US 2604375 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
L. G. BECKETT July 22, 1952 ADJUSTABLE SHELF CONSTRUCTION FOR REFRIGERATOR CABINETS Filed Jan. 25, 1950 2 SHEETSSHEET 1 [ea G.
y 22, 1952 L. e. BECKETT 2,604,375
ADJUSTABLE SHELF CONSTRUCTION FOR REFRIGERATOR CABINETS Filed Jan. 25, 1950 2 SHEETSSHEET 2 INVENTOR. lea 6T flee/Bait Patented July 22, 1952 UNITED STATES ATENT OFFICE ADJUSTABLE SHELF CONSTRUCTION FOR REFRIGERATOR CABINETS Application January 25, 1950, SerialNo. 140,468
1 Claim. 1
The present invention relates to adjustable shelf construction for refrigerator cabinets, and is particularly concerned with an improved construction permitting the adjustment of a plurality of shelves at a minimum expense, while still maintaining a sanitary condition of the cabinet.
There is a definite need in all modern refrigerators of the household variety for adjustable shelf arrangements to meet the varying needs of the housewife from day to day. Various methods have been proposed, such as folding shelves, lift out shelves, sliding shelves, etc., most of which involve the placing of supporting studs or brackets on the inside of the liner, involving a considerable amount of extra labor to provide the liner with threaded or other metallic arrangements, by means of which the adjustable shelves are to be supported in any of a plurality of different positions.
One of the objects of the present invention is the provision of an improved adjustable shelf construction which eliminates the labor previously incident to the mounting of threaded studs or other metallic devices for the support of shelves from the inside of the liner.
Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved adjustable shelf construction which maintains the sanitary features of the liner, and which does not detract from the appearance of the liner, and by means of which a plurality of shelves may be adjustably mounted in any of a plurality of different positions, and by means of which change of the shelf elevation may be accomplished very quickly and easily at any time without the necessity to use tools or any form of quickly detachable fasteners.
Another object is to provide an improved adjustable shelf construction which is simple, capable of economical manufacture, sturdy, safe and firm, and which is adaptable to the use of shelves that can be constructed economically of steel wire or other suitable material.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings, in which similar k characters of reference indicate similar parts throughout the several views.
Referring to the two sheets of drawings accompanying this specification,
Fig. 1 is a front view in perspective of a household refrigerator equipped with the improved adjustable shelf construction embodying my invention, shown with the door open;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view showing one of the shelves in plan, on the plane of the line 22 of Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, taken on the plane of the line 33 of Fig. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 4 is a view in perspective of the molded plastic supporting member used for the front ends of the shelves;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view, taken on the plane of the line 55 of Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, and showing the construction of the cabinet at a point above or below the shelves.
Referring to Fig. 1, It indicates in its entirety a household refrigerator equipped with my improved shelf construction. The cabinet is provided with an outer shell H and an inner liner ii. The liner I2 is supported upon the shell H by means of any suitable form of brackets; and the space between the shell II and liner l2, indicated at I3, is filled with suitable insulation.
The opening between the shell I l and liner I2 is closed by any suitable form of insulating breaker strip M, which may be secured in place by any of various different forms of securing devices. For example, the shell may have a right angle bend at I5, providing a facing flange l6 about the door frame for engagement with the rubber seal Ifia on the door [1.
The shell may be bent back on itself at I8, having an inner flange l9 engaging back of the flange It; and it may be bent backward at right angles at the corner l5 and provided with a flange 26 engaging the inside of the side wall of the shell. At 2: the shell may have another right angular bend providing an inwardly extending flange 22 surrounding the door opening and forming an inwardly open slot 23 for receiving the breaker strips :4 made of initially plastic insulating material and formed with a channelled edge 24 fitting in the groove 23.
The liner l2 has a rear wall 25, a pair of side walls 26, a bottom 21, and a ceiling. The side walls, bottom, and ceiling project forwardly to the door opening, where they are provided with an easy right angular bend at 28, supporting an integral facing flange 29 about the door opening for engagement with the breaker strip.
The facing flange 29 may have an integral inwardly turned flange 33. The present adjustable shelf arrangements may be used anywhere inside the cabinet so that the upper portion might be provided with adjustable shelves as well as the lower portion.
In order to illustrate the invention, the cabinet it is provided with adjustable shelves 3| and 32 located in the lower part of the compartment, which is formed by the liner l2. The shelf 33 immediately below the evaporator 34 is preferably not adjustable, since it is used for the support of the drip tray 35 below the evaporator.
The shelves 3| and 32 may consist of substantially rectangular wire frames of a size suitable to fit inside the liner; and the wire frames may be constructed of two relatively heavy front and rear frame members 35 and 31 joined by a multiplicity of transverse, parallel, regularly spaced frame members 38 lying on top of the front and rear frame members 35, 31 and welded to the frame members 36,31.
In some embodiments of the invention the transverse frame members 38 may be soldered, brazed, or otherwise secured permanently to the front and rear frame members 36, 31. The transverse frame members 33 are made of relatively smaller rigid wires, the size of the wires depending on the material of which they are made; and when made of steel, the wires may be substantially of the proportions shown in the drawing.
The complete shelf is preferably coated with some suitable material for resisting corrosion. The length of the rear frame member 31 is such that it may be received inside the liner side walls 26 with a slight clearance between the ends of the frame member 3? and the side walls.
The front frame member 36 is preferably longer than the rear frame member 3! by such an amount that the lateral extension of the front frame member 35 is long enough to extend into suitable sockets 39 formed in an initially plastic, nonmetallic insert 40, shown in perspective in Fig. 4.
Thev construction of the shelf and its supports is identical on both sides of the cabinet; and therefore it is only necessary to describe in detail one side of this construction, as shown in Fig. 2.
The liner I2 is preferably made of steel or othersuitable material and provided with a protective coating of a durable nature, such as enamel or porcelain; and the rounded corner 28 of the. front flange 29 is provided for ease in cleaning and to prevent chipping f the finish. Inorder to accommodate the present supporting devices, exemplified. in Fig. 4, the forward corners 28 of the liner are provided with stamped right angular depression 4|. These angular depressions have a rear wall 42, a side wall 43, and are terminated at the top and bottom by end walls 44; and the depressions form an integral part ofthe liner complementary in shape to the insert 49, which is of suitable length to fit between the end walls 44.
The insert 43 is, therefore, provided with flat ends 44, with a fiat rear wall 45, and a fiat side wall 46. At its inner surface 41, surrounding the door frame, the insert 49 has a plane surface which lies flush with and forms an extension of the inner surface of the side wall 26. Likewise its face surface 48 lies flush with and forms an extension of the facing flange 29 on the liner (Fig. 5).
The rounded corner 49 of the insert 4!] is similar in shape to the rounded corner 28 on the liner surrounding the door opening; and this rounded portion of the insert likewise is flush with the rounded parts 28 of the liner above andbelow the ends 44 of the insert.
Thus the insert presents substantially the same appearance as the surface of the liner at its forward curved portions 23; and the insert is preferablymade of a plastic of the same color and similar appearance to the finish of the liner, such as a white plastic when used with a white porcelain liner finish.
The insert 40 is provided with a multiplicity of regularly spaced sockets 39 for the ends of the front frame member 35 of the shelves 3|, 32. These sockets 39 extend laterally into the face 4'! of the insert 40 sufficiently so that the two inserts on opposite sides of the cabinet have the end walls 55 of the sockets 39 spaced sufficiently to pass the ends of the wire 36 with a clearance.
The end of the wire 36 is indicated at 5| in Fig. 2; and the adjacent end wall of the socket at 50. The sockets 39 extend inwardly from the front face 48 of the insert, where they present the laterally open, substantially rectangular slot defined by the end surface 50 and top and bottom surfaces 52, 53.
The top surface 52 of the slot is curved downward at 53 and has a rear wall 54 which leads down to an upwardly open slot 55. The upwardly open slot 55 is defined by the rear wall 54, a bottom wall 56, and a front wall 57. The shape of the upwardly open slot 55 is substantially rectangular, with rounded corners, the curvature of the corners being substantially the same as the curvature of the wire 36, as indicated at 58.
llhus the sockets 39 in the insert 40 are of sufficient width to pass the end portions of the wire 36in from the front and downward into the upwardly open slots 55. The front of the shelf is thus supported by its ends, being carried on the base 56 of the upwardly open slot 55; but the shelf may be removed by lifting its front end until it passes out of the forward opening of the socket 39.
Any number of sockets 39 may b provided in the inserts 40; and the sockets may be equally spaced, or some of them may be closer to others to provide a smaller variation in shelf height for a particular purpose. The inserts 49 may be made of any desired length; and in some embodiments of the invention may extend the full length of the liner, depending upon that part of the compartment which is to be provided with adjustable shelves.
The inserts 49 may be secured in their angular depressions 4| by means of screws, speed nuts, or any other suitable method, such as, for example, the self-tapping screws 59 located in the side wall 50 of the sockets 39 and passing through a countersunk aperture in the insert 40 and through an aperture of suitable size in the liner flang 43.
Thus the fastening means 59 will not be visible from the inside of the cabinet, as it may be located behind the end 5| of the front frame member 36. Any number of securing devices 59' may be employed, such as one in each socket, if necessary, to secure the desired strength without necessity for providing threaded apertures.
The breaker strips I4 may extend over the face flange 29 of the liner, the breaker strip being provided with an integral rib 60, which is its innerntiost part, defining the border of the breaker s rip.
The size of the insert 49 and the depth of the angular depression 4|, in which the insert is received, may be such that the rib 60 on the breaker strip engages the face 48 of the insert so that the breaker strip I4 overlaps the crack between the insert 4!] and the flange 43 of the angular depression 4 This. renders the joint between the insert and the liner invisible and permits the breaker strip to finish off the face of the liner by covering the crack. I
At its rear frame member 3'! the shelves 3| and 32 are preferably provided with a plurality of rearw'ardly extending lugs 6! .(Figs. 2 and '3); and the lugs Bl are preferably made of sizes smaller than the front and rear frame members 38 and'3l, but larger than the transverse frame members 38. The lugs or pegs .6! may consist of wires that are welded to the rear frame member 31; or in-some embodiments of the invention'the'pegs 6| may .be fri'ctionally secured in drilled sockets in the frame member 31 and further secured by means of the coating which covers the entire shelf.
Pegs Bl may also be soldered, brazed, or welded, in addition to the frictional securement to the frame member 31; and the pegs GI preferably have their ends 62 suitably rounded or tapered to facilitate their insertion into the socketed plugs 63.
The plugs 63 may consist of initially plastic non-metallic material, or they may be made out of natural or synthetic rubber, preferably of the same color as the interior finish of the liner. such as white plugs with a white liner.
Each plug 63 comprises a round member of substantially tubular form provided with a closed, outer end 64, a cylindrical bore 65, and an open inner end 66. The bore 65 is of sufficient size to receive pegs 6| with a clearance when the plug 63 is of rigid plastic; but when made of resilient, cleformable rubber, the bore 65 may have a tight fit on the pe 6 l.
The plug 63has its external wall 61 substantially cylindrical, but slightly tapered rearwardly, being actualy frusto-conical, so that the rounded end 68 may be more readily pushed into the aperture E9 in the rear wall 25 of the liner.
The plug 63 has a reduced cylindrical portion It at the aperture 69 and has an annular shoulder H engaging the end or edge of a tapered tubular formation 12 on the liner wall 25 surrounding the aperture 69. Inwardly of the reduced portion 1'0 the plug $3 is formed with a head 13, presenting an annular rounded surface 14 and having a laterally projecting flange engaging the inside of the liner wall 25 with an annular surface 15.
The groove, which is defined by annular shoulder H, reduced portion it, and surface 15 on the plug 63, is adapted to receive the tubular flange 72 formed about the liner aperture 69. The tubular flange 12 actually tapers outwardly in diameter, thus presenting a rounded forward surface at the opening 69, into which it is easier to force the r plug 63.
The plug 63, having been forced into the aperture 69 until the tubular portion 12 rests in the groove, the edge of the tubular portion of the liner, engaging the annular shoulder ll, prevents removal of the plug 63. Any number of apertures and plugs 63 may be provided in the rear wall of the liner, the plugs being preferably spaced in a manner corresponding to the spacing of the sockets 39 of the insert 4%, so that for every socket on the insert there are a pair or more of socketed plugs 63 on the rear wall.
The operation of the shelf with its adjustable supports is as follows. The inserts 40 and socketed plugs 63 having been installed in the liner, a shelf may be inserted by placing its pegs 6| with their ends in the bores 65 of selected plugs 63 on the rear wall.
The length of the pegs 6! is preferably such that the pegs Bl may be inserted in the plugs in the rear wall, while the front frame member 36 is still outside the sockets 39 of the inserts 40. The rear pegs having been located and partially inserted in the plugs 63, the front frame member 36 of the shelf is then lifted into registry with the 6 forwardly open slots of the sockets 39 on the same level. v r
The shelf is then pushed backward,-the end p i o th front fram member .36 p i into the sockets 39 anddropping into the lower portions of the sockets 39 tobe retained by the front wall .57 of these sockets. In the meantime the pegs- 6! have passed fully into the bores of the plugs 63, providing a non-metallic connection between the metallic liner and the metallic shelf both at the back and the front of the shelf.
Shelves may be removed by merely lifting the front and pulling them out; and they may be re-inserted at any desired level for which sockets and plugs are provided.
It will thus be observed that I have invented an improved adjustable shelf construction for household refrigerators, which lends itself to attachment of shelves of very simple construction, and which permits the shelves to be removed and reinstalled with a minimum amount of labor and without the use of tools.
The socketed plugs and inserts which support the shelves have no through apertures, which would expose the cabinet insulation, or which would cause unsanitary conditions. The shelves are firmly anchored and so secured that there will be no rattling between metallic parts; and the forward inner corner of the liner is still pro vided with a rounded finish, which makes for more sanitary conditions and at the inserts corresponds to the contour of the other parts of the liner. The present shelf construction may be installed with a minimum amount of labor, requiring only that the liner be suitably shaped and provided with apertures or depressions for receiving the plugs and inserts.
While I have illustrated a preferred embodiment of my invention, many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, and I do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail myself of all changes within the scope of the appended claim.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States, is:
A shelf supporting means for refrigerator cabinets having a liner, said liner having a rounded outer corner and formed with a stamped depression in the corner portion thereof of less height than said liner, said depression having flat upper and lower walls and a pair of continuous unbroken walls extending vertically and at right angles to each other, a molded non-metallic insert fitting in said depression and having its inner walls continuous and extending at right angles to each other, its top and bottom walls flat and its outer surfaces being rounded and flush with the surfaces of said liner, said insert being of a length to fill said depression to provide a substantially continuous surface of the outer corner of the liner, means for securing said insert in said depression, said molded insert being provided with a plurality of L-shaped sockets, the said sockets having a forward opening and an inner downwardly extending shelf supporting portion for receiving a lateral extension of a shelf, the shelves being supportable at different levels by having their extensions inserted in sockets at different levels.
LEO G. BECKETT.
(References on following page) 7 REFERENCES CITED UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date Pauly Feb. 20, 1894 Isbell Feb. 25, 1913 Number 8 Name Date Senge June 17, 1913 Sywert May 24, 1938 Knight Sept. 13, 1938 Reeves Oct. 20, 1942 Schweller June 15, 1943 Kline Aug. 24, 1948 Amore Apr. 24, 1951