US 3291547 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 13, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 10, 1965 m R w w M F V E W N H mm m Y B w w 20- g N N II mm 9 A 'T'T RNE'YS Dec. 13, 1966 J. E. FOSTER FILING CABINET WITH MOVABLE DRAWER 4 Sheets-$heet Filed May 10,
JOHN E. FOSTER @W @M/ 63%? 6M ATTORNEYS Dec. 13, 1966 J. E. FOSTER FILING CABINET WITH MOVABLE DRAWER 4 Sheets-$heet Filed May 10, 1965 l N VliN TOR.
JOHN E. FOSTER ATTORNEYS J. E. FOSTER CABINET WITH MOVABLE DRAWER 4 Sheets-Sheet Dec. 13, 1966 FILING Filed May 10, 1965 [N VISA/TORv [3y JOHN E. FOSTER A TTOQNEYS Patented Dec. 13, 1966 3,291,547 FILING CAlHNET WITH MGVABLE DRAWER John E. Foster, Angola, N.Y., assignor to Art Metal Inc., Jamestown, NY. Filed May 10, 1965, Ser. No. 454,387 3 Claims. (Cl. 312-331) This invention relates to filing cabinets or the like, of the type comprising a shell or casing adapted to receive a drawer or drawers in horizontal sliding relation therein. More particularly, the present invention relates to improved means for suspending the drawer relative to the shell, and to an improved modular type filing cabinet construction, and drawer locking means therefor.
Previously popular drawer suspension arrangements have typically employed cantilever arms running on slides or rollers relative to horizontal rails provided on the inside walls of the cabinet shell, while the drawers are slidably supported relative to the suspension arms. The parts are arranged so that the arms move part-way out of the cabinet as the drawer is pulled out, thereby providing cantilever-extending support means for the drawer as the latter is pulled out of the cabinet. However, when the drawer is fully loaded and pulled fully out of the cabinet the loads on the suspension mechanisms are such that unless the mechanisms are carefully designed and built strong enough to accommodate such loads (thereby making them expensive) the drawers will not be adequately supported, and in any case such mechanisms are usually noisy and subject to rapid wear.
In other prior art type drawer support arrangements, during the last few inches of travel of the drawer it tends to bind in its support, due to the fact that at this stage a very considerable part of the weight of the drawer and its contents is transmitted by the rear portion of the drawer to the top front portion of the cabinet shell. This is because the overhanging weight of the drawer develops a turning moment about the lower front edge structure of the shell as an axis. To minimize the distortion effects which this turning moment exercises on the casing it is requisite to provide a suspension system for the drawer which transmits the weight and turning movements of the drawer (when extended) back to the rear end portion of the casing. Several such rear-end support systems have been previously proposed, but have not been found practicable, usually because they have been too bulky and mechanically complicated, and have been diflicult to properly install and service.
Therefore, the present invention has for a primary object to provide in a filing cabinet as improved drawer suspension system which gives an improved weight support and load distribution; and which is rugged and foolproof in operation, but which is inexpensive to manufacture and install and service; and which compactly nests into the cabinet and therefor requires minimum space in the cabinet.
Another object is to provide an improved form of "modular filing cabinet construction, and an improved drawer locking system therefor.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the accompanying specification and from the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary front elevational view (partly broken away) of a series of modular filing cabinets of the invention in vertically stacked relation, and showing each cabinet having its own and separate drawer locking mechanism;
FIG. 2 is a horizontal sectional view taken as along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of a single cabinet I and drawer unit taken as along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and
showing in solid lines the cabinet front cover in closed position, and by broken lines the drawer in pulled-out fully extended position;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view corresponding to a portion of FIG. 3 but showing the cabinet cover in open and stowed-away position;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged scale View of the drawer locking mechanism encircled at 5 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken as suggested by lines 66 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a view corresponding to FIG. 3 but showing a modified form of construction wherein a single cabinet shell houses a pair of filing drawers; and
FIG. 8 is a view corresponding to the left hand side portion of FIG. 1, showing adaptation of the drawer locking mechanisms to a system whereby all of the drawers of a plurality of vertically stacked modules may be simultaneously locked and unlocked by means of a ingle lock and key arrangement.
As shown in FIGS. 1, 8 of the drawing herewith, the filing cabinet arrangement of the present invention may be embodied in a filing system comprising a pluraltiy of modular type cabinet shells or casings individually designated generally at 10. Each casing 10 is dimensioned and constructed to accommodate in sliding relation therein a single filing drawer as indicated generally at 12. The drawers are illustrated herein as being of the open front transverse filing type, and thus each essentially comprises a bottom plate 14, opposite side plates 15, 15 and a back plate 16. Thus the drawer is of open tray-like form, adapted to accommodate in side-by-side vertically standing relation pluralities of correspondence filing folders, booklets, or the like. In each case the cabinet casing 11 is illustrated to be of the wrap-around shell type to comprise essentially an open front box-like structure formed of sheet metal or the like to include a bottom plate 17, opposite side plates 1818, a back plate 19, and a top plate 20. As shown in the drawing herewith, a relatively low-height cap compartment designated 21 may be mounted integrally with and on top of the uppermost cabinet structure 10 to accommodate the drawer locking mechanism, as will be explained more fully hereinafter. Similarly, a sub-base member of box-like form as illustrated at 22 may be disposed under the lowermost cabinet casing, to raise the lower filing cabinet drawer away from the floor. It will be appreciated that provision and use of the cap and base members 21, 22 is optional, and may also be readily fabricated of sheet metal parts. Thus, it will be appreciated that pluralities of the modular type cabinets may be readily disposed in vertically stacked relation as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 7, 8 simply by resting one cabinet on top of another. Detachable interconnection devices or the like as indicated at 23 (FIGS. 3, 4, 7, 8) may be employed to lock the meeting surfaces of adjacent cabinets together so as to hold the cabinets in vertically aligned relation and against forward tipping of the top cabinet when its drawer is pulled outwardly.
It is particular feature of the present invention that the drawer 12 of each cabinet module is supported relative to the cabinet shell by means of a novel hinge type support mechanism comprising in each case, as shown in the drawing herewith, a pair of hinged plates designated 2424. One end of each front hinge plate is connected by means of a vertical pivot pin 25 to a corresponding rear corner portion of the filing drawer, and each rear hinge plate is connected at its rear end by means of a vertical pivot pin 26 to the corresponding rear vertical corner portion of the cabinet shell; each pair of hinge plates being pivotally interconnected as indicated at 27. The cabinet and filing drawer components are relatively dimensioned as shown best in FIG. 2, so that when the drawer 12 is disposed fully inside the cabinet the folded hinge devices 2424 are nested in only partially open condition inside the space between the rear wall of the drawer and the rear wall of the cabinet shell. However, as illustrated by means of broken lines in FIGS. 2, 3, 7 as the drawer is pulled outwardly through the opened front portion of the cabinet, the hinge devices open up into progressively flatter attitudes and eventually extend in substantially straight-arm cantilever manner from the rear corner portions of the cabinet to the rear corner portions of the drawer.
A drawer motion guiding and stabilizing device is preferably disposed in the space between the bottom plate of the cabinet shell and the bottom plate of the drawer, to stabilize the drawer in its various positions relative to the cabinet and to guide it against racking or yawing as it moves in and out of the cabinet. For this purpose a minimum drag slide device may be employed as shown in the drawing herewith to comprise a bearing plate 30 which is bolted or otherwise fixed to the bottom panel of the cabinet adjacent the front portion thereof, and a complementing top rail 32 which is fixed to the bottom of the drawer and is preferably disposed in friction-free relationship with the bearing plate 30 by means of ball bearings 34 held in place as by a retainer 36. However, any other suitable means may be employed in lieu of the slide guide device shown herein, to prevent the drawer from racking and binding as it moves in and out of the cabinet.
As best shown in FIGS. 2, 3 when the drawer is fully retracted within the cabinet the hinge mechanisms are accordion-folded behind the drawer whereby the torsional loading on the hinge plates are at their maximum. However, at this time the front end of the drawer is disposed immediately above the bearing member 30, whereby the bearings 34 are in optimum position relative to the front end of the drawer to back-up the load carrying ability of the hinge mechanisms at the rear end of the drawer. Then, as the drawer is pulled outwardly of the casing the hinge mechanisms open up progressively to ward straight-arm forms as illustrated by the broken lines in FIG. 2, whereby the torsional loads on the hinge plates progressively decrease while the bearing-rail devices 39, 32, 34 operate to guide the drawer against yawing relative to the cabinet shell.
When the drawer is extended as to a position substantially fully outside of the cabinet, the loads on the hinge plate and pivot members are substantially all in vertical shear. Hence, under this condition, the hinge plates and pivot connection devices, being of substantial vertical dimensions, are more than capable of resisting the drawer loadings tending to pitch the drawer relative to its intended free-running, strictly horizontal attitude. Furthermore, it will be appreciated that due to the substantial vertical extents of the pivot connection devices 25, 26,
' 27 any service wearings of the relatively moving parts are minimum and will not result in any appreciable pitching deflections of the drawer, even after long periods of service.
Thus, it will be understood that the drawer support system of the present invention provides a mechanically simplified and inexpensively manufactured mechanism capable of supporting the loads of the drawer and its contents at all positions in improved manner. Whereas the drawers have been illustrated herein as being of the transverse filing type; that is, horizontally extended for carrying cross-wise stacked correspondence folders, books, or the like; it will be understood that the hinge support mechanism may with equal facility be employed in con nection with other type filing drawers such as the more conventional in-depth type filing drawer, or the like.
As shown at 40, a front closure for each cabinet may be provided in the form of a generally rectangular-shaped panel having stiffening side flanges and carrying rollers 42-42 at their opposite upper corner portions which run in horizontal tracks 44 aifixed to the inner side walls of the shell, whereby the closures 40 are of the tilt-up-disappearing type. That is, they pivotally hang from their upper ends and may be swung outwardly and upwardly and then pressed horizontally inwardly along the tracks 44 so as to stow away inside the cabinet above the drawer space. FIG. 7 illustrates how a single closure plate 40 may provide a front cover door for a group of drawer spaces.
A locking system for the filing drawers is shown herein to comprise a single plunger type pin tumbler lock 50 located in the front face of the cap compartment 21, which is arranged so that when the plunger is pressed inwardly to snap into locked position it pulls upon cables 52 running in opposite directions and then over pulleys 5454 and downwardly into connection with brackets 56-56 which vertically slide within channels inside the shell casing and alongside the side walls of the drawer. The brackets 56 are formed with inclined cam surfaces 58 which, whenever the brackets are lifted as from the unlocked broken line positions thereof in the drawing at FIG. 5 to the solid line positions thereof, the cam surfaces press pivoted lock dogs 60 into apertures formed in the adjacent side walls 15 of the drawer 12, thereof locking the drawer in the cabinet. Then upon release of the lock plunger (by inserting and turning a key therein) the lock spring displaces the lock plunger outwardly thereby relaxing the upward pull on cables 5252 whereby the weights of the bracket 56 cause them to fall and release the lock dogs 60 from engagement with the drawer. Tension springs 62 or the like may be added if desired to make the lock release action more positive. Note that with this lock system knockdown shipments and field assemblies and functional rearrangements of the filing cabinet modules are facilitated. As shown best for example in FIG. 8, when modules are vertically stacked it is a simple matter to connect depending lock cables 66 to the brackets 56 of the module thereabove to extend therefrom to the lower lock brackets 56 whereby a vertical chain of lock actuating cables is established for simultaneous locking control of all of the filing drawers in a vertical stack by means of a single lock and key arrangement.
It will of course be appreciated that although only a few forms of the invention have been illustrated and described herein by way of example, various changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claims.
1. In a filing device comprising a cabinet housing a filing drawer adapted for bodily'movement horizontally through an open front portion of said cabinet, a drawer suspension mechanism comprising in combination, a pair of hinge devices each comprising a pair of vertically extending hinge plates interconnected in articulated relation by means of a first pivot connection device having a vertically extended axis of pivoting, a second pivotal connection device mounting thefree vertical end portion of one of said hinge plates to a rear portion of said drawer throughout a substantial vertical height thereof, a third pivotal connection device mounting the free vertical end portion of the other of said hinge plates to a rear wall portion of said cabinet throughout a substantial vertical height thereof, and guide means disposed at the front portion and centrally of said cabinet and supporting the underside of said drawer to guide and directionally stabilize the latter when moving in and out of said cabinet while suspended relative thereto by means of said hinge devices.
2. In a filing device comprising a cabinet housing a filing drawer adapted for bodily movement horizontally through an open front portion of said cabinet, a drawer suspension mechanism comprising in combination, a pair of hinge devices each comprising a pair of vertically extending hinge plates interconnected at adjacent ends in hinged relation by means of a first pivot connection device having a vertically extended axis of pivoting, a second pivotal connection device mounting the other end of one of said hinge plates to a rear portion of said drawer, a third pivotal connection device mounting the other end of the other of said hinge plates to a rear wall portion of said cabinet, and guide means disposed at the front portion and centrally of said cabinet and supporting the underside of said drawer to guide and directionally stabilize the latter when moving in and out of said cabinet while suspended relative thereto by means of said hinge devices.
3. In a filing device comprising a cabinet housing a filing drawer adapted for bodily movement horizontally through an open side portion of said cabinet, a drawer suspension mechanism comprising in combination, a hinge device comprising a pair of vertically extending hinge plates interconnected at adjacent ends in hinged relation by means of a first pivot connection device having a vertically extended axis of pivoting, a second pivotal connection device mounting the other end portion of one of said hinge plates to a rear portion of said drawer and connected thereto throughout a substantial vertical height thereof, a third pivotal connection device mounting the other end portion of the other of said hinge plates to a wall portion of said cabinet and connected thereto throughout a substantial vertical height thereof, and guide 6 means disposed at the front portion and centrally of said cabinet and supporting the underside of said drawer to guide and directionally stabilize the latter when moving in and out of said cabinet while suspended relative thereto by means of said hinge device.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 564,401 7/1896 Wernicke 312-109 732,971 7/1903 Stoefiler 312-219 874,581 12/1907 Flood 312-331 921,212 5/1909 Fassett 312-334 1,014,392 1/1912 Hawley 312-334 1,036,442 8/1912 Bullock 312-107.5 1,073,274 9/1913 Millice 312-218 1,225,294 5/1917 Weiss 312-219 1,285,209 11/1918 Jones 312107.5 1,607,441 11/1926 Collen 312-334 2,074,371 3/1937 Cummings 312-343 X FOREIGN PATENTS 6,291 1908 Great Britain.
CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.
CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Examiner.