Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2936077 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 10, 1960
Filing dateDec 15, 1958
Priority dateDec 15, 1958
Publication numberUS 2936077 A, US 2936077A, US-A-2936077, US2936077 A, US2936077A
InventorsDoyle Carpenter
Original AssigneeTyler Refrigeration Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable shelf and tray support
US 2936077 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 10, 1960 Filed Dec. 15, 1958 -m u but.

United v States, Patent 01 F 2,936,077 ADJUSTABLE SHELF AND TRAY surronr Doyle Carpenter, Niles, Mich., assignor to Tyler Refrigeration Corporation, Niles, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Application December 15, 1958, Serial No. 780,605

5 Claims. (Cl. 211-126) The present invention relates to adjustable shelf and tray supports, and particularly, to an improved supporting structure adapted for the convenient reception and removal of shelves and trays and facilitating variable spacing between adjacent shelves and trays.

By way of example, the present invention has application to reach-in refrigerators of the type customarily. employed in restaurants. These refrigerators are used for temporary storage of a variety of foods that are customarily stored on trays and are usually placed in and removed from the refrigerator a tray at a time. Generally speaking, the trays are of a standard width and length, and a particular variety of food product will be stacked on the trays in a given manner to a given height. However, the height of the food stacked on the trays will vary widely from one product to another. Thus, in such refrigerators, it is necessary that provision be made for support of the trays at various vertical spacings. Also, if the trays are to be loaded with food products in an eflicient manner, there must be no obstruction between one tray and the next upwardly disposed tray, and if the trays are to be handled with utmost convenience provision should be made for slidable insertion and removal of the same.

The object of the invention is to provide an improved supporting structure for trays, shelves and the like that satisfies all of the demands of the art, and especially those above stated, and at the same time is economical of manufacture and convenient to use.

More particularly, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved shelf and tray support consisting simply of elements defining a sliding track for trays and shelves, and supporting post means for said elements, said post means being adapted for installation in correlation to any size of tray and defining means for supporting said track elements at substantially any desired vertical spacing. 1

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved shelf and tray support comprising a pair of upright post means spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the width of the trays or shelves, and at least one pair of track elements carried by said post means, each element being associated with one post means and having portions cooperable therewith, each element also including a track portion of a minimum length slightly less than the length of the trays or shelves spaced inwardly from the respective post means, said first-named portions of said elements and the post means having cooperable coupling means, said post means having a plurality of said coupling means at vertically spaced locations thereon defining a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal planes, each pair of elements having their first-named portions coupled to corresponding ones of the coupling means on said post means whereby their track portions are disposed in a common horizontal plane for slidable reception thereon of a tray or the like.

A more specific object of the invention is the provision of an improved support for trays and the like comprising r r 2,933,077 l atented May 1960 2 two pairs of upright posts to be disposed on opposite sides of a tray, the pairs of posts being spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the width of the tray and the two posts of each pair having a minimum spacing somewhat less than the length of the tray, said posts having vertically spaced holes therein defining a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal planes, and at least one pair of track elements associated with said posts, each track element being associated with one pair of posts and including end portions inserted in corresponding holes in the respective posts and a track portion spaced inwardly from and extending between the respective posts, each pair of track elements having the end portions thereof inserted in corresponding holes in the four posts whereby the track portions thereof are disposed in a common horizontal plane for slidable reception thereon of the tray, the end portions of said track elements being insertable in and removable from the holes in said posts at will to facilitate variable horizontal disposition of said track elements.

An additional object of the invention is to provide: an improved shelf or tray support as above defined wherein the end portions of each track element comprise: simple protuberances locating the element in and sup porting it on the posts, and wherein each element in-- cludes a vertical portion depending from adjacent each.- end portion and engaging against the respective post for supporting the track portion of the element in inwardly spaced relation to the posts.

A further object .of the invention is the provision of an improved shelf and tray support as above definedl wherein the posts of each pair include surface portions facing toward one another, the holes are formed in these surfaces, and at least portions of the track elements are resilient to accommodate contraction of the element for insertion between the two posts and subsequent expansion of the same into firmly clamped engagement with the posts.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of an improved shelf and tray support as above defined wherein each post consists of an angular sheet metal member and each track element consists of a unitary rod, thereby to afford a construction that is exceptionally simple and economical.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the following detailed description.

.Now, in order to acquaint those skilled in the art with the manner of making and using the adjustable shelf and tray support of my invention, I shall describe, in connection with the accompanying drawings, a preferred embodiment of said support and the preferred manner of making and using the same.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a bottom view of the supporting means of the present invention and a tray supported thereby;

Figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the said supporting means and tray;

Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view of the supporting means and tray; and

Figure 4 is a fragmentary perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of one post and one track element of the shelf or tray supporting means of the invention.

Referring now to the drawings, I have shown the preferred embodiment of my improved shelf and tray support as consisting simply of four upright posts 11, 12, 13 and 14, and at least one pair of track elementszl and 22 carried by said posts for supporting a tray 31 or the like.

The four posts 11, 12, 13 and 14 are located in correlation to the size of the tray 31 and are preferably disposed in a rectangular array so as to provide a support. adjacent each corner of the tray. In particular, the posts are provided in pairs, 11-12 and 13-14, respectively, and the two pairs of posts are spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the width of the tray. The spacing between the posts of each pair may be varied if desired,

but I prefer to mount the same at a distance from one another somewhat less than the length of the tray. This preferred spacing should generally be considered an acceptable minimum, with increased spacing being permissible.

Each of the posts preferably consists of a simple sheet metal stamping including a portion of channel form in horizontal cross-section and a flange or leg 11a, 12a, 13a, 14a, respectively, projecting outwardly at right angles from the end of one leg 11b, 12b, 13b, 14b, respectively, of the channel. The two posts of each pair are either of opposite hands, or are identical and mounted in inverse relation to one another so as to be of opposite hands. Specifically, the respective pairs 11-12 and 13-14 of the posts are mounted, for example on the walls or partition means of a reach-in refrigerator, in such manner that the legs Ila-12a and 13a-14a of the respective pairs are disposed in and extend toward one another in respective vertical planes, and that the legs 1112-1211 and 13b-14b of the respective pairs are opposed to one another and extend inwardly from their respective legs Ila-12a and 13a14a toward the other pair of brackets. Each post is provided in its leg 11b, 12b, 13b, 14b, respectively, with a plurality of vertically spaced coupling means, which in the preferred embodiment of the invention consists simply of a plurality of uniformly spaced holes 15. The four posts are mounted in substantially coextensive relation with the holes 15 thereof in horizontal alignment, whereby the holes define a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal planes. Preferably, the mounting of the posts is effected by means of screws or bolts 16 which extend through the channel portion of the respective post in a postion intermediate adjacent ones of the holes 15, whereby the bolts extend through a rigid part of thepost and rigidly connect it to the walls or partitions of a refrigerator or the like, and yet do not interfere with orobstruct the holes 15 or the surfaces of the legs 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b, 14a, 14b.

Each of the track elements 21 and 22 consists of a unitary rod adapted for association with one pair of the posts, and in its finished form is of a length slightly greater than the spacing between the opposed legs; or faces Illa-12b and 13b-1-4b of the respective pairs of posts. Each element includes a pair of aligned end portions 21a, 22a, respectively, which comprise coupling means cooperable with the coupling means on the opposed faces of the respective pair of posts to accommodate mounting of the elements on the posts. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the end portions of the rod are simply cylindrical extensions of a size to be passed through the holes 15 in the posts. Depending downwardly from each end portion 21a, 22a is a vertical portion 21b, 22b, respectively, which is disposed-opposite and is adapted to engage against the leg 11a, 12a, 13a, 14a, of the respective post. From the lower end of each vertical portion, a horizontal portion 210, 22c, respectively, is projected inwardly into the space between the two pairs of posts, the degree of extension being such as to accommodate extension of the portions 210, 22c, inwardly beyond the side edgesof the bottom wall of the tray irrespective of the configuration of the tray. Ex-

' tending horizontally between the inner ends of the portions 21c, 22c, is the track portion 21d, 22d, respec tively, of the element, the track portion thus extending substantially from one post to the other of the respective pair.

Tomount the track-element 21 on the'posts -11 and 12, the element is disposed with its end portions 21a. adjacent the posts and its track portion 21d spaced inwardly therefrom. One end 21a of the element is then inserted in one of theholes 15 in the leg 12b of the post 12 and the rod,

which is preferably formed of a resilient or flexible metal, is then bowed or flexed slightly so as to contract its overall length, whereupon the opposite end 21a thereof may be inserted in the hole 15 in the leg 11b of the post 11 that is aligned with or corresponds to the hole in which the opposite end of the rod is mounted. Upon release of the rod, the same returns to its initial form, thereby causing the ends 21a of the element to be positively seated and retained in corresponding ones of the holes of the posts 11 and 12. Also, the vertical portions 21b of the element then abut against the legs 11a and 12a of the posts, thereby to retain the portions 21c and the track 21d of the element in a horizontal position with the track spaced inwardly of the posts. The element 22 may then be similarly mounted on the posts 13 and 14 with the ends thereof inserted in the holes 15 in said posts corresponding to the holes in the posts '11 and 12 in which the element 21 is mounted. Since the track elements and post means are identical, the element 22 is then mounted at the same level as the element 21 and the tracks 21d and 22d of the two elements are disposed in a common horizontal plane for slidable reception thereon of the tray.

.In use, the elements 21 and 22 can be disposed at any desired elevation on the posts 11, 12, 13 and 14; additional elements, such as 23-24 and 25-26 can be disposed at substantially any desired elevation above or below the elements 21-22; and the posts can be of substantially any desired height to accommodate as many or as few sets of shelf or tray supporting elements as desired. The spacing between the sets of track elements may be varied at will by the user, so as to afford such spacing as maybe desired or necessary between adjacent trays. For example, the elements 23-24 may be disposed to support a tray 32 one space above the tray 31, and the elements 25-26 may support a tray 33 two or more spaces below the tray 31 as shown in Figures 2 and 3. Relative to the tray 33, it is to be noted that the space'between it and the bottom of the tray 31 is not obstructed so that the tray may be fully loaded as desired by the user. Similarly, if the tray 31 were to be loaded to a greater height than permitted by the spacing between it and the tray 32, the tray 32 and its track elements 23-24 can readily be removed or shifted upwardly to accommodate the loaded tray 31. In any event, the two track portions of each set of supporting elements is adapted for slidable reception thereon and removal there from of trays, shelves, and the like. The elements firmly support the trays at any desired elevation, the posts rigidly support the track elements, and the vertical portions of the elements and'the posts retain the trays against lateral displacement from the tracks, thereby to assure support for the-tray. Also, it is apparent that a plurality of sets of the supporting means of the invention canbe provided side by side to support a large number of trays in a small area.

In view of the foregoing, it is apparent that all of the objects of'the invention have been shown herein to be attained in a convenient, practical and exceptionally economical manner.

While I have shown and described what I consider to be the preferred embodiment of my improved shelf and tray support, it will be apparent that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A supportfor trays and the like comprising four upright stationary corner posts disposed in a substantially rectangular array, said posts having a plurality of vertically spaced'holes therein defining a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal planes, and at least one pair of track elements carried by said posts, each element being associated with one longitudinally aligned pair of posts and including at its ends pin portions removably inserted in corresponding holes in the respective posts, a vertical portion depending from each said pin portion and engaging the respective posts and a track portion spaced from said pin and vertical portions and supported thereby in inwardly spaced relation to the plane of the respective pair of posts, each pair of elements having their said pin portions inserted in corresponding holes in the four posts whereby their track portions are disposed in a common horizontal plane for slidable reception thereon of a tray.

2. A support for trays and the like comprising four upright corner posts disposed in a substantially rectangular array, each pair of longitudinally aligned posts including opposed faces and the opposed faces of the posts having a plurality of vertically spaced holes therein defining a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal planes, and at least one pair of track elements carried by said posts, each element being associated with one pair of posts and comprising a rod of a length greater than the spacing between said opposed faces of the posts of the respective pair, each element including longitudinally extendingend portions removably inserted in corresponding holes in the respective posts, vertical portions depending from said end portions and engaging the respective posts and a longitudinal track portion spaced from said end and vertical portions and supported thereby in inwardly spaced relation to the plane of the respective posts, each element being resilient to accommodate contraction of its length for insertion of the same between the opposed faces of the respective pair of posts and subsequent expansion of the same to bring the end portions thereof into engagement in the said corresponding holes of the respective posts, each pair of elements having their end portions inserted in corresponding holes in the fourposts whereby their track portions are disposed in a common horizontal plane for reception,

thereon of a tray.

3. A support for trays and the like comprising four upright corner posts disposed in a substantially rectangu-h rality of vertically spaced horizontal planes, and at least one pair of track elements carried by said posts, each element comprising a unitary'rod of a length greater than the spacing between the opposed legs of the posts of each pair, each element including aligned end portions removably inserted in corresponding ones of the holes in the said corresponding ones of the legs of the posts of the respective pair, vertical portions depending from said end portions and engaging against the said other legs of the posts of the respective pair, portions projecting inwardly from said vertical portions into the space between the two pairs of posts and horizontal track portions extending between said inwardly projecting portions in inwardly spaced relation to the posts of the respective pair, each pair of elements having their end portions inserted in corresponding holes in the four posts whereby their track portions are disposed in a common horizontal plane for slidable reception thereon of a tray.

4. A support for trays and the like comprising four uprectangular array, said posts having a plurality of vertical- 1y spaced coupling means defining a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal planes, and at least one pair of track elements carried by said posts, said elements being associated with the posts of the respective longitudinally aligned pairs of posts and each comprising end portions forming coupling means cooperable with the coupling means on said posts, a vertical portion depending from adjacent each end thereof, a transverse portion adjacent each end thereof projecting inwardly from the plane of the respective pair of posts and a track portion extending longitudinally between said transverse portions, said posts including vertical surface portions adjacent said coupling means disposed parallel to the plane of the respective pair of longitudinally aligned posts and facing toward the other pair of posts, said vertical portions of each element engaging against said vertical surface portions of the respective posts for retaining said transverse portions in a substantially horizontal position and for retaining said track portion in inwardly spaced relation to the plane of the respective pair of posts, each pair of elements having their ends coupled to corresponding ones of the coupling means on the four posts whereby their track portions are disposed in a common horizontal plane for slidable reception thereon of a tray.

5. A support for trays and the like comprising four upright stationary corner posts disposed in a substantially rectangular array, the two posts of each longitudinally aligned pair having opposed faces and each post thereof having a vertical surface immediately outwardly of said opposed face thereof projecting longitudinally toward the other post, and at least one pair of track elements carried by said posts, each element being associated with one pair of posts and being of a length greater than the spacing between the said opposed faces of the posts of the respective pair, the opposite ends of each element and the op posed faces of the respective posts having cooperable coupling means, each element being contractable for insertion between the opposed faces of the respective pair of posts and being expansible to bring said cooperable coupling means into clamped engagement, each element including a transverse portion adjacent each end thereof extending inwardly from the respective post, a track portion extending longitudinally between said transverse portions and a vertical portion depending from adjacent each end thereof and engaging against the said vertical surface of the respective post for retaining said transverse portions in inwardly extending relation to said posts and for retaining said track portion in inwardly spaced relation to the plane of the posts of the respective pair, said posts-having a plurality of said coupling means atvertically spaced lo- References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 840,512 Palmer Jan. 8, 1907 1,050,154 Martin Jan. 14, 1913 1,708,588 Proctor Apr. 9, 1929 2,062,802

Walker Dec. 1, 1936

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US840512 *Feb 13, 1906Jan 8, 1907Earl M PalmerClothes-rack.
US1050154 *May 23, 1910Jan 14, 1913Dorn Iron Works Company VanMetallic shelving.
US1708588 *Nov 10, 1926Apr 9, 1929Commercial ShearingDrying rack
US2062802 *Jan 7, 1936Dec 1, 1936Walker David VDisplay appliance
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2973100 *Jun 17, 1960Feb 28, 1961Wiley George DRack and tray structure
US3220557 *Jun 14, 1963Nov 30, 1965Ekco Products CompanyStorage rack
US3221895 *May 20, 1963Dec 7, 1965Production Metal Products CompWire display rack
US3232442 *Sep 2, 1964Feb 1, 1966Banner Metals IncDisplay rack
US4004819 *Jul 29, 1975Jan 25, 1977Metropolitan Wire CorporationMobile truck provided with improved removable racks for pans, trays and the like
US4013173 *Feb 24, 1975Mar 22, 1977Snijders Metaalwarenfabriek B.V.Stand including moveable supports for accommodating articles of different heights and depths
US4725066 *Apr 18, 1986Feb 16, 1988Cannon Equipment Co.Mobile cart for discrete shelves, and shelf therefor
US5263595 *Oct 10, 1991Nov 23, 1993Metro Industries, Inc.Modular rack system for use with removable pans
US7270384 *Nov 5, 2003Sep 18, 2007General Electric CompanySupport assembly for a refrigerator storage pan
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/126.15
International ClassificationA47B57/00, F25D25/02, A47B57/48
Cooperative ClassificationA47B57/485, F25D25/021
European ClassificationA47B57/48C, F25D25/02A