US 2946634 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 26, 1960 J. E. GILBERT 2,946,634
DETACHABLE TABLE TRAY Filed July 21, 1958 INV EN TOR.
g o/w zaerz afjbv/vlga DETACHABLE TABLE TRAY John E. Gilbert, 1411 Old Orchard Road, Vincennes, Ind.
Filed July 21, 1958, Ser. No. 749,736
'4 Claims. (Cl. 311-103) This invention relates generally to a table tray for supporting articles so that the entire table surface is left free, and more particularly relates to a novel means for removably attaching the tray to a table.
The desirability and practicability of trays of the character described are quite well known. Such trays have been used to good advantage for supporting common articles such as ash trays, drinking glasses and the like, thus freeing the maximum surface area of the table to which the tray is attached. This is obviously desirable where the activity involved requires maximum surface area such as card playing, drafting, studying, etc. Further, the articles being so supported are positioned where they cannot be inadvertently tipped over onto the table itself or knocked to the ground.
- Numerous attempts have been made to provide trays of the type in question with varying degrees of success. However, all of these trays have been characterized by a plurality of disadvantages or undesirable features. Chief among these objectionable features is the fact that themeans for attaching the tray to a table were complicated and cumbersome, quite often involving a number of moving parts. a
It istherefore an important object of this invention to provide a detachable table tray which may be easily mounted on, and removed from, a table without requiring the manipulation of any moving parts. A related object is to provide a tray with attaching means which afford maximum support for the tray.
Many of the trays heretofore attempted were limited by their shapes and the nature of their attaching means to use only with a table of specific shape and structure.
It is therefore another important object of this invention to afford a detachable table tray having unique attaching means whereby the tray may be'mounted on virtually any-type or design of table.- a a a y a a To thefappli'cants knowledge every such tray-hereto fore devised has been operationally, mounted so that the surface of the tray is either above ,or below the table surface. When engaging in certain activities such as card playing it is often'desirable to have the tray flush with and in the same plane as 'th'e'jtable surface so that objects-such. as poker chips and" the .likemay .be readily moved onto or off of the tray with a simple sliding movement.
Another important object, therefore, is to provide a table tray which, when operationally mounted, has its surface in the same plane as the table surface. A related object is to provide a tray which does not obstruct any portion of the table surface.
A further object is to afford a table tray which, when not operationally mounted, may be collapsed to occupy a minimum of space for purposes of storage or shipment.
Yet another object is to provide a table tray ofthe character described which is simply and inexpensively fabricated, yet is light weight, attractive and most effective.
With the foregoing and other objects in view which will 2,946,634 Patented July 26, 1960 appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, arrangement and a combination of parts hereinafter fullydescribed, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that various changes in the form, proportion, size and minor details of the structure may be made without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.
For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of my invention, I have illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, my invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.
Referring to the drawings in which the same characters of reference are employed to indicate'corresponding or similar parts throughout the several figures of the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a table tray embodying my invention operationally mounted on a corner of a table;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on the plane of broken line 2-2 in Fig. 1 and viewed in the direction indicated;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 3-3 in Fig. 2 and viewed in the direction indicated; and i Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 4-4 in Fig. 2 and viewed in the' direction indicated.
Directing attention first to Fig. 1 of the drawings, reference character 10 indicates generally my table tray operationally mounted on a corner of a table T having a leg L. Tray 10 may comprise a flat surface 12 of generally horse-shoe configuration having a peripheral upstanding retaining flange 14. Surface 12 may have a plurality of openings such as 16 and 18. Depending from the marginal edge of opening 16 may be a circular well 20. Opening 18 is adapted to support an ash tray or :other similar article (not shown), and well 20 may'retain a drinking glass or other similar article (not shown). Tray 10 may be made of any suitable stiff material such as metal, wood, plastic, etc. It should be noted that the flange 14- circumscribes the surface'12 except for that portion 22 thereof which makes contact with the table for reasons which will become apparent as the description proceeds. a
Secured to the underside of surface 12, adjacent each of its lateral edges, may be a reinforcing and mounting member 24. Reinforcing and mounting member 24' comprises an elongated horizontal leg 26 and a shorter depending leg 28. Leg 28 has a central notch 30 opening to the bottom and whose function will be subsequently described. Leg 28 may be shaped and angularlydisplaced .withrelation to leg 26 so thatthesamewillconform with the shape of the table, corner uponfwhi'ch the tray is to'be mounted, as best seen in FigliZ'ofthe drawings.
A support bar indicated generally by the numeral 32 may be connected, as by hinge 34, to the underside of surface 12 at a point adjacent the remote end of said surface and centrally thereof. Support bar 32 may comprise a rigid elongated arm 36 having a shorter, depending angularly disposed arm 38. Depending arm 38 has a central notch 40 opening to the bottom edge of the arm and whose function will likewise become apparent as the description proceeds. Again, the arm 38 may be shaped to conform to the shape of the table leg upon which the tray is to be mounted.
Positioned in each edge of the table corner with its head protruding slightly therefrom is a hook member such as screw 42. Positioned in the table leg L with its head protruding slightly therefrom is a hook member such as screw 44. Obviously, other headed devices such as: nails, belts or rivets may be used in place of the screws shown. The function of these hook members will likewise become apparent as the description proceeds.
In operation, my tray is attached as follows: Screws 42 and 44- are screwed into the table corner and leg respectively of the table upon which it is desired to mount the tray. The screws are positioned at points which are pre-determined in order to properly attach the tray. Legs 28 and arm 38 are then hooked on the corresponding screws by means of the respective notches 30 and 40. Removal of the tray from the table is equally as simple, requiring only the unhooking of the legs 28 and arm 38' from their respective screws.
When the tray is operationally attached to the table it should be noted, as best seen in Fig. 2 of the drawing, that the portion 22 of the tray surface 12 which is not circumscribed by retaining flange 14 abuts the table so that the tray surface 12 lies in the same plane as the table top surface and merely forms an extension thereof. Thus, where a modified form (not shown) of tray surface 12 is employed, which does not have an opening such as 18 therethrough, it is possible to move objects such as playing cards or poker chips onto or ofli of the tray with a simple sliding motion. Of course, peripheral flange 14 which circumscribes the remainder of the tray surface acts to prevent objects on the tray from falling off the other edges.
It should be apparent that while the embodiment illustrated depicts the tray mounted on a rounded table corner, the tray is readily adaptable for mounting on tables of any shape. Thus, for example, if the table corner is square, it would be necessary only to change the portion 22 from the arcuate shape shown to a shape having perpendicularly disposed sides to conform to the table corner. Likewise, in the case of a square table leg, arm 38 may be shaped to conform to that leg by providing the same with a pair of perpendicularly disposed sides. In the latter case, there would be a notch in each side of arm 38 and two hooks or screws 44 would be required.
It should thus be apparent that my unique and simple mounting means may be effectively used for attachment to surfaces of any configuration by merely shaping leg 28 and arm 38 to conform to that surface.
From the foregoing description and drawings it should be apparent that I have provided a novel, practical and easy-to-mount table tray designed for holding articles so that maximum surface area of a table is left unobstructed. The simplicity and efiiciency of the mounting means is evident. Said means are adaptable for mounting the tray on a table of any shape as described above. Further, said means accomplish the desirable purpose of enabling the tray surface to lie in the same plane as the table top. It should also be evident that the hinged connection of the supporting rod 32 permits the same to be folded against the tray surface so that the entire device occupies a minimum of space for storage or shipping purposes. Obviously, more than one of my trays What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A table tray for attachment to a table whose top has a rounded vertical edge comprising; an article supporting surface, a leg depending from said surface adjacent one end thereof, said leg being rounded vertically to conform to the rounded vertical table top edge, a support bar secured to the underside of said surface adjacent the opposite end thereof, an arm depending from said support bar, and means for removably attaching said leg and arm to the top and a leg respectively of said table so that said attached tray covers no portion of the flat surface of said table top.
2. The table tray of claim 1 in which said means comprises a portion of each of said tray leg and arm having a slot formed therein and a hook member protruding from said table top and table leg.
3. The table tray of claim 2 in which said tray leg is shaped to conform to the configuration of said table top and said tray arm is shaped to conform to the configuration of said table leg.
4. A table tray for removable attachment to a table having rounded corners and a rounded vertical edge comprising a planar article supporting surface of generally horse-shoe configuration having at least one article retaining opening therethrough, the heel end of said surface being complementarily arcuate with the rounded corner of said table, a pair of notched legs depending from the heel end of said surface, said legs beingrounded vertically to conform to the rounded vertical table edge, an elongated support bar hingedly secured to the underside of said surface adjacent the toe end thereof, and a notched arm depending from the free end of said support bar, said legs and arm adapted to be hooked on hook members protruding from the table top and a table leg respectively so that said surface provides a planar extension of said table top.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS