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Publication numberUS3292321 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1966
Filing dateDec 24, 1963
Priority dateDec 24, 1963
Publication numberUS 3292321 A, US 3292321A, US-A-3292321, US3292321 A, US3292321A
InventorsVander Schans Paul A
Original AssigneeVander Schans Paul A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mobile partition
US 3292321 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


2 Sheets-Sheet 1 EY i D0@ N `.w .VM 07 .10A AM .Lww U 0 @n E P. A. VANDER SCHANS MOBILE PARTITION Dec. 2o, 1966 Filed D80. 24. 1965 Dec- 20, 1966 P. A. VANDER scHANs 3,292,321

MOBILE PARTITION Filed Dec. 24, 1963 2 sheets-sheet 2 Para 56 42 few m IU [U76 5&)2756 8; y 56) G.. 4Z 3M +4@ @wm-, ff/44 a@ X l K k M 34 mii/45 45+ "Hm 4W/*W40 INVENTOR. PAUL A. M14/05H 5CH/ws United States Patent O 3,292,321 MOBILE PARTITION Paul A. Vander Schans, Anaheim, Calif. (930 Maryland Drive, Vista, Calif. 92083) Filed Dec. 24, 1963, Ser. No. 333,108

6 Claims. (Cl. 52-122) This invention is directed to a mobile partition comprising a plurality of panels adapted to be set one against the other and between wall and ceiling to form a room dividing partition.

In modern planning of public meeting rooms flexibility is required to permit the assembly of mobile partitions within 'a large room to subdivide it into two or more smaller rooms. By this means room size is exible and the number of smaller rooms available to house groups meeting therein may be adjusted in accordance with requirements. Committee and club meetings as well as conventions meeting en masse or in committee present different requirements with -respect to the number and sizes of rooms. A plurality of diierent types of mobile partitions are available on the commercial market today, but none presents the optimum combination of ease of flexibility and assembly together with a solid appearance and soundproof function when assembled in place. Many meeting rrooms used for public assembly are provided with tracked ceilings across which may be drawn paneled doors hinged together. These doors are not soundproof and do not present the appearance of a permanent wall. Other designs of mobile partition panels extend between floor and ceiling and are edgewise secured together to present moderate soundproof qualities, together with the appearance of a solid wall. These panels however are relatively difficult to set into place. Normally either the top or bottom member must be jacked by jack screws so that the partition panel tightly engages both the floor and the ceiling. In other cases an air inatable member is pumped up to secure the partition panel between the floor and ceiling. In this case a special compressor is needed, and there is not much heightwise exibility for variations in ceiling heights. Each of the prior art structures presents practical disadvantages to the appearance, function or installation of such partitions. Y

Accordingly it is `an object of this invention to provide a mobile partition comprised of panels which are light and easily installed in rooms with modest ceiling height variations to provide a partition of excellent soundproof characteristics together with the appearance of a i'lrm, permanent partition.

It is yanother object of this invention to provide a mobile partition comprised of a plurality of panels which interlock together and have inconspicuous external manual control of the overall height of the partition so that the individual partition panels can be easily and quickly assembled into place without the use of tools or equipment.

It is another object of this invention to provide -a mobile partition panel having spring means urging the top of the panel into engagement with the ceiling, and externally controlled means for overcoming the action of the spring means to withdraw the top of the panel from Y ceiling engagement.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a study of the following portion of the speciiication, the claims and the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a plurality of mobile partition panels in accordance with this invention set in place side by side;

7--7 of FIG. 2;


FIG. 3 is an enlarged section taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged section taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged section taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a section taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged section taken along the line FIG. 8 is an 8-8 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is an 9 9 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of a portion of the top corner of the panel of this invention with portions cut away; and

FIG. ll is an enlarged section taken along the line 11-11 of FIG. 2.

As an aid to understanding this invention it can be stated in essentially summary form that it is directed to a mobile partition comprised of individual panels related to each other. These panels extend from oor to ceiling when in place in the room in which they are used and are butted along their edges in any convenient, conventional way. The panels are maintained in place 4by means of having an upper rail which is spring urged upwardly wtih respect to the remainder of the panel. This upper rail is guided with respect to the panel for linear motion with respect thereto. Stops limit the upward motion of the upper rail in the direction of spring urge, and manually operable means, operable from the exterior of the panel, withdraws the upper rail by withdrawing the spring mounting to permit disengagement thereof from the ceiling. Thus, assembly of the indivdual panels into place into a partition and the disassembly thereof is easily accomplished without tools.

A more detailed understanding of this invention will -be obtained from a study of the following portion of this specification wherein the drawings are described in detail. Referring now to FIG. 1, a plurality of mobile partition panels 10 are shown in edgewise abutted relation. These panels 10 are assembled to divide a room which has a floor 12, ceiling 14 Iand wall 16. ln placing the panels 10 into a room to form a partition, the panel adjacent to wall 16 is first placed in the proper location, and additional panels are added in edgewise Ibutt relationship. While plain, flat panels are shown, it is clear that corner panels are possible in addition to panels containing doors or windows. Inasmuch as this invention is directed to the panel construction, and the construction is applicable to panels having different configuration than plain, at panels, the use of this construction in other types of panels is readily seen.

As is seen from FIGS. 2 and 3 the panel 10 comprises enlarged section taken along the line enlarged section taken along the line first and second uprights 18 and 20 and fixed cross rails.

22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and. 32 secured therebetween. As is seen in FIGS. 8 and 9 uprights 18 and 20 are comprised of separate upright members separated by a spacer member and secured in such a configuration as to respectively form groove and tongue uprights. Upright 18 is comprised of first and second upright members 34 and 36 separated by groove-forming spacer 38. Groove forming spacer 38 is recessed behind the edges of upright member 34 and 36 so. as to form the appropriate groove. Similarly the upright 20 shown in FIG. 9 is formed of upright members 40 and 42 spaced from each other by means of tongue spacer 44 positioned therebetween. Tongue spacer 44 extends beyond the termination edges of upright members 40 and 42 to form a tongue of suitable dimension to properly t within the groove formed by groove spacer 38. Fixed cross rail 26 is comprised of individual cross rail members 46 and 48 which abut the upright members 34, 36, 40 and 42 and engage upon the outside of groove spacer 38 and tongue spacer 44. All such joints are glued, or secured by any convenient, Iirm means. The number of cross rails is determined by the mechanical requirements for supporting the hardware, as is hereinafter described, and by the desired or required rigidity of the panel. Such is the function of the overall height of the panel.

'I'he bottom fixed cross rail 22 is of slightly different construction so that the bottom can be entirely closed. As is seen in FIGS. and 6, the bottom ixed cross rail 22 is a solid piece extending the full width from the outside of upright member 40 to the outside of the upright member 42. The end of the bottom xed cross rail 22 is seen in FIGS.5 and 6 is the end corresponding to the tongue side of the panel 10, and accordingly the rail 22 is cut out to extend between the upright members 40 and 42 and extend past the edges thereof to form a tongue coextensive in the widthwise direction of panel with the tongue spacer 44. Furthermore, the bottom fixed cross rail 22 has a longitudinal slot over its entire length along the bottom side, and in this slot is secured a compressible friction strip 50 adapted to resiliently engage `the floor 12 when the panel is in place. The strip 50 is preferably of elastomeric material, and may ei-ther be tubular or foamed in structure. The frictional engagement of strip 50 with the oor aids in maintaining the panel in place, and its resiliency permits engagement with floors which are not completely even.

In order to aid the soundproof character of the panels of this invention, they are preferably iilled with sound absorbent material 52 in one or more of the spaces between the uprights and the xed cross rails.` This sound absorbent material may be of any convenient and conventional type, but is preferably polymer composition material foamed in place so that it has adhesive character with respect to the uprights and the fixed cross rails as well as to the skin of the panel. Skin 54 and 56 is adhesively secured to the sides of the uprights 18 and 20 and to the sides of the fixed cross rails, as Well as preferably being adhesively secured to the sound absorbent material 52. With such overall support, the skin 54 and 56 may be of relatively light material and yet provide tremendous rigidity to the panel structure and be suiciently well supported to give a solid feel to the panel.

The skin 54 and 56 may be of any convenient material depending on the appearance desired. Accordingly it may be of relatively thin wood ply material, or mayl be light metallic sheet. Furthermore, sheets of polymer composition material may be used, if such an elect is desired. The skin 54 and the skin 56fare co-extensive with the outer edges of uprights 18 and 20 and with the bottom of bottom fixed cross rail 22 so that when a plurality of panels 10 are assembled adjacent each other, the skin gives a substantially continuous appearance.

The structurethus far described concerns the major portion of the mobile partition panel of this invention, and relates to its rigid structure. The top of the mobile partition panel 10 is resiliently urged upwards with respect to the portion of the panel hereinbefore described, so that it is urged against the ceiling 14 when the panel is in place. Mechanism is arranged to retract the upper portion of the panel so that the panel may be set in place and removed therefrom without inconvenience. As is seen in FIGS. 3, 4, 10 and 1l, the movable upper portion of panel 10 comprises an upper rail 58 which has a groove cut longitudinally thereof for the entire width of panel 10, and the groove carries another piece of friction material 60, which, similar to friction strip 50, is of resilient, elastomeric character and is preferably in the form of a hollow tube or an expanded foam strip. The function of the strip 60 is to frictionally engage the ceiling 14 when the panel 10 is set in place, and Ithe strip 60 should be suiposition so that the panel 10 presents a neat appearance.

Secured to the upper cross rail 58 is the upper cross rail brace 66. Brace 66 is of such length as to provide a slip t inside the uprights 18 and 20 and of such width as to provide a slip lit inside the skin layers 54 and 56. Upper cross rail 58 is positioned in such a manner with respect to the previously described structure that the upper cross` rail brace 66 slidably fits within the skin secured thereto and between the uprights. Keys 68 and 70 are secured within suitable recesses within the brace 66 and extend downwardly therefrom to aid in the guidance of upper cross rail 58. As is seen in FIG. 4, the key 68 is positioned in slip lit relationship between upright members 40 and 42. Similarly, key 70 is positioned in slip Yfit relationship between upright'members 34` and 36. Slots between these upright members in which the respective keys are slip fit are provided by the termination lof the groove spacer 38 and the tongue spacer 44 below the upper termination of their respective upright members.

An additional cross rail in the form of spring seat 72,I

generally of the same dimensions as brace 66, is positioned between the keys 68 and 70, between the skin members 54 and 56 and between the uprights 18 and 20. Thus spring seat 72, like the brace `66, is movable vertically with respect to the panel 10, but is restrained in the widthwise and crosswise direction'of the panel.

70. As is seen in FIGS. 3 and 1l, bolts 74 limit the separation of brace 66 and spring seat 72. Bolts 74 are posi-` 28 and 30. Toggle 80 is open to the outside through an` opening in skin 54 to permit manual access to the toggle lever positioned therein.

The toggle lever is secured to the control rod by pin` 82 so that when the toggle lever 90 is down, the pin 82 is drawn downward to the position shown in FIG. 3. In`

such a position, the spring seat 72 is drawn downward and by means of tension in bolt 74 draws the upper cross rail 58 downward, out of engagement with ceiling 14. When the toggle lever is moved upward control rod 78 is thrust upward pushing the spring seat 72 upward until strip 60 is in rm engagement with ceiling 14, as is determined by the compressive force in spring 76. Further upward motion of the toggle lever thrusts the control rod upward to move spring seat 72 upward to compress spring 76. During this compression action, spring seat 72 slides upward on bolt 74 so that the vcompression in spring 76 is increased.

In use, any plurality of panels 10 are brought to the area where a partition is desired. Needless to say, the height of the partition panels must be suitable for the oor to ceiling dimension of the particular room. The movable top portion of the panels 10 can be designed in such manner that over an inch of deviation from the desired dimension can be readily accomplished. However, the panels must be used within this limit of floor to ceiling dimension. The first panel 10 is placed against the wall 16 preferably with its groove side thereagainst. When the panel 10 is located in its proper place, and .it is positioned vertically, the toggle is turned upward to thrust the elastomeric foam strip 60 against the ceiling 14 and to compress the However,` spring seat 72 is also slidable with respect to keys 68 and.

springs 76 so that the panel 10 is rigidly held in place. Thereupon an additional panel is placed adjacent to the first one in `tongue and groove relationship and its toggle is thrown to lock it between the oor and ceiling. As many panels as are desired are sequentially put in place, and although all panels shown in the drawings are planar, if corner panels or other special panels are desired, they are also inserted in their proper place. When properly installed, the skin surfaces of the panels 10 abut each other and show only a slight line of demarcation between panels. The rigidity of the panels 10 and the foam interiors thereof provide a rigid partition Iof substantial soundproof qualities so that optimum separation of rooms results. When it is desired that mobile partition be removed, each panel is sequentially removed in reverse order and is individually taken down and replaced in a new position, or is returned to storage.

It is clear from this disclosure that the mobile partition panels of this invention are susceptible to numerous embodiments and modifications within the skill of the routine engineer without the exercise of the inventive faculty. Accordingly the scope of this invention is defined by the scope of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A mobile partition panel having a top, bottom, edges and surfaces adapted to be positioned between a foor and a ceiling to divide a room, said panel comprising first and second uprights in said panel defining the edges of said panel, fixed cross rails extending between and secured to said uprights, skin secured to said uprights and said cross rails to define the visible surface of said panel, means adjacent the bottom of said panel adapted to engage a oor, and movable means at the top of said panel adapted to engage a ceiling, said movable means comprising an upper cross rail, means to control said movable cross rail, said means to control including a movable spring seat connected to said upper cross rail, said movable spring seat being connected to said upper cross rail by mechanical means limiting the maximum separation therebetween and by a compression spring positioned between said movable spring seat and said upper cross rail, said spring means urging the maximum separation therebetween so that upward motion of said spring seat positions said upper cross rail, and means to move said movable spring seat, said means to move being manually controlled by means accessible externally of said panel.

2. The movable partition panel of claim 1 wherein friction material is positioned on said upper cross rail so as to -be adapted to frictionally engage a ceiling.

3. A partition panel comprising upright means defining edges on said partition panel and skin means defining faces on said partition panel, said partition panel having top and bott-om ends, one of said ends being movable with respect to the remainder of said partition panel in a direction generally parallel to the edges of said partition panel, said movable end comprising a movable cross rail and a movable spring seat connected to said cross rail, said means connecting said movable cross rail and said movable spring seat limiting the maximum dimension therebetween, a compression spring positioned on said spring seat and connected to said movable cross rail to urge said movable cross rail away from said movable spring seat toward the maximum dimension therebetween, and means manually operable from external of said panel to position said movable spring seat, whereby said movable cross rail is urged away from the remainder of said partition panel.

4. The partition panel of claim 3 wherein a stop connected to said movable upper cross rail and Kconnected to said movable spring seat limits the maximum dimension therebetween.

5. A partition panel comprising uprights, said uprights consisting of upright members and a spacer therebetween, said spacer in one of said uprights forming a groove therein, and said spacer in the other of said uprights forming a tongue thereon, fixed cross rails extending between said uprights and engaging with said spacer whereby a panel frame is formed, skin secured to said uprights and to said cross rails to form said panel, a movable cross rail movably mounted with respect to said panel, keys on said movable cross rail engaging said upright members for guidance of said movable cross rail, a movable spring seat connected to said movable cross rail, said movable spring seat being guidably engaged by said keys and with said upright members.

6. The partition panel of claim 5 wherein connection means connected between said movable cross rail and said movable spring seat limits the maximum dimension therebetween and spring means connected between said cross rail and said spring seat urges said cross rail toward said limiting dimension with respect to said spring seat.

References Cited bythe Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,443,548 6/ 1948 Wilson 52-241 X 2,947,041 8/ 1960 Imbrecht 52-241 X 3,172,166 3/ 1965 Imbrecht 52-238 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,144,339 1957 France. 570,589 1957 Italy.

FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.

JOHN E. MURTAGH, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2443548 *Jan 7, 1944Jun 15, 1948Wilson Philip P SRemovable partition
US2947041 *Jun 23, 1958Aug 2, 1960Imbrecht Arthur GMovable partition
US3172166 *Dec 29, 1961Mar 9, 1965Imbrecht Arthur GMovable partition
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IT570589B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3400504 *Jul 6, 1966Sep 10, 1968Ray H. NeisewanderMovable wall partition
US3720026 *Jun 23, 1970Mar 13, 1973Gasteiger OPartition
US3967420 *Apr 30, 1974Jul 6, 1976Papsco, Inc.Portable wall system and method of installing same
US4028855 *Dec 22, 1975Jun 14, 1977Pallisade Domain LimitedPartition wall joints
US4164832 *Mar 31, 1978Aug 21, 1979Alex Van ZandtTongue and groove structure in preformed wall sections
US4462192 *Jun 1, 1982Jul 31, 1984American Standard, Inc.Seal assembly
US4571906 *Oct 11, 1983Feb 25, 1986Geoffrey Ashton Pty. Ltd.Sectional screens
US5265390 *Jan 3, 1991Nov 30, 1993John K. TannerWall panels and methods of construction thereof
US5386674 *Sep 17, 1992Feb 7, 1995Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, Inc.Two piece bulkhead door for rail cars and the like
US5433046 *Sep 17, 1993Jul 18, 1995Steelcase Inc.Telescoping panel construction
US6516575 *Feb 25, 2002Feb 11, 2003Hawa AgDevice for locking running gear guided in rails
US7971401 *Sep 6, 2005Jul 5, 2011Hermann PreissConstruction module
US20080034706 *Sep 6, 2005Feb 14, 2008Hermann PreissConstruction Module
US20090199491 *Jun 13, 2006Aug 13, 2009Wilfried BoldtRail-Mounted Mobile Wall Element
EP0000717A1 *Jul 20, 1978Feb 21, 1979Koji UnayamaPartition wall fastening unit
U.S. Classification52/243.1, 52/241
International ClassificationE04B2/82
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/822
European ClassificationE04B2/82B2