US 3029969 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W. BUCHEL TABLE SETTING DEVICE April 17, 1962 3,029,969
Filed Jan. 28, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 BY MW ATTORNEY (\1 \9 INVENTOR. WERNER Bum-nu.
April 1962 w. BUCHEL 3,029,969
TABLE SETTING DEVICE Filgd Jan. 28, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet'2 INVENTOR. g WERNER BUCHEL BY W United States Patent This invention relates to a table setting tray for use in restaurants and banquet halls to speed the laying of a place setting.
In modern restaurants considerable etficiency increases have been accomplished by installing automatic dishwashers, food choppers and the like in the kitchen. However, when ones attention is turned from the kitchen to the dining room it is discovered that table setting procedures have been modernized very little. The table is usually set by transporting the place settings from place to place upon a tray or cart, removing the items a few at a time, and placing them in their proper place on the table.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a device which makes table setting essentially a single operation in contrast to the usual table setting procedure which requires several placing operations.
Another object is to provide such a device which is simple to operate.
These objects are accomplished by partitioning a tray into appropriate sections which are sized to receive a knife, fork, spoon, butter plate, etc. and providing the tray with a slidable bottom which may be moved out from under the tray to drop the table setting onto the table in a single operation. The partitions are connected to the sides of the tray and spaced from the slidable bottom so that a place mat may underlie all the partitioned sections of the tray so that the matdrops on the table under the weight of the place setting when the bottom is moved out from under the tray.
Several trays may be loaded in advance of peak busi ness periods so that service is expedited during these busy times. This advance loading of the trays permits help, otherwise practically idle during slack business hours, to be kept busy loading the trays.
Other objects and advantages will be pointed out in, or be apparent from the specification and claim, as will obvious modifications of the several embodiments shown in the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a tray having a table setting arranged thereon;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the tray;
FIG. 3 is a sectional side view taken on line 33 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a sectional end view taken on line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view showing several stacked trays;
FIG. 6 is a front plan view of a tray having a channel secured to the tray just below the bottom;
FIG. 7 is a partial view taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is an end view of a tray having an alignment member mounted thereon to properly orient the tray with respect to the table.
Referring to the drawings, a tray 10 has a bottom 12 slidable on runners 14 bent inwardly from end walls 16. The bottom has a back edge 18 bent downwardly to form lip 20 for cooperation with ledge 22 which is bent inwardly from back wall 24 of the tray to limit the travel of the slidable tray bottom. The front edge 19 of the tray bottom is bent upwardly to provide a convenient gripping surface for moving the tray bottom. Bending the edges of the tray bottom as described adds rigidity to the bottom and members 27 on the front of the bottom may also be bent downwardly to add rigidity. When a 3,029,969 Patented Apr. 17, 1962 place mat 21 is placed on bottom 12, ledge 22 servesas I a convenient surface on which the mat can be held by one hand while the other hand is withdrawing the bottom from under the mat.
In order that silverware, dishes, etc. may be placed and held on certain portions of the tray, partitions 23 are fastened between back wall 24 and front wall 26. These partitions are spaced far enough from the bottom of the tray so that a place mat may pass between the partitions and the tray bottom, and close enough so that silverware and dishes are trapped in the particular partitioned section of the tray in which they are placed. The partitions may be flat or, as shown in the drawings, may be strengthened by stamping a longitudinally running rib 25 therein.
A typical table setting is shown in FIG. 1 in which, from left to right, salad fork 28, dinner fork 30, butter dish 32, napkin 34, dinner knife 38, teaspoon 40, and soup spoon are placed in the proper positions for correctly setting a table. The tray is placed on the table to be set and the bottom is withdrawn to the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 3 thereby permitting the table setting to drop into place upon the table just as the setting was arranged in the tray. Some shifting of the var-- ious items may occur in transporting the tray from the loading station to the table, so a fastidious host may wish to align the various items of the setting after they are deposited on the table. This alignment requires extra time, however, and a satisfactory place setting is laid without making any final rearrangement.
As an aid in aligning the tray with the table before the tray bottom is withdrawn, a guide member 52 may be secured to each of the tray end walls 16 to provide positioning guides 54 which are outwardly offset from the front wall of the tray and project downwardly from the tray for cooperation with the edge of the table being set. The table setter need only push the inner edge 55 of each positioning guide against the table edge to properly align the tray with the table and then withdraw the bottom.
' In case no place mat is used in the place setting, a catch ledge 56 bent inwardly from the front wall of the tray is needed to prevent silverware and other tray contents which are pulled toward the trayfront when the bottom is withdrawn from getting jammed between the front tray wall and tray bottom.
A channel 58 (shown in FIGS. 6 and 7) may be connected between the tray end walls 16 to extend across the front of the tray below the slidable bottom. This channel contacts portions of the tray bottom at 59 thereby both supporting the bottom and frictionally holding it against unwanted rattling and slippage. Channel 58 also prevents complete removal of the tray bottom by engaging lip 20, which is on the back edge of the bottom, when the bottom is substantially fully withdrawn from under the tray.
The tray walls all have their bottom edges bent inwardly to serve various utilitarian purposes as heretofore described. These inwardly bent edges add a good deal of structural rigidity to the tray walls. Further rigidity is secured by bending the wall tops 60 outwardly thereby forming the walls all into generally Z-shaped members.
The outwardly bent top walls 60 provide a convenient seating surface for corner plates 62 which carry stacking cleats 64. Cleats 64 are adapted to cooperate with another identical tray stacked on the tray from which the cleats extend (FIG. 5) so that several trays may be stacked without danger of lateral shifting or slipping. Plates 62 also add further structural rigidity to the tray.
Although only a few embodiments of this invention have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other modifications are within the spirit of this invention so the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the appended claim.
A table setting tray comprising, tray walls connected to form a rectangular frame, dividing means spaced to accommodae each member of a typical table setting including a spoon, fork, knife, plate, napkin and a place mat in the same relative position with respect to each other, said tray walls and dividing means having a height sufficient only to cover the highest member of the table setting, a tray bottom slidable in the frame between a supporting position and a non-supporting position with respect to the members of the table setting, said dividing means and one Wall of said frame being spaced from said tray bottom a distance suflicient only to pass said place mat under said dividing means and said one wall, an inturned ledge on the wall opposite the said one wall of said frame forming a continuation of the tray bottom to support the edge of the place mat and to provide a holding surface for the mat when the bottom is withdrawn from References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 399,422 Littleton Mar. 12, 1889 1,010,801 Rapp Dec. 5, 1911 1,038,923 Mathy Sept. 17, 1912 1,066,788 Bowen July 5, 1913 1,912,847 Klepel June 6, 1933 2,229,502 Herbert Jan. 21, 1941