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Publication numberUS2971805 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 14, 1961
Filing dateFeb 29, 1956
Priority dateFeb 29, 1956
Publication numberUS 2971805 A, US 2971805A, US-A-2971805, US2971805 A, US2971805A
InventorsWeiss Martin S
Original AssigneeWeiss Martin S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular cabinet structure and components used therein
US 2971805 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M. S. WEISS Feb. 14, 1961 MODULAR CABINET STRUCTURE AND COMPONENTS USED THEREIN Filed Feb. 29, 1956 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Myer/N 5. VVEVS s ATTORNEY Feb. 14, 1961 M. s. WEISS 2,971,805


Feb. 14, 1961 M. s. WEISS 2,971,805



AFT'ORIVEY! Feb. 14, 1961 M. s. WEISS V 2,971,805


United States Patent MGDULAR CABINET STRUCTURE AND COMPQNENTS USED THEREIN Martin S. Weiss, 315 W. Court St., Milwaukee, Wis.

Filed Feb. 29, 1956, Ser. No. 568,529

7 Claims. (Cl. 312-103) This invention relates to a modular cabinet structure and partition and components used therein.

Cabinets are referred to generically to include dis play cases, closets, wall and shelf structures and socalled island and gondola units and the like as used in store furniture. It is an object of the invention to provide components having great adaptability for a wide variety of purposes and to produce highly finished equipment such as is acceptable for any store finishing use. The components are so adaptable that they are effective in non-modular as well as modular assemblies as will hereinafter be illustrated.

The cabinets in their entirety may be used as partitions or walls. The same is true of the wall or partition strucmm which is a primary feature of the present invention and upon which the display cases or the like are erected. Such a partition or wall may be used as a movable or permanent partition or wall in an office or a home, as well as in a store.

The basic component is a device which 1 term a flitch plate having bracket supporting notches spaced along both of its edge margins. t is important that these notches receive with a vertical engaging movement, rather than a pivotal movement, the complementary hooks of brackets to be supported thereon. It is also important that the notches be duplicated, desirably exactly, on both margins of the notched strip because, otherwise, distortion is apt to result from the notching.

It is also important that the notched plate or strip be confined between two other plates or strips desirably of metal, but sometimes of wood, in a sort of sandwich structure in which the two outer plies provide the sides of each socket which receives a bracket hook, the two outer plies not only confining the hook within the complementary socket but resisting lateral swinging movement of the bracket. When three metal plates are used, the center one having the marginal notches referred to, the assembly may be riveted or welded or otherwise fastened together for unitary handling and the three-ply assembly is also referred to as a flitch plate to be clamped between the side members of modular frames used in the assembly of cabinets to display or hold merchandise. Assuming a single ply iiitch plate to be employed, the side members of the modular frames may be bolted to each other through the single ply plate to perform the bracket confim'ng function as above described.

In the preferred practice of the invention, modular frames are assembled upon a carefully leveled base strip by bolting them to each other upon intervening three-ply flitch plate assemblies. Each modular frame is rectangular having top, bottom and side portions, the sides being provided along the margins of their inner faces with correspondingly located hook-shaped recesses. The frames being erected, each is provided with a front panel, and sometimes a rear panel, having re-enforcing cleats, the ends of which engage in the hook-shaped recesses of the side members of the frame to provide a quickly detachable and readily applicable connection larged 2 between the panels and the frame. The assembled modular frames may be braced from the ceiling or rear wall of the room in which they are used. Frequently they are spaced from the rear wall sufiiciently to provide storage space or dressing room space behind the resulting partition. Whether the frames are provided with a finishing panel at the rear of the partition will depend upon the use to which the space at the rear of the partition is to be put.

At the front of the partition a wide variety of treatments is possible. Brackets engaged with the notches of the respective flitch plates support shelves or partitions or ceiling or base structures or hanger rods, all of which become readily interchangeable to suit changing requirements. It is important that in all assemblies the structure is capable of presenting a completely finished appearance like the finest cabinet work, notwithstanding the ease with which it is erected, dismantled or reorganized as needed.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a view in perspective of a partially erected cabinet embodying the invention and containing widely diverse features in a single unitary structure, portions being broken away. i

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary detail view taken in section on the line 22 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary detail view taken in section on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 4 is a view in vertical front to rear a somewhat modified form of cabinet.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary detail View in perspective showing the means for connecting to the ceiling the cabinet structure shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view in vertical front to rear section showing the upper portion of a cabinet having a bracing connection to the rear wall and provided with a forwardly offset lighting fixture.

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary view partially in plan and par tially in horizontal section through the structure of Fig. 6.

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary vertical section through a shelf bracket and adjacent portions of a hitch plate, the bracket appearing in side elevation and portions of the flitch plate being broken away.

Pig. 9 is a detail view taken in section on line 9 of Fig. 8 and shown on a somewhat enlarged scale.

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary detail view partially in front elevation and partially in section fragmentarily illustrating the mounting of hanger rods to a bracket.

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary view in vertical front to rear section of the base portion of a cabinet, portions being broken away.

Fig. 12 is a detail view taken in section generally on the line 1242 of Fig. ll but illustrating a portion of the floor which finishes the base.

Fig. 13 is a greatly enlarged detail view in section showing the mounting strip and leveling device with which each modular unit is desirably provided.

Fig. 14 is an exploded view showing components used in modular cabinet assemblies embodying the invention.

Fig. 15 is a fragmentary detail view in perspective of the inner or rear side of one of the cleated panels shown in Fig. 14.

Fig. 16 is a perspective exploded view on a section through greatly on scale fragmentarily illustrating components of a three-ply flitch plate and associated bracket end.

Fig. 17 fragmentarily illustrates the bracket end and fiitch plate in side elevation with successive portions of the ditch plate broken away.

Fig. 18 is a view taken in section on line l813 of Fig. 17.

Fig. 19 is a view in perspective showing a single ply flitch plate assembled between wooden side members of modular frame units which confine the hooked end of a bracket, the parts being fragmentarily illustrated.

Fig. 20 (Sheet 2) is a detail view illustrating in side elevation a special form of bracket for hanging any objects such as a picture, picture frame being fragmentarily illustrated and the flitch plate being broken away.

Fig. 21 (Sheet 2) shows in fragmentary perspective a set of shelves and special brackets for flitch plate mount- Fig. 22 shows in perspective on a reduced scale a gondola structure employing some of the components herein described and associating these with cabinet work made to order.

Fig. 23 fragmentarily illustrates on a larger scale the manner in which special flitch plates and modular units are assembled to a gondola base, portions being broken aw Fig. 24 is a view in transverse section through a partially erected cabinet such as that of Fig. 22, portions being broken away.

In the preferred'practice of the invention, modular frames such as those shown at 25 in Figs. 14, 17 and 19 are bolted together through an intervening single or multiple ply flitch plate. A three-ply flitch plate is shown at 26 in Figs. 14, 16 and 17. It comprises a metal strip 27 having notches 28 in its side margins, this strip also being usable single ply when clamped between the sides of two frames 25 as suggested in Fig. 19.

The plate 27 has notches at 28 which are desirably duplicated along its opposing front and rear margins. The notches are desirably spaced at regular intervals and define shoulders at 29 adapted to receive the complementary hook portions 31 of brackets 35 which will be described hereinafter. Each bracket has at least two of the hooks 31 so spaced as to be receivable into interlocking engagement with the shoulders 29 of the two complementary notches of the plate 27. Each hook portion 31 of bracket 35 has a shoulder at 32 which is complementary to one of the shoulders 22 of the plate. Except for the shoulders 29 and 32, the portions of the plate adjoining notches 28 may have rounded corners, as at 33 and 34 (Fig. 16). The over-all opening of the notch 28 is at least as great as the over-all height of the hooks 31 and the arms of the brackets 35 from which the hooks respectively project.

It is considered very desirable that the arrangement be such that the bracket arms and hooks may be engaged and disengaged merely by Vertical and horizontal movements of the bracket respecting the flitch plate. If any substantial amount of pivotal movement were required for engagement or disengagement, such pivotal movement would require more clearance than is sometimes available at the outer end of the bracket, which may have substantial length. Accordingly, the hooked arms of the bracket and the slots of the flitch plate are designed to permit the hooks 31 to be moved horizontally inwardly and then vertically downwardly to engage the hooks with the complementary shoulders 29 of the flitch plate.

It will be observed that the sheet metal of the flitch plate corresponds substantially exactly in thickness to the sheet metal used in making the brackets 35. In order that the brackets may be reasonably secure against lateral displacement when mounted, it is desired that they be rather closely confined in the notches. To this end, the plate 27 is desirably sandwiched between two unnotched plates 36 and 37 as clearly shown in Figs. 16 to 18, the several laminations 36, 27, and 37 being held together by spot welds 38 as suggested in Fig. 17 or in any other appropriate manner.

The multi-ply flitch plate is provided with bolt holes 39 which are desirably somewhat elongated vertically as shown in Figs. 16 and 17. These receive the bolts 40 4, which clamp the respective frames 25 to each other through the intervening flitch plate as best shown in Fig. 18.

Fig. 19 shows how the notched central ply 27 may be confined in wood to constitute the flitch plate when clamped between the side members 42 and 43 of respective frames 25, these side members, normally made of wood, then serving the function of confining the bracket 35 against lateral swinging movement. However, the reason why the three-ply flitch plate construction is pre ferred is because the plates 36 and 37, between which the notched plate 27 is sandwiched, protect the Wood from contact with the metal hooks 31 of the brackets 35, thus preserving indefinitely the fine finish which is one of the features of the sectional cabinets herein disclosed.

Moreover, the plates 36, 37 are desirably wider than the notched intermediate plate 27 and also wider than the side members 42 and 43 of the respective modular frames 25, the object being to extend the side margins of plates 36, 37 to be substantially flush with the finishing panels 45 which are applied to the faces of the modular frames 25.

Each of the modular frames 25 desirably has its' side portions 42 and 43 provided with kerfs or recesses 46 which are correspondingly spaced to lie opposite each other at intervals of the height of these side members. The hardboard finishing panels 45 have cemented to their rear faces re-enforcing cleats 48 which are undercut at their ends to provide lateral projections 49 adapted to be hooked into the recesses 46 and dropped down within the recesses to be interlocked behind the shoulders 50 which are formed by the recesses. A cleat with its projecting ends is shown in Fig. 15 and the interlocking engagement of the cleats with the shoulders 50 clearly appears in Fig. 18, which also shows how the side margins of the plates 36 and 37 terminate flush with the front faces of adjacent finishing panels 45.

The fact that the finishing panels are readily applicable and removable makes it possible for the owner of an installation of this charcter to change his displays with case. In lieu of the continuous surface provided by the panel 45, a so-called pegboard panel may be substituted as indicated at 450 in Fig. 1. Where this ease of interchange is not required, as at the back of the modular unit, a panel 451 may be held to the frame 25 by nails or other fastening means as suggested in Fig. 18.

Because of the manner in which the flitch plate is made and assembled between the modular frames 25, the required slots 28 being no wider than the thickness of the sheet metal bracket 35, the resulting assembly is extraordinarily neat, the slot into which the arms of the brackets are receivable being nowhere nearly as clearly visible as it appears to be in the drawings, wherein the width is necessarily exaggerated.

In the modular organization, there is a base unit individual to each of the modular frames 25 as best appears in Fig. 1 and Fig. 14. A specialized form 350 of the bracket 35 is hooked to each flitch plate assembly 26. Brackets 350 have inwardly turned flanges 52 at their ends, to which the baseboard 53 is fastened. Angles 54 connected to each other through each of the brackets 350 serve to support pieces of flooring 55 which may abut as suggested in Fig. l but will usually be somewhat spaced and kerfed to receive connecting fiat splines 56 as shown in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3. The spacing between floor panels 55 is intended to receive partitions hereinafter referred to. In this type of installation, the base is not relied upon to hold the modular units erect. Instead, the tops of respective modular frames are conveniently connected by braces 57 of any appropriate length to the nearest wall 58 as shown in Fig. 6. For convenience of application, retainers 59 may be bolted to the wall and offset to receive the hook ends 60 of braces 57.

If the height of the modular units is such that they approach the ceiling of the room in which they are installed, a channeled strip 62 may be applied to the ceiling 63 as suggested in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5, one of the side members 42 or 43 of the respective modular frames 25 being provided with a slide bolt 64 adapted to be projected into engagement with the channeled ceiling strip 62 and anchored by means of its own clamp bolts 65 to maintain the engagement.

At the floor all installations are desirably mounted on a floor strip 70 which extends the length of the installation beneath the aligned modular frames 25. Each such frame desirably has its side members 42 and 43 extended below its bottom cross member 71 and terminally notched at 72 to receive the floor strip 70. The notches are separately illustrated in Fig. 14 and the interlocking engagement with the floor strip is best shown in Fig. 13. The bottom members 71 of the respective modular units 25 are desirably provided with nut like fittings at 74 in which leveling screws 75 are adjustable. These screws preferably have at their lower ends generally spherically shaped heads 76 which are universally pivotal in washers 77 resting on the floor strip 70. Screw driver slots or the like at 78 facilitate adjustment of the screws from within the modular frames to permit the several frames to be leveled with each other. In all positions Within the range of adjustment provided by the leveling screws 75, the interlock of the respective modular frames with the floor strip will be maintained. This assures that the several frames will be in accurate registration with each other in a front and rear direction.

Essentially similar modular units and fiitch plates can be used to make up the so-called gondola or island display case. This uses two of the modular frame units 25, three flitch plates 27, finishing strips 421 and 431 enclosing the terminal flitch plates, and a special base upon which the upright members are supported.

In this instance, the base actually holds the flitch plates erect and for that purpose the flitch plates have extensions at 79 welded or otherwise secured to an angle 80 which is bolted or otherwise fastened to an angle 81 having the adjustable leveling devices 75 threaded through its ends as best shown in Fig. 24. The intermediate flitch plate angle is fastened to a horizontal board 84 which extends from front to rear of the gondola between its finishing aprons 53. The floor 551 comprises a horizontal panel of appropriate extent through which the flitch plates extend to the connections above described. At one side of the uprights, the shelving 87 may optionally be erected or any of the bracket supported shelves or the like may be mounted on the fiitch plates. Fig. 22 shows shelving terminating in a counter or work surface at 876 above which the brackets 35 support glass shelves 90, as may be done in any of the organizations herein disclosed. Fig. 1 shows shelves of wood mounted on the brackets and connected by splines 56. Fig. 9 is a detail of the glass shelves 90 for which the brackets 35 are desirably provided with supporting angles 38 spaced slightly below the top margin of the bracket so that the top margin intervenes between the glass shelves 90, leaving a slight gap at 92 for expansion and contraction.

At the back of the gondola shown in Fig. 22, I have illustrated a hanging bar 95 carried by a special bracket 351, the general organization being that shown in Fig. 10. To one or both sides of the bracket 351, depending on the installation, tubular'studs 93 will be riveted to telescopically receive the tubular hanging bar or bars 95. A similar installation is shown in Fig. 1.

Regardless of the type of shelves used, but particularly when wooden shelves are used as in Fig. 1, it may be desirable to employ partitions such as that shown at 1%. The partition 16d either extends bodiiy into the space between shelves 55 as in Fig. 2 or has a tongue 101 extending into the space between shelves as in Fig. 1. It may also have a tongue 192 extending into the channel between the outer plates 36 and 37 of the fiitch plate assembly where these plates project beyond the 6 notched plate 27 as shown in Fig. 3. At its upper end, the partition may extend into the groove 99 provided between the flanges 98 of the channel 97 fastened to the lower margin of the special bracket extension 354 as shown at the upper left in Fig. l. The bracket itself is the relatively short member 353 which is offset so that the extension 354 is aligned with the notched flitch plate 27 as shown in Fig. 7. The flanges 98 of the special fitting 97 are used to support ceiling panels which may comprise hardboard resting on flanges 98 and stifferred by cleats 106 as will clearly appear from Figs. 6 and 7.

The bracket extensions 354 may be provided at their ends with angles 108 for the support of a board 109 which carries the trim 110, 111 and 112 and from which rods 113 project forwardly to carry the valance molding 114 from which the tube lamps 115 are supported. As indicated in Fig. 1, some of the trim, as well as the tube lamps, may be omitted and replaced by a single finishing board 117 when a simpler structure is desired.

When it is desired to support anything such as the mirror or picture 120 (Fig. 20), a single short bracket hook 355 may be used and provided with an external hook at 116 from which the picture or mirror 120 may be suspended. As further illustration of the versatility of the structure, I have shown in Fig. 21 short lengths of bracket members 356 which, instead of one pair of hooks engaging the hitch plates, are each provided with a number of such hooks 31 so as to receive from the hitch plates support adequate to enable these special brackets to carry a unitary set of shelving 118. The brackets 356 are obviously adapted to support any other member or sub-combination which is either intrinsically heavy or may be subjected to loads greater than those expected to be imposed on the shelves 55 or 90.

Wherever needed, I may enclose a cabinet with doors of glass or otherwise as shown in Fig. 4. Here the special bracket 357 carries a wooden dividing or horizontal partition shelf 120 which projects beyond the shelves 9%) and is provided above and below with conventional hardware at 121 and 122 for the sliding doors 123, 124, 125, 126. Fittings similar to those shown at 121 and 122 are used at 127 for the upper margins of doors 123 and 124 and at 128 for the lower margins of doors and 126. These last mentioned fittings are carried respectively by board 129 and base member 552. Board 129 is mounted on bracket extension 354 and carries appropriate trim, while the base floor panel 552 is comparable to floor member 55 as previously described.

It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various of the features disclosed in the numerous embodiments shown in the drawings of the above application can be interchangeably associated with each other, it being one of the major objects of the invention to provide a structure which is highly versatile in that various types of cabinets, shelving, closets and the like can be made with generally standardized structural units.

I claim:

1. In a cabinet structure designed to receive and mount brackets having terminal hooks, the combination with prefabricated structural cabinet units each comprising side, top and bottom frame members, of a fiitch plate disposed between the side members of said units and supported thereby and comprising at least one substantially planiform metal strip, said one strip having a series of marginal hook-receiving notches with portions opening to a margin of the said strip and other portions extending longitudinally of the strip from the portions first mentioned, and means conecting said units with each other through said flitch plate at points which do not interfere with bracket hook manipulation into and from selected notches.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1 in which each such structural unit has a face panel with which marginal portions of the fiitch plate are substantially flush.

'3. The combination set forth in claim 1 in which the fiitch plate comprises three strips, the said one strip being laminated between sheet metal side strips which laterally close said notches to confine the hooks engaged therein.

4. The combination set forth in claim 3 in which the respective units have face panels applied externally to their respective frame members, the side strips of the laminated flitch plate projecting from the respective frame units to an extent substantially equalling panel thickness to expose the fiitch plate margins approximately flush with said panels and to protect said panels from said hooks.

5. The combination set forth in claim 4 in which the respective frame members and panels have mutually engaged releasably interlocking parts of limited vertical extent whereby to be engageable and disengageable by relative vertical movement.

6. ,The combination with a bracket provided with vertically spaced sheet metal hook portions, each of which projects longitudinally from the bracket and thence extends downwardly, of a fiitch plate comprising a substantially planiform strip of sheet metal having a front margin provided with notches with openings of suflicient vertical clearance to receive in generally horizontal movement the over-all height of the respective hook portions of the bracket and having downwardy offset portions with which the bracket hook portions are respectively engageable by relative vertical movement, the said downwardly offset notch portions conforming substantially exactly in front to rear width to said hook portions, whereby bracket thrusts are transmitted to said plate with no substantial References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 309,360 Roberts Dec. 16, 1884 1,282,369 Belcher Oct. 22, 1918 1,716,625 Dawson June 11, 1929 1,876,528 Walters Sept. 6, 1932 1,998,343 Teller Apr. 16, 1935 2,066,736 Muse Jan. 5, 1937 2,245,944 Vanderveld June 17, 1941 2,604,375 Beckett July 22, 1952 2,626,198 Vanderveld Jan. 20, 1953 2,643,170 Vanderveld June 23, 1953 2,661,993 Little Dec. 8, 1953 2,684,224 Waltz July 20, 1954 2,691,502 Jones Oct. 12, 1954 2,710,241 Lieberman June 7, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 311,754 Switzerland Feb. 15, 1956

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U.S. Classification312/108, 108/185, 248/220.43, 248/222.41, 312/257.1, 52/580, 211/134, 248/243, 52/36.6
International ClassificationA47F5/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47F5/103
European ClassificationA47F5/10B1