US 3181274 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 4, 1965 c. .ZENOUR 3,181,274
VERSA'I'ILE DISPLAY APPARATUS Filed Aug. 14, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 M FIG.2 f6
71 W M1 171 3 \l 1' 11,4 llll 4 I :7 r I l c w mun 1/ W111. \W I 14 INVENTOR. GEORGE c. IZENOUR l HUI l BY M a 577M;
ATTORNEY y 4, 1965 G. c. IZENOUR 3,181,274
VERSATILE DISPLAY APPARATUS Filed Aug. 14, 19 1 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 22 36 FIGLS 34 I ll I 1 INVENTOR. GEORGE C- IZENOUR ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,181,274 VERSATKLE DISPLAY APPARATUS George C. Izenour, 10 Alston Ave, New Haven, Conn. Filed Aug. 14, 1961, Ser. No. 131,366 11 Claims. (Cl. -24) The present invention relates to apparatus for suspending and illuminating panels, this apparatus being particularly useful for exhibiting paintings and other pictures, and for displaying stage scenery.
Such apparatus is useful in museums, for example. It is often desirable to group related paintings in an exhibit, and similarly to unify other groups of exhibits. As exhibits change in size and composition, so also it becomes desirable to rearrange and regroup the walls on which the pictures in the exhibits are hung. The walls can be constructed in a manner enabling them to be taken down and rearranged to suit various groupings of pictures in successive exhibits. However, dismantling one wall arrangement and erecting another takes time, it involves a substantial amount of labor, and it defaces the floor.
A feature of the present invention resides in a novel modular ceiling structure and a cooperating form of panel-suspending bogey that enable fast and easy arrangement and rearrangement of suspended panels on which pictures and the like may be exhibited. A related feature of this invention resides in the provision of a display-panel suspending ceiling of flexible application which integrates similarly flexible lighting units. Such apparatus also has readily recognizable application to the stage, where versatile supporting and lighting apparatus for scenery flats is desirable, especially where the apparatus is suitable for frequent and rapid rearrange ment.
A specific object of this invention resides in providing a novel form of ceiling construction that incorporates tracks for scenery-suspending bogeys; and a related object resides in novel bogeys that are of simple yet highly effective construction to facilitate smooth and easy movement of bogeys along the ceiling tracks. A related object resides in the integration of flexibly located lighting units in such modular-track ceiling.
As will be seen from the accompanying drawings and the detailed description below of the illustrative embodiment of the invention, shown in the drawings, a feature of the present invention is the novel integration in a ceiling of modular tracks for suspension bogeys and guide-tracks for lighting trucks, so that both the suspended panels and the lights can be readily regrouped and rearranged, correspondingly, for each new stage set or for each new exhibition layout.
The illustrative embodiment in the drawings involves a modular ceiling that is made up of a number of crossed rows of frames that form crossed tracks where adjacent frames confront but are spaced from each other. The frames are united by rails that serve as tracks for lighting trucks above the ceiling; and the frames provide openings through which light may be directed to the panels suspended below the ceiling. Lighting units on trucks above the ceiling may also be suspended below the ceiling through the frame openings. Panels and the like are suspended by rods attached to bogeys in the ceiling tracks.
Bogey is a term used here to refer to a free-riding support that travels along overhead tracks and is well adapted to change direction, as required, from one track to another intersecting track. An important object of the invention resides in the provision of a novel and highly effective bogey. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, looking upward, of a ice portion of a ceiling and suspended panels, embodying certain features of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspectvie view of a portion of the ceiling of FIG. 1, drawn to larger scale and looking downward;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view, looking downward, of a section of the ceiling in FIG. 1, including a lighting-unit truck and embodying further features of the invention;
FIGURE 4 is a section along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3, drawn to larger scale, the lighting truck being shown in a different adjusted position;
FIG. 5 is a section along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3, drawn to larger scale; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged vertical cross-section through one of the bogeys and a ceiling detail in FIG. 1 along the line 6-6.
In the drawings, the ceiling is made up of a large number of frames in having upper flanges 1th: and lower flanges 10b connected by Vertical webs ltic. Parallel beams 14 of inverted T-shaped section are Welded along the upper webs 10a of every opposed row or alternate opposed rows of frames 10 (note FIG. 3) and these beams are carried by cables 1'6 extending from supporting structure not shown. For example, the vertical webs 14a of the beams 14 may be on 48-inch centers, for frames that are nominally 24 inches square. A gap of one inch is allowed between all opposed edges of flanges 10b, in an example, and the corners of those flanges are rounded at a radius of one inch.
Between a pair of beams 14 that are welded at a oneframe spacing, there is a catwalk 20 of expanded metal resting on the frames It).
Between anotherpair of beams 14 in FIG. 3, there is a lighting truck 22 that spans two frames 1%, shown also in FIGS. 4 and 5. Where two-frame separation of the beams occurs, the frames 10 are supported further by angle-iron parts 24- whose edges are welded to the flanges 16a of four frames 10, in confronting pairs.
Lighting unit 24 includes a pair of triangular end frames 2%, welded to a horizontal member 28, as of 1 /2 pipe. Four casters 3t) at the corners of the unit 24 ride along the horizontal webs of beams 14. A pair of locking screws 32 are threaded into brackets 34 at the bottom of each frame 26 and bear outward against respective vertical flanges 14a of beams 14-.
Fittings 36 are provided in bar 28. Each fitting is centered above a respective frame 16 (FIG. 5) and has 1 a vertical bore 36a in which a shaft 38 is slidably received.
Locking screw 4i) in fitting 38 seizes shaft 33 to retain it in any desirable adjusted position. A lamp house 42 is carried by shaft 38, of proportions to be lowered through frames 10 if so desired, remaining suspended on shaft 38. Lamp house 42 has all the details of construction needed for aiming it in any. desired direction in a vertical plane, and horizontal adjustment is aflorded by rotating shaft 38 in fitting 35.
In FIG. 1, the ceiling is shown as supporting a pair of panels 46. Each panel is fastened to a pair of closely spaced parallel sheet-metal parts 48 which, in turn, are united to shafts 5d. As best seen in FIG. 6, shafts 53 form part of a bogey that affords readily movable support for the panels supported thereby. Shaft 50 has an upper reduced portion 50a affording a shoulder 52. Discs 54, 54a, 56 and sleeve 62 are disposed on shaft portion Stia. A retaining ring 69 fits in a groove in shaft portion 56a and overlies part of disc 52. Sleeve 62 separates discs 54 and 54a and transmits the load from shaft 5t retaining ring 6% and disc 54a to bearing units comprising large balls 66 contained in cases 68 and having a ball-bearing unit use above ball 66.
Discs 52 and $4 are held in assembly to each other by screws 54, only one of which is shown. The case or pocket 68 is in the form of a hollow cupped piece that opens downward to expose ball 66, and has a constricted ball-retaining lip 68a. Pocket 68 also has an outward retaining flange 68b, that is gripped between discs 54 and 56.
Screws 64 hold cover plate 70 (below disc 56) against a felt part 72. Suitable openings in felt 72 expose balls 66 but exclude dirt. Six ball-and-pocket units 66, 68 are included in a highly successful form of bogey. This appears to be a minimum. A larger number of units 66, 68 may be used, but the balls 66 would tend to become smaller and large balls are preferable.
Panels 46 can be moved easily from place to place merely by pulling them to the desired positions. As shown in FIG. 1, two of the bogeys in FIG. 6 can be used to support a panel parallel to one track defined by the spaced flanges 10b of frames 10, or two bogeys may occupy different, intersecting tracks, where the panel is to hang at an angle to the tracks. During travel of the bogeys along the tracks, ball-units 66, 68 ride on flanges 19b of confronting frames 10, while discs 54, 54a and 56 roll easily when engaging either flange 100. There is a small clearance between these discs and webs 10c, and a larger clearance is allowed between shaft 50 and the edges of flanges 10b. By virtue of the foregoing construction, the bogeys described provide excellent support and easy adjustment for panels 46.
46. The trucks may be locked in place by screws 32 bearing against flanges 14a, and may assume a position over confronting flanges of two frames 10 (FIG. 4) or over an opening in a frame (FIGS. 3 and as may be suitable for directing the light beam down through a frame opening; or the lighting unit 42 may be lowered bodily on its supporting shaft 38 into or through one of the frames 10.
Discs S4 and 56 are separate elements so as to grip the flanges 68b of the ball-and-socket elements 66, 68; but discs 54 and 56 may be treated as one. The latter composite disc and disc 54a are vertically spaced apart and of equal diameter. This limits the tilt of panel-suspending rod 50, and tends to stabilize the panels; and it also facilitates the job of relocating the panels, which on occasion can only be grasped at a point well below the level of the bogeys and tracks. If any difficulty should develop in this respect, catwalks 20 make it an easy matter to reach through any frame opening to grasp any rod 50 right at the ceiling level for applying effective effort in freeing the bogey.
Flanges 1% have generally straight edges, but the corners are rounded for assured clearance from rod 50 as any bogey is shifted from one track, around a corner, to an intersecting track.
The foregoing is an illustrative embodiment of the invention which has been described in detail, is highly successful and is presently preferred. However, it is apparent that those skilled in the art may readily make substitutions and modifications, and may variously apply the novel features in this particular embodiment. Consequently, the invention should be broadly construed, consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Display apparatus including a ceiling structure and means for adjustably suspending panels therefrom, said ceiling structure including a rectangular matrix of open frames each frame having four sides, each said side including a vertical opening-forming web and a horizontal flange that extends from the lower edge of the web outward relative to the frame of which it is a part, the flanges of the sides of all said frames being coplanar and each said flange being spaced from the confronting flange of a juxtaposed side of the adjacent frame in the matrix by a limited, uniform separation, and panel-supporting bogeys between the confronting webs of the juxtaposed sides of adjacent frames, each bogey including a suspension member extending through the space between confronting flanges, vertical-axis vertically spaced discs rotatably se cured to said suspension member and having circular edges adapted to bear against the confronting webs of said frames, the juxtaposed sides of adjacent suspension member being coaxial with said disc, and the lowermost disc of each bogey having at least six supporting balls that bear on the upper surfaces of said flanges.
2. Display apparatus for adjustably supporting depending objects, including a ceiling having intersecting tracks defined by confronting vertical webs and mutually spaced horizontal coplanar flanges, and panel-supporting bogeys each including a pair of vertically separated discs having a common vertical axis, said discs being disposed between confronting webs, at least six load-bearing bells in ball retaining means in one of said discs directed down and bearing against said flanges, and an object-suspending member depending coaxially from said discs through the space between the flanges forming said intersecting tracks, said discs being rotatably secured to said panel-suspending member and having less clearance from said webs than the clearance between said panel-suspending member and said flanges.
3. Display apparatus including a ceiling structure incorporating crossed suspension bogey tracks and openings framed by said tracks through which lighting units may operate, said bogey tracks including paired flanges extending along two mutually crossing groups of lines in a horizontal plane, each pair of flanges being closely and uniformly spaced apart, and webs upstanding from the respective flanges and spaced apart farther than the corresponding pair of flanges, said ceiling having successive parallel structural beams united to the tops of and supporting said bogey tracks and extending along respective bogey tracks, said beams constituting lighting-truck tracks, trucks on said tracks and lighting units adjustably carried thereby over said openings, said trucks including means adjustable to support the lighting units selectively above or below said crossed bogey tracks, and panel-supporting bogey having antifriction load support means in said tracks and suspension members depending through said bogey tracks.
4. A ceiling structure for supporting lighting trucks and scenery-carrying bogies, said ceiling structure including crossed rows of horizontally aligned individual sheet-metal frames, the sides of each frame having a vertical web defining a frame opening and each frame having a horizontal bottom flange that extends outward relative to the frame, the edges of the flanges of each frame being uniformly spaced from the edges of confronting flanges of adjacent frames and being coplanar therewith, said webs and said flanges of juxtaposed sides of adjacent frames defining intersecting bogey tracks, and means including a succession of parallel beams uniting said frames with the flanges thereof spaced as aforesaid and said beams being secured to the upper sides of said frames, said beams having upper rail portions for wheels of lighting trucks.
5. A ceiling structure including a pattern of individual rectangular frames, each frame having outwardly extending flanges aligned with the corresponding flanges of all the other frames in a horizontal plane, the confronting edges of the flanges of adjacent frames being separated by a limited spacing that is uniform throughout the cell- 'ing structure and defining an unobstructed rectangular system of tracks for bogeys, and overhead means united to said frames and forming the sole means for uniting said frames in said pattern, and means supporting said united frames at an elevated horizontal position as a ceiling structure incorporating a system of suspension bogey tracks.
6. A ceiling structure, including a pattern of frames arranged in intersecting rows, said frames having side members disposed along two groups of parallel lines, said side members having lower flanges aligned with each other in a horizontal plane and having a uniform, limited spacing between the confronting edges of said flanges so as to form intersecting bogey tracks, and structural connecting elements united to the upper portions of said frames for securing said rows of frames in assembly as a unit, said connecting elements including a series of parallel beams united to the upper portions of pairs of said side members of adjacent rows of frames, and said beams constituting parallel tracks for lighting trucks that may be adjustably positioned on the ceiling structure for operation through said frames.
7. A ceiling structure comprising a large number of identical individual frames of sheet-metal arranged in intersecting rows, each frame having horizontally aligned upper flanges and horizontally aligned lower flanges and each side of each frame having a vertical opening-defining web interconnecting the inner edges of an upper flange and a lower flange so that each side of each frame comprises one of said upper flanges, one of said lower flanges and one of said webs interconnecting the upper and lower flanges thereof, confronting flanges of adjacent frames being spaced apart by a limited separation uniform throughout the ceiling and affording a passage for a suspension element, confronting pairs of said webs constituting bogey guiding surfaces and the upper surfaces of confronting lower flanges constituting load-bearing surfaces for said bogeys, and means uniting said frames including parallel mutually separated beams joined to the upper flanges of confronting rows of said frames.
8. Display apparatus, including a ceiling structure in accordance with claim 7, a plurality of bogeys confined between confronting webs and bearing on confronting lower flanges, and a lighting truck guided by said beams and means for clamping said truck to said beams in any adjusted location.
9. A ceiling structure, including a pattern of frames of uniform size arranged in successive rows, the frames having side members disposed in alignment with each other along first and second groups of crossed parallel lines, said side members having flanges aligned with each other in a common horizontal plane and said flanges having a uniform, limited spacing between their confronting edges so as to form intersecting bogey tracks, and means connecting said frames into a unitary structure, said connecting means including successive beams extending along said first group of parallel lines and united to the upper portions of only certain adjacent pairs of side members of adjacent frames, said beams constituting tracks for lighting trucks that may be adjustably positioned on the ceiling structure for operation through said frames, said supporting means further including elongated structural members extending along said second group of parallel lines, said structural members being united to the upper portions of the side members of successive ones of those frames which have side members parallel to said beams but not secured thereto.
10. Apparatus for adjustably supporting depending objects, including tracks having intersections, each track having mutually spaced confronting upstanding walls and horizontal flanges closely spaced-apart and extending toward each from said walls and defining crossed passages for a bogey, and a bogey including a disc containing a downward-directed series of at least six load-bearing balls, said disc having means for rotatably securing said balls therein with a portion of each ball projecting downward from the lower face of the disc, said flanges being in engagement with and constituting supporting surfaces for said downward projecting portions of said balls, and a load-bearing rod rotatably connected to said disc coaxial therewith and depending from said disc through the space between said closely spaced-apart flanges, said disc being disposed between said confronting upstanding walls and having less clearance therefrom than the clearance between said rod and said flanges.
11. Apparatus for adjustably supporting depending objects, including tracks having intersections, each track having portions providing mutually spaced confronting upstanding surfaces and having horizontal flanges closely spaced apart and collectively defining crossed passages for a bogey, and a bogey including a disc containing a series of at least six load-bearing balls, said disc having means for rotatably securing said balls therein with a portion of each ball projecting downward from the lower face of the disc, said flanges being in engagement with and constituting supporting surfaces for said downward projecting portions of said balls, and a load-bearing rod rotatably connected to said disc coaxial therewith and depending from said disc through the space between said confronting edges of said flanges, said bogey including an element having a vertical axis along said rod and being rotatable on said rod and engageable in rolling contact with said upstanding surfaces of said tracks.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,034,714 8/ 12 Kindleberger 272-24 1,424,502 8/22 McLendon et al 16-97 1,533,337 4/25 Purdy et al 272-23 1,631,488 6/27 Jones 240-3 1,712,562 5/29 Jeffers 16-91 1,889,112 11/32 Shoemaker 16-96 2,209,596 7/40 Brown 272-22 2,688,931 9/54 Spaflord 104-98 2,893,235 7/59 Goldberg 50-121 2,975,512 3/61 SOmes 240-3 3,056,360 10/62 Burmeister et al 104-88 FOREIGN PATENTS 753,056 7/33 France.
1946 3/00 Great Britain.
HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner.
BENJAMIN BENDETT, WILLIAM I. MUSHAKE,