US 3160361 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 8, 1964 w. c. MONAHAN 3,160,361
UNITARY PAPER TOWELLING RACK Filed Aug. 2l, 1962 Lex f /a l@l lfllf fR ,a6 as 52\ @"20 52 IIIL X -m'eweo s2 I v4: AIl..
United States Patent Oiice 3,169,351 Patented Dec. 8, 1964 3,166,361 UNITARY PAPER TQWELLING RACK Wiiliam C. Monahan, 196 Seaton Road, Stamford, Conn. Filed Aug. 21, 1962, Ser. No. 21%,239 8 Claims. (Ci. 242-552) This invention generally pertains to wall-mounted supports for articles in the form of rolls of sheet material, such as paper, and particularly to paper towelling racks.
It is a common sight in the average kitchen to see a wall-mounted paper towelling rack for supporting rolls of paper towelling. Most known paper towelling racks are formed of metal, as by being stamped, or of plastic materials, as by being molded. The iield is highly competitive, and heretofore, plastic racks have been extremely popular. However, all known plastic racks are formed of a plurality of components which are individually molded and assembled into a completed rack. Furthermore, all such known plastic racks include conventional hinging structures, including hinge pins, for individually hingedly connecting the usual spaced arms of the rack which support the rolls to the usual back plate of the rack which, in turn, is employed to mount the entire rack on a wall. Although the gures will vary slightly depending upon the precise time they are compiled, it is presently estimated that known molded plastic paper tow'elling racks can me manufactured at a cost to sell at a retail level of between titty-nine to sixty-nine cents a rack.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved molded plastic paper towelling rack which is exceedingly simple in construction and easy to manufacture, and therefore, which may be made to be sold for a significantly lower price than that of known comparable devices.
The object of the invention is accomplished in one form by providing a molded plastic papertowelling rack in the form of a unitary structure that can be molded in one piece in its final form.
Other objects and further details of that which I believe to be novel and my invention will be clear from the following description and claims taken with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a paper towelling rack embodying the invention shown in position as mounted on a wall and supporting a roll of paper towelling, the latter being outlined in phantom lines;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational View of the rack shown in an inoperative condition;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the rack looking from the bottom of FIG. 2 and showing in dotted lines the arms of the rack disposed in operative positions;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary rear elevational view of the rack;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 5 5 of FIG. 2, and
FIG. 6 is a view on a reduced scale showing a moditied form of the invention.
FIGS. 1-5 illustrate a principal embodiment of the invention, wherein the improved unitary paper towelling rack is designated generally by reference character R. In FIG. l it will be observed that rack R generally comprises unitary structure comprising a main mounting back plate 10 and a pair of spaced arms 12 which are arranged to support a roll T of paper towelling. FIG. 1, therefore, illustrates the operative condition of the rack R. FIGS. 2-5 illustrate various views of the rack R in its inoperative condition.
With reference to FIGS. 2-5 it will be observed that when the rack R is in the inoperative condition it is constructed and positioned in the following manner: Back plate 10 comprises an elongated member having a somewhat rectangular central portion 14 which is planar and includes spaced, parallel top and bottom upstanding rearwardly extending flange-like, short walls 16 which are generally perpendicular to central portion 14 and include rearward edges 1S which are straight, coplanar and arranged to contact a wall when the rack is mounted thereon. Approximately at the Corners of the rectangular central portion 1 4 are disposed mounting screw openings 20 which are formed through masses 22 of solid material formed at the corners of the central portion extending completely frorn front to back of the rack (see FIG. 4). On the rearward side of the central portion 14 a network of interconnecting web-like, short walls 24 is formed to provide structural strength for the central portion, the rearward edges of these walls being coplanar with the edges 1S, and therefore, arranged to also contact a wall on which the rack is mounted.
The central portion 14 is somewhat elongated and at its opposite ends there is integrally formed therewith towel roll supporting arms and associated supporting structure therefor including integral web hinges. A description of one of theseformations will suice to constitute a descripthe central portion 14 there is formed a planar extension 26, about the periphery of which is formed a rearwardly extending flange 28 which is shorter than the walls 16 (see FIG. 3). A three-sided opening Suis formed in each portion 26 comprising a pair of spaced, parallel edges 32 and a connecting arcuate edge 34 at adjacent ends of edges 32. About the three-sided opening 30 and rearwardly extending therefrom is a ange-like wall 36, portions 38 of it being straight, parallel and'spaced from portions of wall 28, and a portion 4t) at and connecting adjacent ends of portions 36 and being arcuate to conform to the curvature of the opening 30 at that point. At what would normally be the fourth side of the opening Sti on the rearward side of the portion 26 is formed a straight rearwardly extending ange-like wall 42.
Arms 12 are configured to generally conform tothe shape of the three-sided openings 3i) when viewed from the front elevation, as in FIG. 2, and to b'e disposed over these openings. An end of each arm 12 includes a straight ange-like wall 44 which connects the arm to the portion 26. Each arm 12 is integrally formed with and connected to a portion 26 by an integral thin web 4d (see FIGS. 4 and 5). tions of the rack and capable of easy repeated ilexure in normal operation. The remainder of the arms 12 are structurally free of the portions 26. Therefore, the arms 12, though integrally formed with the rack R, are hingedly connected to portions 26 and selectively pivotal relative thereto.
The arms 12 in addition to including the straight walls 44, each include a bent front wall 48 comprising a generally dat rectangular wall portion 50 adjacent wall 44,' a rectangular flat inclined wall portion 52, and a at wall portion 54 having an arcuate end that is generally parallel to wall portion 50 and supports centraliy on its rearward side a tubular collar 56. At opposite sides of the arms 12 the wall 44 and wall portions 50 and 52 are connected by flange-like side walls 58.
As can best be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, when the rack R is in the inoperative condition, the arms 12 occupy positions wherein they project at a slight angle from the main plane of the back plate 1t). In the inoperative condition the rack is compactly collapsed, and this is a convenient condition in which to manufacture, package and ship the rack. To eiect the operative condition of the rack, the arms 12 are pivoted away from the back plate and each other until they are substantially parallel; with reference to FIG. 3, the left hand arm 12 is pivoted counterclockwise and the right hand arm 12 isl pivoted clockwise to the dotted line positions. In this condition the col- Each web 46 is thinner than its adjacent porn eg) lars 56 are substantially coaxial and disposed to function as hubs for a conventional roll of paper towelling, which `wardly. This constructionfurther facilitates lexure of the arms 12 when removing or mountingla roll of paper toweliing and permits, if absolutely necessary, a certain placing it with a fresh full roll of paper towelling. Therefore, in usage it is normally contemplated that rolls of paper towelling will be successively mounted on the installed rack as needed. Therefore, the hinges between the arms 12 and the portions 26 of back plate'lt must flex a large number of times during their normal life ex-V pectancy.
One of the important features of the invention which permits the entire rack to be formed in a single piece is that of providing hinges between thearms and back plate in the form of hinge webs 46 that can be integrally formed with the entire rack by molding plastic materials. It has been found in practice that unitary rackshaving integral hinge webs may be conveniently formed by known injection molding techniques utilizing Vpolypropylene as the plastic material out of Vwhich the rack is, molded. practice it has been found that with a towelling rack having the approximate rough overall dimensions of a length of twelve and one-sixteenth inches, a width of three and nine thirty-secondths inches and an overall thickness of approximately seven-eighths'rof an inch, with wallV thicknesses varying in thev range of three thirty-secondsto oneeighth of an inch, hinge webs having a cross-sectional thickness of .010 inch plus or minus .002 inch, have proved eminently successful. scribed have been subject to gruelling life tests and have survived over 3,000,000 llexures without any fracture.
Furthermore, towelling lracks formed as just described may be currently manufactured to retail at less than 50% of the price of known plural-partV plastic or metal towelling racks which include conventional hinge means.
In addition to the very important structural Vfeature of providing integral hinge webs which enable the entire rack to be formed in a unitaryv piece, the invention includes anl other important` structural featurewhich should be recog-V v nized. This structural feature is concerned with the be forced apart; for example, sofas to be separated more than they are illustrated in dotted lines in FIG. 3 to allow the core of the roll ofV towelling to clear the collars 5rd. This invention incorporates the concept of principally providing for ilexure in the arms themselves, and the construction of arms l2, as described, permits such iiexure. With reference to FIG. 3 it should be observed that the portions of the arms 12 which support the collars 56 are' substantially flat, thin and relatively flexible, whereas the remaining portions of the arms 12 comprising the'wall portions 50 and 52, and walls 44 and 58 provide a substantially rigid boxy structure. Therefore, there is a lineA of fiexure indicated schematically by reference character X in the vicinity of where wall portions 52. and 54@ join, and in operation when it is attempted to force the arms i2 apart farther than they are illustrated in FlGJ. 3, flexure may occur in the arms transversely thereof along the lines X; It will also be observed in FlG. 3 that in mount- Inv Racks formed asjust de amount of relative flexure between the portions 26 and the central portion 10.
In FlG. 6 there is illustrated a modification of the invention wherein in lieu of openings Ztl and mounting screws, a plurality of magnets 60 `are mounted in the back plate and operative to the rearfthereof which will enable the -towelling rack to be secured to a ferromagnetic walled support. The rack R' is otherwise similarV in all respects to the rack Rillustrated in FIGS. 1-5, and therefore, corresponding parts are indicated by similar reference numerals with a prime added.
As will be evident from the foregoing description, certain aspects of my invention are not limited to the particular details of construction of the examples illustrated,
ing therack to a walllike support, only the rearward edges and l contemplate that various and other modications and applications will occur to those skilled in the art. It is, therefore, my intention that the appended claims shall cover such modifications and applications as do not depart from the true spirit and scope of my invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. An article supporting rack comprising: a plate-like member; means for securing said member to a planar support; a pair of spaced arms; means hingedly securing said arms to said member so as innormaluse of said rack to be individually readilyand repeatedly pivotall between positions wherein they are closely adjacent and substantially parallel to said member and positions wherein they are substantially perpendicular thereto; said last named means comprising a separate straight flexible web connecting each arm to said member that is thinner than the adjacent portions of said rack; and means on said arms for supporting an article between said arms; said rack being Y entirely a one-piece unitary structure made of a nonrnetallic plastic material.
2. A rack asdeiined in claim'l wherein said arms include means capable of flexing on a transverse line intermediate the ends" thereof.
3. A rack as defined in claim 1 wherein said supporting means comprises a pair of spaced tubular collars carried by said arms and arranged to support a tubular article.
4. A rack as defined in claim y1 wherein said member securing means comprises magnetic means.
5. A rack as defined in claim '1 whereiny said unitary structure is formed of polypropylene'.
` 6. A rack as delined in claim 1 wherein said rack is formed so said arms normally lie closely adjacent to said plate-like member when said rack does not support anV article. y 7. A one piece unitary article supporting rack formed of a moldable non-metallic plastic .material comprising:
van elongated back plate; means on said back plate for securing it to a planar support; a pair of spaced arms hingedly secured to said back plate near opposite ends thereof by thin straight flexible webs of reduced cross-sectional thickness relative to the adjacent portions of said rack and adapted in normal operation to be readily'and rev peatedly individually pivoted between positions wherein each of said arms having a tubular collar disposed near its free end, saidrcollars arranged to befaligned and face each other to support opposite ends of a tubular article between said arms.
8. `A rack as defined in claim 7 wherein said arms include means forming a transverse flexure line intermediate their ends when stressed.
(References on following page) References Cited n the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Farrell Feb. 27, 1912 Boynton Dec. 6, 1927 Noisinger Jau. 8, 1935 Krueger NOV. 26, 1940 Fischer Sept. 2, 1941 6 Sanford Mar. 6, 1945 Gauthier July 30, 1957 Sarro Mar. 24, 1959 Wiszuk Aug. 9, 1960 Shanok et a1 Apr. 4, 1961 Ridge Sept. 19, 1961 Fisher Mar. 6, 1962 Mayer June 12, 1962