US 2826333 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 11, 1958 c. L. RODEMICH I 2,826,333
DEVICE VERTICALLY STORING REFRIGERATOR CONTAINERS Filed Jan. 50, 1957 INVENTOR. (HA/P155 z. RODEM/CH United States Patent DEVICE FOR VERTICALLY STORING REFRIGERATOR CONTAINERS Charles "L. Rodemich,'()rland, Pa., assignor-of one-third to John Pa'Kichline, and one-third to Bernise E. Layman, both or ()reland, Pa.
Application January 30., 1957, Serial No. 637,278
lcla'im. (Cl. 220- 97) This invention relates to a compact and adjustable Patented Mar. .11, 1958 etc., each of which is;provided with three marginal apertures 30, which are large enough to permit the respective plates to slide freely on roads 10, '12 and 14. Each of plates 20, T24, 26, etc., is provided with a central dished .portion 32, As best-shown in Fig. 2, the dished portion of a plate, such as;.plate"24, serves to engage and center i the cupplaced, thereon while the dished portion of plate stacking or storing device for accommodating a number of Vertically arranged containers.
It is common knowledge that, when small quantities of food are left over from a meal, they are transferred into relatively small containers which are stored in the family refrigerator for later consumption. Such containers occupy considerable space, and because the average refrigerator has limited shelf capacity, there may be no room available and the leftovers will have to be thrown out.
The main object of this invention is to produce a compact storing device in which a number of containers can be stored in stacked relation, one above the other, thereby storing several containers in the same space which would otherwise be occupied by one container.
Another object of the invention is to produce a device of the character stated which is light, compact, easy to keep clean and inexpensive to produce.
A still further object of the invention is to produce a device of the character stated in which the vertically stacked containers are centered and held in position and in which each container is adequately closed so as to prevent or minimize contamination of food stored in one container by foods stored in other containers or in the same refrigerator.
A still further object of the invention is to produce a 1 storage device of the character described, which can be used for warming-over the various foods stored in the containers and for serving such foods directly at the dining table.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved storage device of the character set forth, which can be made in various colors so as to harmonize with the refrigerator or with the general decor of the kitchen.
These and other objects are attained by my invention as set forth in the following specification and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a storage device embodying the invention.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view showing details of construction.
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the device shown when empty or not in use.
The device illustrated includes a vertical frame work and a'series of combined closure and supporting members which are freely slidable on the frame and each of which serves as a closure for the top of a container therebeneath, and as a support for a container placed thereon. The frame preferably includes three tie rods 10, 12 and 14, which are arranged in a generally triangular manner so that the spaces between rods 10 and 12 and between rods 12 and 14 are such as to prevent the passage duction and withdrawal of the containers. This relationship is best shown in Figs. 1 and 3.
Rods 10, 12 and 14 fixedly engage a lowermost plate 26 will project slightly 'into the cup on plate 24 soas to permit the rim of the cup of the plate 24 to engage planar portion 34 of plate 26 whereby plate 26 will serve to support a cup placed thereon and will also seal the mouth of the cup on plate 24 immediately therebelow. In cases where the containers are manufactured expressly for use with this device, it may be desirable to make the dished portions 32 of the plates large enough so as fairly snugly to engage the mouth of the cup whereby the mouth of 7 each cup will be closed more effectively.
When a device like this is placed in a refrigerator, moisturemay condense on the plates 22, 24, 26, etc., and in order to guide such condensation away from the mouth of the cups, holes 30 are struck downwardly so as to provide annular flanges 36 which serve to guide any drops of water which collect on the plates to rods 10, 12 and 14. This causes the water to run down the rods and, if desired, a saucer can be placed below the device to collect the water.
In the drawings, the device is shown as holding four cups, but it will be understood that the number of cups which can thus be stored, will vary with the number of the cups, with the size of the cups, and with the vertical space available within the refrigerator compartment. Also, the device is preferably made of noncorroding material, such as aluminum or stainless steel, so that it can be immersed in boiling water for cleansing and sterilization. The cups are preferably made of heat-resisting ware, so that they, too, may be immersed in boiling water or so that the entire device, loaded as shown in Fig. I, may be subjected to heat to warm up the food stored in the cups prior to their being served.
From the foregoing it will be clear that, if the four cups shown in Fig. 1 were placed side by side on a refrigerator shelf, they would occupy four times as much space as the device illustrated, and that the vertical space above each cup will be wholly wasted. In other words, by the use of my device, the storage capacity of a refrigerator is multiplied by a factor of four or five or more, depending on the height of the compartment in which the device is used.
As will be seen from Fig. 2, I leave a space between the uppermost plate 28 and the handle 18, so that the plate 28 or any plate therebelow may be moved up enough to permit ready placement or removal of any of the cups. For example, if it is desired to remove the cup resting .on plate 22, it is only necessary to move plate 24 upwardly and, when the cup on plate 22 is removed, it is merely necessary to allow plate 24 to drop until it comes torest on plate 22. By this arrangement,
any of the cups can be removed without the necessity of removing any of the others. When the device is unloaded, the parts will assume the position shown in Fig. 3. By anodizing, or by any other process, the device can be made in any desired color.
I Since the various plates, including the lowermost plate, and the upper handle can be mass-stamped from relatively thin sheet metal, and since the rods can be cut from standard stock, the entire produced. Also, dishing the central portions of the sliding plates and the lower plate 16 and the handle 18 serves to strengthen these plates, thereby making it possible, to stamp them out of thinner sheet material than would otherwise be feasible.
While I have shown and described the parts as being made of sheet metal, it is within the scope of my invention to make the same of any other synthetic or natural material that is suitable for the purpose.
What I claim is: A device of the character stated including a plurality of :rigid vertical frame members, a bottom supporting plate carried by the lower ends of said frame members. an upper handle member carried by the upper ends of said frame members, and a plurality of relatively thin plates slidably engaging said frame members, each of said plates serving to support a container placed thereon and device can be economically serving as a closure for the mouth of a container placed therebeneath, there being openings near the marginal portions of each of said plates through which said frame members pass, and a flange depending from each opening and engaging said frame members for guiding water which condenses on said plates onto said vertical frame members, the space between two of said frame members being larger than said container, whereby the container may be freely inserted and removed through said space.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 911,785 Vasconcelles Feb. 9, 1909 1,374,633 Boyle Apr. 12, 1921 2,298,814 Weis Oct. 13, 1942 2,412,325 Devine Q Dec. 10, 1946