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Publication numberUS3111723 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1963
Filing dateSep 8, 1959
Priority dateSep 8, 1959
Publication numberUS 3111723 A, US 3111723A, US-A-3111723, US3111723 A, US3111723A
InventorsBates Albert D
Original AssigneeBates Albert D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Room divider device
US 3111723 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 26, 1963 A. D. BATES 3,111,723 v ROOM DIVIDER DEVICE Filed Sept. 8, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 so" as INVENTOR. HG 5 ALBERT D. BATES WILSON, LEWIS 8\ M RAE ATTORNEYS Nov. 26, 1963 A. D. BATES 3,111,723

I ROOM DIVIDER DEVICE Filed Sept. 8, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 (Ju o/v, SETTLE & Can/e ,qrroRlvevs United States Patent 3,111,723 RDOM DIVEDER DEVICE Albert 1). Bates, 4994 Hipp, Dearborn Township, Mich. Filed Sept. 8, 1959, Ser. No. 838,595 2 Claims. (cl. 20-4 The present invention relates to a room divider device and more particularly to novel vertical supporting members and novel means of supporting panels and shelves therefrom.

The invention is directed to the problem of providing decorative and functional units of the type that are presently in great demand to separate room areas into various activity centers while, at the same time, preserving the overall aesthetic impression of spaciousnes s of one large room Such devices must incorporate utility and aesthetic appeal and still be so constructed that the average home owner may readily install the unit with a minimum of skill and as few tools as possible.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a room divider device having both utility and aesthetic appeal and which is simple enough in construction for installation by the average home owner.

A further object of the present invention is to provide novel vertical supporting members and novel means of supporting panels and shelves therefrom.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a room divider device which may incorporate various combinations of panels and shelves.

Another object of the present invention is to provide novel means for supporting panels and shelves from vertical support members which means comprises simply installed clips that allow for selected vertical spacing of the panels and shelves.

Another object of the present invention is to provide .novel vertical supporting members for room divider units which supporting members-include novel means for afiixing the member in its vertical position between the ceiling and floor of a room.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a room divider device wherein the components are readily adaptable to mass production methods and may be stocked in a minimum of various components to provide a wide selection for purchasers.

Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.

In the drawings:.

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a vertical supporting member embodying the present invention, partially in section, and showing shelf and panel supports affixed thereto.

FIG. 2 is a view, partially in section, taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1 showing the panel supporting means and having a portion of a panel molding added thereto for clarity. FIG. 3 is a view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating the details of 'affixing the shelf supporting brackets to the end of the shelf.

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing a modification of the panel supporting brackets.

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of a complete room divider assembly.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 77 of FIGURE 6 looking in the direction of the Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its ice application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, a vertical supporting member 10 of the room divider device embodying the present invention (consists of a pole 12 having an upper extension 14 aflixed to the top thereof and a lower extension 16 affixed to the bottom thereof. It will be noted that the lower extension is telescopingly adjustable in length While the length of the top extension is fixed. In most houses the ceiling is either eight feet or eight feet six inches above the floor, with eight feet being the most general height. Accordingly, I have found it advantageous to make the pole five feet three inches in length, the top extension one foot six inches in length and the bottom extension expandable from one foot to one foot six inches. This provides a vertical supporting member having an overall length -(or height) of from seven feet nine inches to eight feet three inches thus assuring that provision is made for some variance in the standard eight foot ceiling height. For an eight and one half foot ceiling an upper extension two feet in length is provided. The lower extension remains the same thus with its six inch adjustability providing a vertical support member having a length adjustable from eight feet three inches to eight feet nine inches.

The extensions 14 and 16 are affixed to the ends of the pole 12 by means of anchors 18. The anchors 18 are bushings provided on the outer diameter with coarse threads and in their inner diameter with standard threads. The ends of the pole 12 are provided with axial bores 20 and the anchors 18 are firmly affixed therein by means of the external (threads provided on the anchors. Each of the extensions 14 and 16 is provided with a stud 22 having an enlarged head portion 22a and a reduced threaded portion 22b extending therefrom. The head portions 22a are press fitted into the ends of the extensions 14 and 16 and threaded portions 22b are received in the internal threads provided in the anchors 18. The internal threads in the anchors 18 extend to a depth equal to the length of the threaded portions 22b of the studs 22.

The upper extension 14 carries on the opposite end thereof ceiling engaging means such as a suction cup 24 formed of rubber or similar resilient material. I have found it preferable to use aluminum tubing for the extension 14 so that the suction cup and stud may be received in the respective ends thereof.

The lower extension 16 comprises an outer tube 26 and an inner tube 28 telescopingly fitted therein.

The upper end of inner tube 28 carries an insert 30 having a reduced head portion 30a press fitted into the internal diameter of the tube and an enlarged externally threaded portion 3% extending above the end of the tube.

The outer tube '26 is provided with internal threads 26a to receive the external threads provided on the insert 30 carried by the upper end of the inner tube 28. The threads 26a extend downwardly in the outer tube terminating short of the lower end thereof so as to leave an unthreaded portion 2617 at the lower end of the outer tube to serve as a supporting and bearing surface for the inner tube 28.

six inches. Thus, the inner tube 28 must be capable of telescoping outwardly a distance of six inches from its fully retracted position within outer tube 26. Continuing the illustration of typical dimensions, the head portion 22a of the stud 22 is one half inch in length, i.e. extends into the upper end of tube 26 one half inch. The threaded portion 30b of stud 30 is one half inch in length. In order to provide for an adjustability of six inches the threads 26a must extend downwardly from the bottom of the stud 22 a distance equal to the desired adjustability plus the length of the threaded portion 301) or six inches plus one half inch. The unthreaded portion 261: at the bottom of the outer tube must also be suflicient in length to provide for the rigid support of the inner tube within the outer tube even when the inner tube is in its fully extended position. I have found that a suitable conventional swivel caster extends one inch beyond the lower end of tube 28. Thus, I make the inner tube ten inches in length, i.e. the distance from the bottom of the threaded portion 30b to the bottom end .of the tube 28 not including the swivel caster 32. This allows me to provide an unthreaded portion 26b three inches in length in the outer tube whilestill allowing the lower end of the inner tube to extend one inch beyond the lower end of the outer tube even when the inner tube is in its fully retracted position. This extension is necessary so that some means can be provided to grip the inner tube and rotate it out of the outer tube.

As to the relative cross-sectional dimensioning of the inner tube 28 and the outer tube 26, the inner diameter of the tube 26 is slightly greater than the outer diameter of tube .28 to allow free rotation of the tube 28. Since the threads 26a are cut in the internal diameter of the outer tube the minor diameter of the threads is equal to the internal diameter of the tube 26. The diameter of the enlarged threaded portion 30b of the insert 39 is then equal to the major diameter of the threads 26a.

The inner tube 28 must be inserted through the upper end of theouter tube .26 before the stud 22 is pressed into the upper end of the outer tube. This construction has the advantage of completely enclosing the threads used for the telescoping adjustment of the extension 16 thereby assuring that they are not damaged in the packaging or storing of the device of the present invention. The construction of the extension 16 also conceals the threads so that none are exposed even with the extension is fully expanded thereby resulting in a clean, decorative appearance.

Having described the structure of the vertical supporting member 12 the installation thereof is believed to be readily apparent. With the proper length upper extension 14 affixed to the pole 12 and the lower extension 16' aflixed to the pole and in its fully retracted position, the pole is positioned at the desired location in the room and the inner tube 28 is rotated so as to expand extension 16 in length. The swivel caster 32 provides for free rotation of the inner tube 28. Suitable means (not shown) are provided for turning the tube 28. For example, diametrically opposed holes may be provided in the lower end of the tube so that a pin may be extended therethrough to provide ahandle or lever to rotate the tube 28 and which may be removed after the vertical support member is fixed in position. As the extension 16 is expanded, the suction cup 24 will engage the ceiling. With a level or plumb bob the positioning of the vertical support member is adjusted to be exactly vertical. Turning of the inner tube 28 is then continued until the pole is wedged firmly in place between the floor and the ceiling. A second vertical support'member is then positioned a predetermined distance from the first and additional verticalsupport members may be also put in place depending upon the length of room divider which it is desired to provide.

Referring again to FIG. 1 of the drawings the means provided according to the present invention for suspending elements between the vertical support members can now be described. The pole 12 is provided with longitudinally extending slots 34. These slots are arranged in pairs diverging outwardly from each other. That is, referring to the cross sectional view of the pole shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, the two slots on one side of the pole serve as a pair while at the same time, as illustrated in FIG. 5, one slot on each side of the pole will also serve as a pair.

FIG. 1 shows a panel supporting bracket 36 in position on the pole 12. As can be seen from FIG. 2 which is taken on the line 22 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 1, the panel bracket 36 is generally U-shaped providing the finger portions 38 joined by the bight portion 40. .Means such as the post screw and nut 42 are provided to urge the fingers 38 toward each other. The free ends of the fingers 38 are bent outwardly and then inwardly toward each other. I have found it is preferable that the included angle between the spring fingers be 20. That is, the end portion of each finger 38 extends toward the other finger at an angle of 10. The angle of diversion of the pairs of slots is, accordingly also 20.

Referring to FIG. 1, the bight portion 40 is provided with a recess '44 extending downwardly from the upper edge thereof. In FIG. 2 a portion of a molding 46 provided on the end of a panel member (not shown) is illustrated to show the means of affixing the panel .to the panel bracket 36. These panels may be constructed of pressed board, such as known by the tradename Masonite, with a molding extending therearound or may be formed of wood, aluminum or other suitable material. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the panel is provided wtih an end molding 46 and extending from this molding is a rivet 48. The extended end of the rivet is received in the re cess 4-4 provided in the clip 36 and the rivet 48 is further provided with an enlargement on the end thereof to prevent it being pulled out of the recess. Two or more brackets 36 are provided for each end of a panel so that the panels are rigidly supported between spaced vertical supporting members 10.

In order that the vertical supporting members 10 may first be placed in position and a panel then suspended therebetween, the brackets 36 are formed of tempered steel so that the fingers will tend to separate except as restrained by the post screw 42. Thus, the spacing between the ends of the fingers 38 may be adjusted so that the fingers can be inserted into the slots transversely instead of having to be slid into the slots [from the ends of the pole 12. The ends of the spring fingers are provided with serrations to aid in their gripping within the slots. Thus, the vertical support members 10 are placed in position, the panel brackets 36 afiixed thereto in the posit-ion desired and [then the panel is hung on the brackets. PIG- URES 6 and 7 illustrate a complete assembly of vertical support members 10 with panel brackets 36 aflixed thereto and panels 66 hung from the brackets.

Referring now to FIG. 1, FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 there is illustrated a bracket which is utilized to support shelves between spaced vertical supporting members 10. The shelf supporting clip is formed of two mirror halves 50-. These can best be seen in FIG. 4 which is a perspective view illustrating the shelf supporting bracket mounted in the end of a shelf; Each shelf bracket half 50 is formed with a vertical flange 52 and a horizontal flange 54 extendng at right angles thereto. The vertical flange 52 is provided with the finger portion 56 carrying a plurality of serrations 56a thereon. The back of the flange 54 is cut on a radiusias illustrated.

The end of the shelf is provided with a first recess 58 extending axially inward from the end of the shelf and second recesses 60 extending upwardly from thebottom of the shelf to the recess 58. The horizontal flanges 54 of the bracket halves 50 are positioned in the first recess 58 and the vertical flange portions extend downwardly through the recesses '60.

Pins 62 extend upwardly through the lower portion of the shelf and through holes 64 provided in the flanges 54 adjacent the junction of flange 54 with the vertical flange 52 of the bracket half. The recesses 60 are wide enough to provide for limited pivotal movement of the bracket halves about the pins 62.

The recess 58 is advantageously cut in the end of the shelf with a circular saw. Thus, the radius provided on the flange 54 is the same radius as the saw thereby providing for the pivoting of the bracket half about pin 62 and reducing to a minimum the depth of the recess 58.

The two shelf bracket halves 50 are urged toward each other by means such as the post screw and nut 66 as can be seen in FIG. 1.

As illustrated in FIG. 3 the linger portions 56 of the shelf bracket halves extend toward each other at an angle of when the flanges 52 are parallel, thus providing an included angle of 20 as hereinbefore described in connection with the panel supporting bracket 36 of FIGS. 1 and 2. Likewise, allowance is made for spreading apart the finger portions 56 of the shelf bracket halves a sufficient distance so that the bracket may be introduced transversely into the slots '34 in the pole 12.

Each shelf will, of course, be provided with a shelf supporting bracket on each end thereof so as to support shelves between two spaced apart vertical supporting members 10. FIGURES 6 and 7 illustrate a complete assembly view of vertical support member 10 with a shelf 68 mounted thereon.

In many instances it will be desirable to provide a room divider unit wherein one portion thereof extends at right angles to another portion thereof. For instance, with two spaced apart vertical supporting members \10 and panels and/or shelves extending therebetween, it may be desired to extend a panel and shelves at right angles thereto to provide a corner unit. For example, a vertical supporting mernber could be positioned a distance from the front or rear edge of the pole illustrated in FIG. 5 to provide for the supporting of panels and shelves at right angles to those illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

As has previously been indicated, the slots 34 operate in pairs. The cross section of the pole 12 is illustrated as elliptical. It has been found that this is a desired cross sectional configuration for the pole 12 that gives a rigidity almost equal to a pole of circular cross section having a diameter the same as the major dimension of the elliptical cross section.

With the elliptical shaped pole the slots then are provided in pairs on each side thereof. However, at the same time, as illustrated in FIG. 5, opposite slots on each side of the pole can also serve as a pair so that panel and shelf supporting brackets can be positioned at right angles to those positioned on each side of the pole. With very slight modification of a panel supporting bracket as shown in FIG. 5 the brackets may be aflixed to extend from the trout or rear edge of the pole 12. The same modification may also be made to the shelf brackets. In each case it is only necessary to provide for the finger portions of the brackets to reach out a little farther in order to grip in one slot on each side of the pole.

From the foregoing description it will be appreciated that by the present invention I have provided a room divider device wherein various combinations of shelves and room divider panels may be supported between spaced vertical supporting members in combinations and at heights as desired. The separate elements of the room divider unit may be packaged so that the home owner may select only those units which he desires to incorporate for his own particular purpose.

- engaging means received in a pair A novel means provided for installing the vertical supporting members and suspending the panels and shelves between spaced supporting members makes it possible for the average home owner to install the room divider units with a minimum of skill and effort and a very minimum of tools. The novel means which my invention provides for supporting the panels and shelves from the vertical supporting members allows the home owner to select his own particular arrangement of shelves and/or panels as desired.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A space divider unit comprising spaced-apart vertical supporting members extending between the floor and ceiling of a room; space-dividing members extending between said vertical supporting members; each of said supporting members comprising a post having ceilingengaging means on the upper end thereof; an extension extending from the bottom of said post and carrying fioorengaging means on the bottom end thereof; said extension being adjustably extensible to firmly wedge said vertical supporting member between the floor and ceiling of a room; said post having at least three peripherally spacedapart slots extending longitudinally thereof; any two adjacent slots forming a pair for receiving engaging means; of said slots to suspend said space-dividing members from said vertical supporting members; said engaging means comprising a U- shaped bracket having the free ends thereof adjustably engaged in a pair of said slots; means to urge the free ends of said bracket toward each other to firmly engage in said slots; a recess provided in the bight portion of said U-shaped bracket to receive engaging means extending from said space-dividing member; and engaging means extending from said space-dividing members and engaged in said recess in said bight portion of said U- shaped bracket.

2. A space divider unit as claimed in claim 1 and further characterized by the provision of shelf members extending between said vertical supporting members; said shelf members having engaging means at each end for reception in a pair of said slots in the vertical supporting members comprising opposed bracket halves pivotally mounted on the shelf members for pivotal movement towards each other; means to urge said bracket halves towards each other; and a finger portion extending from each of said bracket halves; each of said fingers being engaged in a slot of one of the vertical supporting members.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 756,648 Kade Apr.-5, 1904 1,219,208 Zahner et al Mar. 13, 1917 1,669,479 Lowy May 15, 1928 2,107,624 Berger Feb. 8, 1938 2,300,937 Lahti Nov. 3, 1942 2,392,932 MacBeth Jan. 15, 1946 2,436,800 Fryzel et al. Mar. 2, 1948 2,575,097 Cole Nov. 13, 1951 2,808,624 Sullivan Oct. 8, 1957 2,855,037 Stififel Oct. 7, 1958 2,903,227 Key Sept. 8, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 161,330 Switzerland July 1, 1933 599,817 Germany July 10, 1934 687,848 Great Britain Feb. 25, 1953 885,236 Germany Aug. 3, 1953 725,697 Great Britain Mar. 9; 1955 515,900 Canada Aug. 23, 1955

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U.S. Classification160/135, 248/200.1, 248/244, 52/126.7, 211/190, 52/775, 248/297.21, 52/239, 52/243
International ClassificationE04B2/74, E04B2/82
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2002/749, E04B2/821
European ClassificationE04B2/82B