US 2742161 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 7, 1956 F. A. NUTTALL 2,742,161
MAIL SORTING RACK Filed Aug. 7. 1952 INV NTOR flame 4/12/12 awvf ATTORNEY bit shaped' thatthe slidable sap Z. ?.4 6 V Patented; Apr. 11, 195c 1 2,742,151-.. MAmsoRrmG'nAoK A. :Nuttall, liarieng fionn assignor to Pitney Bdfieslltie, Stamford; Coim., a corporation of Delain ven tiorr r'elatestornail sorting racks and is particularly concernedwith the problems of storage, shipping and assembly of devicesof thischaracter as well as:the ;problems ofadapting the "same to spaces of limited dimensions-. v v
.l-leretofore sorting 'racks have been constructedof framesf'subdividerlxinto columns by; vertical partitions, then divided into cells by horizontal shelves or by similarlysubdividinga peripheralframe. Devices of this kind do not readily lendthemselves to being stored in akIiocked-down condition; since substantial cabinet skill is normally required to perform the assembly. Furthermore," such-racks are only capable of being used 1 in sizes-and arrangements which accord strictly with their predetermined outline dimensions-i An object of the present invention therefore, is to provide a rack composedzof elemental'cell unitsso arranged thattheyca-n; be easilyand quickly grouped and connected toi orrn-a rack by-any mechanically inclined person'regardless'of.thedegree of his cabinet making skill, and of such character that a wide variety of shapes and sizes of racks can bebuilt using mainly the same essential'parts. r
Another object-oft; e=invention is to provide a-rack built up of narrow cell elements which would normally have relatively inaccessible interiors,- but so arranged that interior connectionstoa supporter to adjacent'cells can-be easilymade oneat a timethrough open portions of the elements, the elements cooperating in such man-' nerthat each cell; is'com-pleted orjelosed by its adjacent partner afterxthesupport-ing connectionshave been made.
Another object of the invention .is the provision of a rack having cells arranged in such a manner that the material placed therein is in the'imost convenient'position for grasping and inspection, i. e. in an edge sup- United States Patent tOffice ported position, butarrangedsothat the material will all-lean towardsone side only of each-cell-to remain by gravity in a concentrated and readily graspable group.
[Still another object of the invention is to provide a sorting-rack having cellsarranged for on-edge retention of :theSGItfid material; which cells are provided with sliding supporting surfaces-at the bottom of .each' cell for quicklymoving'thematerial froma cell-enclosed position-;partly extending frorn the-cell so as to be read- 'tending in agenerallyup-and-down direction.
In the preferred form of'the invention illustrated in 1 2 7 Still another feature of the invention isthe provision; of label holders on the slidable supportingsurfaces so arranged as to. providea' manual. grip :member for con- V v'eniently manipulating the. support and-related tothecells in such a way that nterference between the label.- holderand the material beingsorted is entirely avoided.-
With the above-and other objects in view, which will appear as the description proceeds, the inventionresides' in. the combination and arrangement of'partsandin the details of constructionhereinafterdescribed and" claimedg, it being understood that various changes-in the precise;
embodimentof the invention herein disclosed maybemade within the scope of what ,isclaimed without dew parting: from the spirit or the invention. 1
A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated int he accompanyingdrawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 isfa' front elevation of a. sorting rack according to the present invention.
Fig. ,2 is an end elevation of thedevice of Fig. 1.
"Fig. 3 is a' perspective view to a larger scale. of one of the cell-forrning elements, together with. its corresponding 'slidable floor element, used in the construction of;
the'device, of Fig. 1
Fi'g. 4 is a fragmentary section taken. substantially on line 4-4 of Fig. 3 but showing the cell-forming element,
'as mounted, and also showing in section a portion of an,
adjacent element when placed in'closing relation to the elemenf of Fig. 3.
Figs; 5, 6, and 7 are front elevations of altern'atiye cell-forming elements which can be used in carrying out I the invention.
With reference to; the accompanying; drawings,
invention-is; illustrated as including a vertical support in gpanelltwhi'ch is" appropriately mounted in vertical positiome. g. by' connec'tion to -supporting brackets.12, and to which are suitably attached a plurality, ofcellforming eIernent's As shown in Fig.3, each of the elements forms *a shallow channel essentially reverse c shaped in front edge view and maybe attached to the panel 11 in any suitable fashion so as to project for} "wardly therefrom with its Webor longest in ember ex the drawings, each cell-forming element 13 includes a rear wall 15 closing one end of the channel" and'has fastener openings 17 includedtherein Suitable fasteners 'suchas screws 19pas'sed through the openings, 17 andinto the panel 11, serve to hold the e'le ne'ntsin place on the-panel 11. s
To construct a sorting. rack 'theelements 13 areattached to the su'pport 11 one after another startingwit h the one farthest to the right and proceeding towards the left until a't-ier' is completed, and additional tiers are similarly formed until'th'e whole of the desired array is completed. The open side of the cell farthest to the left in each tier is closed by means'of a'filler member 21 attached to the panel'll byscrews 23. V
Panels 11 may be'readily cut to various sizes so that the tier length and number of tiers of elements 13 will conform to the space requirementsofthe user of the rack withouththexnecessity for carrying inqstock the variety offassemblies that would be necessary with the type of. racks heretofore used i While the elements 13 are shown in the preferred 0* shaped form, it will be understood that L-sbaped elements 13a as shown in Fig. 5 and providing open topped cells can also be convenientlyemployed if desired, or-Z-shaped elements 13b or 'as shown in Figs. 6 and 7 in which the horizontal members forming walls of adjacent .cells may be'employed.
to accommodate the largest sizes of matter normally sorted,
Since-theeellsarepreterably narrow and r'atherdeep for example about 12 inches deep in most cases, it will 7 be seen that the fasteners 19 are relatively inaccessible when the assembly is complete. However, since each of the cell-forming elements 13 has an open side, the screws- 19 are easily and conveniently placed as each element 13 is appliedto its tier, and only become inaccessible after the next-succeeding element 13 has been placed. The
racks are thus quickly and readily constructed without requiring unusual skill in spite of the hidden position of the fastening elements when the assembly is completed. In the case of the Fig. 6 cell-forming element 13b, the tiers would be built from left to right instead of from right to left. s
In the preferred form of the invention illustrated, each of the cell-forming elements has its most extensive Wall 25, i. e. the wall extending generally in an up-and-down floor 29 acts as a pusher to'insure movement of-the sorted material with the floor so as to be positively projected to'graspable position.
The upper surface of the fioor 29 is preferably provided with a plurality of parallel longitudinally extending ridges 39 forming between them grooves 41. These elements serve to retain any matter placed in the cell against sliding towards the lower left hand corner. As the material 'is placed in the cell it is caught by the ridges and held so that the cell gradually fills up in a lateral direction from right to left, instead of having the pieces of sorted material first placed in the cell slide across the cell at the bottom making it awkward for subsequent pieces to be properly inserted. Furthermore, whenever the material in the cell is pushed to one side to compact .it, it will be caught by the ridges 39 and retained in the new displaced position at one side of the cell in so far as practical for a the quantity of material present, leaving the desired space for added material. The particular configuration of the ridges 39 shown in the drawings contributes especially to this last mentioned property. The slope at the left side of each ridge is gradual while that at the right side is the hand. The .slope designated is suflicient to allow the 1 sheet to rest somewhat against the supporting platform formed by. the extended fingers of the sorters right hand and thus to be held out straight for the most expeditious projection into the selected cell. Furthermore, the angle is such that'as the material is partially or fully withdrawn from any cell by the right hand of a sorter it is in a position for ready inspection of the writing thereon. The sloping attitude of the cells also serves another purpose in that material deposited in any cell has a definite tendency to fall towards one side so that the material placedwithin the cell groups itself by gravity into' a bundle for ready grasping and does not tend to divide and fall in opposite directions when projected from the cell in a manner about to be described.
Each of the cell-forming elements 13 is provided with a companion movable floor element 29 which rests upon and slides against the adjacent bottom wall 27 of the cell. The floor element 29 is of a width to substantially fill the cell and .is provided at one edge with a laterally without the outlines of the cell.
abrupt so that the edges of material in the cell can be readily slid to the right over the ridges to be caught behind them, andwill be returned to the left only with difficulty.
The outermost end of each slidable floor element 29 carries an integral depending flange 43 which lies wholly It is in a convenient place for ready grasping by the sorters finger for manipulating the floor element 29 in and out, and likewise provides a convenient position for the application of designating indicia 45 for identifying the contents of the corresponding cell.
extending lug 31 which projects beyond the cell wall.
As seen in Figs. 3 and 4, each cell-forming element 13 has formed at the base of its upstanding wall 25 a slot 33 which slidably receives the lug 31 of the corresponding floor element 29. The floor element 29 also includes an upstanding guiding flange 35 at the edge opposite to that having the lug 31. The proportions are such that when the next adjacent cell-forming element 13 is put in place, the flange 35 will be in substantial contact therewith and will prevent any lateral movement of the floor element which would be sufficient to effect withdrawal of the lug 31 from the slot 33. Thus the placing of the next adjacent cell-forming element, during assembly of the rack, locks each floor element 29 irremovably to its corresponding cell forming element 13.
The slots 33 are of sufficient length to permit in-andout movements of the fioor elements to a degree such that the outermost end of the floor element 29 can be projected about four inches beyond the front surface of the rack. In this way all sorted matterwhich has'been accumulatedin a cell can be projected at once far enough for ready grasping by the hand of the sorter. I
It will be noted that the designating members 43 are altogether removed from a position affecting the insertion and withdrawal of material into'and from the cells which was not the case with many prior constructions. For this reason in part and to secure the utmost efficiency in general use of the device of this invention, the tiers of elements 13 should be spaced a suitable distance above one another, between one and two inches generally being satisfactory.
From the foregoing description it can be seen that this invention provides a sorting rack which is not only much more economical of storage and shipping space and more flexible in the size and shape of the ultimate assemblies which can be derived from similar components, but one Q which is also much more useful and efiicient than devices The upstanding flange 35 helps to guide the movable ment 29 and the wall 25 ofthe adjacent cell-forming element, or in the slot 33 of said adjacent wall 25. A rear 1 upstanding flange 37 at the inner end of the slidable previously intended for such purposes.
Having described the invention, what is claimed is:
A mail storting rack" comprising a supporting panel and at least one row of horizontally disposed cellular units open only at their forward end-s when assembled, wherein the units generally comprise essentially reverse 0 channel shaped members assembled with the open side of one member engaging the closed web side of anadjacent member and having the rear portions thereof secured to the panel, and a mail supporting element slidable along the surface of the lower portion of the channel including means to prevent complete withdrawal thereof,
whereby the mail supporting element may be withdrawn to provide access to the mail contained thereon.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 991,567 Walker May 9, 1911 1,419,485 Arcaro et al June 13, 1922 1,466,335 Gleason Aug. 28, 1923 1,659,509 Ashbrook Feb. 14, 1928 1,725,702 Cubberley Aug. 20, 192.9 1,758,098 Williams May 13, 1930 1,910,046 Pascoe May 23, 1933 2,079,968 Ish-Shalom et ,al May 11, 1937 2,624,646 Sukofi Ian. 6, 1953