US 2474157 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 21., 1949'. B NEEDLMAN 2,474,157
DISPLAY ALARM June 21, 1949,
Filed NOV. 12, 1'94'7 B. NEEDLMAN DISPLAY ALARM 2 sheets-sheet 2 F i Z6 ml I w( Z6 l/\ ggg/L16' J4 I J6' I z l\\\\\ \\j l l'\\\\1| 4 J Z525' I. \.zz 1" 'zg-J7 f@ @I im m I' lid [4 d'-z'a' 4" y 'f i? -Zg y 28,57 251g l ZZ Il YZ 4A l Hl 4fl a9 www Patented June 21, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,474,157 DISPLAY ALARM Barney Needlman, Chicago, Ill. Application November 12, 1947, SerialI No. 785,258
5 Claims. 1
This invention relates generally to merchandise display stands and more particularly to improvements in alarm apparatus used in conjunction therewith.
A principal object of the instant invention is to provide alarm "apparatus for merchandise display stands or the like wherein a signal device operates for a pre-selected period of time upon the removal of merchandise from said stand, whereupon the signal device is automatically shut off.
Another object of my invention is to provide alarm apparatus of the type specified above which is completely concealed from View when merchandise is placed in position on the display stand.
A further object of Vmy inventionis to provide alarm apparatus of the type specied which is compact, inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to install and to maintain.
In its broad aspect, the present invention comprises an alarm system adapte-d to be incorporated into a merchandise display stand or the like wherein a signal device, either auditory or visual, is actuated for a pre-selected period of time each time that a piece of merchandise is removed from the stand. A customer desiring to purchase merchandise placed on a display stand incorporating my invention, therefore, need only lift the desired product off the'stand, whereupon a bell, buzzer or other signal device noties the attendant of the customers desire to purchase. Since the signal is actuated each time that a piece of merchandise is removed, my invention also serves to eliminate shoplifting from open counters. Advantageously, the signal device of my invention operates for only a comparatively short period of time, so that there is no immediate need to replace the merchandise removed from the display stand. In counterdistinction to my invention are prior art devices wherein an alarm system is actuated upon removal of merchandise and does not stop until either the merchandise is replaced or the energy supply to the signal device is cut off. Such alarm devices act to embarrass customers because of the prolonged noise which results each time that apiece of merchandise is removed from a display rack. It is also apparent that such systems cannot be operated for any length of time unless the display stand is completely filled with mechandise.
In order that my invention may be more fully disclosed, reference is had to the accompanying drawings which illustrate apparatus embodying the foregoing and such other principles, advantages or capabilities as may be pointed out as this description proceeds, or as are inherent in the present invention. For purposes of clarity in exposition, the following description is explicit, and the accompanying drawings are detailed, but it is distinctly to be understood that said exposition is illustrative only, and that my invention is not restricted to the particular details recited in the specification or shown i'n the drawings.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a plan elevational View illustrating a merchandise display stand incorporating `one embodiment of my invention;
Figure 2 is a side elevational view taken in section along the line 2-2 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a rear elevational view taken in section along the line 3-3 of Figure 1;
Figure 4 is a fragmentary elevational view taken in section `along the line 4 4 of Figure 1;
Figure 5 is a schematic view of the apparatus shown in Figures 1 through 4;
Figure 6 illustrates schematically a further modification of my invention; and
Figure 7 is a fragmentary sectional view of a detail of the modiiication shown in Figure 6.
Like reference characters designate like parts in the drawings and in the description thereof which follows.
Referring now to the drawings, my invention is shown in combination with a display stand I 0 which includes a supporting shelf II and a merchandise partition I2. The manner in which the partition I2 is adapted to position merchandise, as exemplified by the bottle I3, is best shown in Figures 1 and 3. A plurality of openings I4, I4, I4 pierce the supporting shelf I I, while cylinders I5, l5, I5 are positioned beneath and axially aligned with said openings I 4, I4, I4 respectively. Each of the cylinders I5, I5, I5 is provided with a cooperating plunger I6, which plunger I 6 is shown as having a passageway I'I of small diameter extending entirely therethrough. In addition, the plunger I6 is provided with a bottom plate I8, a retaining plate I9 and an intermediate packing ilange 2li. The packing flange 20 may be formed from any ilexible material such as for example leather or other coriaceous material and, in combination with the bottom plate I8 and the retaining plate I9 comprises a piston indicated generally by the numeral 2|. The plunger I5 operates through a cover plate 22, which acts to close the cylinder I5 and guide the plunger Iii` Inserted between the bottom of the cylinder I5 and the bottom plate I8 is a helical spring 23. The cover plate 22 and the cylinder |5 are secured to the supporting frame 24 of the display stand IU by means of fasteners 25, 25. When the spring 23 is in its uncompressed, or null position, the end portion 25 of the plunger IB extends through the opening I4 above the supporting shelf II.
As best shown in Figure 4, two conductive strips 21, 28 are anchored to the cylinder I5 by means of the fasteners 25, 25. A contact member 29 integral with the plunger I5 is movable vertically between the strips 21, 28. As further shown in Figure 4, the contact member 29 is out of contact with the strips 21, 28 when lthe plunger I8 is at the top of its stroke. As will be explained in further detail hereinbelow, the coaction between the contact member 29 and the strips 21,l 28, provide electrical switch means whereby an appropriate signal device may be actuated for a preselected period of time when the bottle I3 or other merchandise is removed from the stand IU.
By means of apparatus such as that illustrated in Figure 3, it becomes possible to adapt my iii-- vention to operate on conventional alternating current supply sources. This apparatus includes a transformer 3|]-` which is energized from an electrical energy supply source (not shown) through the primary lead 3|. Said transformer 30 in turn supplies the energy which operates an electrical alarm device, as exemplified bythe electric bell unit 32. bells, the unit 32 includes a bell 33, a clapper 34 and solenoid mechanism 35 which actuates the,
In order that the mode of operation ol the embodiment shown in Figures 1 through 4 may be better understood, reference is had to the schematic layout thereof shown in Figure 5. It will be seen that one side of the secondary 35a of the transformer 30 is connected through the conduit 36 to the conductive strips 21, 2l, 21 secured to the cylinders I5, I5, I5, respectively. The conductive strips 28, 28, 28 are in turn common to one side of the electric bell unit 32 through the conduit 31. The other side i the electric unit 32 is connected through the conduit 38 to the other side of the secondary 35a of the transformer 30. The primary side 38h of the transformer 30 contains a switch 39 by means of which the supply of energy thereto may be conveniently switched on or off. It is app-arent that the electric circuit shown in Figure comprises three parallel circuit branches each of which contains a switch as represented by the conductive strips 21, 28 and the contact member 29.
Figure 5 further illustrates the three positions of the plunger I6 which are of importance in the operation of my invention. Thus, in the right hand portion of Figure 5, the weight of the bottle I3 acts to depress the end portion 25 oi the plunger I6 in the manner shown. When the plunger I6 is at the bottom of its stroke, the spring 23 is compressed, the contact member 23 -is out of contact with the conductive vstrips 2'1,
Like conventional electric 28 and the respective branch of the electric circuit is open.
Upon the removal of the bottle I3 from the shelf II, however, the plunger acts to displace upward under the action of the compressed helical spring 23. Because of the novel construction inherent to my invention, however, this upward movement is retarded over that which would ordinarily prevail. Specically the above mentioned construction of the piston 2| .such that the upward movement of the plunger I@ acts to provide an eiiicient seal between the walls of the cylinder I5 and the packing flange 25. It will be noted, however, that as the piston 2| moves upward under the initial action of the spring that the volume of air trapped within the cylinder I5 increases, with a corresponding decrease in absolute pressure. This action there fore momentarily creates a differential in pressure across the two boundaries of the piston 2|, so that a force unbalance exists which acts to retard the upward movement of the piston 2l. The physical constants of the spring selected are such, however, that the spring by itself is unable to overcome this force unbalance. On the other hand, the passageway |1 acts as a balance tube and permits the entry of a small quantity of air into the displacement volume of the piston 2| as it moves upward. By dimensioning the passageway I1 so that it effectively throttles all oi the air passing therethrough, however, the rate at which air flows into the displacement volume, and hence the rate at which the piston 2| moves upward, may be controlled. Thus the time required for the contact member 29 to traverse the conductive strips 21, 28, may also be set at any value desired. Thus, it will be seen that when the plunger I6 is in the position shown in the middle portion of Figure 5, that the branch of the electric circuit concerned is closed. As a result energy ows from the transformer 30 to the electric bell unit 32. The unit 32 continues to operate as long as the contact member 29 d bridges the conductive strips 21, 28.
As the plunger I8 reaches the upward extent of its stroke, the contact member 29 dsengages the conductive strips 21, 28 thereby opening the secondary circuit and cutting on' the energy supply to the bell unit 32. The appearance of the plunger I8 and its cooperating elements when in this position is best shown in the left hand portion of Figure 5.
As further evidence of the applicability of my invention, it may be combined with other types of alarm circuits, such as for example the visual type alarm arrangement shown in Figure 6. Specifically, this arrangement includes an electric light bulb 40 which ilashes on when merchandise is removed from the supporting shelf I I, thereby informing the salesman that a piece of merchandise has been removed from the stand Ill. One terminal of the light bulb 40 is connected to the conductive strips 21, 21, 21, through the conduit 4I, while the other terminal of the bulb 4i!` is connected through the conduit 42 to one side of a battery 43. The other side of the battery 43 is in turn connected through the conduit 44 to the conductive strips 28, 28, 28. A switch 45 is interposed in the conduit 42 to provide positive means for opening and closing the circuit. Thus it will be seen that in many respects the electric alarm circuit shown in Figure 6 is similar to the alarm circuit shown in Figure 5. In particular, the coaction between the contact members 29 and the conductive strips 21, 28 is the same in each case.
Whereas the plunger I6 illustratedA in Figures 1 through 5 is shown as having a fixed and unchangeable height, the height of the plunger I6 as shown in Figure 6 may be adjusted. This adjustability is of particular utility where the display stand lll must accommodate articles of the class exemplifiedV by the bottle |3a wherein the contacting surface is spaced from the shelf Il. As is best showny in Figure '7, this adjustability is achieved by providing a separate, centrally bored and threaded end portion 26a which threads onto the threaded plunger ISa. While the adjustability of the end portion 26a along the length of the plunger Ilia makes it possible to utilize this embodiment for articles having both flat and contoured supporting surfaces, the stroke of the piston 2l in each instant remains constant. Thus the operation of the alarm actuating means, as exemplified by the coacting contact member 29 and conductive strips 21, 28 is in no way impaired.
In addition to the embodiments shown in the drawings, my invention embraces many other useful forms. Thus, for example it is apparent that any number of units comprising a cylinder and cooperating mechanism may be incorporated into a merchandise display stand, and that all of these units may be coupled to a single, appropriate signal device. In addition, many types of throttling arrangements suggest themselves. For example, it might prove practical to throttle the air trapped within the upper portion of the cylinder I5 as the piston 2| moves upward by the simple expedient of providing a throttling orifice or valve in the cover plate 22. It is also apparent that my invention may be used in conjunction with many other types of signaling devices than those shown in the drawings. Similarly, numerous methods of energizing the signaling device readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.
Thus, while I have shown and described certain specific embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that these embodiments have been given by way of example only and that various changes and rearrangements of the details shown herein may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims.
What I claim is:
l.. In a merchandise display stand including a display platform, said platform having an opening therethrough, an electrical alarm device and a source of electrical energy for said alarm device. means for sounding said alarm for a predetermined length of time when merchandise is removed from said platform, said means consisting of t a cylinder and a piston therein, a push rod secured to said piston and axially aligned with said opening, a helical spring within said cylinder opposing downward movement of said piston, the upper end of said push rod extending above said platform under the action of said spring when no downward external force is applied thereto, said upper end being depressed when merchandise is placed thereon, an electrical contact plate integral said pushrod, a pair of spaced conductive strips bridged by said contact plate during the intermediate portion of the upward movement of said push rod under the said action of said spring means, one of said pair of strips being conductively connected to one side of said source of electrical. energy, the other of said pair of strips being conductively connected to the other side of said source of electrical energy through said alarm device, and means for delaying the speed with which said contact plate traverses said strips which consists of a small passageway piercing said piston and said push rod axially, whereby all air entering the displacement volume of said cylinder as said piston moves upward is throttled through said passageway.
2. An alarm device for merchandise display stands and the like whereby an electrical alarm device connected to an electrical energy supply source is actuated when merchandise is removed from a display platform thereof, said device comprising: a cylinder and a piston movable therein; a push rod secured to said piston and extending upward through said display platform when said piston is at the end of its upward stroke, said push rod being below said platform at the end of its downward stroke; spring means resisting downward movement of said piston; an electrical contact member on said push rod; a pair of spaced conductive strips bridged by said contact member during the intermediate portion only of the stroke of said piston, said electrical energy supply source being connected to said alarm device through said pair of conductive strips upon bridging thereof by said contact member; and means for delaying the speed with which said contact member traverses said conductive strips which comprises a throttling orice in said piston; whereby placing merchandise over said cylinder depresses said push rod to the end of said downward stroke, and whereby removing said merchandise for said stand causes said push rod to move upward under the action of said spring means, whereupon the air entering the displacement volume of said cylinder is throttled through said orifice and said contact member slowly traverses said conductive strips.
3. Display alarm timing means adapted to be used in combination with alarm means and a display platform having an opening therethrough, comprising: a cylinder beneath said platform, a plunger operating in said cylinder, the free end of said plunger extending through said opening upon upward stroking of said plunger, spring means acting on said plunger resisting downward stroking thereof, said alarm means actuated by said plunger during the middle portion only of the stroke of said plunger, and means for throttling substantially all of the air entering the displacement volume of said cylinder as said plunger moves upwardly, whereby the upward movement of said plunger is retarded.
4. In a device as defined in claim 3, means for adjusting the height of said plunger above said platform.
5. In a display stand for merchandise and the like including a display platform having an opening therethrough, an electrical alarm device and a source of electrical energy therefor, other means for actuating said alarm device for a predetermined time interval whenever merchandise is removed from said display platform, said other means comprising: a cylinder beneath said platform in alignment with said opening, a plunger operating in said cylinder, the free end of said plunger extending above said platform upon uplward stroking of said plunger, means for adjusting the height of said plunger above said platform, spring means within said cylinder urging said plunger upward, an electrical contact member carried by said plunger, electrical switch REFERENCES CITED The following referenlces are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 463,001 Smith Nov. 10, 1891 1,064,926 Nielsen June 17, 1913 1,765,223 Ferris June 17, 1930 1,913,699 Crago June 13, 1933 2,112,228 Crago i Mar. 28, 193B Certificate of Correction Patent No. 2,474,157 June 21, 1949 BARN EY N EEDLMAN It is hereby certified that errors appear in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows:
Column 1, line 50, for mechandise read merchandise; column 6, line 36, for the Words for said read from smid;
and that the said Letters Patent should be read with these corrections therein that the same may conform to the record of the case in the Patent Ofiice.
Signed and sealed this 20th day of December, A. D. 1949.
THOMAS F. MURPHY,
Assistant ammn'oner of Patents.
Certificate o f Correction Patent No` 2,474,157 June 21, 1949 BARNEY N EEDLMAN It is hereby certified that errors appear in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows:
Column 1, line 50, for mechandise read merchandise; column 6, line 36, for the words for said read from said;
and that the said Letters Patent should be read With these corrections therein that the same may conform to the record of the case in the Patent Office.
Signed and sealed this 20th day of December, A. D. 1949.
THOMAS F. MURPHY,
Aniston# Oom/maoner of Patents.