8, 1991Apr 30, 1996Steelcase Inc.Furniture system
US5724778 *May 25, 1995Mar 10, 1998Steelcase Inc.Furniture system
US6003275 *Oct 19, 1998Dec 21, 1999Steelcase Development Inc.Furniture system
US6134844 *Jun 24, 1997Oct 24, 2000Steelcase Inc.Method and apparatus for displaying information
US6170200Aug 27, 1999Jan 9, 2001Steelcase Development Inc.Furniture system
US6629386Sep 13, 2000Oct 7, 2003Steelcase Development CorporationFurniture system
US6922949Apr 18, 2003Aug 2, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationFurniture system
EP0281479A2 *Mar 2, 1988Sep 7, 1988Hugues DegrooteRacks
U.S. Classification52/126.4, 52/468, 52/243.1
International ClassificationE04B2/74, E04B2/82
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/821, E04B2002/749
European ClassificationE04B2/82B