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Publication numberUS2678735 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 18, 1954
Filing dateOct 29, 1951
Priority dateMar 20, 1947
Publication numberUS 2678735 A, US 2678735A, US-A-2678735, US2678735 A, US2678735A
InventorsCrcedon Neil J
Original AssigneeCrcedon Neil J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Circulator shelf for refrigerators
US 2678735 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 18, 1954 N. J. CREEDON 2,678,735

CIRCULATOR SHELF FOR REFRIGERATORS 4 l9 a F/g./ 56 2 122 52 I m: 57 I I,

l I 2 i Fig 2 Neil J. Creedon INVENTOR.

ant/#000} E Patented 18, 1954 STATS OFFICE Original application March 20, 1947, Serial No. 735,946. Divided and this application October 29, 1951, Serial No. 253,677

3 Claims.

This a divisional application the subject matter of which has formed part of my earlier application Serial No. 735,946, filed March 20, 1947, now Patent No. 2,581,363, dated January 8, 1952.

This invention relates to shelves or guide tracks used in connection with refrigerating or storage apparatus or the like and it has for its general object to provide circulation means for securing an orderly sequence in the withdrawal of objects such as bottles, jars, cans and the like from the place of refrigeration, storage, cooling and the like, thus equalizing the period of storage, exposure or refrigeration, which objects placed into the apparatus at different times undergo before withdrawal.

In refrigerators and in other apparatus or containers in which bottles, jars, cans and other vessels are stored or exposed to certain influences the period of storage, refrigeration or exposure depends, as a rule, entirely on the operator. In households and in similar places where systema-tic operations cannot be carried out, the bottles, cans or other objects which are to be stored are placed into any empty space which happens to be available and those which are to be withdrawn are usually taken at random from the front row. This leads to the consequence that the bottles, cans or other objects in the front row are those mostly used, or have an average storage or refrigeration period within the re- 1 irigerator or other container which is much shorter than that of other bottles, cans or objects which happen to be in the background. It is sometimes important that a certain minimum period of exposure or cooling be maintained or it may be desirable to have bottles or cans thoroughly refrigerated before use. This will not be the case, if they are placed into the front row of a refrigerator cabinet where the temperature is constantly raised whenever the door opens and from whence they are irregularly removed. In such a case their mean temperature will be markedly above the mean temperature of the bottles in the interior of the refrigerator cabinet.

fhe invention provides shelving means for refrigerators or for other storage containers, apparatus and cabinets, permitting the introduction of bottles, cans and other objects at the front end and the withdrawal from this same end, but securing a minimum period of exposure or storage within an effective zone by arranging two substantially parallel channels or lanes lead ing to the rear of the refrigerator, or other storage container or cabinet, arranged adjacent to each other and by further arranging means for conveying the cans, bottles or other objects from one of the two channels to the other, so that upon insertion of a new can or bottle those cans or bottles which have been previously introduced are advanced in one channel towards the rear and in the adjacent channel towards the front.

According to the invention an easy and practically frictionless means is provided for obtaining a reversal of the direction of advance which consists of a turntable rotatable on an axle and arranged within a surrounding cage, which cage is formed by a semi-circular continuation of the two outer walls of the two channels.

The specific objects of the invention will be apparent from the detailed specification.

The invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawing illustrating one embodiment thereof. It is however to be understood that this embodiment of the invention is shown by way of example only and it has been selected to assist in explaining the principle of the invention and the best mode of applying this principle. A departure from or modification of the example, illustrated in the drawing therefore does not necessarily constitute a departure from the priniple of the invention.

In the drawings:

Figure l is a perspective View of a shelf according to the invention.

Figure 2 is an elevational sectional side view, the section being taken along line 2---2 of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the turntable and of adjoining parts.

As above explained a shelf is provided according to the invention which is capable of circulating objects such bottles, cans or the like along a curved path consisting in the examples illustrated in the drawings of two substantially parallel channels joined by a returning or direction reversing wall, preferably of substantially semi-circular or semi-elliptical form. This shelf may be a part of the refrigerator or storage cabinet installation and may be fixedly arranged therein and connected with or form part of the compartment walls. It may however also be a separate unit placed into the refrigerator or storage cabinet.

It will be readily understood that in the majority of cases the location and direction of the two parallel channels will be such that they point in the direction usually called depth of the cabinet and that they run away from the door or opening which provides accessibility. The

bottom of said channels is substantially horizontal. They end near said door or opening and one of said channels is always used for introducing or feeding fresh bottles, cans or the like to be stored, while bottles or cans which are removed for use or other purposes are taken from the other or delivery channel. It will also be understood that when the user or operator places the bottles or cans on the bottom of one channel the bottles or cans which have been placed on the trackway on the bottom of said channel previously are pushed back and that this is part of the intended operation. By pushing back the bottles, cans, jars and the like in or near the front, the entire file or row of objects in both channels is moved with some bottles, cans, jars and the like moving to the rear, some moving in the direction reversing connecting channel and some moving towards the front.

The shelf, according to the embodiment of the invention shown in the figures comprises a horizontal or supporting base I!) which may be held surrounded by a frame H and which supports the vertical guiding walls. In the example shown the entire shelf forms a kind of cage permitting free circulation of air in order to make the shelf fit for use within a refrigerator. The bottom portion H3 consists of longitudinal bars I2 and cross bars l3 crossing each other and welded or soldered to each other and to the frame I l. The longitudinal bars I2 are preferably uppermost and form a guideway or track along the bottom portion on which the bottles, cans, jars, etc, which are usually of circular form may move along. These bars are not connected with each other but are cut to an appropriate length and are all united by welding, soldering or the like to an approximately semi-circular bar or a circular bar hi which is held within frame H. This circular bar 14 encircles a circular pocket 44 formed by means of crossing bars 43, which are welded to the circular bar I 2.

Along each side of the frame a guiding cage wall consisting likewise of bars crossing each other is formed. The bars l1 which may be termed longitudinal bars are preferably arranged at the inside of the cage and are running around the entire structure forming lateral tracks on the sides of the shelf. They are joined by cross bars 29 which may be formed by extensions of the horizontal cross bars l3 bent at right angles to the horizontal portion l3. The shelf thus becomes a rigid unitary structure. The straight sections il'a, Hb in the frontal portion of the shelf are joined by a semi-circular, semi-elliptical or otherwise curved portion I 8 in the rear or direction reversing portion l5. They are joined by vertical cross bars l9 joining them arranged on the outside of the cage.

The longitudinal bars i7 form the lateral trackway or the guide rails along which the bottles, jars, cans or other objects may advance without much friction.

The direction reversing means in the rear portion 15 of the shelf is formed by a turntable 40, arranged in alignment with the bottom portion of the channels.

The crossing bars 43 support a center piece tserving as a bearing for an axle bar 46 on which the turntable 513 may turn. The turntable preferably consists of circular rails 41 forming a supporting base and held by a number of radial cross bars 48 below them. The circular rails are disposed in the same level in which the longitudinal guiding rails or bars !2 are arranged,

so that an object advancing along the rails or bars 12 will be pushed on the turntable without effort. A central hub member 69 may be welded to said cross bars.

The partition 57 between the two channels is fixedly connected with the shelf and is held by fiat strips 52 and cross bars 53 encircled by guide rails 55 forming an elongated loop. The partition wall in this case ends near the center of the turntable and its last cross bar may be formed by the axle bar 46. Rollers 56 may be arranged along said axle bar between the guide rails 55 so as to facilitate the turning of objects placed near the center of the turntable 50.

The turntable rests on the center piece 50 and turns around the axle bar with its hub member serving as a bearing for such rotation.

It will be clear that merely the bottles, cans or objects to be moved along the straight portions of the channel offer some kind of resistance against movement, while objects which have been pushed on the turntable will move around practically without noticeable resistance.

The shelf is completely accessible from above and therefore objects may be inserted at or may be removed from any place along the track without difiiculty if desired.

The use, operation and advantages gained will be clear from the foregoing description. Assuming that milk or beer bottles, cans or other objects are placed into one of the channels, then it is only necessary to place each fresh bottle into the frontal zone of said channel. It is assumed that the shelf is of such a size that a bottle, can or jar placed into the shelf will approximately fill the greater part of the channel or at least a substantial portion of it. A bottle, can or jar may then be placed into the shelf only by pushing back the bottle whi"h happens to be there and the latter will therefore be pushed back towards the rear of the shelf and will move further bottles placed behind it. On account of the guide rails and the turntable the effort of pushing back the entire row of bottles or jars will be minimized. When a sufficient number of bottles or jars have been placed into the channel and have been pushed back, some of these bottles or jars will have reached the front or an advanced position in the other channel, from which position removal takes place.

The shelf therefore takes automatically care of the regular sequence of removal in keeping with the order in which the bottles have been placed into the refrigerator. In households where it is difiicult to have a regular system observed, the shelf according to the invention provides a system preventing a completely irregular use in all cases in which a certain storage or refrigerator period is expected to be observed. For industrial purposes the shelf is a labor saving safety appliance eliminating marking or recording systems in cases in which a certain minimum period of exposure to some cooling or heating influence is prescribed.

It has been assumed in the above description of examples that the shelf is made of steel wires or rails or of sheet iron. It may be mentioned however that the material of which the shelf or its parts are made may be plastics or glass or so-called Plexiglas. These materials may be used for the body of the shelf as well as for the rollers and the partition and its parts. These materials produce an attractive appearance, are inexpensive, are non-conductors of heat and are acid resisting so that they present many advantages.

It will be clear from the above that the construction of the details Will conform itself to the material used and is not of influence on the embodiment of the invention and that this construction may therefore be changed without substantial modification of the shelves as described and claimed.

Having described the invention, what is claimed as new is:

1. A shelf construction for refrigerators or storage rooms, guiding objects pushed into the refrigerator or storage room in one direction and then in the opposite direction, comprising a cagelike compartment provided with straight outer walls and a partition dividing said compartment into two adjacent parallel channels open at one end, but closed at the other end by a semi-circular wall section joining the two straight outer walls, said partition running from the open end of the compartment to a point spaced from the semi-circular wall, a substantially horizontal straight trackway section in the front portions of each of said adjacent channels running'towards a circular opening provided in the rear of the compartment in the bottom of the same, one half of said opening being encircled by the semicircular wall, and a substantially horizontal circular turntable in said opening with supporting rails at a level with the trackways and rotatable around an axle mounted in the compartment near the end of the partition wall between the said channels, said turntable carrying objects pushed toward the rear in one channel into the adjacent channel by its rotation.

2. A shelf construction for refrigerators or storage rooms, guiding objects pushed into the refrigerator or storage room in on direction, and then the opposite direction, comprising a channel open at one end with a substantially horizontal bottom, leading from the front side of the refrigerator or storage room towards the rear, a second channel adjacent thereto, likewise open at one end and with a substantial horizontal bottom connected with and at a level with the bottom of the other channel, each of said channels having a straight outer wall and the two straight outer walls of the two channels being joined by a semi-circular wall section closing the other ends of both channels, a substantially horizontal circular rotatable turntable, arranged for rotation around a vertical axle, disposed at the level of the bottom of the two channels and occupying the closed end of both channels, said vertical turntable axle being supported on crossbars connected to the bottom of the channels, and being surrounded by the semi-circular wall section, the two adjacent channels being in open communication with each other in the space above said rotatable turntable which is surrounded by the semi-circular wall.

3. A shelf construction for refrigerators or storage rooms, guiding objects pushed into the refrigerator or storage room in one direction and then in the opposite direction, comprising a compartment open near the front end of the refrigerator or storage room and enclosed between two straight wall sections, a base and a semi-circular wall section, said compartment being divided into two separate channels by a central partition wall on said base parallel to the side walls reaching from the front end to a point equidistant from all points of the closed end of the compartment surrounded by the semi-circular wall section, each channel being provided with a substantially horizontal trackway on the base along which the objects may be advanced when pushed, a substantially horizontal turntable freely rotatable around an axle arranged in the center of the circle occupied by the semi-circular wall section, said turntable being provided with supporting rails arranged at the level of the trackways, a pocket in the bottom of the compartment formed below the turntable for mounting said axle and turntable and rollers mounted on an axle coaxial with the axle of the turntable at the end of the central partition wall.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,008,303 Hallock July 16, 1935 2,029,109 Kucher Jan. 28, 1936 2,109,999 Johnson Mar. 1, 1938 2,154,388 Starnes et a1 Apr. 11, 1939 2,176,394 Elder Oct. 17, 1939 2,233,118 Williams Feb. 25, 1941 2,376,960 Clem May 29, 1945 2,581,363 Creedon Jan. 8, 1952

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3379313 *Mar 2, 1966Apr 23, 1968American Motors CorpRefrigerator shelf container positioning device
US5595310 *Mar 3, 1995Jan 21, 1997The Mead CorporationDisplay device having article guide means for encouraging stock rotation
US5819937 *May 16, 1997Oct 13, 1998Walker; Kimberly K.Bottle organizer
US5865324 *Sep 25, 1997Feb 2, 1999Display Technologies, Inc.Roto-track display device
US6450349Jun 6, 2001Sep 17, 2002Anthony J. LeeRefrigerator storage apparatus
US7448504 *Jun 14, 2006Nov 11, 2008Display Industries, LlcShelf for maximizing cold vault use
US7823733 *Jun 16, 2006Nov 2, 2010System Communications, Inc.Article display tray provided with movement guide device, and movement guide device
US20080000852 *Jun 14, 2006Jan 3, 2008Display Industries, Llc.Shelf devide for maximizing cold vault use
US20080116158 *Nov 16, 2006May 22, 2008B/E Aerospace, Inc.Bottle organizer
US20090090684 *Jun 16, 2006Apr 9, 2009System Communications, Inc.Article display tray provided with movement guide device, and movement guide device
DE3208540A1 *Mar 10, 1982Sep 22, 1983Siegfried JosephyDevice for storing foods, in particular drinks filled into containers, in a refrigerator
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DE19803985C2 *Feb 2, 1998Dec 9, 1999Helmut NeidlVorrichtung zum Lagern von Lebensmitteln
EP2891857A3 *Dec 5, 2014Aug 26, 2015Liebherr-Hausgeräte Lienz GmbHReceiving element
U.S. Classification211/74, 62/382, 211/151
International ClassificationF25D25/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25D25/00
European ClassificationF25D25/00