US 2845188 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1958 P. A. ROSENQUIST ET AL 2,845,188
SHELF AND DIVIDER UNIT Filed May 1, 1958 INVENTORSZ 3 PAUL A. RosENQwsT 5 B$OBERT E. SANDBERG AT TORNEYS United States Patent SHELF AND DIVIDER UNIT Paul A. Rosenquist, Warren, and Robert E. Sandberg, North Warren, Pa., assignors' to Deluxe Metal Hurrah ture Company, New York, N. Y., a corporation of Pennsylvania Application May 1, 1958, Serial No. 732,195
8 Claims. 01. 211-184 This application is a continuation-in-part of our copending application, Serial No. 671,060, filed July 10, 1957, on Shelving, now abandoned.
This invention relates to shelf and divider unit, and
more particularly to a metal type of unit which is es-.
pecially adapted for use in filing file folders, notebooks, drawings, envelopes, papers, and the like.
Vertical shelf-type filing arrangements have been known heretofore, but have been relatively restricted in usage as compared with the more conventional drawer-type filing units. One of the principal reasons for the relatively small utilization of vertical shelf-type filing units has been the awkwardness and inefiiciency of the support members or dividers used to maintain the files in vertical position. These dividers, as known in the art, have frequently interfered with access to the files and have presented a definite occupational hazard to filing clerks and other personnel using the files. Moreover, the dividers should be quickly and easily adjustable to different positions along the length of the shelf, and eificient and effective filing frequently requires a substantial number of dividers on each individual shelf. These requirements have, at best, been only partially realized by known filing-shelf structural units. In addition, the fastening arrangements for the dividers, as known in the art, have in most instances been relatively expensive and have been subject to jamming, vertical instability, and other operational difliculties.
It is a primary object of our invention, therefore, to afford a novel shelf unit which substantially overcomes or minimizes the aforementioned disadvantages and difiiculties of previously known arrangements.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide a new and improved vertical filing shelf unit which affords unobstructed access to the files by eliminating fastening devices and other members from the front of the shelf.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved vertical filing shelf unit which permits use of a plurality of support members or dividers on the shelf without presenting an occupational hazard to the users of the shelf and without unduly increasing the cost of the complete shelf unit.
A further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved vertical filing shelf unit which employs simple sheet metal members as'dividers and which affords a means for removably mounting a number of those dividers at any of a plurality of different positions along the length of a shelf without requiring the use of any auxiliary fastening device other than lugs formed as an integral part of the dividers themselves.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a new and improved vertical filing shelf unit which affords adequate vertical stability for the dividers without requiring alignment of any other principal structural mem bet with the shelf and without adding materially to the cost of either the shelf or' the dividers. I Other and further objects of the present invention r% ice will be apparent from the following description and claims and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings which, by way of illustration, show a preferred embodiment of the present invention and the principles thereof and what is now considered to be the best mode contemplated for applying these principles. Other embodiments of the invention embodying the same or equivalent principles may be used and structural changes may be made as desired by those skilled in the art without departing from the present invention.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a shelf unit constructed in accordance with our invention;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view, taken approximately along line 2-2 in Fig. 1 and showing a divider mounted upon the shelf in Fig. l; and
Fig. 3 is a sectional view showing the shelf unit mounted in a cabinet.
A shelf unit 10, embodying the principles of our invention, is illustrated in Figs. 1-3 and comprises the preferred embodiment of the invention.
The shelf unit 10, which is particularly adapted for vertical filing of file folders, envelopes, papers, and the like, comprises a unitary sheet metal shelf S upon which a plurality of divider panels 11 are removably mounted. The shelf S includes a substantially flat elongated bottom panel 12 having parallel front and rear edges 13 and 14, respectively. A back panel 15 is formed integrally with the bottom panel 12 and extends upwardly from the rear edge 14 of the bottom panel in substantially perpendicular relation thereto. Thus, the back panel 15 has a top edge portion 16 which is bent or otherwise deformed to provide a flange 17, the bottom edge portion of the back panel being integral with the rear edge portion 14 of the panel 12. The back panel 15 has a height which is substantially smaller than the front-to-rear depth of the bottom panel 12 in order that the back panel will not excessively limit the heights at which individual shelf units may be mounted in a supporting structure as described more fully hereinafter.
The 'shelf S is also provided with three spaced rows of narrow elongated slots. In the preferred embodiment illustrated in Fig. 1, these rows of slots comprise the slots 18 and 19 in the bottom panel 12 and the slots 20 in the back panel 15. The slots in the three rows are transversely aligned with respect to each other; that is,
each of the corresponding slots in the three rows, such as the slots 18a, 19a and 20a are aligned with each other in a common vertical plane transversely relative to the shelf S. As indicated in Fig. 1, the individual slots 18 and 19 extend in a direction transverse to the length of the bottom panel 12, whereas the slots 20 in the back panel 15 extend in a vertical direction. The three rows of slots each extend longitudinally of the shelf in parallel relation to the front and rear edges 13 and 14 of the bottom panel 12.
The first row of slots 18 is spaced inwardly from, but is adjacent to, the front edge 13 of the bottom panel. The row of slots 20, on the other hand, is preferably located closely adjacent the top edge 16 of the back panel 15. The remaining row of slots 19 is located intermediate the rows 18 and 20 and is closely adjacent the rear edge portion 14 of the bottom panel 12. The slots 19 may be located in the back panel 15 instead of the bottom panel 12, if preferred, although the illustrated arrangement in which the slots 19 are formed in the bottom panel 12 is generally more desirable.
Support for file folders, envelopes, papers, and the like upon the shelf S is provided by the divider panels 11, which are removably mounted in the slots 18, 19 and 20 of the shelf. In a given filing operation, the number of divider panels may vary substantially, depending upon the thickness of the files, the number of files, and other similar factors. In general, it may be considered that ten or less divider panels are usually required for a threefoot shelf unit; four or five divider panels are frequently adequate on a'shelfoif this lengthpdepending upon the nature of the files and the frequency with which they are removedand replaced. Each of the divider panels ll comprises a rigid fiat sheet, preferably sheet steel, having top, bottom, front and rear edge portions 21, 22, 23 and 24, respectively. It is desirable that the over all height ofthe divider panels be at least somewhat greater than the height-of the back panel of the shelf S, although this is not always essential.
Three spaced-apart mounting lugs 25, 26 and 27 are formed as an integral part of each of the divider panels 11. These mounting lugs project from the bottom and rear edge portions 22 and 24, respectively, of the divider panel, and are substantially in the plane of the fiat sheet which forms the dividerpanel. Stated differently, it is preferred that the mounting lugs 25, 26 and 27 not be bent or otherwise deflected with respect to the principal fiat portion of the divider panel. The divider mounting lugs 25, 26 and 27 are spaced to register with the slots 18, 19 and 28, respectively, in the shelf S and, when the divider is mounted on the shelf, are positioned in the slots, as best indicated in Fig. 2. Moreover, and as shown in Fig. 2, the front edge portion of each of the dividers is located inwardly of the front edge portion 13 of the bottom panel 12 of the shelf and is preferably closely adjacent the front edge portion of the slot 18 engaged by the lug 25 on the divider panel. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the two mounting lugs 25 and 27 are substantially hook-shaped in configuration, the remaining projection or lug 26 being located intermediate the two hook-shaped lugs.
The lugs 25, 26 and 27 are so disposed on the body of the divider panel 11 that, in inserting the divider in position upon the shelf S, the leading edge of the lug 25 may be inserted through one of the slots 18 with the rear edge portion 24 of the divider tilted upwardly. The rear portion of the divider may then be pivoted downwardly to engage the lugs 26 and 27 in the slots 19 and 2t) aligned with the slot 18 already engaged by the divider panel. In this mounted position, as illustrated in Fig. 2,
the lugs 25 and 27 are hooked into the panels 12 and 15, respectively, and effectively prevent demounting of the divider panel by either horizontal or vertical movement, thus minimizing the possibility of accidental removal of the divider when files are removed from the shelf S.
On the other hand, the divider panel 11 may be readily I removed from the shelf S by tilting the rear end portion 24 upwardly to disengage the lugs 26 and 27 and subsequently lifting the tilted divider to disengage the lug 25 from the slot 18. Consequently, the divider 11 may be quickly and conveniently disposed in any of the multiplicity of positions along the shelf S which are afforded by the aligned sets of slots 18, 19 and 20. Moreover, the three-point engagement of the mountinglugs of the divider panel with the bottom and back panels of the shelf S affords adequate vertical stability for the divider and thus enables the divider to provide the requisite support for envelopes, file folders, and the like disposed upon the shelf. In this connection, it should be noted that the construction of the shelf S as a single integral member makes it possible to align the slots 18, 19 and with an accuracy sufiicient to assure convenient and rapid mounting of the divider panels; more importantly this integral shelf construction makes it completely unnecessary to align any auxiliary members of a shelving assembly, such as a separate back panel, with the shelf S.
It is of course contemplated that the shelf units such as the unit 10 will be mounted in tiers in a separate supporting frame. Any convenient and elfective mounting arrangement may be employed in conjunction with the shelf units without departing in any way from the invention; on the other hand, it is highly preferable that the mounting arrangement selected provide for mounting the shelves at varying heights. For example, with file folders of one size, it may be desirable to separate the shelves by a given distance, whereas with different size file folders the shelf separation required may be substantially greater. Moreover, in a given shelving assembly it may be desirable to provide file accommodations for more than one type of file folder or for note books and other materials in addition to standard file folders. A preferred mounting arrangement for the shelves is described in detail in Patent No. 2,005,593 to Onions, which utilizes a highly effective yet inexpensive mounting bracket to suspend the shelves within a shelving assembly. In a mounting arrangement of this kind, the shelves such as the shelf S are provided with suitable mounting flanges 28 which engage the brackets of the shelving assembly.
As pointed out hereinabove, it is desirable that the height of the back panel 15 be made relatively small as compared with the front-to-rear depth of the bottom panel 12. On the other hand, the back panel should be at least several inches in height to afford adequate stability for the divider panels 11 and also to serve as a backstop for the files in those shelving installations Where no separate back panel is provided. In this connection it should be noted that the back panel 15, and specifically the flange portion 17 thereof, affords an effective and convenient means for mounting identification tab cards upon the shelf unit. Where desired, a facing member such as the channel 29 (Fig. 1) or a cabinet base 31 may be mounted in front of the shelf S to afford a more finished appearance, particularly where individual doors are utilized to cover the front areas of the file shelves.
In order, to facilitate insertion and removal of each of the dividers 11 a notched portion 30 may be provided in the rear edge 24 of each divider 11, below the adjacent lug 27, and in inserting the divider 11 into position of use, and in removing it therefrom, the inner wall of each notched portion 30 may be rested upon the bottom wall portion of one of the slots 20 in the rear or back wall panel 15.
The shelf unit of the invention affords unobstructed access to the files, since there are no fastening devices or other members located at the front of the shelf S. Moreover, the recessed construction for the dividers 21 effectively eliminates the occupational hazard to users of the shelf which is presented by many prior art filing shelf structures. The mounting arrangement for the divider panels affords the further advantage of extreme simplicity and very low cost, since the mounting lugs 25, 26 and 27 may be formed in the divider panels by a simple punching operation as a part of and as an incident to normal manufacture of the dividers.
In Fig. 3, the shelf unit 10 is shown mounted in a cabinet in a typical mounting arrangement. The cabinet structure comprises a pair of side walls 32 and 33, interconnected by the base member 31. The base member may be secured to the walls 32' and 33 by suitable means, such as the bolts 34. A back panel 35 may be incorporated in the cabinet, or the back may be left open if desired.
Each of the side walls 32 and 33, in the mounting arrangement shown in Fig. 3, is provided with two rows of spaced slots 36 and 37. Mounting brackets such as the bracket 39 may be mounted in the slots 36 and 37, as described in the aforementioned patent to Onions. The shelves S may then be mounted on the brackets by engaging the flanges 28 with the brackets, affording a secure mounting arrangement but permitting ready removaland replacement of the shelves at varying heights within the cabinet. If desired, the cabinet and shelves may be provided with suitable doors such as the door assembly A illustrated in Fig. 1.
ing, that the present invention accomplishes its aforesaid and other objects, and has the desirable advantages and characteristics hereinbefore set forth, and others which are inherent in the invention, as hereinbefore described, and as defined hereinafter in the claims.
1. A shelf and divider unit for vertical filing of file folders, envelopes, papers, and the like, comprising a unitary sheetmetal shelf including a substantially flat elongated bottom panel having parallel front and rear edges, a back panel having a top edge portion and having a bottom edge portion integral with the rear edge portion of the bottom panel and said back panel extending upwardly from the rear edge of said bottom panel in substantially perpendicular relation thereto, said back panel having a height substantially less than the front to rear depth of said bottom panel, said shelf having three spaced rows of elongated narrow spaced apart transversely aligned slots therein, the slots in said bottom panel extending transversely thereacross and the slots in said back panel extending vertically therein, said rows of slots extending longitudinally of the shelf in parallel relation to the front and rear edges of said bottompanel with a first one of said rows of slots being spaced inwardly from but adjacent to the front edge of said bottom panel, each of said slots in said first row having a front edge portion and a rear edge portion, a second row of said slots being located closely adjacent the top edge of said back panel, and the other row of said slots being located intermediate said first and second rows of slots adjacent the rear edge portion of said bottom panel, a plurality of divider panels each comprising a rigid flat sheet having top, bottom, front and rear edge portions and having three spaced apart mounting lugs projecting from the bottom and rear edge portions thereof substantially in the plane of said flat sheet, said lugs being so spaced as to register with said slots and being positioned therein, the front edge portion of said dividers being positioned inwardly of the front edge portion of said bottom panel and adjacent the front edge portions of said slots in said first row of slots, and said dividers being removably mounted on and maintained in stable vertical position on said shelf by engagement of said lugs in said slots and by engagement of bottom and rear edge portions of said dividers with said bottom and back panels, respectively.
2. A shelf and divider unit as defined in claim 1 in which the height of each of said divider panels is substantially greater than the height of the said back panel.
3. A shelf and divider unit as defined in claim 1 in which the third row of slots is located in the bottom panel closely adjacent the rear edge portion of said bottom panel, and in which two of said lugs on each of said dividers are of substantially hook-shaped configuration and are separated from each other by the third lug.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,418,324 OConnor June 6, 1922 2,222,974 Bow Nov. 26, 1940 2,257,536 Roycroft Sept. 30, 1941 2,393,536 Horne Jan. 22, 1946 2,491,652 Feerick Dec. 20, 1949 2,522,483 Plack Sept. 12, 1950