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Publication numberUS3234896 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 15, 1966
Filing dateSep 19, 1963
Priority dateSep 19, 1963
Publication numberUS 3234896 A, US 3234896A, US-A-3234896, US3234896 A, US3234896A
InventorsGeorge Bonsall
Original AssigneeBro Dart Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Utilitarian furniture structure
US 3234896 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 15, 1966 G. BONSALL UTILITARIAN FURNITURE STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 19, 1963 INVENTOR: Gzoaaz Bcwsn L L ,flw-JW Feb. 15, 1966 BQNSALL 3,234,896

UTILITARIAN FURNITURE STRUCTURE Fil ed Sept. 19, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent Ofi ice 3,234,896 Patented Feb. 15, 1966 York Filed Sept. 19, 1963, Ser. No. 309,927 1 Claim. (Cl. 108111) This invention relates generally to articles of furniture, and has particular reference to structures intended to serve utilitarian purposes in workrooms and the like.

It is a general object of the invention to provide simple but sturdy articles of furniture composed of inexpensive component parts and whose manufacture can be carried on in a thoroughly practicable manner and at low cost. Another object is to provide component elements whose nature is such that they may be readily furnished in a variety of sizes, and adapted to be assembled in selected different ways to form useful structures well suited to serve a wide variety of workroom purposes. Such structures can be efiiciently used, for example, to provide rnulti-shelved units, work benches and tables, pedestal pieces, and many other kinds of functional installations. Mobility can be imparted with ease, if desired, by means of casters, since the structures are relatively light in weight.

In accordance with this invention a strong but basically simple structure can be composed of nothing more than a series of flat planar rectangular units, and connecting dowels. The flat elements serve as uprights and horizontals, the upper and lower edges of the upright abutting against the bottom and top surfaces of the adjacent horizontals arranged directly above and below, respec tively, and the connecting dowels are mounted in specially arranged sets of aligned openings in the abutting surfaces. When used in a shelved article, the horizontals serve admirably as the shelves and the uprights as end walls and intermediate dividers or props.

Because of the unadorned flatness and simplicity of the rectangular elements, great versatility is afforded by the ready possibility of providing these elements in a variety of lengths and widths. They can be formed of wood, but great economies and increased efficiency are achievable by making the basic rectangular elements of a pressed or molded composition, preferably tiny wood chips or the like embedded in tough plastic. Cut in sheets, such a material is stiff and rugged and well able to withstand rough usage over long periods of time. Moreover, it can stand up under the spills, bumps and knocks of workroom routine, yet it can be made attractive in appearance with a mellow neutral color and a natural lustre that requires neither paint nor finish.

The structures which may be provided by means of this invention can be readily dismantled, if desired, for shipment, storage, or redesigned assembly, and this is an added advantage that contributes to the practical benefits which the invention affords.

Several practical workroom units embodying the features of the invention are illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a multi-shelved unit with center dividers;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded view of some of the elements of which the unit of FIGURE 1 is composed;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view along the plane and in the direction designated 33 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view along the line 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURES 5 and 6 are perspective views of other types of articles; and

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-section along the line 7-'i of FIGURE 3.

The shelved article of furniture shown in FIGURES l-4 is composed of a plurality of planar horizontals 10' each of which is completely flat on both sides, and rectangular in general outline. Each element is provided with a series of holes extending entirely through it, the holes in the illustrated case including four holes 11 parallel to and adjacent to each shorter edge of the panel, and a pair of holes 12 in the central region of the panel and space-d in the longitudinal direction.

Extending between the horizontal elements 10, directly adjacent to their opposite ends, are a series of rectangular vertical elements 13, each of which is also completely fiat on both sides. Each of these elements is interposed between adjacent horizontals 10, with its upper and lower edges abutting directly against the bottom and top surfaces of the adjacent horizontal elements 10, respectively. Holes are provided in these upperand lower edges, in spaced relations corresponding exactly to the spacing between the holes 11. The holes visible in FIGURE 2, in the upper edges of the upright elements 13, are designated 14.

A similar set of uprights 15 is provided to extend between the horizontal elements 10 in the central region of the structure. Each of the elements 15 is entirely fiat on each side, and rectangular in outline. Its upper and lower edges are provided with holes aligned with the holes 12 in the central regions of the horizontal panels 10. To hold the structure together, dowels extend between each set of aligned holes. These dowels are indicated at 16 in FIGURES 3 and 4. The dowels connecting the uppermost horizontal element to the uprights beneath it are slightly shorter than the other dowels, so that their upper ends will lie flush with the top surface of the upper horizontal panel 10.

A suitable base assembly can be provided, to retain the lowermost horizontal shelf element It} slightly above the level of the floor. One illustrative base is illustrated, comprising rectangular upright elements 17 lying in the plane of the uprights 13, and an upright element 18 extending at right angles and underlying the central longitudinal axis of the lowermost shelt element 10. For added strength, the opposite ends of the element 18 may be mortised into appropriate cut-outs provided in the uprights 17, as best indicated in FIGURE 2. The upper edges of the vertical elements 17 are provided with openings or holes 19 aligned with those in the element 10 directly above; and the upper edge of the longitudinal up right 18 is similarly provided with openings ali ned with the holes 12 directly above it. Dowels extend through these aligned holes to hold the parts in assembled relationship.

In the structure illustrated, the uprights 15 serve as dividers extending in a longitudinal direction, and positioned only in the central region of the structure. It will be readily understood that, if desired, these dividers or props might be arranged adjacent to one or the other longitudinal edge, or might extend parallel to the uprights 13. In fact, dividers or props or partitions of any desired size or arrangement can be employed, being retained in desired positions by aligned holes and by dowels extending through them, as hereinbefore described.

In similar fashion, structures having other utilitarian purposes may be provided, using the same basic mode of association of horizontals, uprights, and dowels. Thus, in FIGURE 5 a structure is shown in which the lower part 19 is a shelved unit similar to that hereinbefore described, while the upper part is a unit in which end uprights 20 and intermediate upright 21 extend between horizontals 22 which are somewhat narrower than the horizontals 19 of the lower part of the device. A series of vertical partitions, assembled in similar fashion, may be provided for as indicated at 24, and some additional horizontals 25 may also be employed alongside the partitioned area 24.

Similarly, FIGURE 6 shows a work table or desk-like unit in which two pedestal units 26 are assembled in a manner similar to that described in connection with FIG- URES 14, these shelved units 26 being of equal height and arranged in horizontally spaced relation, whereby a table top 27 can be supported on them to span the gap between them and to provide a useful work surface.

By means of this invention, furniture structures and installations of sturdy wear-resistant character can be produced rapidly and at low cost, requiring no nails or screws, and no adhesive. The units illustrated are of course purely illustrative, and it will be understood that many of the details herein described may be modified by those skilled in the art without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claim.

What is claimed is:

In a furniture structure defining a multi-shelved unit, an assembly comprising planar horizontal rectangular elements defining shelves, said elements being provided with first sets of vertical holes along the short edges and with a second set of vertical holes in the medial region arranged in a line parallel to the longitudinal edges, said second set of holes being appreciably spaced from both 10 longitudinal edges of said shelf elements, planar vertical rectangular elements defining shelf ends, said elements being provided with vertical holes in their end edges spaced to register with said first sets of holes, planar vertical rectangular elements defining dividers, said elements being provided with holes in their end edges spaced to register with said second set of holes, said dividers being substantially shorter in length than said shelves, and a connecting dowel within each pair of registering holes, all of said elements being structurally united solely by said dowels.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,251,720 1/1918 Wege 312-495 2,582,553 1/1952 McMurtrie 312-111 2,645,545 7/1953 Rozaffy 312-108 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1251720 *Mar 25, 1915Jan 1, 1918Metal Office Furniture CompanyDesk.
US2582553 *Aug 17, 1949Jan 15, 1952Ferdinand Furniture Company InSectional toy furniture
US2645545 *May 10, 1950Jul 14, 1953Didier RozaffyArticle of furniture
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3365848 *Jan 11, 1965Jan 30, 1968Maurice PigetSectionable panel
US3848942 *Mar 22, 1973Nov 19, 1974L FaniniModule for furniture development
US3948581 *Jul 2, 1974Apr 6, 1976Helman Philip LKnockdown furniture assemblies
US3961586 *Aug 19, 1974Jun 8, 1976Claude BernardShelving
US4108514 *Oct 18, 1977Aug 22, 1978Dual Gebruder SteidingerPhonostand
US4109328 *Jul 29, 1977Aug 29, 1978M & S Industries, Inc.Modular furniture system
US4418967 *Jul 31, 1981Dec 6, 1983Winkelman Jr Henry TWaffle furniture system
US5343816 *Aug 24, 1992Sep 6, 1994Sideris Xen NRevolving bookcase
US8567615 *Aug 2, 2011Oct 29, 2013Sheila O. RaineyModular stackable shoe organizer kit
US20120242200 *Mar 22, 2011Sep 27, 2012Rukshan KeragalaModular Interior Design System
U.S. Classification108/60, 312/195, 312/111
International ClassificationA47B87/02, A47B87/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B87/0246
European ClassificationA47B87/02B3