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Publication numberUS3127022 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 31, 1964
Filing dateJul 12, 1961
Publication numberUS 3127022 A, US 3127022A, US-A-3127022, US3127022 A, US3127022A
InventorsWilliam G. French
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable shelf partition
US 3127022 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 31, 1964 w. G. FRENCH 3,127,022

ADJUSTABLE SHELF PARTITION Filed July 12, 1961 2 SheetsSheet 1 INVENTOR.

WILLIAM G. FRECH March 31, 1964 w. G. FRENCH 3,127,022

ADJUSTABLE SHELF PARTITION Filed July 12, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 |z g 34 m :2

'lu' 5 i ;8 FIGS fil I; I I 48 F IA I i :(31 l I. F:

; FIGB INVENTOR.

WlLLlAM G. FRENCH United States Patent 3,127,022 ADJUSTABLE SHELF PARTITJIQN William G. French, 110 ivory St, Frewshurg, N.Y. Filed July 12, 196i, Ser. No. 123,541 14 Claims. (Cl. 2.111S4) This invention relates generally to shelf files and more particularly to an improved, adjustable partition in a shelf assembly.

Because of savings in space and cost as compared to conventional file cabinets, open shelf files have come into increasing favor. Conventional open shelf files are usually provided with a plurality of adjustable partitions between which the files, paper, or the like, are clamped. These partitions normally are movable from one set of locking recesses to another to clamp the files for storage, or to release the files for removal of one, or more. The use of conventional partitions of this nature often involves tedious and diflicult movements in various directions to interlock a plurality of partition tabs with corresponding slots in the shelf or its adjacent walls. In some instances, the partitions are provided with complex and expensive lever and spring arrangements which may be pressed to disengage locking means for sliding the partition to a new location.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved adjustable shelf partition and cooperating shelf assembly of simple and inexpensive construction and which obviates the above stated disadvantages of conventional devices.

It is a further important object of the present invention to provide an adjustable shelf partition which may be easily operated by merely tilting the partition,sliding it to a new position, and releasing the partition to drop the uplifted end into a locking recess.

Another object of the invention is to provide a shelf assembly, including an adjustable partition cooperating therewith, which rides on a single rail having integral means not only for slidably guiding and receiving the partition, but also for permitting tilting movement thereof and for locking the partition in any selected position along the shelf.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved shelf assembly and adjustable partition which may be easily and quickly separated from each other and to which additional partitions may be quickly added, and such assembly being broadly applicable to filing and storage systems of diverse types including article storage bins, bookcases, display racks, and the like.

The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several figures and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shelf assembly constructed in accordance with the invention and having one end portion broken away to reveal a portion of the sup porting track for the adjustable partitions;

FIG. 2 is a section taken transversely of the shelf assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view showing a portion of the partition supporting and guide track and the related means on the adjustable partition for securement to the track;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of FIG. 2 illustrating the partition disengaged from the locking means on the supporting rail;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional plan View taken along line 55 of FIG. 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows, and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but of a modified form of the invention and showing the locked position of the partition in full lines and the unlocked position of the partition in phantom.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a shelf assembly constructed in accordance with the invention and comprising a generally horizontally disposed metal shelf 12 having an upstanding rear wall 14; and end walls 16 and 18. The rear wall is provided with projecting tabs 26 for securement of the shelf assembly iii to a wall, frame cabinet, or the like. The shelf 12 is provided with a longitudinally disposed channel 22 extending from one end to the other and in which are slidably retained a plurality of shelf partitions or dividers 24.

Disposed in the channel 22 is a track, or rail, 26 which preferably extends from the wall 16 to a point spaced from the end wall 18 and leaving a gap 28 in the channel. This gap, as will be apparent later, will enable addition of dividers 24 to the shelf for engagement over the end of the rail 26 and also removal of such dividers from the shelf assembly when a smaller number of dividers may be utilized for the filing at hand. Preferably, the rail 26 is formed of a sheet of thin sheet metal by pressing the center web portion 31 into a U-shape having outwardly bent flanges 30 and 32 projecting from the upper ends of the U-arms. The rail 26 may be securely fastened to the bottom wall of channel 22 by spot welds formed in the web 31 at spaced points therealong. The flanges 30 and 32 are generally disposed in a horizontal plane, one flange 3% serving to tiltably and slidably support the dividers 24 and the other flange 32 having a series of spaced locking detents which, as illustrated particularly in FIGS. 1 and 3, may take the form of a series of slots 34 opening into the outer edge of the flange.

The dividers 24 are also desirably formed from thin sheet metal and may have an integral dependent supporting lug or tab fashioned in the same plane and referenced in the drawings as 36. Preferably, the dependent tab 36 is separately formed, however, and secured in a shallow pocket 23 centrally of the divider body 24 by means of spot welds or other suitable fastening means. At the bottom, the tab 36 is bent approximately to form a projecting flange 38. A gusset, or crease, ill, FIG. 3, is

stamped into the bend, transversely thereto, to strengthen and rigidity the bend between parts 36 and 38. One side edge of the flange 38 has a dependent tooth, 42 stamped therefrom and adapted to drop into any one of the re cesses 34 and thus lock the partition against movement along the rail. The opposite side of flange 38 has its edge turned to underlie the flange in a lip 44 which defines a channel 46 for slidably receiving the rail flange 39. Preferably, the lip 44 is inclined at a slight angle to the flange 38 so that a broadened mouth is provided in the channel 46. This permits the tilting movement, to be described later, of the partition 24 on the rail flange 30. In order to reduce the play and the frictional resistance to sliding movement of the divider, one or more small protrusions 48 are stamped upwardly in the lip 44. Thus, when a divider 24 is moved longitudinally of the rail 26, it having first been tilted to release the locking means, only the protrusions 48 engage the underside of the flange 3t) and the frictional resistance to movement is greatly reduced.

The use and operation of the described shelf assembly with its adjustable partitions will now be readily apparent. As many of the dividers 24 as may be required are assembled to the shelf by inserting the depending tabs 36 with their flanges 355 into the space 23 at one end of the rail 26 and the tabs engaged with the rail by nesting the rail flange 30 in the groove 46 of the partition tab. Files, papers or the like may then be placed on the shelf 12 and, by reason of the channel 22, the mechanism for moving the dividers does not impede the filing of such material. The partitions are then moved longitudinally along the rail to clamp the files, appropriately divided, between partitions and against end wall 16. When it is desired to release a divider for removal of a file, it is merely necessary to grasp the divider at one forward corner and tilt the divider downwardly in the direction of the arrow indicated by the middle divider shown in FIG. 1. This tilting action lifts the tooth 42 on the divider tab from its associated locking recess 34, the divider lip 44 and channel 46 being so constructed as to permit the tilting about the rail flange 39. The divider may then be moved in either direction and wihle still tilted to another position along the shelf, and may be locked in such other position by releasing or turning the divider in the opposite direction so that again the lip 44 hingedly moves with respect to the rail 30 by gravity, or by the force applied, to drop the locking tooth 42 into another locking recess 34.

FIG. 6 illustrates a modification in which all aspects of the shelf and the dividers remain unchanged and substantially identical to those of FIG. 1 except that the rail for guiding the dividers and the divider support means are changed somewhat in form. The modified rail 50 is formed of a strip of sheet metal having one longitudinal edge upturned in a curl 52 forming a channel opening inwardly of the rail, such channel having an open mouth 54 to permit tilting of the divider. The opposite side of the rail 50 is bent upwardly at 56 and then outwardly to provide a flange 32' having the locking detents or recesses 34' as described for rail 26. Cooperating with rail the dependent supporting tab 36 of the divider has its flange 58 provided with an inwardly curled edge to define a bead 57 which is hingedly received in the channel formed by the curl 52. The opposite side of the flange 58 is provided with an upwardly and outwardly directed bend 6t) and flange 62 to cooperate with the shape of the rail flanges 56 and 32. Flange 62 is again formed with a tooth 42 struck from its surface and depending so as to engage in one of the locking recesses 34.

It will be apparent that the modified rail and divider support described in the preceding paragraph will cooperate in a substantially identical manner to those previously described and illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, the divider support tab 58 pivoting with its hinge element 57 which is slidably retained within the curl 52 of the rail 50.

It is obvious that the described shelf assembly and adjustable partitions are of simple yet sturdy construction, and are therefore economical to produce. The dividers are movably secured to a guiding support and locking rail 26 which also may be economically produced, being stamped from a single strip of sheet material. The mode of operation is easy to grasp and perform and, therefore, can be accomplished by unskilled personnel who may be engaged in filing. It should further be readily apparent that changes in size and shape of the shelf and the dividers are possible and that the device is adaptable to many filing and storing purposes. The shelf, although preferably used in open condition, may be supported within a cabinet or otherwise enclosed, this manner of support not changing the mode of using the shelf and dividers.

Although certain specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. in .a shelf assembly, a shelf having a longitudinally Cir extending channel, a rail secured in said channel and having a pair of longitudinal flanges at opposite sides, one of said flanges being a support and guide flange, the other flange being provided with a series of locking detents spaced longitudinally of the rail, a partition positioned transversely to said shelf and means for movably securing the partition to said rail including a first portion slidably and hingedly mounted on said first flange and a second portion removably engageable in said locking detents of the other flange upon transverse tilting of the partition in its own plane whereby said partition may be adjustably moved to and locked in another position by tilting the partition to unlock said second portion of the securing means, sliding the partition to the selected other position and releasing the partition to reengage and lock the second portion of said securing means.

2. A shelf assembly according to claim 1, wherein said rail is provided in its central portion with a U-shaped cross section and said flanges project laterally from the arms of the central portion, the bottom of said central portion being secured to the bottom of said shelf channel.

3. A shelf assembly according to claim 2, wherein said locking detents comprise slots opening into the unattached edge of said other flange of the rail.

4. A shelf assembly according to claim 2, wherein said rail is disposed in said shelf channel with an exposed end and said means for slidably and hingedly securing the partition is insertable in the channel adjacent the exposed end of the rail for engagement with and removal from the rail.

5. A shelf assembly according to claim 1, wherein said means for securing the partition comprises a dependent tab on the partition adapted to ride in said shelf channel and having a flange bent at an angle thereto, said last named flange having one side edge turned under to loosely engage said guide flange of the rail and a dependent tooth at the opposite side engageable with the detents of said other rail flange.

6. A shelf assembly according to claim 5, wherein said flange of the partition tab is bent substantially perpendicular to the dependent portion of the tab and a gusset is formed in the bend to rigidify said tab.

7. A shelf assembly according to claim 1, wherein said support and guide flange of the rail is formed in a curl open at one side and slidably and hingedly receiving the said first portion of the partition securing means.

8. An adjustable shelf partition adapted to slidably and lockably engage a rail extending transversely thereof, com. prising a planar body, a tab dependent from said body and lying in substantially the same plane, the lower end of said tab being bent substantially to form a flange, said flange having an edge turned and underlying the flange to slidably and hingedly receive a portion of said rail, said flange having a locking tooth struck from a second edge adapted to releasably engage locking detents on said rail upon tilting of the partition.

9. An adjustable shelf partition according to claim 8, wherein the bend between said tab and its flange is creased in a plane transverse to the bend at at least one point whereby to rigidify the tab.

10. An adjustable shelf partition according to claim 9, wherein said turned edge of the flange defines a slight angle therewith to provide a groove with a broadened opening, said turned edge being upstruck in at least one area to restrict the opening and reduce the friction of sliding movement of the partition.

'11. In a shelf assembly, a shelf having a longitudinally extending channel, a rail secured in said channel and having a pair of longitudinal flanges at opposite sides, one of said flanges being a support and guide flange, the other flange being provided with a series of locking detents spaced longitudinally of the rail, a partition positioned transversely to said shelf, a dependent tab on the partition adapted to ride in said shelf channel and having a flange bent at an angle thereto, said last named flange having one side edge turned under to loosely engage said guide flange of the rail and mount said partition slidably and hingedly thereon, a dependent tooth on the opposite side of'the said tab flange engageable with the detents of said other rail flange upon tilting of the partition, said turned under edge of the partition tab being disposed at a slight angle sloping away from said tab flange to provide a channel with a broadened opening and permit tilting engagement with said guide flange of the rail, and at least one small area of said turned under edge being upstruck to restrict the opening between the tab and its turned edge and to reduce the friction of sliding movement of the tab with respect to the rail.

12. In a shelf assembly, a shelf having a longitudinally extending channel, a rail secured in said channel, said rail comprising an elongated sheet having an inturned curl at one side edge defining an inwardly open channel, the other side edge of the rail sheet being provided with an upwardly directed flange and an outwardly directed flange, said last named flange being provided with a series of locking detents spaced longitudinally of the rail, a partition positioned transversely to said shelf, and means for movably securing the partition to said rail including a first portion slidably and hingedly mounted in the channel of said curl and a second portion removably engageable in said locking detents upon tilting of the partition, whereby said partition may be adjustably moved to and locked in another position by tilting the partition to unlock said second portion of the securing means, sliding the partition to the selected other position and releasing the partition to reengage and lock the second portion of said securing means.

13. In a shelf assembly, a shelf having a longitudinally extending channel, a rail secured in said channel, said rail comprising an elongated sheet having an inturned curl at one side edge defining an inwardly open channel, the other side edge of the rail being provided with a series of locking detents spaced longitudinally of the rail, a partition positioned transversely to said shelf, and means for movably securing the partition to said rail including a first portion slidably and hingedly mounted in the channel of said curl and a second portion removably engageable in said locking detents upon tilting of the partition, whereby said partition may be adjustably moved to and locked in another position by tilting the partition to unlock said second portion of the securing means, sliding the partition to the selected other position and releasing the partition to reengage and lock the second portion of said securing means.

14. In a shelf assembly, a shelf having a longitudinally extending channel, a rail secured in said channel, said rail comprising an elongated sheet having an inturned curl at one side edge defining an inwardly open channel, the other side edge of the rail sheet being provided with an upwardly directed flange and an outwardly directed flange, said last named flange being provided with a series of locking detents spaced longitudinally of the rail, a partition positioned transversely to said shelf, and means for movably securing the partition to said rail including a dependent tab having its lower portion bent outwardly at approximately said outwardly bent portion being rolled at one edge to provide a bead hingedly and slidably received in said channel of the curl, and the opposite edge of the outwardly bent portion of the tab being formed with a downstruok tooth engageable with said locking detents upon tilting of the partition.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,664,650 Korlaar Apr. 3, 1928 1,679,248 Keas July 31, 1928 2,062,802 Walker Dec. 1, 1936 2,261,840 Bergmann Nov. 4, 1941 2,905,336 Higberg Sept. 22, 1959 2,906,269 McClellan Sept. 29, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1664650 *Jul 29, 1925Apr 3, 1928Korlaar Wynand VanCheck-sorting rack
US1679248 *Oct 2, 1925Jul 31, 1928By Direct Aitd MesneOffice
US2062802 *Jan 7, 1936Dec 1, 1936Walker David VDisplay appliance
US2261840 *Apr 1, 1941Nov 4, 1941Peerless Steel Equipment CompaPivotal divider for card indexes
US2905336 *May 15, 1957Sep 22, 1959Yawman And Erbe Mfg Company InPartition for filing cabinet rocker compartment
US2906269 *Jul 11, 1955Sep 29, 1959Meilink Steel Safe CompanyFollowers for filing cabinets
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3333732 *Feb 25, 1966Aug 1, 1967GoldbertVending storage bin
US3608741 *May 27, 1970Sep 28, 1971United Steel & Wire CoShelf partition
US3966050 *Mar 31, 1975Jun 29, 1976Dahl Robert MIndex file
US6651828 *Oct 5, 2001Nov 25, 2003U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands Inc.Display apparatus with integrated dividers
WO1988007320A1 *Mar 30, 1988Oct 6, 1988Tkh Plast AsRack for plant pits and similar trays of flowerpots, which are interconnected along their edges
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/184
International ClassificationA47B57/58, A47B57/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B57/58
European ClassificationA47B57/58