US 2735553 A
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Feb. 21, R M. LEHMAN FRONT FEEDER SHELF MERCHANDIZER Filed Aug. 28
ROBE/P T M. LE HMAN JNVENTOR.
United States Patent FRONT FEEDER SHELF MERCHANDIZER Robert M. Lehman, Summit, N. J. Application August 28, 1951, Serial No. 243,972 1 Claim. (Cl. 211-49) This invention deals with a package display and merchandizing device which automatically positions the remaining displayed packages as others are removed from the unit. More specifically, it relates to disposable vertically tiered package display devices in which rubber bands are employed to keep, in a forward position, the packages left in the device.
Display devices for packages have been disclosed which employ complicated and expensive means for forward feeding of unremoved packages. Such units have involved steel cases with springs and steel plate backing units, all of which have been found bulky, too expensive and complicated for store use.
The present invention involves a device made practically entirely of cardboard and employs a few rubber bands to achieve front feeding. Furthermore, it can be made in knocked-down condition, taking up very little space during shipping and storage. It has been found highly suitable for merchandizing packaged desserts, soups, and similar items.
The invention will be more readily understood by reference to the accompanying drawing in which Figure 1 depicts an isometric view of an assembled preferred 2- tier merchandizer particularly suitable for marketing packaged puddings and desserts. An isometric disassembled view of the top tray and stand is illustrated in Figure 2, while Figure 3 shows a similar view of the bottom tray. Similar numerals refer to similar parts in the various figures.
Referring again to the accompanying drawing, numeral 1 represents the substantially rectangular bottom section or portion of the lower tray, which is preferably made of light-weight sheet material such as cardboard. This bottom section is provided with vertical narrow sides 2 and 3 which have higher forward portions 4, and from which latter project lateral, inwardly-folding, tapered flaps 8 and 9. From the forward edge of bottom 1 projects extension 5 which is of the same height as flaps 8 and 9 and which is scored so as to fold over said flaps at 15. Portion 6 of the extension covers the rear of flaps 8 and 9 and terminates with fold 14 (all folds preferably being scored) at the bottom of the tray. Extension 7 extends from fold 14 along the surface of bottom section 1. A circular rubber band 10 is looped somewhat below fold and is employed for front feeding of the displayed packages as will be explained hereinafter.
Sides 2 and 3 terminate at the rear with inwardly folding flaps 51, while extension 11 projects upwardly from the rear edge 19 of bottom section 1 and extends over flap 51, where it is folded at 18 and is then directed downwardly to act as a cover 50 covering the forward portions of flaps 51 and terminating in fold 13 at the surface of bottom section 1. Cover 16 projects from told 13 and extends over and covers the entire bottom section 1. It will be apparent, therefore, that tray 1 represents an exceptionally strong construction since the end flaps are locked rigidly in place and, due to the locking action of cover 16 which is disposed over exten- 2,735,553 p ented Feb. 21, 1956 sion 7, rubber band 10 can be stretched for a long distance rearwardly without danger of slipping out or causing disintegration of the assembly. This is particularly the case when one realizes that filled packages 42, 43, etc. also are contributing their weight on cover 16, to provide a very stable and strong merchandizing unit.
Upper tray or bottom section 21 also has narrow vertical sides 22 and 23 which are made higher in the forward portions 24. These forward side portions terminate with tapered, lateral, inwardly-folding flaps 32 and 33 which are disposed under fold 25, between extension 26 (which projects from forward edge '27 of bottom section 21) and extension 29 (which is a continuation of extension 26). Extension 29 acts as a frontpanel as well as lateral locking means to anchor the upper tray to the lower one. Hence its height (Figure 1) should be sufficient to extend over the front portion of package 44, with suflicient height remaining to allow insertion of the terminal edge 30 inside the front exten'sion's'of bottom section 1 in the lower tray. It is not intended as a support and thus need not extend to bottom section 1.
The rear ends of sides 22 and 23 also terminate in tapered, lateral, inwardly-folding flaps 38 which are -disposed under fold 39 between extensions 34 and 36, projecting from rear edge 35 of bottom or basese'ction 21. Extension 36 is folded downwardly over the flaps and, similarly to panel 29, is tucked inside rear extension 50 adjacent last package'42 on the lower tray, thus acting as a rear panel for the assembly. A circular rubber band 33 is looped somewhat below fold 25 and is used for front feeding of packages on the upper tray, as will be hereinafter explained.
When the unit is to be used for display and marketing purposes, the lower tray is assembled as already outlined, and the packages 42, 43, etc. to be marketed are placed in a row over cover 16 so that the name 40 of the packaged material is displayed on the side. Then rubber band 10 is stretched to encircle the entire row of packages as in Figure 1. The upper tray is assembled, as already outlined, and superimposed over the lower tray, and a row of packages is inserted therein as shown in Figure 1, and rubber band 33 is stretched to encircle the entire row of packages 40, 41, etc. The unit is then ready to be placed on the store shelf.
When a customer or employee removes a package (40 or 41, etc.) from the upper tray, rubber band 33 immediately contracts, and, since it is anchored under fold 25, it pulls all of the remaining packages forwardly against the front extension 26. It will be noted that since bottom section 21 of the upper tray rests on the lower row of packages (42, 43, etc.) it need not be made of or require high strength materials necessary to support the weight of the packages 42, 43, etc. in the upper tray. Hence, it can be made of ordinary cardboard. When the upper tray is exhausted of packages, it may be easily removed by lifting the forward and rear portions.
When the lower row of packages 42, 43, etc. is exposed, removal of a package also will cause rubber band 10 to pull the remaining packages forwardly against extension 6, since the band is anchored under fold 15. Although two tiers of trays are shown in Figure 1, any number of tiers may be employed, all of the upper tiers being the same as the upper tier in Figure 1. Panel 29 may be used to display the name 31 of the material being merchandized, and fold 5 may be disposed low enough to enable display of the product name 28 on the packages being sold. In fact, the upper portion of panel 29 may depict a replica of the lower portion of the packages in the upper tray, while the lower portion of panel 29 may depict a replica of the upper portion of the packages in the cover tray.
One valuable advantage of the vertically-tiered type trays of the present invention is the fact that the complete assembly, filled with packages to be merchandized, can be sent intact by the packaged product manufacturer to the retailer or distributor who may thendisplay the unit and discard the trays after the packages are sold,
since the item is a low-cost disposable unit.
Although cardboard has been disclosed as the lightweight sheet material to be used in making the trays of the present invention, one may use plastic sheet, composition sheet, or the like.
A front-feed disposable combination packaging and marketing container made of flexible light weight sheet material capable of being knocked down to flat condition, and in which packages are adapted to be arranged in a horizontal row, comprising a rectangular tray having a fiat bottom section, short vertical sides projecting from the entire length of the side edges of said bottom section,
a from section projecting from the forward edge of the bottom section, a rubber band anchored at the forward end of said tray and adapted to be capable of encircling, when stretched, any packages which may be disposed in said tray and to pull them forwardly against the front section, an upper tray made of lightweight sheet material and superimposed over the aforesaid lower tray and a in lateral locked relation therewith, said upper tray coma prising a flat substantially rectangular bottom section adapted to rest on the packages disposed in the aforesaid wardly to act as a display card and lateral locking means,
and terminating on the inside of the front extension of the bottom section of said lower tray, another long extension projecting from the rear edge of the bottom section of the upper-tray, directed upwardly over the adjacent rear flaps and directed downwardly, terminating on the inside of the rear extension on the bottom section of said lower tray and acting as lateral locking means, and a rubber band anchored in the fold of the front extension of said bottom section of the upper tray and adapted to be capable of encircling, when stretched, any packages which may be disposed in said tray and to pull-them forwardly against the front section of said tray.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 350,523 Bodley Oct. 12, 1886 564,593 Craw July 28, 1896 1,233,873 Hall July 17, 1917 1,901,883 Whitehead Mar. 21, 1933 2,339,445 Wynne et a1 Ian. 18, 1944