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Publication numberUS2891678 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 23, 1959
Filing dateMar 25, 1957
Priority dateMar 25, 1957
Publication numberUS 2891678 A, US 2891678A, US-A-2891678, US2891678 A, US2891678A
InventorsLevy Edward M
Original AssigneeReflector Hardware Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Merchandise support
US 2891678 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 23, 1959 E. M. LEVY 2,891,678

MERCHANDISE SUPPORT Filed March 25, 1957 UnitedStates Patent @hice 2,891,618 Patented June 23, 1959 2,891,678' MERCHANDISE sUPPoRT- Edward M. Levy, Evanston, lll., assignor to Reflector- Hardware Corporation, Chicago, lll., a corporation of Illinois Application March 25, 1957, Serial No. 648,231

8 Claims. (Cl. 211-126) The present invention relates to merchandising equipment of the store fixture class, and more particularly to improvements in shelf type merchandise supports suitable for use in retail stores and the like where it is important to display goodsin an attractive manner.

Most modern retail store owners or managers are fully aware of the fact that the volume of sales of the various individual items in their inventories usually can be increased materially when each type of merchandise is displayed in full view of the prospective purchaser and when each item is displayed to its greatest advantage. Because most stores now sell a great variety of different items which, by their natures, need to be supported on shelves or platforms, many retail establishments, and particularly the smaller ones, have not been able in the past to afford installation of the different types and kinds of shelving that would be necessary best to show their goods. Since such shelves or supporting platforms have heretofore been of a more or less permanent nature, and in many instances have been custom-built and virtually incapable of modification, many store owners have thought that truly adequate display platforms or shelves have been too expensive to be practical. For example, certain goods can best be displayed on horizontal shelving, while others can best be shown on shelving that extends forwardly and downwardly so that the prospective buyer can get a better view of the goods. Some goods supported on shelving, furthermore, require only a minimum of overhead room, while others require much more overhead room, with the result that the space between shelves ideally should vary, depending upon what is to. be supported and shown thereon. Because of the great variety of arrangements that are needed in order best to display various small items in retail stores, many store owners, in order to avoid prohibitive fixture expenses, have heretofore been required to adhere to the old more or less uniform, fixed shelving installations, with the result that much of their inventory has not been adequately displayed and their places of business in many cases have taken on the drab atmosphere that results when arrangements of goods cannot be varied from time to time.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide la highly improved, attractive and relatively inexpensive merchandise support `assembly of the shelf type which may be quickly and easily interchangeably mounted upon an appropriate foundation wall or upon foundation uprights at selective angles with respect to the horizontal, thereby permitting the storekeeper to mount and rearrange the support assemblies at will and at the positions and angles that will best display the particular merchandise which he wishes to support thereon. Another object of the invention is to provide a shelf type merchandise support of the character just stated which may be vquickly hooked upon the upright foundation therefor at one angle with respect to the horizontal, and may be quickly changed as to its angle substantially merely by reversing the position of the assembly-front to back-#with respect to the' upright foundation. Yet another object of the invention is to provide a merchandise support assembly embodying the above qualities and comprising a generally rectangular merchandise receiving portion having a pair of slides arranged upon its opposite ends, the slides in one of their locations being adapted to be hooked upon the upright foundation to hold the assembly in one position with respect to the horizontal, and being adapted when in another location yand when the merchandise receiving portion has been reversed to hold the assembly in another position with respect to the horizontal.

The qualities of the present merchandise support assembly just referred to, as well as other features that will be referred to later herein, render the structure ideally suitable for use in stores and the like where both economy and good sales displays are sought. The assemblies may be quickly hung in multiples at any elevation or elevations desired `so as to give the effect and appearance of continuous shelving, with some of the units at one angle with `respect to the horizontal and with others at a different angle, depending upon the height of the unit above the iloor ,and upon the particular type of merchandise that is to be supported thereby. Although the mounting means contemplated for the assembly is of the projecting hook type so as to permit quick mounting and removal and remounting during rearrangement of the assemblies, the hook elements at the front of each assembly are automatically and necessarily retracted when those at the rear are moved to a projecting and usable position. Thus, the forwardly disposed portion of each assembly always provides a smooth and pleasing appearance, with the hooks associated therewith always occupying a retracted position where they will have no tendency to catch on articles of clothing or the like.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof, taken with the accompanying drawing, wherein: Y

Fig. l is a perspective view of a merchandise support assembly incorporating the present invention, the support assembly being shown'supported in a substantially horizontal position upon two upright supporting structural or foundation members; i

Fig. 2 is an end elevational View of the support assembly, one of the supporting structural members being shown in fragmentary cross-section to illustrate the manner in which the support assembly is removably secured upon the upright structural members;

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary plan view along the line 3-3 in Fig. 2; and

Fig. 4 is -an end view of the support assembly showing the same mounted upon the upright structural members in an angular position with respect to the horizontal. i

In the drawing, the numerals 10 and 11 designate stationary upright structural members of a preferred type'suitable for removably receiving and supporting the merchandise support assembly of the present invention at 'selective elevations. The structural members 10 and 11 are laterally spaced apart and, if desired, may be of 'a channel shape, each having a front wall 12 and side walls 13 and 14 to provide rigidity. The front Wall of each ofthe structural members, in the present instance,

taken substantially is provided with two rows of vertically elongated and.v

assrrs The merchandise support assembly per se, in the present instance, is comprised of a generally rectangular shelf or receptacle suitable for receiving any of a great variety of merchandise. The receptacle has a length substantially equal to the space between the structural members and 11 and is comprised of a rigid frame having thereon decorative screening material or expanded metal sheeting, as shown, in order to render the structure suitable for receiving and supporting merchandise. The frame is comprised of a rear longitudnal member 16 and a front longitudinal member 17, each having a length substantially equal to the space between adjacent rows of openings in the two structural members l@ and 11, each being joined to the other at its opposite ends by forwardly extending frame elements 13 and l?. The parts of the frame just mentioned may b.; spot welded or otherwise secured together and, at the opposite ends thereof, depending end frame elements 2li and 2l are provided thereon which form and determine the crosssectional shape of the receptacle portion of the support assembly. The end frame element 20 includes a downwardly extending element 22 which is welded or otherwise joined to the frame members 16 and 18 at their junction. At Vthe lower end of the element 22 the end frame structure is provided with an integral forwardly extending portion 23 which is joined at its forward end with an element 24 that depends at an angle from the junction of the frame members 17 and 18,

The opposite end portion of the frame construction is like the portion 2t) just described in that it is comprised of a downwardly depending length 25 joined to the frame members 16 and 19 at their junction, and a forwardly extending element 26 which is joined at its forward extremity to an element 27 which depends at an angle from the junction of the frame members 17 and 19, the depending frame elements 24 and 27 being parallel, but being at an angle with respect to the elements 22 and 25, as shown.

Slide members 28 and 29 are provided upon the opposite ends of the receptacle, these slide members each comprising a longitudinally extending plate having a pair of longitudinally elongated slots 30 and 31 formed therein that are slidably received upon the Shanks of pins7 screws or rivets 32 that are threaded into or otherwise secured upon the outer faces of the end elements 18 and 19 "I of the frame. The two slide members 28 and 29 are preferably of identical construction, each having a pair of hook elements 33 formed upon its inner end and a corresponding pair of hook elements 34 formed upon its outer end, the hook elements 34 differing from the hook elements 33 only in their angular relationship to the longitudinal axis of the slide. The hook elements 33 are disposed one above the other along a line at a right angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the slide and parallel to the rear frame elements 22 and 25, while the hook elements 34 are disposed one above the other along a line at an acute angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the slide and parallel to the angularly disposed front elements 24 and 27 of the frame. The slots 33 and 31 in the two slide members permit the members to be moved upon the pins or screws 32 forwardly and rearwardly with respect to the support assembly. In the rearward position of the slide members, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the hook elements 33 project rearwardly with respect to the rear wall 35 of the receptacle while the hook elements 34 are retracted with respect to the angularly arranged front wall 36 of the receptacle. Conversely, when the slide members 28 and 29 are moved on the shanks of the pins or screws 32 to their opposite or forward positions, the hook elements 34 project with respect to the front wall 36 of the receptacle while the hook elements 33 are retracted with respect to the rear wall 35 thereof.

The sliding movement of the slide members 28 and 29,

together with the disposition or angular arrangement of the hook elements 33 and 34 upon the slides, renders the construction particularly suitable for mounting the support assembly upon the upright structural members it) and 11 in either of two angular positions, As shown in Figs. l, 2 and 3, the slide mem-bers 2S and 29 have been moved to their rear positions to expose the hook elements 33 and to retract the elements 34, the hook elements 33 thereupon being hooked over the lower edges 15a of an adjacent pair of openings 15 in the two upright structural members, thereby removably securing the entire support assembly upon the structural members in a generally horizontal attitude with the rear surfaces of the elements 22 and 25 of the frame in engagement with the forward faces 12 of the respective upright structural members. In this position, it will be observed that the support assembly will serve as a horizontally arranged basket-like shelf for any type merchandise that a merchant may care to display therein, the receptacle, if desired, being provided with a divider 37 which may be provided at its opposite ends Awith clip members 33 and 39 which tit over the longitudinal frame members 16 and 17 of the receptacle. The support assembly may be mounted in the position just described in any selected adjacent pair of openings in the upright structural members 1t) and l1 so as to achieve the elevation desired, the hook elements 34 on the two slide members being retracted with respect to the forward wall 36 of the receptacle, thereby eliminating any possibility that clothing or the like may catch on the hook elements 34 during use of the support assembly,

ln addition to the mounting of the support assembly in the horizontal attitude shown in Figs. l to 3, the slide members 23 and 29 may be moved to their alternate position toward the front wall 36 of the receptacle when the receptacle has been removed from the structural members 10 and 11, thereby retracting the hook elements 33 and exposing the hook elements 34, the latter of which may thereupon be hooked over the lower edges 15a of adjacent selected pairs of openings 15 in the structural members 1@ and 11, as shown in Fig. 4, thus in eifect reversing the position of the support assembly upon the structural members. It will be appreciated that the ends of thc slots 30 and 31 and their engagement with the Shanks of the pins or screws 32 limit the movement of the slide members 28 and 29 and prevent their movement `beyond their two selective positions. Due to the fact that the hook elements 34 and the wall 36 of the receptacle are disposed at an angle with respect to the longitudinal axes of the slides and at an angle with respect to the bottom 40 of the receptacle, the entire support assembly will hang upon the structural elements 10 and 11 at the angular position shown in Fig. 4 when the hook elements 34 have been received within the openings 15 in the structural elements 10 and 11, the frame members 24 and 27 resting against the forward faces 12 of the structural members when the support assembly is in the latter position. This angular mounting of the assembly is particularly desirable when the receptacle-like assembly is to contain merchandise which will be better displayed or more easily removed from the receptacle when it is disposed at an angle with respect to the horizontal. When the support assembly is mounted in the angular position shown in Fig. 4, it will be observed that the hook elements 33 are retracted with respect to the then outer wall 35 of the receptacle so as to avoid any danger of catching upon the clothing or other fabrics that may be brushed against this portion of the receptacle during its use.

It will readily be appreciated that, in a particular installation, any suitable type foundation may lbe employed for receiving the present merchandise support unit so long as the foundation is provided with suitably disposed openings, or their equivalent, for receiving the hooks 33 and 34 of the slide members 28 and 29. When upright structural members such as those shown in the drawing are used, they may be a part of an upright wall or, if desired, they may comprise upright elements on a counter or a stand which may rest on the oor in a store. In any event, the structural members and 11 may be used in multiples so that a plurality of the present units may be mounted side-by-side. Inasmuch as the structural elements shown in the drawing are provided with double rows of the openings 15, the same element may receive and support the closely adjacent ends of two of the present units. Thus, when a number of the upright structural elements are employed, a long row of the present units may be mounted thereon at the same elevation to give the appearance of a continuous shelf. Furthermore, the same structural elements 10 and 11 may be used to support a plurality of the present units one above the other, some of the units being in the horizontal attitude shown in Figs. 1 and 2 and others, if desired, being in the angular attitude shown in Fig. 4. The various units may, of course, be mounted at any elevation desired, so that the space between a unit and the one above it may vary as required. Furthermore, since removal of the various units from the structural elements 10 and lll involves only a matter of lifting the 'hooks 33 or 34 from the lower edges a of the openings 15 of the structural elements, it will readily be appreciated that periodic rearrangement of the units may easily be accomplished, thereby permitting the store or show-room to be changed from time to time to give it a fresh appearance.

The foregoing description of the presently preferred form of the invention has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations are intended thereby, for it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous variations and. modications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim: .t

1. A merchandise support assembly adapted to be mounted upon a pair of spaced apart upright structural members each having a row of vertically aligned openings therein comprising, a generally rectangular merchandise support having elements defining the front, rear and opposite ends of said support, said support having a Alength `between its opposite ends substantially equal to the space between said structural members, a pair of slide members respectively mounted upon the opposite ends of said support for selective sliding movement between respective rst positions located toward the rear of said support and respective second positions located toward the front of said support, rear hook elements on the rear ends of said slide members protruding with respect to the rear of said support when said slide members are in their respective rst positions and retracted with respect to the rear of said support when said slide members are in their respective second positions, and front hook elements on the forward ends of said slide members retracted with respect to the front of said support when said slide members are in their respective first positions and protruding with respect thereto when said slide members are in their respective second positions, the protruding hook elements being adapted to be removably hooked over the lower edges of selected ones of the openings in said structural members to support said assembly thereon when said slide members are in either of said positions.

2. A merchandise support assembly comprising, a generally rectangular merchandise receiving receptacle having upstanding front and -rear walls and having elements defining the opposite ends of said receptacle, a pair of slides respectively mounted upon lf he opposite ends of said receptacle for selective sliding movement between respective rst positions located toward the rear of said receptacle and respective second positions located toward the front of said receptacle, rear hook elements on the rear ends of said slides protruding with respect to said rear wall of said receptacle when said slides are in their respective tir-st positions and retracted with respect there'- to when said slides are in their respective second positions, and front hook elements on the forward ends of said slides retracted with respect to said front wall of said receptacle when said slides are in their respective first positions and protruding with respect thereto when said slides are in their respective second positions, said protruding hook elements being adapted to be hooked upon an upright foundation to hold said support assembly thereon when said slides are in either of said positions, said rear wall being disposed adjacent said foundation when the protruding rear hook elements are hooked upon said foundation, the position of said support assembly being reversed with said front wall being disposed adjacent said foundation when the protruding front hook elements are hooked upon said foundation.

3. A merchandise support assembly comprising, a generally rectangular merchandise receiving receptacle having upstanding front and rear walls arranged at an angle with respect to each other and having elements defining the opposite ends of said receptacle, a pair of slides respectively mounted upon the opposite ends of said receptacle for selective slidingmovement between respective iir-st positions located toward the rear of said receptacle and respective second positions located toward the front of said receptacle, a pair of rear hook elements on the rear end of each of said slides, said rear hook elements being arranged in each pair one above the other along a line substantially parallel to `said rear wall protruding with respect to said rear wall when said slides are in their respective rst positions and retracted with respect thereto when said slides are in their respective second positions, and a pair of front hook elements on the front end `of each of said slides, said front hook elements in each pair thereof being arranged one above the other along a line substantially parallel to said front wall and retracted with respect to said front wall when said slides are in their respective first positions and protruding with respect thereto when said slides are in' their respective second positions, the protruding hook elements being adapted to be hooked upon an upright foundation to hold said support assembly thereon, the assembly being disposed at one angle when said rear hook elements are hooked upon said foundation and at another angle when said front hook elements are hooked upon said foundation.

4. A merchandise support assembly adapted to be mounted upon a pair of spaced apart upright structural members each having a row of vertically aligned openings therein comprising, a generally rectangular merchandise receiving receptacle having upstanding front and rear walls arranged at an angle with respect to each other and having elements defining the opposite ends of said receptacle, a pair of slides respectively mounted upon the opposite ends of said receptacle for selective sliding movement between respective irst positions located toward the rear of said receptacle and respective second positions located toward the front of said receptacle, a pair of rear hook elements on the rear end of each of said slides, said rear hook elements being arranged in each pair one above the other along a line substantially parallel to said rear wall and protruding with respect to said rear wall when said slides are in their respective rst positions and retracted with respect thereto when said slides are in their respective second positions, and a pair of ifront hook elements on the front end of each of said slides, said front hook elements in each pair thereof being arranged one above the other along a line substantially parallel to said front wall and retracted with respect to said front wall when said slides are in their respective rst positions and protruding with respect thereto When said slides are in their respective second positions, the protruding hook elements being adapted to be hooked over the lower edges of selected pairs of said openings in said upright structural members to hold said support assembly thereon, the assembly being disposed at one angle when said rear hook elements are hooked over the lower edges of said openings and at another angle when said front hook elements are hooked over the lower edges of said openings.

5. A merchandise support assembly comprising, a gen erally rectangular shelf having elements defining the front, rear and opposite ends thereof, a pair of slides respectively mounted upon the opposite ends of said shelf for selective movement between respective first positions located toward the rear of said shelf and respective second positions located toward the front of said shelf, a pair of rear hook elements on the rear end of each of said slides, said rear hook elements being arranged in each pair one above the other along a line substantially normal to the plane of said shelf, a pair of front hook elements on the front end of each of said slides, said front hook elements being arranged in each pair one above thc other along a line at an acute angle with respect to the plane of said shelf, the length of said slides being such that said rear hook elements protrude with respect to the rear of said shelf and said front hook elements are retracted with respect to the front of said shelf when said slides are in said respective first positions, and said rear hook elements are retracted with respect to the rear of said shelf and said front hook elements protrude with respect to the front of said shelf when said slides are in their respective second positions, the protruding hook ele ments in each of said positions of said slides being adapted to be removably hooked upon an upright foundation to support said shelf thereon, said shelf being disposed at one angle when the protruding rear hook elements are hooked upon said foundation and at another angle when the protruding front hook elements are hooked upon said foundation.

6. The combination set forth in claim 5, wherein said hook elements are integrally formed upon the opposite ends of said slides.

7. The combination set forth in claim 5, wherein said slides are provided with longitudinally extending slots slidably received upon pins on the opposite ends of said shelf, said pins retaining said slides upon said shelf and being engaged by the opposite ends of said slots to prevent movement of said slides beyond said first and second positions.

8. A merchandise support assembly adapted to be mounted upon a pair 0f spaced apart upright structural members each having a row of vertically aligned openings therein comprising, a generally rectangular basketlike merchandise receptacle having upstanding end walls and front and rear walls disposed at different angles with respect to the plane of the bottom of said receptacle, outwardly projecting pins on said end Walls, a pair of slides respectively mounted upon said pins on said end walls for movement between respective rst positions toward the rear of said receptacle and respective second positions toward the front of said receptacle, a pair of rear hook elements on the rear end of each of said slides, said rear hook elements being arranged in each pair one above the other along a line substantially parallel to said rear Wall and protruding with respect to said rear wall when said slides are in their respective first positions and retracted with respect thereto when said slides are in their respective second positions, and a pair of front hook elements on the front end of each of said slides, said front hook elements in each pair thereof being arranged one above the other along a line substantially parallel to said front wall and retracted with respect to said front wall when said slides are in their respective iirst positions and protruding with respect thereto when said slides are in their respective second positions, the protruding hook elements being adapted to be hooked over the lower edges of selected pairs of said openings in said upright structural members to hold said support assembly thereon, the assembly being disposed at one angle when said rear hook elements are hooked over the lower edges of said openings and at another angle when said front hook elements are hooked over the lower edges of said openings.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,805,989 Levene May 19, 1931 1,806,642 Ohnstrand May 26, 1931 2,453,254 Odin Nov. 9, 1948 2,551,062 Skar May 1, 1951 2,788,949 Gurries Apr. 16, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1805989 *May 15, 1929May 19, 1931Levene Albert HShelving
US1806642 *Apr 19, 1927May 26, 1931 Enoch ohnstrand
US2453254 *Jun 7, 1946Nov 9, 1948Syndicate Glass IncRockable shelf bracket
US2551062 *Mar 15, 1950May 1, 1951Art Metal Construction CoShelf bracket
US2788949 *Oct 9, 1950Apr 16, 1957Gurries Henry AShelf construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3018900 *Jul 24, 1959Jan 30, 1962L A Darling CompanyAdjustable shelf support
US3097746 *Aug 25, 1960Jul 16, 1963Hirsh Mfg Company SaTray shelving
US3122238 *Oct 8, 1962Feb 25, 1964Brilliant Products IncDisplay assemblies
US3164259 *Jun 18, 1962Jan 5, 1965Pendleton Tool Ind IncParts container and mounting means therefor
US3165206 *Sep 16, 1963Jan 12, 1965Arthur TaylorStorage rack for cylindrical containers and the like
US3203558 *Aug 21, 1963Aug 31, 1965Book Of The Month Club IncStorage unit
US3229823 *Apr 6, 1964Jan 18, 1966Unarco IndustriesDisplay assembly
US3248079 *Dec 30, 1963Apr 26, 1966Clark Equipment CoAngularly adjustable shelf bracket
US3647075 *Apr 30, 1970Mar 7, 1972Westinghouse Electric CorpShelf construction for a refrigerator door
US4015886 *Nov 3, 1975Apr 5, 1977Wickenberg Chester HStorage bins
US4109797 *Mar 22, 1976Aug 29, 1978Bobbie BrunetteDisplay assembly
US4122955 *Jun 22, 1977Oct 31, 1978Roblin Industries, Inc.Display shelving
US4872567 *Oct 20, 1987Oct 10, 1989Leggett & Platt, IncorporatedShelf conversion unit for gondola display
US4896456 *Nov 8, 1988Jan 30, 1990Douglas GrantPlant supporting system
US5253770 *Dec 26, 1991Oct 19, 1993Rosenthal Import Ltd.Merchandising unit
US5927840 *Nov 14, 1997Jul 27, 1999Bzowski; Edward D.Caddy system used with a louvered vent locker door
US7909184Oct 22, 2007Mar 22, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Capsule merchandising cage
DE29703660U1 *Feb 28, 1997Jun 25, 1998Tegometall Int AgRegalbord
EP0291772A2 *May 5, 1988Nov 23, 1988Peter Kwasny KG chemisch-technische ErzeugnisseVending rack
EP0867137A2 *Feb 18, 1998Sep 30, 1998Tegometall (International) AGShelf edge
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/88.1, 248/243, 211/133.6
International ClassificationA47F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47F5/0025
European ClassificationA47F5/00C1