US 3085693 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April Il16, 1963 l. w. ,SHELL 3,085,693
DISELAY RACK .Sh et 1 FiledfAug. '24, 1959 3 Sheets e y@ 4 55' JZ E w INVENTOR.
.April 16, 1963 5|. SHELL Smm I.' .......nlnll'lp` f l.. ..1111
IN VEN TOR.
ju@ www@ BY/ a/ April 15, 1963 l. w. SHELL 3,085,693
DISPLAY RACK Filed Aug. 24, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 uu.'.'.-.....-.l..
I. l. l
llnited rates This invention relates to display racks and to improved components for making the same. More specifically, the present invention relates to display racks of the type including `slotted uprights, and support brackets which engage with the slotted uprights, the brackets supporting shelving or the like for `displaying merchandise. The invention primarily deals with improvements in the slotted uprights and the brackets.
An object of the invention is to provide a display rack of the type above described wherein the brackets are constructed so that the angle of the brackets may be readily adjusted. A related object of the invention is to provide an improved bracket having hook-shaped teeth of a unique design wherein the weight of the brackets and the weight ysupported thereby -maintain the brackets in a locked condition upon the uprights.
In accordance with one aspect `of the invention, the brackets are designed to be used with hollow uprights of Ithe type having one or more vertical walls made of sheet metal or rectangular bar stock with vertically elongated slots formed therein. Each of the brackets preferably includes a pair of vertically-spaced hooked lfingers adapted to extend into a corresponding pair of vertically elongated slots in an upright. The bracket has a horizontally elongated, vertically oriented sheet metal body from the inner edge of which rearwardly extend the aforesaid pair of hooked lingers, the lowermost of which .has a unique shape which gives the bracket the aforesaid self-locking advantage and also enables the ready adjustment of the angle between the top edge of ,the -bracket and the upright, permitting shelving to be supported on either -a 90 angle to the upright or at some selected upwardly inclining angle.
The aforesaid lower linger is downwardly hooked and has ian inner or base portion wit-h a bottom edge adapted to rest upon the bottom deiining edge of avertically elongated bracket upright slot. The outer portion of the finger extends downwardly from said inner or base portion of the finger and has a downwardly extending inner edge spaced from the confronting inner edge of the associated bracket body a distance substantially greater than the thickness of the associated slotted upright wall.
The upper finger is upperly hooked and has an inner or vbase portion with a bottom edge adapted to rest upon the 'bottom defining edge of the uppermost of the pair of upright slot-s involved, and lan upwardly extending outer portion having an upstanding inner edge spaced from the confronting inner edge of the bracket body a distance approximately equal to the thickness of the associated slotted upright wall. Suflicient clearance space is provided between the upper edges of the hooked lingers and the upper definingl edges of the pair of upright slots into which the lingers extend so that the bracket can be removed from the upright by merely raising the bracket a relatively small distance and then pivoting of the same upwards. The Ibracket is inserted into the upright slots by invertingthe steps required for removal thereof and, when mounted upon the uprights, the bracket is locked in place by the weight of 4the bracket and the weight supported thereby which opposes the Iupward movement thereof required to move the brackets from the uprights.
Additionally, the spacing between the aforesaid inner edge `of the downwardly extending portion of the lower linger and the inner edge of the bracket body provides a clearance space for the insertion of shims which vary Fatented Apr. 16, 1963 yce the angle of inclination between the top edge of the bracket body and the upright. Most preferably, the shims comprise C-shaped resilient clips. The Ibracket body is slotted adjacent the base of the lower linger, the slot being located to receive the ngers of one or more of the resilient shim clips which extend around the inner edge of the bracket body just below the base of the lower linger. 'l'This spaces Ithe lower portion of the bracket body from the upright by -the thickness of the shim involved, and thus tilts the upper edge of the bracket body upwardly, if the top edge of the lbracket `is initially horizontal, or raises the rsame to a horizontal or4 above the horizontal if the top bracket is initially below the horizontal due to the wide tolerances used in making the bracket.
Others objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent upon making reference to the specirication to follow, the claims and drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of `a display rack constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FlG. 2 is `a fragmentary, enlarged, vertical sectional view through the endmost or outer upright of the display rack shown in FIG. 1, taken along section line 2--2 therein;
FIG. 3 Iis a much enlarged view of a portion of the rack shown in FIG. 2, illustrating the hooked bracket lingers and their relationship to the upright;
FIG. 4 is a perspective View of a portion of the bracket illustrated in FIG. 4, showing a -shim clip in place on the bracket;
FIG. 5 illustrates a pair of inversely oriented brackets showing the manner in which two or more brackets can be stamped from the same blank;
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of a shelf assembly used in the display rack of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view of a modified display rack built with the shelf assembly shown in FIG. 6 and the addition of a shelf-tilting attachment which tilts the shelves;
FiG. 8 is a vertical sectional View through the rack of FIG. 7, taken yalong section line 8-8 therein;
FIG. 9 is a horizontal sectional view through the rack of FIG. 8, taken along section line y9--9 therein; and
FIG. 10 is a perspective View of the shelf-tilting attachment used in the rack of FIGS. 7-9.
Referring now to PIG. l, there is shown therein a display rack 2 made of two shelf sections 2a and 2b including three horizontally spaced vertical uprights, the endmost upright `being identified by reference numeral 4 and the intermediate or :center upright being identified by reference numeral 4. The uprights 4 and 4 are provided with vertically elongated and spaced slots 5 and 5', respectively. Attached to the bottom of the 'various uprights are leg assemblies 6 6, each of which may include hooked fingers (not shown) which pass through the bottomrnost of the `slots 5 and 5. The leg assemblies each include a horizontally extending arm portion 6a secured to the associated upright and short depending end portions 6b. Bottom yshelving 8 may be supported upon the horizontal arm portions 6a of the leg assemblies in any desired manner.
Supported at -a number of elevations between each endrnost upright 4 and the center or intermediate upright 4 are respective shelf assemblies 1t). Each shelf assembly (shown also in FIG. 6) comprises a shelf-support frame l1 including a pair of sheet metal brackets 12-12 between which extend connecting channels I13 which are llush with the top of, and are welded to, the Ibrackets 12. The shelf-support frame 11 inclines lat a small angle forwardly and upwardly from the uprights 4 and 4. Resting upon each of the shelf-support frames is a shelf 14 illus trated as being made of a perforated metal material, such as expanded metal.
In the display rack 2` illustrated, a vertical wall member 15 extends between each endmost upright l and the intermediate or center upright 4. A pair of shelf assemblies l-l are supported at the same elevation on each side of the wall 15, the centermost upright i accommodating the adjacent brackets 12--12 of each pair of shelf assemblies. In addition to the shelf assemblies 10 which extend longitudinally of the rack, end shelf assemblies 16 are mounted upon one or both of the endmost uprights 4, preferably at the same elevations as the longi tudinally extending shelf assemblies 10. Each `of the end shelf assemblies 16 comprises a shelf 1S illustrated as being semi-circular in shape and of a size to extend between the outer ends of the corresponding shelf assemblies itl-10, and a support bracket '12 mounted upon the associated upright 4. The shelf 1S is secured in any suitable way to the bracket 12, as by welding.
In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a pair of uniquely designed, vertically spaced, hook-shaped iingers 19 and 2t) extend from the generally vertical inner edge 121 (FIGS. 2 and 3) of each bracket 12. As above indicated, the brackets are made of sheet metal, which may be `aluminum or other suitable sheet metal material. Each has a horizontally elongated body 22 having straight, parallel upper and lower edge portions 23 and 24. The straight upper edge portion 23 extends substantially the full length of the bracket body whereas the lower straight edge portion 24 terminates at its outer end in an upwardly curving edge portion 25 and at its inner end in a down Wardly curving edge portion 26. The aforesaid inner edge 21 of the bracket body may be at right angles to the straight upper edge portion 23 but is preferably at an angle slightly obtuse with respect thereto, so that the top edge portion 23 of the bracket will incline slightly upwardly from the associated vertical upright.
The lower hooked finger 19 is downwardly hooked and has an inner or base portion 3) having straight, horizontal, upper and lower edges 32 and 34 extending at right angles to the inner edge 21 of the bracket body. The finger 19 has a downwardly extending outer portion 35 defined by a short, forwardly facing vertical or upstanding inner edge 35 intersecting at the edge 34 and spaced from the inner edge 21 of the bracket body a distance substantially greater than the thickness of the slotted wall of the upright into which it is to extend. For example, in the embodiment illustrated, this spacing is in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 times the thickness of the latter slotted upright wall. The bottom of the forwardly facing vertical inner edge 36 of the finger 19 joins an upwardly curving edge 4G which provides clearance for removing the bracket from the upright in the manner to be explained. To the same end, the vertical inner edge 36 is shorter than the clearance provided between the upper edge 32 of the finger and the upper deiining edge of the upright slot or 5 into which it is to extend.
The upper finger 23 is upwardly hooked and has an inner or base portion 42 having straight, horizontal, upper ,and lower edges 44 'and 46 spaced approximately the same distance as the upper and lower edges 32 and 34 of the lower finger 19. The upper edge 44 joins an inclined upper edge portion 49 of the elongated bracket body 22 at a point in vertical alignment with the inner bracket body edge 21. The outer end of the upper iinger edge 44 joins a generally vertical, forwardly facing inner edge 48 of the outer, upwardly extending portion 49 of the finger 20. The edge 48 is spaced from the inner end of the edge 44 a distance substantially equal to the thickness of the slotted upright wall -with which it is to be associated.
The lower finger edge 46 joins an upwardly inclining edge 50 which, like the aforesaid upwardly curving iinger edge 4t) of the lower finger 19, provides clearance which enables ready removal of the bracket from the associated upright 4 or 4. The spacing between the lower edges 34 and 46 of the fingers 19 `and 2t) is the same as the spacing between 4the lower defining edges of adjacent upright slots 5 or 5'. All of the upright slots 5 and 5 of cach `of the uprights are of the same size and shape (rectangular) and are spaced the same amount as the bracket lingers 119 and 29, so that the brackets may be positioned at almost any desired elevation.
Each bracket body 22 is provided with a shim-receiving slot 52 adjacent the inner end at a point below the lower edge 3f of the lower iinger 19. The slot 52 cooperates with one or more shim members 54 which enable the upper edge 23 of the bracket body to be adjusted to a desired angle. As previously indicated, the upper bracket edge 23 may be at right angles to the vertical inner bracket edge 21, or at an angle slightly greater than degrees where a permanent tilt in the upper edge of the bracket is desired. However, the use of the shim members 54 in the manner to be explained permits the upper bracket edge portion 23 to be at right angles to the inner edge 21 Where the shelving 14 under certain circumstances is to be perfectly horizontal (although this right angle relation is the less preferred form of the invention), while enabling the adjustment of the bracket to provide a given degree of tilt thereto where desired.
The shim member 501 is illustrated as being a generally C-haped clip member made of resilient material to provide a pair of resilient clip fingers i6-56 (FIG. 4) adapted to be extended into the aforesaid bracket slot 52. The inner faces of the fingers 56--56 are spaced from a lat inner face `53 of the intermediate leg 6G of the nicmber a distance equal to the spacing between the inner edge 52a of the slot 52 and the inner edge 21 of the bracket body. The intermediate leg 6) of the shim member '54 has a tiat outer surface 62 adapted to make faccto-face engagement with flat vertical surface of the associated upright. The slot 52 has a greater width than the thickness of the shim member 69 illustrated so that shims of various thicknesses can be used to provide a selection in the angle of tilt of the bracket.
Each of the bracket bodies is `additionally provided with a pair of key-receiving slots 641-66, the slots being respectively located near the front and rear ends of the bracket body. The slots 64-66 are adapted to receive rectangular keys when the bracket is positioned adjacent another bracket upon the intermediate or center upright 4. The use of the keys enables two adjacent shelf assemblies to be supported at the same elevation, despite variations in the dimensions in the brackets, provided by relatively wide tolerances which may be used in the manufacturing of the brackets. It is apparent that minor variations in the dimensions of the vfingers 19 and 2G can result in greater variations in the levels of adjacently sup ported brackets due to the cantilevering of the brackets upon the uprights.
Due to the shape of the elongated bracket body 22, it is possible to stamp the brackets from a common sheet of material with a minimum amount of wastage of metal. The manner in which this is accomplished is illustrated in FIG. 5 which shows a number of brackets just after they have been stamped from a common metal blank. Close nestling of the brackets is possible due tothe similar but opposite curvature provided in the curved edge portions 25 and 26 of the bracket bodies, so that the curved edge portions 25 and 26 of one bracket extend along the curved edge portions 26 and 25 of another bracket inverted with respect thereto.
Referring now to FIGS. 7 to 10 which illustrate another aspect of the present invention wherein means are ineluded for providing downwardly inclined shelves using the same bracket uprights, and shelf-support frames 11 previously described. To this end, shelf-tilting means 94 is provided with each bracket 12 at -the end of each shelfsupport frame 11. The shelf-tilting means 94 may be an inexpensive sheet metal stamping having a generally T-shaped body shown most clearly in FIG. 10. The TJshapedybody has a generally rectangular shank portion 96 provided with a longitudinal bracket finger-receiving slot 9S adapted to receive the upper finger 2.0 of a bracket 12. The inner end of the shank portion 96 is slotted to produce a reduced neck portion 100 which joins a transverse wing 102. The widthof the neck portion 100 of the shelf-tilting means 94 is approximately equal to or slightly larger than the width of the upright slots, and the length thereof is approximately equal to the thickness of the associated upright wall (see FIG. 9). The wing 102 may be approximately equal to the spacing between theA front and rear walls of the associated upright, but, in any event, is no longer than the height of the associated upright slots. The shelf-tilting means 94 is readily inserted within ian upright slot by positioning the same in a vertical plane, passing the wing 102 through an upright slot and rotating the same to bring the defining walls of lthe neck portion 100 around the defining walls of the upright slot. The other end of the latter frame 11 is similarly supported from a shelf-tilting means 94 extending lfrom the adjacent upright. When the frame is allowed -to drop under its own weight, it yassumes the `downwardly inclined position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, where each upwardly hooked upper bracket finger engagesthe forward end of the associated slot 9S ofthe shelf-tiltingmeans 94, each downwardly hooked bottom `braoketiinger 19 hooks over the bottom wall of the subjacent upright slot, and the bottom corner of eachbracketvbears against the front surface of the uprigh-ts involved.
To vary the angle of tilt of the shelf .frame 11, it is merely necessary .to vary the spacing of the inner end of the slot 9S of shelf-tilting means 94 from the reduced neck portion 100. A variety of shelf-tilting means 94 may thus be provided with variously positioned slots 98 .to provide a selection of the Langles of tilt ofthe shelf-support frames 11.
When the shelf-support frame 11 is tilted downwardly, i-t is apparent that some means must be provided for preventing the shelf 14 supported `thereon and the articles which are to be supported upon the shelf from slipping off the front of the frame 11. This means may include any suitable wall member 104 supported at an angle from the bottom of the shelf-support frame 11 as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 8. The wall member 104 may be secured in place in any suitable way as by its connection to a molding strip 106 hooked over or otherwise secured to the lowermost channel 13 lof the frame 11. The molding strip 106 may include 'a longitudinal slot 108 into which price or article identifying inserts may be positioned.
It should be understood that numerous modifications may be made in the preferred forms of the invention above-described Iwithout deviating from the lbroader raspects of the invention.
What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A bracket for supporting a shelf or the like comprising: an elongated sheet metal body having an upwardly extending inner edge, a finger projecting from said inner edge and adapted to pass through a slot in and interlock with a thin-walled upright, said finger having an inner portion and a downwardly extending outer portion having a downwardly extending inner edge spaced from said inner edge of the sheet metal body a distance at least in the neighborhood of twice the wall thickness of said upright, and shim means adapted for insertion between said ydownwardly extending inner edge of said finger and said inner edge of said sheet metal body for adjusting the angle of the bracket.
2. A bracket for supporting a shelf or the like comprising: an elongated sheet metal body having an upwardly extending inner edge, an upper finger having an upwardly extending portion for engaging the inner front Wall surface of a thin-walled slotted upright, a lower finger projeoting from said inner edge and adapted to pass through 4a slot in `and interlock with `a thin-walled upright, said lower nger having an inner portion and a Idownwardly extending outer portion having -a downwardly extending inner edge spaced from said inner edge ofthe sheet metal body a distance substantially greater than the wall thickness of said upright, shim means adapted for insertion between said upright opposite the inner edge of said finger,
and said inner edge of said sheet metal lbody for adjusting the angle of the bracket, and said lsheet metal body having means adjacent said inner edge which engages with said shim means.
3. A bracket for supporting a shelf or the like comprising: :an elongated sheet metal body having an upwardly extending inner edge, a finger projecting from said inner edge `and `adaptedlto pass through a slot in and interlock with Ia thin-walled upright, said finger having an inner. portion land a downwardly extending outer portion having a downwardly extending inner edge spaced from said inner edge of the sheet metal body a dist-ance substantially greater than the wall thickness of said upright, and shim means adapted for insertion between said downwardly extending inner edge of said finger and said inner edge of said sheet metal body for adjusting the angle of the bracket, said shim means comprising a C-shaped resilient clip, and said sheet metal body having means adjacent ,said inner edge which engages with said shim means and comprising a slotted portion into which the fingers of the clip extend.
4. A bracket for supporting a shelf or the like comprising: an elongated sheet metal -body having a pair of vertically spaced longitudinally extending fingers projecting from anV upwardly extending inner edge thereof and adapted to pass through corresponding vertical slots 4in and interlock with a `thin-walled upright, the uppermost of said lingers being upwardly hooked and having a height greater than the height of the upright slots when mounted in position and a rshape permitting it to be removed from the slot by tilting the bracket upwardly a given amount, said uppermost finger having an inner or base portion with a bottom edge adapted to rest upon the bottom edge of the uppermost of said `slots and be spaced from the inner surface of the upright below the associated upright slot to permit the mounted bracket to be adjusted upwardly, and an upwardly extending outer portion having an upwardly extending inner edge spaced lfrom said inner edge of the sheet metal body la distance approximately equal to the wall thickness of said upright, the lowermost of said fingers being downwardly hooked and having an inner or base portion with a bottom edge spaced from said bottom edge of the uppermost finger a distance equal to the spacing of the bottom edges of said upright slots, and a downwardly extending outer portion having a downwardly extending inner edge spaced `from the inner edge of the sheet metal body `a distance at least in the neighborhood of twice the Wall thickness of said upright rto permit said upward adjustment of the mounted bracket, the 'bottom-most edge of said outer portion of said lowermost finger being spaced .from said bottom edge of the inner or base portion thereof a distance less than the :clearance between the top of the latter finger and the top of the lowermost of said upright slots, whereby the weight of the bracket will lock it in place on said upright and the bracket is removed from the upright by raising and then pivoting the same upwardly as it is pulled from ythe upright.
5. In combination, a .hollow bracket-supporting upright having a number of vertically spaced slo-ts therein formed in a Iforwardly facing wall thereof, and :a bracket comprising an elongated sheet metal body having a pair of vertically spaced longitudinally extending fingers projecting from an upwardly extending inner edge thereof extending along said forwardly facing upright wall Iand passing through a pair of said slots in said forwardly facing upright wall, the upper finger being upwardly hooked and having a height greater than the height of the upright slots when mounted in position Iand a shape permitting it to be removed from the slot by tilting the bracket upwardly a given amount, said uppermost finger having an inner portion with a bottom edge resting upon the 4bottom edge `of the uppermost of said slots, the bottom edge of said upper nger being spaced from the inner surface of said upright below the associated slot to permit the mounted bracket to be tilted upwardly while the bracket is supported upon said upright and spaced from the top edge of the latter slot, and an upwardly extending outer portion having an upwardly extending inner edge extending along the inner surface of said fomardly -facing upright wall above said uppermost slot, the lower iinger being downwardly hooked and having an inner portion resting upon the bottom edge of the lowermost of said slots and spaced from the top edge of the latter Islot, land a downwardly extending outer portion having a downwardly extending inner edge located behind said forwardly facing upright wall below the lowermost of said pair of upright slots and spaced from the inner edge of the sheet metal body a distance at least in the neighborhood of twice the wall thickness of said upright to permit said upward adjustment of the mounted bracket, the bottommost edge of said outer portion of the lowerrnost finger being spaced from said bottom edge of .the inner portion thereof a distance less than the clearance between the top of the latter finger and the top edge of the lowermost of said upright slots, and there -being at least as much clearance between the top of the inner portion of the upper finger and the top edge of said uppermost slot `as said clearance space between the top of the lower nger and the top edge of the lowermost slot, Whereby the weight of the bracket will lock it in place on said upright and the bracket is removed from the upright by raising and then pivoting the same upwardly 4as the fingers 'are pulled from the upright slots.
6. A display rack comprising longitudinally spaced hollow upright members each provided with a corresponding series of verticallyspaced, bracket linger-receiving slots on the front Walls of the uprights, Shelf-supporting brackets for each upright, each of lsaid brackets having a horizontally elongated body with a pair of verticallyspaced lingers on the inner end thereof, the upper finger being upwardly hooked and the lower finger being downwardly hooked, and bracket-tilting means for each bracket comprising: a `generally T-shaped member having a shank portion with a longitudinal slot formed therein `'and 4a reduced neck portion on the inner end thereof, said reduced neck portion joining a transverse wing, said T-shaped member `being positioned within `one of said upright slots with the defining walls of the latter upright slot extending into the space deined bet-Ween the transverse wing and shank portion of the T-shaped lmember and said wing extending transversely of the upright slot, the upper finger of each of said brackets extending upwardly into the elongated slot -in the shank portion of said T-shaped member and the bottom finger hooking over the bottom defining Wall of the subjacent upright slot, each of said brackets tilting downwardly with the bottom corners of said elongated bracket body vbearing against the associated front upright wall and the upper bracket finger bearing against the outer end of said slot of the T-shaped member.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 76,232 Morse Mar. 31, 1868 742,549 Zeh Oct. 27, 1903 1,140,940 Bales May 2S, 1915 2,218,894 Schlosser Oct. 22, 1940 2,622,834 Sparring Dec. 23, 1952 2,691,502 Jones Oct. 12, 1954 2,787,382 Williams Apr. 12, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 379,491 Great Britain Sept. 1, 1932 681,751 Great Britain Oct. 29, 1952 707,694 Great Britain Apr. 21, 1954 1,110,676 France Feb. 15, 1956 1,193,444 France Apr. 27, 1959