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 numberUS3039836 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1962
Filing dateOct 12, 1959
Priority dateOct 12, 1959
Publication numberUS 3039836 A, US 3039836A, US-A-3039836, US3039836 A, US3039836A
InventorsLarson Milton H
Original AssigneeAmerican Fixture Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means and methods for partitioning merchandise counters
US 3039836 A
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 19, 1962 M. H. LARSON 3,039,836

MEANS AND METHODS FOR PARTITIONING MERCHANDISE COUNTERS Filed 001',- 12, 1959 s Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 5

2 W [1/ MW- H6- 4 AT TY.

June 19, 1962 M. H. LARSON 3,039,836

MEANS AND METHODS FOR PARTITIONING MERCHANDISE COUNTERS Filed Oct. 12, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

MILTON LARSON June 19, 1962 M. H. LARSON MEANS AND METHODS FOR PARTITIONING MERCHANDISE COUNTERS Filed Oct. 12, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 /''''''l "II...-

Z a. z 7

IN VEN TOR. M/L TON H. LARSON United States Patent 3,039,836 MEANS AND METHODS FDR PARTITIONING MERCHANDISE COUNTERS Milton H. Larson, St. Louis, Mo., assignor to American Fixture, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Oct. 12, 1959, Ser. No. 845,674 7 Claims. (Cl. 312-1403) This invention relates in general to merchandise display counters and, more particularly, to means for subdividing the tops of such counters into a plurality of merchandise bins.

In retailing it is becoming an increasingly widespread practice to display merchandise in bins on open counters. This is particularly true in variety stores, so-called dime stores, and, self-service stores. The particular layout of various open counters or display tables has been given a great deal of study and attention. In fact, large retail chain store organizations maintain engineering staffs to design the layout of retail selling floors and the arrangement and compartmentation of the various open counters employed in such layouts. When a new store is being opened the installation of fixtures, counters, and the partitioning of the countertops are quite complicated and time-consuming operations. This is particularly true of the counter-partitioning operation by reason of the rather complicated and cumbersome type of counter-partitioning equipment presently available.

Once a retail store has been set up and opened for business it also becomes necessary from time to time to revise the partitioning arrangement of various diflerent counter-tops. At one season, certain types of merchandise will be stocked and displayed together on the same counter. Such merchandise will, of course, require a particular type of partitioning arrangement. At still other seasons, different types of merchandise will be stocked and displayed on the same counter. Such merchandise will usually require a different type of partitioning arrangement. Consequently, the store personnel will be required to change from one partitioning arrangement to another. It thus becomes necessary to change the partitioning arrangement at least several times a year and, in many cases, such changes become necessary at more frequent intervals.

It is, therefore, the primary object of the present invention to provide unique partitioning means for display counters, which means can be quickly and simply instflled on a display counter and can be readily set up in any desired layout or configuration.

It is another object of the present invention to provide counter-partitioning means which is relatively economical and can be assembled on the counter in such a simple manner that the assembly operations can be performed by persons with a minimum of mechanical skill and without resort to special tools.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide counter-partitioning means which is extremely light in weight and, therefore, does not involve excessive handling and shipping costs.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide counter-partitioning means which is highly attractive in appearance when mounted on the counter in fully assembled relation thereto.

It is another object of the present invention to provide novel means and methods for manufacturing counter-partitioning elements embodying the present invention.

With the above and other objects in view, my invention resides in the novel features of form, construction, arrangement, and combination of parts presently described and pointed out in the claims.

ice

In the accompanying drawings (three sheets)- FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display counter equipped with counter-partitioning means constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are fragmentary sectional views taken along lines 2-2 and 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional View taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of counterpartitioning elements in assembled relation, illustrating in more detail the manner in which such counter-partitioning elements are interlocked by retainer-clips;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one form of a retainerclip forming a part of and embodying the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of counterpartitioning elements also constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention, such counter-partitioning elements being shown in assembled relation and constituting a modified form of the invention;

FIGS. 10 and 11 are fragmentary sectional views taken along lines 10-10 and 11-11, respectively, of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a modified form of retainer-clip forming a part of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating the method of manufacturing counter-partitioning elements of the present invention;

FIGS. 14, 15, and 16 are vertical sectional views taken along lines 14-14, 15-15, and 16-16, respectively, of FIG. 13, and, in effect, illustrating the successive stages of the manufacturing process; and

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 17-17 of FIG. 16.

Referring now in more detail and by reference characters to the drawings, which illustrate practical embodiments of the present invention, A designates a display counter of more or less conventional construction and design and having a flat, horizontal top wall 1 of generally rectilinear shape. Provided for disposition at the four corners of the counter-top 1 are upstanding corner posts 2 comprising a solid upright section 3 integrally provided on two of its adjacent lateral faces with outwardly projecting spaced parallel flanges 4, 5, 6, 7, which, in effect, form vertical, partition-receiving slots 8, 9. Formed integrally with and extending horizontally outwardly from the lower margin of the flanges 5, 6, is a small rectangular tab 10 which is preferably provided upon its underface with an integral downwardly projecting pin 11 which may be pressed into a matching drill-hole h bored into the counter-top 1 whereby the corner post 2 is firmly secured in position at a corner of the counter-top 1, all as best seen in FIG. 2.

Similarly provided for disposition at spaced intervals along the peripheral margin of the counter-top 1 are intermediate wall-posts 12 comprising a solid upright section 13 integrally provided on its opposite faces with spaced parallel flanges 14, 15, 16, 17, forming vertical, partition-receiving slots 18, 19, which are, in effect, in line with each other and open in opposite directions. Formed integrally with and projecting laterally outwardp ly from the lower margin of the flanges 14, 16, which form a common back wall with the section 13, is a rectangular tab 20, the latter being preferably provided upon its underface with integral downwardly projecting pins 21, 22, which may be pressed into matching drill holes, 11', bored into the counter-top 1 whereby the wall-post 12 is secured upon the counter-top 1, all as best seen in FIG. 13.

B designates a partition-element which is formed by any suitable metal-working method, such as, for example, extrusion, and is fabricated from any suitable metal such as aluminum, for instance. The partition-element B integrally includes a top bead 23 preferably, although not necessarily, of square cross-sectional shape and symmetrically joined, centrally of its lower margin, to the upper margin of a somewhat thinner relatively wide webssection 24 which is, in turn, integrally joined along its lower margin to a relatively wide bottom-bead 25, the latter preferably having a transverse width substantially equal to the transverse width of the top bead 23. The bottom-bead 25 is, furthermore, slotted or kerfed upwardly from its downwardly presented underface in the provision of a centrally located upwardly extending slot 26. The webs-section 24 is preferably provided with a plurality of somewhat oval-shaped apertures 27 which serve the dual purpose of lightening the weight of the partition-member B, and, also adding a decorative efifect thereto. It will, of course, be understood in this connection that the apertures 27 may be of any suitable shape and, therefore, may assume any desired decorative characteristics.

Provided for cooperation with the partition-element B is a corner clip C which is stamped of any suitable type of malleable metal and integrally includes a square baseplate 28 having two corner-wise intersecting free-margins 29, 30. Integrally bent up from the base-plate 28 along its other two margins are upstanding retention-tabs 31, 32, which lie in planes at right angles to each other and also are perpendicular to the base-plate 28. These retention-tabs 31, 32, are somewhat narrower than the base-plate 28 and are coincident along their outer margins 33, 34, with the outer margins 29, 30, respectively, of the base-plate 28. Thus, the interior or adjacent margins 35, 36 of the tabs 31, 32, are spaced a short distance from each other in the provision of a gap which is spanned at the bottom by a somewhat quarter-round radius 37 formed on the intervening corner'of the baseplate 28, all as best seen in FIG. 8.

The tabs 31, 32, are of such thickness as to fit snugly, but, nevertheless, removably, within the slots 26 of the partition-elements B, and, the radius of the arcuate cornermargin 37, which is, in effect, the dimension of the gap G, is somewhat greater than one-half the transverse width of the bottom-bead 25 of the partition-element B. Thus, a plurality of partition-elements B may be interconnected in a four-square corner arrangement as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, by the use of two such clips C.

It will, of course, be understood that the partitionelements B and clips, C may be combined in an almost limitless number of arrangements and configurations. Although the particular arrangement shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 consists of one central partition-element B and two other partition-elements B extending outwardly from opposite sides and at right, angles thereto, it is also possible ,to achieve any desired type of counter-top subdivision or arrangement;

In use, the counter A, for example, may be subdivided as shown in FIG. 1 by mounting a corner post 2 at each one of the four corners, and, mounting a suitable number of intermediate posts12 at properly spaced intervals along the longitudinal margins'of the counter-top 1. In

the particular counter A, as shown in FIG. 1, the trans- .verse widthris approximately equal to a standard length which may be adopted for the partition-element B. Therefore, it is not necessary to employ any of the intermediate posts 12 along the transverse margins of the counter A. For convenience, partition-elements B are 7 supplied in threeadditional progressively shorter lengths and iti's, consequently, possible to subdivide the countera top 1 into a series of rectilinear 'bins of varying size and shape, as shown in FIG. 1, utilizing clips C to hold the various partition-elements Bin place. It will, of course, be understood that the clips C serve not only to hold partition-elements B to each other internally within the perimeter of the counter-top 1, but, also serve to connect the ends of certain partition-elements B to the longer partimen.

It is also possible to provide a modified form of partitioning-element B which is substantially similar in general construction and design to the previously described partitioning-element B except that the partition-element B is provided with a slot 26 having an upwardly and inwardly tapering cross-sectional contour terminating in an enlarged circular relief-slot 38, as best seen in FIG. 11. Provided for cooperation with this modified form of partition-element B is a modified form of clip C which is preferably die-cast or moulded and can be made from a die-cast alloy or may even be moulded from a suitably strong synthetic. The clip C integrally includes a preferably square bottom plate 39 having free margins 48', 41. Formed integrally with and extending upwardly from the base-plate 39 along its other two margins 42, 43, are four prong-like retention-tabs 44, 45, 46, 47, all of substantially identical size and shape and being provided with upwardly and inwardly tapering side faces and edges, the taper of the side faces being adapted to match the taper of the slot 26, so as to fit snugly, but, nevertheless, removably therein in the manner shown in FIG. 11.

The partition-elements B are furthermore provided at uniformly spaced intervals along the bottom portions thereof with somewhat semi-cylindrical indentations 48, 49, which extend inwardly from the opposite sides thereof and are, in effect, merged together in a central web 50. These identations 48, 49, joined by a central web 50, serve two purposes. In the first place they tend to strengthen the lower portion of the partition-elements B at spaced intervals across the slot 26' soas to prevent unauthorized or accidental spreading of the slot 26. In addition, the indentations serve as a sort of mark or index to units of length. For example, if the indentations are located at intervals of four inches, it becomes very easy for a retail store-clerk to identify partition-elements B of different selected length, and, thereby follow a direction sheet for laying out a counter in some prescribed manner. Furthermore, when two parallel partition-elements B are to be interconnected by a crosswise extending partition-element B the indentations serve as a guide for. placement of the crosswise extending partition-element B so that it will be accurately disposed at right angles to the other partition-elements B against which it is in endwise abutting engagement.

It is possible to manufacture the partition-elements B from an aluminum extrusion in a very simple, inexpensive, and speedy manner, as shownin FIGS. 13 to 17, inclusive. Along length is extruded having the crosssectional shape shown in FIG. 14 including the top-bead 51, the web-section 52,'the bottom-bead 53, and, outwardly and downwardly diverging flanges 54, 55.

the latter is, in turn, pinned or keyed upon an auxiliary shaft 59 which is provided at its remote end with a bevel gear 60 which meshes with a matching bevel gear 61 mounted on the lower end of a vertical shaft 62. Pinned,

This extruded section is then past first over a high speed buifing wheel W which is dressed to fit exactly the shape and keyed, or otherwise mounted on the shaft 62 above the bevel gear 61 is a large spur gear 63 which meshes with a matching spur gear 64, similarly pinned or keyed upon a shaft 65 which is parallel to the shaft 62. It will, of course, be understood that these various shafts are mounted in suitable hearings in a conventional manner, but, the bearing structure is eliminated in the drawings for clarity of illustration.

Rigidly fastened upon the upper ends of the shaft 62, 65, for rotation therewith are matching steel drums or so-called indentation formers 66, 67, having hemispherical protuberances 68, 69, projecting axially from the side faces thereof. The position of the protuberances 68, 69, is such that they rotate together and, in effect, come directly opposite to each other along a common diametral line extending between the center lines of the shafts 62, 64. The drums 66, 67, are of such diametral size and are located, in relation to each other, that as the extruded section is fed longitudinally therebetween the drums 66, 67, will squeeze the flanges 54, 55, toward each other to the position shown in FIG. 15, thereby forming the slot 26'. Meanwhile, as the extruded section is fed lengthwise between the drums 66, 67, the flanges 54', 55, will first pass over the wheel W and all oxide or deleterious material will be removed from the inner surfaces of the flanges 54, 55, so that bare clean metal will be exposed and, of course, the speed of the operation is such that there is no time for oxidation of these clean surfaces between the time they pass over the wheel W and pass between the drums 66, 67. Consequently, at suitably spaced intervals throughout the length of the extruded section, the clean surfaces of the flanges 54, 55, will be squeezed together with extremely heavy pressure forming the indentations 48, 49, and, Welding the interior portions of these indentations 48, 49, into an integral web or section 5% It has been found, in connection with the present invention, that by thoroughly cleaning the interior surfaces of the flanges 54, 55, so that bare metal is exposed, it is possible to co-weld these surfaces together through the application of sufiicient compressive force. The shafts 62, 65, and the drums 66, 67, must be of suflicient strength and must be supported in bearings and framework of sufficient size and strength so that the compressive forces applied to the flanges 54, 55, by the protuberances 68, 69, will be of the order of 300 to 400 p.s.i. and will cause the contacting metal surfaces on the interior sides of the indentations 48, 49, to flow together and form a solid interior web 50, as shown in FIGS. 16 and 17.

It should be understood that changes and modifica tions in the form, construction, arrangement, and combination of the several parts of the means and methods for partitioning merchandise counters may be made and substituted for those herein shown and described without departing from the nature and principle of my invention.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion having oppositely presented parallel planar faces and a straight flat under-face adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said under-face being provided with an upwardly extending slot which is elongated in a direction parallel to said planar faces, means for supporting said partition-elements in upright position upon the counter-top, said means including clips, each comprising a flat base adapted to rest flat-wise upon the counter-top, and upstanding means for snug-fitting engagement in any one of said slots, said upstanding means being transversely aligned and presented in opposite directions to hold the transverse margin of one partition-element in endwise abutment with the body portion of another partition-element.

2. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion integrally including a top bead and a bottom bead connected by a relatively thin web, said bottom bead having oppositely presented parallel planar faces and a straight flat underface adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said elongated body portion having a plurality of apertures, said under-face being provided with an upwardly extending slot which is elon gated in a direction parallel to said planar faces, said bottom bead having a transverse width substantially equal to the transverse width of the top bead, and upstanding means engageable simultaneously in the slots of more than one of the partition-elements for supporting said partitionelements in upright position upon the counter-top.

3. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion having oppositely presented parallel planar faces and a straight flat under-face adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said under-face being provided with an upwardly extending slo-t which is elongated in a direction parallel to said planar faces, means for supporting said partition-elements in upright position upon the counter-top, said means including clips, each clip comprising a flat base adapted to rest fiat-wise upon the counter-top, and at least two upstanding ears projecting upwardly from the base for respective engagement in the slots of two difierent partition-elements, said ears being transversely aligned and presented in opposite directions to hold the transverse margin of one partitionelement in endwise abutment with the body portion of another partition-element.

4. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion having oppositely presented parallel planar faces and a straight fla't under-face adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said under-face being provided with an upwardly extending slot which is elongated in a direction parallel to said planar facm, means for supporting said partition-elements in upright position upon the counter-top, said means including clips, each clip comprising at fiat base adapted to rest fiat-wise upon the counter-top, and at least two upstanding ears projecting upwardly from the base for respective engagement in the slots of two different partition-elements which are disposed at right angles to each other.

5. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion having a straight flat under-face adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said under-face being provided with an upwardly extending slot, means for supporting said partition-elements in upright position upon the counter-top, said means including clips, each clip comprising a fiat base adapted to rest flatwise upon the counter-top, and two pairs of laterally spaced ears projecting upwardly from the base for respective engagement in the slots of two diiferent partitionelements, said ears being transversely aligned and presented in opposite directions to hold the transverse margin of one partition-element in endwise abutment with the body portion of another partition-element 6. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion having a straight flat under-face adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said under-face being provided 'With an upwardly extending slot, means for supporting said partition-elements in upright position upon the counter-top, said means including clips, each comprising a Hat base adapted to rest in nonsecured flat-wise engagement upon the upper surface of the counter-top, and upstanding means for snug-fitting engagement in any one of said slots, said upstanding means being transversely aligned and presented in opposite directions to hold the transverse margin of one partition-element in endWise abutment with the body portion of another partition-element, said means also including post-elements adapted for rigid Securement to the counter-top in upstanding relation thereon, said post-elements having at least one laterally opening vertical slot for receiving the vertical end of any one of the partitionelements.

7. Partitioning equipment for use in subdividing counter-tops into bins of various shapes; said partitioning equipment comprising a plurality of partition-elements, each including an elongated body portion having a straight flat under-face adapted to be disposed in approximately contiguous relationship to the counter-top, said under-face being provided with an upwardly extending slot, means for supporting said partition-elements in upright position upon the counter-top, said means including clips, each comprising a flat base adapted to rest fiat-wise upon the counter-top, and upstanding means for snugfitting engagement in any one of said slots, said means also including post-elements adapted for rigid securement to the counter-top in upstanding relation thereon, said post-elements having laterally opening vertical slots for receiving the vertical end of any two of the partitionelements, said vertical slots being transversely aligned and presented in opposite directions so as to hold said two partition-elements in endwise alignment.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 397,012 Lyons Jan. 29, 1889 1,711,030 Pifer Apr. 30, 1929 1,992,903 Potashnik Feb. 26, 1935 2,123,264 Walter July 12, 1938 2,218,300 Schuster Oct. 15, 1940 2,265,708 Westbrook Dec. 9, 1941 2,489,493 Kuenzie Nov. 29, 1949 2,693,638 Anderson Nov. 9, 1954 2,709,933 Reed June 7, 1955 2,747,959 Ingelson May 29, 1956 2,820,684 Zadek Ian, 21, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US397012 *Oct 2, 1888Jan 29, 1889 Library-case
US1711030 *Feb 13, 1928Apr 30, 1929Clyde Pifer ErnestDisplay receptacle
US1992903 *Apr 1, 1932Feb 26, 1935Capitol Store Fixture CompanyBooth
US2123264 *Aug 20, 1937Jul 12, 1938Ely & Walker Dry Goods CompanyDisplay spacer
US2218300 *Feb 23, 1939Oct 15, 1940Richard Schuster CecilCompartment forming device for drawers
US2265708 *Dec 12, 1938Dec 9, 1941Westbrook Charles LCounter display bin
US2489493 *Jun 26, 1946Nov 29, 1949Shaw Walker CoCounter construction
US2693638 *May 14, 1953Nov 9, 1954Eastern Tool & Mfg CoMethod of making keys for frangible strip
US2709933 *Jun 3, 1952Jun 7, 1955Reed Macdonald SPlural forging
US2747959 *Jun 5, 1953May 29, 1956Ingelson Howard SBin divider construction
US2820684 *Feb 8, 1954Jan 21, 1958Reflector Hardware CorpCounter partition and display apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3119641 *Jun 5, 1962Jan 28, 1964Rand Associates IncCollapsible tray top table
US3872976 *Mar 5, 1973Mar 25, 1975Armstrong Store Fixture CorpBinning and banding structure
US5775523 *Oct 28, 1996Jul 7, 1998Teringo; William M.Shelf organizer with fence
US5984439 *Apr 23, 1998Nov 16, 1999The Croydon Company, Inc.Combined display/storage unit having alternately useable caps
US7344210 *Feb 17, 2006Mar 18, 2008Leer Refrigeration, Inc.Break down ice merchandiser shroud
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/140.3, 211/184
International ClassificationA47F5/00, F16B12/02, F16B12/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16B12/02, A47F5/005
European ClassificationA47F5/00D1, F16B12/02