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Publication numberUS3017969 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1962
Filing dateMay 28, 1956
Priority dateMay 28, 1956
Publication numberUS 3017969 A, US 3017969A, US-A-3017969, US3017969 A, US3017969A
InventorsNielsen Harold R
Original AssigneeNielsen Harold R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable partitions
US 3017969 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

` Jan. 23, 1962 H. R. NlELsEN PORTABLE PARTI'rIoNs 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 28, 1956 INVENTOR Harold R.Nic/sen ATTORNEY f rat This invention relates to an improvement in portable partitions and deals particularly with a partition unit which may be used to divide a room into a series of relatively small compartments.

Various types of structures which may be used for partition purposes have been constructed in the past. Some of these are generally rectangular in Shape and are supported upon standards which extend on opposite side of the plane of the partition 'to support it in a vertical position. Certain such partitions can be placed in end to end relation to provide a separation between parts of the room or the like. The present device is of this same general nature and is for the same general purpose. However, the present structure obviates many of the difficulties which have been previously experienced with devices of this type.

A feature of the present invention resides in the provisi-on of a partition embodying the generally rectangular frame which is preferably formed of a U-shaped frame member and a transverse cross member connecting opposite sides of the first frame member to form a rectlngular structure. Inverted U-shaped leg structures are employed preferably having casters at their lower ends. These leg units include a Vertical standard member which telescopes into the end of the U-shaped frame member to provide a partition frame of generally rectangular Shape.

A feature of the present invention lies in the provision of grooved or slotted frame members into which an edge of a partition panel may extend. Preferably, the frame is tubular in cross section, the cross sectional shape of the tube being a matter of choice. A slot is provided extending longitudinally of the tubular frame and along the inner surface of the U-shaped frame member. The panel which is usually a flat sheet of composition material has its edges enclosed within the tubular frmne members to sim'plifyl the construction of the partition unit and to reduce the cost thereof.

A further feature of the present invention lies in the leg units which support the partition frame. Each leg unit includes a generally U-shaped tubular member having a central standard projecting upwardly parallel to the parallel arms of the U. The arms of one U-shaped member are longer than the arms of the other.

As a' result, if two partition units are placed at right angular relationship, the taller leg unit of one partition member overlies the shorter leg unit of the other partition so that the ends of the partition may be in substantially abutting relation.

.A feature of the present invention resides in the fact that by providing leg units which overlap, it is possible to divide a room into parallel booths or smaller rooms with the ends of the partition units abutting together to form a close connection. In a similar manner,-a partition structure may be provided having a series of partition units in end to end relation in a substantially common plane and having other partition panels extending at right angles to the first panels and in extending in oppo'site direotions therefrom from the Corners or points of connection therebetween.

A further feature of the present invention resides in the fact that the cross member which connects the opposite arms of the U-shaped frame of the partition unit to formthe fourth side of the frame structure may be detachably secured to the sides of the U-shaped member. to hold the same in parallel spaced relation. When the means fastening the cross member to the sides of the U-shaped member are rem-oved, the U-shaped members may be sprung or fiexed sufliciently to permit detachment of the cross member.

A further feature of the present invention resides in the provisio-n of a means for holding the panel tightly in place within its groove. The tubing which is used in the production of the frames of the partition unit, are usually roll formed, and it is impossible to maintain the width of the groove at the eXact dimension to fit the panel with which it is used. Accordingly, spring clips are provided which may be inserted between one surface of the panel and an edge of the groove. These clips hold the panel snugly in place at all times and compensate for variations in the width of the groove as well as for variations in the thickness of the panels used.

These and other objects and novel feature of the present invention will be more clearly and fully set forth in the following specification and claims:

In the drawings forrning a part of my specification,

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the partition panel showing the construction thereof.

FIGURE 2 illustrates diagrammatically one manner in which a series of partition panels may be empiloyed to divide a room into a series of smaller areas.

FIGURE 3 is an elevation view of the partition panel,

p'ortions of the structure being broken away so that the remainder thereof may be shown on an enlarged scale.

FIGURE 4 is a sectional veiw through a portion of the supporting frame, the position of the section being indicated by the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.

FGURE 5 is a perspective view of one form of spring clip which may be used to hold the panel snugly in the supporting groove.

FIGURE 6 is a rnodified form of clip which may be used in place of the clip shown in FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view showing a detail of the manner in which the cross member may be attached to the U-shaped frame member.

FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view through the top of the supporting frame, the position of the section being indicated by the line 8-8, FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of four of the leg units of four different partition panels showing the manner in which the leg units may be arranged so that four different partition units may diverge from a single corner.

FIGURE 10 is a top plan view of the adjoining ends of four pirtition units showing the leg units arranged as illustrated in FIGURE 9 of the drawings.

Each partition unit is indicated in general by the letter A. Each of the partition units is identical in form with the other units although the partition units are commercially furnished in different sizes. The units vary both in width and in height to suit a particular installation. For this purpose they are manufactured in different sizes. In each instance, the legs units are all identical.

In general, each partition unit A includes an inverted generally U-shaped frame member 10 which includes a top member 11, and parallel side members 12 and 13.

The side members 12 and 13 are parallel and are at right nally is usually supplied in straight lengths and apparatus has been produced for bending these lengths into U- shaped form without materially changing the width of the slot 15. As the slot is on the inside surface of the frame it is capable of accommodating the marginal edges of a panel such as 16, the panels 16 usually being formed of composition such as that known to the trade as Masonite. The surfaces of the panel 16 are usually painted or treated to provide a writing surface or blackboard so that the partition may serve the double purpose of a dividing member and also a blackboard for demonstration purposes.

A lug such as that llustrated in general by the numerals 17 is secured to the sides 12 and 13 of the U-shaped frame member in opposed relation. Each lug 17 is of an outside diameter to snugly fit within the passage through the cross member 14. In the particular arrangement illustrated, the lug 17 is divided into two Sections 19 and 20 on opposite sides of the slot 15. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide a rectangular frame into which the panel 16 may extend and so that it is not necessary to notch the corners of the panel 16 which otherwise could not project into the portion of the slot 15 from which the lug 17 extended. However, if preferred, the Corners of the panel 16 may be notched so that the lug 17 may be a single part.

The cross member 14 is preferably of the same cross sectional shape as the U-shaped member 10 and in operation is arranged with the groove 21 thereof uppermost. When engaged, the cross member 14 combines with the U-shaped frame 10 to provide a generally rectangular slotted frame for enclosing all of the marginal edge of the panel 16.

The ends of the cross member 14 enclose the lug 17. Aligned apertures such as 22 are provided in the ends of the cross member 14 and corresponding apertures such as 23 are provided in the portions 19 and 20 of the lug 17. Pins, bolts or cap screws may be inserted through the apertures 22 and into the aperture 23 to hold the cross bar in place. These pins or bolts hold the frame rigid and prevent the sides of the U-shaped member 10 from spreading apart.

The material of which the frame portions are made are usually eXtruded n tubular form with the groove therein. It is extremely difficult to form the tubular frame members with the grooves 15 exactly the same width throughout the length of the tubular members. This fact, coupled with the fact that the material forming the panel 16 might also change in thickness to some extent makes it diflicult to fit the marginal edges of the panels in the groove if they are of proper size to snugly accommodate the panel. Accordingly, the grooves 15 and 21 are preferably made slightly wider than is necessary in order to be sure to accommodate the panel 16 even though these panels may not be of exact thickness.

In order to hold the panel from movement within the grooves 15 and 21, spring clips of the type llustrated in FIGURE of the drawings may be employed. The spring clips 24 are formed of flat spring metal and are bent or arced so that the center portion of the clip is offset from a plane through the ends of the clip. The spring material is sufficiently resilient and fiexible so that it may be sprung into flat form without springing past the elastic limit of the material. A pair of opposed ears 25 are struck from the body of the clip 24, the ends 26 of these ears being in spaced parallel relation. The ends 26 are spaced apart a distance equal to the thickness of the tubing or may be spaced somewhat farther apart when these clips are to extend through telescope tubing in a manner which will be later described.

After the panel 16 is in place with its marginal edge engaged in the frame, the spring clips 24 are inserted between one surface of the panel 16 and an edge of the slot 15. One end of the clip 24 is inserted into the tube in the manner llustrated in FIGURE 4 of the drawings until the innermost of the tongues or ears 25 engages against the inner wall of the tube or tubes. When thus engaged, the panel 16 is urged under spring tension against the opposite side of the groove 15. These clips thus prevent the panel 16 from being loose in the frame and hold the panel from movement in any direction.

In place of the spring clips llustrated in 24, the resilient members 27 best llustrated in FIGURE 6 of the drawings, may be employed. The members 27 may be provided with a flat surface 29 designed to engage against the surface of the panel 16 and an arcuate opposite surface 30. This arcuate surface 30 is provided with a central groove 31 which is at least as wide as the portion of the frame through which it extends. The p ugs 27 are formed of rubber or similar flexible resilient material and the portion of the plugs on one side of the groove is compressed as the plugs pass between a wall of a groove and the panel 16 to hold the panel 16 firmly against the opposite side of the groove.

Each of the upright sides 12 and 13 of the U-shaped member 10 have open lower ends and are designed to,` accommodate a leg unit. As is indicated in FIGURES 1 and 3 of the drawings, the lower end of the tubular side 12 is provided with a leg unit indicated in general by the numeral 32. The lower end of the frame side 13 is provided with a similar leg unit 28. While the leg units are quite similar in form, they are not identical for reasons which will be later described in detail.

Each leg unit 32 includes a generally inverted U-shaped tubular element having a horizontal top portion 33 and downwardly turned extremities 35 and 36 at opposite ends thereof. The lower ends of the downwardly projecting portions 35 and 36 are preferably equipped with casters 37 and 39 so that the leg unit may be rolled along the floor.

Each of the U-shaped frame members 32 is provided with a central upwardly extendng standard portion 40 which is also usually tubular in form. Each tubular standard 40 is of proper exterior diameter to fit within the lower end of the frame side 12 into telescopic relation with the member 12. A set screw such as 41 is provided for holding the standard 32 of the leg unit in adjusted re'ation with respect to the frame side 12.

The leg unit 28 similarly includes a pair of U-shaped frame members including horizontally extendng top portions 42 which are bent at their ends to form vertically extendng leg portions 43 and 44. These leg portions are preferably fitted in their lower ends with casters 45 and 46. This portion of the leg unit 28 diifers from the leg unit 32 in that the vertically extendng leg portions 43 and 44 are somewhat longer than the corresponding downwardly projecting leg portions 35 and 36 of the leg units 32. Vertically extendng tubular standard portions 47 project upwardly from the centers of the horizontally extendng portions 42 of these units.

The standard portions 47 are designed to fit into the lower ends of the frame side 13 to be in telescoping relation thereto. A thumb screw such as 49 is provided in the frame side 13 and this thumb screw may be tightened to hold the leg units and frame in any adjusted relation.

The purpose of providing the legs of one leg unit longer than the legs of the similar unit at the other end of the partition is to permit adjoining partition units to be positioned in right angular relationship with their ends in substantially abutting relation. Such an arrangement is llustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10 of the drawings. In these views, it will be noted that two of the partitions A may be inserted in end to end relation with the leg units 32 being in side by side relation as indicated in these figures. The partition frame and panel have been eliminated in FIGURE 9 of the drawings so that the leg units may be llustrated more in detail.

After the two partitions are arranged in end to end relation in a substantially common plane, two additional partition units may be inserted at right angles thereto.

firm

In doing so, the partition units are turned so that the leg units 28 provide the abutting ends of these units. As the leg units 28 are somewhat taller than the leg units 32, these leg units may be rolled over the leg units 32 so that the ends of the partition panels to which these leg units 28 are secured may also extend in a substantially common plane and in right angular relation to the ends of the first two abutting panels.

The same arrangement is possible at the opposite ends of either two pairs of aligned panels. The other ends of the partition panels bearing the leg units at one end are provided with the higher leg units 28 at the opposite end. Before moving the next pair of higher leg units into substantial engagement, the lower leg units 32 of a similar pair of partitions may be telescoped or rolled underneath the same to provide a corresponding construction at the other end of these first mentioned partition units.

Thus it will be seen that I have provided a novel and effective panel unit which may be constructed at relatively low cost and which is extremely effective for its purpose. The arrangement is also such that a series of partition panels may be arranged in such a manner as to produce a series of rooms or booths with the ends of the partition units in end abutting or right angular relation.

In accordance with the patent statutes, I have described the princples of construction and operation of my partition unit, and while I have endeavored to set forth the best embodiment thereof, I desire to have it understood that obvious changes may be made within the scope of the following claims without departing from the spirit of my invention.

I claim:

l. A portable partition including a tubular frame having an inwardly directed slot extending along the inner periphery thereof to provide oppositely spaced edges, a panel having its marginal edges extending into said slot, and means supporting said panel in a generally Vertical plane, said slot being wider than the thickness of said panel, and including resilient means interposed between said panel and one edge of said slot for urging said panel against the other edge of said slot, the ends of said resilient means engaging said panel, said resilient means having spaced, raised portions engaging both the inner and outer surfaces of said tubular frame.

2. The structure of claim l and in which the resilient means comprises a curved resilient strip.

3. The structure of claim 1 and in which the resilient means comprises an arcuate spring strip including shoulder means projecting therefrom engageable with said tubular frame inwardly and outwardly of said slot.

4. The structure of claim 1 and in which said resilient means comprises a tapered plug of compressible material.

5. A portable partition including a generally rectangular frame, a panel supported to said frame, inverted generally U-shaped leg units supporting opposite ends of said frame and arranged on planes at substantially right angles to the plane of said frame, each leg unit including a central generally horizontal portion and downwardly projecting legs at opposite ends of said central portion, the legs of one leg unit being materially longer than the legs of the other unit to perrnit the leg unit having the shorter legs to extend beneath a similar leg unit having longer legs when two partitions are |brought together.

6. A portable partition including a generally rectangular panel, means supporting said panel on a substantially Vertical plane including leg units of inverted generally U-shaped form supported on planes intersecting the plane of the panel at substantially right angles, the generally U-shaped leg units including a cross bar forming the base of the U and centrally connected to the panel and downwardly projecting legs at opposite ends thereof, the legs of the leg unit at one end of the frame being longer than the legs at the other end thereof with the sum of the Vertical distance from said cross bar to the upper ends of the legs at said one end plus the length of said legs at said one end being equal to the sum of the Vertical distance from said cross bar to the upper ends of the legs at said other end plus the length of the legs at said other end, whereby when two portable partitions are placed at right angles with the ends abutting in right angular relation, the higher leg unit of one partiton may extend over the lower leg unit of the other partition.

7. The structure of claim 6 and in which the panel is encirclecl by a tubular frame having downwardly extending tubular sockets, and including upwardly projecting shanks centrally on said cross bar telescoping into said sockets.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 421,383 Carey et al. Feb. 18, 1890 2,505,553 Krantz Apr. 25, 1950 2,650,717 Larson Sept. 1, 1953 2,767,814 Johnson Oct. 23, 1956 2,807,339 Wagner Sept. 24, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 735,731 France Sept. 6, 1932 669,495 Great Britain Apr. 2, 1952 OTHER REFERENCES A. S. Aloe Co. catalog, No. 179, 1946, page 51.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3182613 *Apr 3, 1963May 11, 1965Francis Hagan LeoCluster tables and the like
US3334900 *Jul 15, 1964Aug 8, 1967Al ShawInterference eliminating wall member for bowling alleys
US3463218 *May 18, 1967Aug 26, 1969Charles B CollinSpace divider
US3477760 *Jun 2, 1966Nov 11, 1969Sico IncMultipurpose teaching unit
US3875711 *Sep 6, 1974Apr 8, 1975Palmer EvanModular display frame structure
US5219406 *Dec 23, 1991Jun 15, 1993Schwartz Bros. Wood & Metal Furnitures Ltd.Versatile modular office partitions
US5272848 *Feb 20, 1992Dec 28, 1993Paul MaasPortable room divider
US5715633 *Nov 6, 1995Feb 10, 1998Finish Group Ltd.Versatile modular office partitions
US6009930 *Apr 12, 1999Jan 4, 2000Versare Solutions, Inc.Portable wall partition with full panel end members
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US6116326 *Nov 20, 1998Sep 12, 2000Steelcase Development Inc.Mobile screen
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US6575103Jul 26, 2000Jun 10, 2003Steelcase Development CorporationConvertible table and easel
US7213632Mar 17, 2004May 8, 2007Advanced Office Concepts IncPortable folding room dividing partition
US7677182May 25, 2005Mar 16, 2010Steelcase Development CorporationTwo person work environment
US7827920Apr 13, 2001Nov 9, 2010Herman Miller Inc.Work space management and furniture system
US7866074 *Feb 15, 2006Jan 11, 2011Crayola LlcCollapsible freestanding drawing board
US8365798May 22, 2009Feb 5, 2013Steelcase Inc.Privacy screen assembly
US8857496Oct 9, 2007Oct 14, 2014First Principles, Inc.Configurable and interlocking partitioning device, method, and system of use thereof
US20020011193 *Apr 13, 2001Jan 31, 2002Beck Robert L.Work space management and furniture system
US20050268825 *May 25, 2005Dec 8, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationTwo person work environment
US20140290151 *Jul 24, 2013Oct 2, 2014Stanley Shao-Ying LeeIntergraded dialysis unit module and module compartment structure
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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/239, 160/351, 52/482, 52/284, 52/270, 5/280, 434/408
International ClassificationE04B2/74, F16B5/06
Cooperative ClassificationF16B5/0685, E04B2/7425
European ClassificationE04B2/74C3D2, F16B5/06C