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Publication numberUS3126844 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 31, 1964
Filing dateMar 28, 1962
Publication numberUS 3126844 A, US 3126844A, US-A-3126844, US3126844 A, US3126844A
InventorsMartin J. Barne
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display unit
US 3126844 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 31, 1964 M. J. BURNE ETAL DISPLAY UNIT Filed March 28, 1962 iii? INVENTORS MARTIN .1. BURNE ARTHUR C. cADAMS ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,126,844 DISPLAY UNIT Martin J. Eurne, 2212 Shore Drive, Sharke River Manor, N1, and Arthur C. MeAdams, 102 Lincoln Ave, Florham Park, NJ.

Filed Mar. 28, 1962, Ser. No. 183,088 8 Claims. (Cl. 10811l) Our invention relates to display stands generally and specifically to an inexpensive, portable and versatile display unit foldable into a compact bundle and employing a plurality of vertically foldable shelves or separators positioned one above the other and supported by merchan dise resting on the shelf immediately below.

In the retail industry, there is great demand for an inexpensive, portable and versatile display stand for merchandise which is sufficiently rigid and strong to support the weight of a substantial number of their kind stacked one above the other, as for instance, bottles, cans or strong boxes containing a wide variety of items. The display rack most commonly employed by the supermarket retailer comprises an elongated unit having a plurality of rigid shelves which are sometimes vertically adjustable but never vertically foldable. Such display racks are in the nature of a permanent installation, cannot be moved and are extremely expensive. Such display racks do not lend themselves to the demands of efiicient advertising and display particularly in the case of special sales or promotions. In addition, such a permanent installation is wasteful of space since the shelves must be sufficiently widely separated to accommodate merchandise of varying sizes and to permit withdrawal of merchandise from each shelf independently.

It is desirable to provide a portable display unit which is adapted to accommodate one type and size of merchandise at a time, the merchandise resting on shelves, or more properly, separators which are displaced vertically from one another by a distance equal to the height of the merchandise resting thereon. In such a display unit, merchandise is first removed from the top shelf, and when exhausted, this shelf is adapted to automatically fold upwardly to a position generally parallel to the vertical side member of the stand, thereby exposing the merchandise on the shelf immediately below. In presently known display units employing an automatically upwardly folding shelf, the automatic folding action is accomplished by a spring-loaded hinge.

All such known display stands are fabricated of metal so that they will last a long time. Because of this and because of the complicated spring-loaded hinge structure, these display stands are extremely expensive, are very heavy, and cannot be easily disassembled or folded for shipping or quickly reassembled when needed. In addition, advertising material must be separately attached to this type of stand for each type of merchandise displayed thereon. The advertising material is usually in the form of a metal plate or shield which is expensive and difiicult to apply and remove.

Therefore, it is among the objects and advantages of our invention to provide a display unit which is extremely inexpensive so that it may be economically disposed of after a very short period of use.

Another object of our invention is to provide a display unit which is extremely light weight, easily portable and readily foldable into a flat, easily handled bundle to facilitate shipment and which may be quickly and easily unfolded and assembled to produce a self-supporting stand.

A further object of our invention is to provide a display unit employing a plurality of shelves or separators positioned vertically one above the other and adapted to automatically fold upwardly to a position generally par- 3,l26,844 Patented Mar. 31, 1964- ice allel to the vertical member of the stand when merchandise thereon is completely removed.

Yet another object of our invention is to provide a display unit in which the shelves or separators are detachably and adhesively secured to a stand and which are automatically retained in a generally vertical position by means of an elastic member.

Still another object of our invention is to provide a display unit in which the shelves or separators employ an integral, foldable hinge.

Another object of our invention is to provide a display unit which may be combined or modified to produce a wide variety of configurations such as a straight stand with or without sectoral end stands, sectoral stands, island stands and the like.

Still a further object of our invention is to provide a display unit fabricated of cardboard or some other suitable and inexpensive material upon which advertising can be easily and quickly printed as for instance, by a silk screen process.

Yet another object of our invention is to provide a display unit which may be die cut from some suitable stock such as cardboard and quickly and easily folded to provide a self-supporting stand having a minimum of individual parts.

These objects and advantages as well as other objects and advantages can be achieved by our invention, one embodiment of which is illustrated in the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective of a sectoral display stand in which the shelves or separators lie in a horizontal position supported by the merchandise resting on the shelf below, the merchandise being shown in broken lines merely for illustrative clarity.

FIGURE 2 is a view in perspective of the sectoral display stand shown in FIGURE 1 showing the shelves or separators in a retracted, generally vertical position.

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the sectoral display stand shown in FIGURES l and 2 showing two of the shelves or separators in a retracted position, the remaining two in a horizontal position.

FIGURE 4 is a view in perspective showing a composite display stand employing a pair of sectoral stands as shown in FIGURE 1 separated by a straight stand.

FIGURE 5 is a top plan view of another composite display stand in the form of an island employing four sectoral stands as shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 6 is a view in perspective of a sectoral shelf or separator employed in the stands shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 7 is a view in perspective of a generally rectangular shelf or separator employed in the straight unit shown in FIGURE 4.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, our invention comprises a sectoral, self-supporting display stand 11 fabricated of cardboard or some other suitable and inexpensive material. The stand 11 comprises a pair of generally rectangular, vertical walls 12 and 13 secured together along their opposed, vertical longitudinal edges and disposed at right angles to each other. In order to facilitate fabrication, the vertical walls 12 and 13 may be die cut from a single, generally rectangular, integral piece which is folded along its vertical center line. Secured to the bottom of the wall 12 is a sectoral base 14 Whose radius is equal to the width of the walls 12 and 13. As in the case of the vertical walls 12 and 13, the base 14 may be die cut from the same integral piece from which the walls 12 and 13 are cut and a score or fold line provided to facilitate folding the base 14 into a horizontal position during assembly. In this case, the opposite vertical wall 13 is made longer by an increment equal to the width of the base 14 so that the stand II will be self-supporting and erect.

A plurality of sectoral shelves or separators 15 are detachably secured to one of the two vertical walls 12 or 13. In FIGURES 1, 2 and 3, the shelves 15 are secured to wall 12. Each shelf 15 is provided with an integral, foldable flap 16 formed along the side secured to the vertical wall 12. A score or fold line may be provided to facilitate folding of the shelves 115 about the flap 16. The flap 16 is coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive to permit it to be detachably secured to the wall 12 at any suitable level. The adhesive may be applied directly to the flap 16 or a twofaced adhesive paper may be employed.

An elastic 17 such as a rubber band, is attached to the arcuate edge of the sectoral shelf 15 opposite the flap 1rd and near the side edge of the shelf 15. In this application, elastic means refers to items such as rubber bands which stretches internally within its own mass and returns to its original length when the stretching force is removed. This is in contradistinction to items such as a coil spring which derives at least a portion of its ability to deform and then return from its physical configuration. The vertical wall is provided with a plurality of small holes 18 positioned in a vertical row parallel to and adjacent to the line of intersection of walls 12. and 13. The opposite end of the elastic 17 is detachably secured in one of the holes 18 by means of a resilient knot or enlargement 19 on the end of the elastic 17 which is forced through the hole 18. The elastic 17 is relatively short when unstretched but can elongate sufficiently to permit the shelf 15 to fold downwardly to a,

horizontal position. The elasticity of the elastic 17 is calculated to permit the weight of one item of merchandise resting on the shelf to retain it in at least a horizontal position. However, the elastic does not have to hold the shelf in equilibrium; rather, the merchandise on the shelf below provides the support for the shelf when loaded.

In order that the elastic 17 retract the shelf 15 upwardly to a nearly vertical position, generally parallel to the wall 12 when unloaded, the knot or enlargement 19 is secured in a hole 18 which is sufiiciently beneath the top edge of the shelf 15 when in a generally vertical position to maintain the elastic in a state of stretch.

In operation, the stand 11 is shipped in a folded state as a flat bundle. This may be accomplished by folding wall 12 over wall .13 and folding the sectoral base 14 onto the opposite side of the wall 12. The walls 12 and 13 are unfolded and the base 14 positioned horizontally on the floor. Wall 13 is positioned adjacent to the edge of the base 14 thereby disposing walls 12 and 13 at right angles to each other. The bottom of the wall 13 should be secured to the edge of the base 14 by any convenient means such as an integral foldable flap 20 formed along the edge of the base 14 and provided with a pressure-sensitive adhesive adapted to secure it to the external surface of wall '13. When assemble-d, there is provided a self-supported stand ll.

The merchandise to be displayed is chosen and the height of the containers noted. The shelves 15 are then detachably secured to the wall at such levels that each shelf, when horizontal, rests upon the top of the merchandise seated on the shelf immediately below. Each shelf is then folded upwardly to a generally vertical position, the free end of the elastic .137 pulled downwardly until stretched and then inserted through the nearest hole 18. The shelves 15 are then loaded, starting with the base 14 and progressing upwardly. Merchandise can only be first removed from the top most shelf. When the last item of merchandise has been removed from the top most shelf, it will automatically snap upwardly under the influence of the elastic 17 to a generally vertical position, thereby exposing the merchandise on the shelf immediately below.

FIGURE 4 shows an alternative display unit comprising a pair of sectoral stands 11 as shown in FIGURE 1,

separated by a straight stand 21. The straight stand 21 comprises a flat, generally rectangular vertical rear wall 22 having a rectangular base 23 attached at its bottom edge. The base 23 may be formed integrally with the wall 22, joined thereto by a score line to facilitate fold ing. The opposite vertical side edges of the rear wall 22 are provided with integral, foldable flaps 23 and 24-. The flaps Z3 and 24 may be provided with a pressuresensitive adhesive to facilitate attaching sectoral end stands 11. The rear wall 22 is provided with a plurality of holes 25 positioned in two vertical rows, one adjacent to each flap 23 and 2'4.

A plurality of generally rectangular shelves or separators 26 are detachably secured to the rear wall 22. Each shelf 26 is provided with an integral foldable flap 27. The flap 27 is provided with a pressure-sensitive adhesive in the manner set forth above relative to sectoral shelf flaps 16. Each shelf 26 is slightly less than one half as wide as the rear wall 22 to provide a pair of vertical rows of shelves independently foldable. However, each shelf 26 may be as wide as the Wall 22, thereby producing but one row of shelves.

An elastic 28, identical in nature to elastic 17, is secured to the edge of each shelf 26 opposite flap 27 and near the edge adjacent to flap 23 or 2 4 on the side wall 22. The opposite end of the elastic 28 is provided with an enlargement which may be forced through one of the holes 25 in a manner analogous to that described above relative to elastic 17. The shelves 26 function in a manner identical to shelves 15.

It should be noted that the wall of the sectoral end stand 11 adjacent to flap 23 or 24 of the straight stand 21 may be replaced by a very narrow flap which is adapted to attach to flaps 23 and 24. In addition, although the sectoral stand 11 is shown to have walls 12 and 13 disposed at right angles to each other, they may be dis posed at any convenient angle.

FIGURE 5 shows four of the sectoral stands 11 combined to produce a single island stand having four vertical rows of independently operating shelves. No means are required to fasten the respective stands 11 together since each is self-supporting. Of course, either two or three stands may be combined to form a partially circular item or two stands of 180 sectoral configuration or three stands of sectoral configuration may be combined to produce a completely circular island.

The foregoing description is merely intended to illustrate an embodiment of the invention. The component parts have been shown and described. They each may have substitutes which may perform a substantially similar function; such substitutes may be known as proper substitutes for the said components and may have actually been known or invented before the present invention; these substitutes are contemplated as being within the scope of the appended claims, although they are not specifically catalogued herein.

We claim:

1. A display unit comprising,

(a) a self-supporting stand,

(1)) a plurality of vertically foldable shelves secured to the stand, a single side of each shelf being secured to the stand, remaining sides being freely suspended,

(c) elastic means secured between the shelves and the stand normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position.

2. A display unit comprising,

(a) a self-supporting, generally vertical stand,

(1')) a plurality of vertically foldable shelves detachably secured to the stand, a single side of each shelf being secured to the stand, remaining sides being freely suspended,

(c) elastic means secured between the shelves and the stand normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position.

3. A display unit comprising,

(a) a self-supporting stand,

(b) a plurality of vertically foldable shelves secured to the stand, a single side of each shelf being secured to the stand, remaining sides being freely suspended,

(c) elastic means secured between the shelves and the stand normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position, the said elastic means remaining in a state of stretch when the shelves are in a vertical position.

4. A display unit comprising,

(a) a self-supporting stand,

(b) a base on the stand formed integrally therewith and foldable to assume a generally horizontal position,

(0) a plurality of vertically foldable shelves detachably secured to the stand, a single side of each shelf being secured to the stand, remaining sides being freely suspended,

(d) an integral, vertically foldable flap on each shelf,

(e) adhesive means applied to the flap adapted to detachably secure the flap to the stand,

(1) elastic means secured between the shelves and the stand normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position.

5. A display unit comprising,

(a) a self-supporting stand, having at least one generally vertical wall,

(b) a plurality of vertically foldable shelves secured to one said generally vertical wall of the stand,

(0) the stand having a plurality of holes in said vertical Wall to which the shelves are secured, the holes being arranged in a generally vertical row,

(d) elastic means having one end detachably secured in the holes in the vertical wall and the opposite end secured to the shelves,

(e) the elastic means normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position.

6. A display unit comprising,

(a) a first, generally rectangular, vertical wall,

(b) a second generally rectangular, vertical wall integrally and foldably formed on one side of the first wall,

(0) a sectoral base integrally and foldably formed on the bottom of the first wall, the first and second walls and the base foldable upon each other to define a self-supporting, generally vertical sectoral stand,

(d) a plurality of vertically foldable, sectoral shelves secured to the first wall,

(e) elastic means secured between each shelf and the first wall normally urging the shelf to assume a generally vertical position.

7. A display unit comprising,

(a) a first, generally rectangular, vertical wall,

(12) a second generally rectangular, vertical wall integrally and foldably formed on one side of the first wall,

(0) A sectoral base integrally and 'foldably formed on the bottom of the first wall, the first and second walls and the base foldably upon each other to define a self-supporting, generally vertical, sectoral stand,

(d) a plurality of shelves detachably secured to the first wall,

(e) an integral, vertically foldable flap on each shelf,

(1) adhesive means on the flap adapted to detachably secure the shelf to the first wall,

(g) the first wall having a generally vertical row of holes, and

(h) elastic means having one end detachably secured in one of the holes and having the opposite end secured to a shelf, the said elastic means normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position.

8. A display unit comprising,

(a) a shelf-supporting stand,

(b) a plurality of vertically foldable shelves secured to the stand, a side of each shelf being secured to the stand, remaining sides being freely suspended,

(c) elastic means secured between the shelves and the stand normally urging the shelves to assume a generally vertical position,

(d) the said elastic means secured to the shelf on a side generally opposite the stand and to the stand at a point below the point of engagement with the shelf when the shelf is folded in a generally vertical position.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 300,361 Hale June 17, 1884 1,089,694 Burton Oct. 1, 1912 1,586,899 Herring June 1, 1926 1,602,410 Hamblin Oct. 12, 1926 2,036,184 Armstrong Apr. 7, 1936 2,637,445 Patterson May 5, 1953 2,908,397 Patterson Oct. 13, 1959 2,982,419 Shiels May 2, 1961 3,008,585 McNeill Nov. 14, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US300361 *Jun 17, 1884 Book case
US1039694 *Jun 8, 1912Oct 1, 1912John C BurtonPrinter's collapsible stationery-drying frame.
US1586899 *Sep 12, 1925Jun 1, 1926Herring Walter LSeesaw
US1602410 *Dec 7, 1925Oct 12, 1926Hamblin Fred BCollapsible and adjustable shelves
US2036184 *Sep 30, 1935Apr 7, 1936Murray ArmstrongCorner shelf
US2637445 *Jan 25, 1952May 5, 1953Patterson Lawrence WDisplay rack for bottled goods
US2908397 *Nov 23, 1956Oct 13, 1959Spring A Way Displays Of CalifDisplay stand with folding trays
US2982419 *Feb 17, 1958May 2, 1961Mead CorpSpring-lift combination display shelf
US3008585 *Jan 26, 1961Nov 14, 1961Bachmann Bros IncWhatnot support
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4338866 *Dec 10, 1979Jul 13, 1982Techplastics, Inc.Knock-down display stand
US4854246 *Apr 1, 1987Aug 8, 1989Belokin Martin PDisplay device and method of assembly
US5273169 *Aug 14, 1991Dec 28, 1993Maglione Stephan TCorrugated display stand
US5366100 *Oct 12, 1993Nov 22, 1994Maglione Stephan TCorrugated display stand
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/179
International ClassificationA47F5/11, A47F5/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47F5/116
European ClassificationA47F5/11B2