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Publication numberUS3295471 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 3, 1967
Filing dateJun 14, 1965
Priority dateJun 14, 1965
Publication numberUS 3295471 A, US 3295471A, US-A-3295471, US3295471 A, US3295471A
InventorsRobert W Cook
Original AssigneeRobert W Cook
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding-shelf
US 3295471 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. W. COOK Jan. 3, 1967 FOLDI NG SHELF Original Filed Dec. 23, 1963 INVENTOR. Robert W Cook fMWMSMgZflM I AHm-necs United States Patent 3,295,471 FOLDING-SHELF Robert W. Cook, 1331 SW. 21st Terrace, Miami, Fla. 33145 Continuation of application Ser. No. 332,389, Dec. 23, 1963. This application June 14, 1965, Ser. No. 470,267 2 Claims. (Cl. 108-111) This invention relates generally to shelving devices, and

more particularly to a folding shelf device adapted to attachment thereof to any available wall surface. This application is a continuation of my copending application Serial No. 332,389, filed December 23, 1963.

Various types of folding shelf arrangements have been devised and used in the past. However, the constructions heretofore devised have been of very limited utility and versatility. Moreover, they have been characterized by other disadvantages including diihculty of installation, difiiculty of impossibility of removal, excessive complexity and cost, poor durability, and undesirable appearance, to mention a few.

It is, therefore, a general object of the present invention to provide an improved folding shelf construction.

A further object is to provide a folding shelf device which is readily and securely attachable to any available wall surface without requiring any tools or skill.

A further object is to provide a folding shelf device of simple and inexpensive and attractive and yet durable construction.

A further object is to provide a device wherein shelves can be folded individually and independently of each other, without the necessity of disturbing one shelf in order to fold another shelf.

A still further object is to provide a folding shelf device wherein the entire unit can be kept clean and sanitary while mounted on a wall surface, and which can be removed in its entirety from the supporting wall surface if and whenever desirable.

A still further object is to provide a device which requires very nominal space when folded.

Described briefly, a typical embodiment of the present invention employs a frame having means thereon facilitating attachment thereof to a vertical wall surface, with the frame being disposed in a vertical plane parallel to and in closely spaced relation to the vertical wall surface.

The frame includes at least one cross member in the form of a rod aflixed to the frame side members and extending horizontally across the frame. A second cross member is disposed below the first cross member and also extends across the frame.

A shelf frame having a pair of horizontally spaced and generally L-shaped shelf side members is provided. The short legs of the side members have the upper end portions thereof formed in eyelets or loops encircling the upper of the two frame cross members whereby the shelf frame is pivotally mounted to the wall surface mounted frame. The lower portions of the short legs of the side members abuttingly engage the lower of the two frame cross members and are thereby limited in their pivotal action. Accordingly, they support the shelf in a generally horizontal plane.

Still another cross member is provided on the upstanding frame and has means thereon for latching the shelf in a folded condition, when the shelf is pivoted to the folded position.

The full nature of the invention will be understood from the accompanying drawings and the following description and claims.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross section through the device Patented Jan. 3, 1967 "ice mounted to a vertical wall surface and with the lower shelf of the device folded, the section being taken on a plane perpendicular to the wall surface and midway between the side members of the device.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view of a portion of the device whereby it is mounted to a wall surface.

FIG. 4 is a section taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3 and viewed in the direction of the arrows.

Referring to the drawings in detail, the illustrated form of the invention includes a first frame which can include, for example, but not by way of limitation, a left-hand side member 11 and a right-hand side member 12, these side members being disposed in upstanding parallel horizontally spaced relationship to each other. A first cross member 13 is affixed to each of the side members 11 and 12 and extends across the frame. The central portion 14 of this first cross member is set back slightly from the outer end portions which are attached to the side members. In this way, the rear margin 16 of the central portion of the first cross member lies in the same plane as the rear margins of the side members 11 and 12.

An elongated plate 17 has a front face 18 which abuttingly engages and is usually spot welded to the rear margin 16 of the central portion 14 of the first cross member. This plate has a pair of apertures 19 and 20 therein, one of which is better shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In each of these apertures a prong 21 extends from the upper margin of the aperture in a direction transverse to the length of the plate and terminates at a lower edge 22 approximately half-way between the upper and lower margins of the aperture.

Another elongated plate 23 is disposed immediately behind the plate 17 and is of substantially the same length and width as plate 17. It has a pair of loops 24 and 26 projecting forwardly from the front face 27 thereof, these loops projecting into the apertures 19 and 20, respectively of the plate 18. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, these loops receive the prongs of the plate 17 projecting into the apertures 19 and 20. Because the height (dimension H in FIG. 4) of the loops is less than the vertical space between the lower edge 22 of the prong and the lower margin 28 of the aperture receiving the loop, the plate 17 can be separated from the plate 23 by merely raising the plate 17 with respect to the plate 23 until the upper edge 29 of each of the loops will clear the lower edge 22 of each of the prongs allowing the rear plate to be pulled away from the front plate as the upper edges of the loops clear the lower edges of the prongs. This position of the loops and prongs is illustrated in FIG. 1 whereas the originally described loop retaining position of the prongs and loops is shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4.

A double faced adhesive strip 31, coextensive with the length and width of the plate 23, has its front face 32 adhesively attached to the rear face of the plate 23. The rear :face 33 of the adhesive strip is adhesively attached to the vertical mounting wall surface 34.

A second frame cross member 36, which is identical to the first frame cross member 13, is aflixed to the side members 11 and 12 adjacent their lower ends, and extends across the frame in a manner identical to that of cross member 13. Two plates and adhesive means which are identical to the plates and adhesive means previously described, with the exception of length and number of loops and apertures, are mounted to the central portion 37 of the second cross member. These plates and adhesive means, in addition to providing supplementary support for the frame, provide an anchor for the lower portion of the frame. These plates and adhesive means are given the reference numerals 38 and 39 for the plates and 41 for the adhesive means.

A third frame cross member 42 is aflixed to each of the side members 11 and 12 and extends across the frame above the second cross member 36. A first shelf frame is provided with first and second generally L-shaped shelf side members 43 and 44 disposed in horizontally spaced parallel relationship. The short leg 46 of the side member 43 has its upper end portion 47 looped around the third frame cross member immediately adjacent the frame side member 11. Similarly, the upper end portion 48 of the short leg of the shelf side member 44 is looped around the third frame cross member immediately adjacent the frame side member 12. There is thereby provided a pivotal mounting of the shelf frame to the first frame whereby the shelf frame can be pivoted upwardly on a first horizontal pivotal axis 49 through the center of the cross member 42.

The short legs of the shelf side members 43 and 44 also abuttingly engage the second frame cross member at the points 51 and 52 whereby the pivotal action of the shelf frame side members on the axis 49 is limited. In being so limited, the long legs of the shelf frame side members are disposed in a horizontal plane perpendicular to the plane in which the frame side members 11 and 12 lie. Therefore, the shelf side members together with the first shelf cross member 53 aflixed thereto and extending across the shelf frame, and the additional cross members 54 which are disposed in parallel relationship to the cross member 53 and which are attached to the lower margins of the long legs of the shelf side members 43 and 44 provide a horizontal shelf firmly supported by the combination of the pivotal attachment to the cross member 42 and the abutting engagement of the short legs of the shelf side members with the cross member 36.

Because the first shelf cross member 53 may typically be made integral with the shelf side members 43 and 44, and because the cross members 54 are attached to the underside of the side members 43 and 44, the members 54 provide a sort of floor at a slightly lower plane than the upper edges of the side members 43 and 44 and cross member 53. These shelf side members and cross member 54 are therefore effective to prevent sliding of articles from the shelf.

A fourth cross member 56 is provided and the outer end portions thereof are afiixed to the frame side members 11 and 12, this cross member extending across the frame at a substantial distance above the third cross member 42. An offset 57 provides a downwardly projecting central portion 58 of the fourth cross member, and a latching ball 59 is afiixed to the central portion 58 at its center. This ball 59, together with the cross member portion 58 to which it is afiixed, provide a downwardly open notch 61. This notch is located a distance from the pivotal axis 49 which is substantially equal to the distance from the outer edge 62 of the center of the first shelf cross member 53 from the pivotal axis 49. Therefore, when the lower shelf is folded from the normally open position shown by the dotted outline 63 in FIG. 2, to the folded position shown by the solid outline in FIG. 2, the center of the cross member 53 is received in the notch 61.

In order that the cross member 53 will be retained in the notch secured without rattling, the lower margin 64 of the ball 59 and the lower margin 66 of the center portion 58 of the cross member 56 are located slightly closer to the pivotal axis 49 than is the outer margin 62 of the first shelf cross member 53. This means that in order to get the cross member 53 into the notch 61, either the cross member 53 or some portion of the cross member 56 must be forceably moved. Because the cross members are typically made of a resilient material such as steel, for example, this can be easily achieved. Usually, there is a slight resilient deformation of both the cross member 53 and cross member 56 as the cross member 53 is snapped into the notch 61. Then it is securely retained in position without rattling.

A fifth cross member 67 is affixed to the frame side members 11 and 12 and extends across the frame above the fourth cross member 56. A second shelf assembly identical to that previously described is mounted to the fifth cross member in exactly the same manner as that described for the first shelf assembly. The short legs 68 and 69 of the side members of this shelf assembly 71 abut.- tingly engage the fourth cross member at the points 72 and 73 respectively. Because all parts of the second shelf assembly are at all times located further away from the pivotal axis 49 of the first shelf assembly, there is no interference with the second shelf assembly when the first shelf assembly is moved between the open position shown by the dotted outline 63 in FIG. 2,'and the closed or folded position.

A sixth cross member is affixed to the side members 11 and 12 and extends across the frame. It has a latching ball 74 mounted to the center thereof to provide another downwardly open notch 76 identical to notch 61 whereby the second shelf assembly can be securely stored in the folded position shown by the dotted outline 77 in FIG. 2.

All of the side members and cross members of the device are of chrome-plated steel wire or bar stock. When made of wire or bar stock they can be easily formed and assembled by conventional and economical manufacturing means and techniques. To avoid any danger of scratching of the mounting surface during the mounting of the shelf device, plastic caps 78 may be mounted to the upper and lower ends of the frame side members 11 and 12. All of the cross members are mounted to the front margins of the side members 11 and 12 and present no possible source of damage to the mounting wall surface.

If it is desired to clean the wall surface 34,.it can be facilitated by merely removing the front plates from the rear plates by lifting and pulling outwardly, leaving the rear plates adhesively secured to the wall surface. These then afford minimum obstruction to cleaning of the wall.

surface 34. Then the frame can be again mounted to the wall supported plates when cleaning or painting of the wall has been completed.

While the versatility and utility of the invention can now be readily recognized, a particularly effective application seems to merit special mention. It is well known that household food freezer appliances are sold in either the cabinet type or the chest type. While the chest type can more efficiently maintain low temperatures therein than can the upstanding cabinet types, they are considered by many people to be unsatisfactory because of problems of accessibility to the contents. The accessibility problem stems largely from the fact that there is no satisfactory place to put articles which are taken out of the chest type of freezer in order to obtain access to articles near the bottom of the freezer. By mounting the devices of the present invention to the outside walls of a chest type freezer, ample temporary shelf space is provided for freezer contents which must first be removed and placed.

somewhere while articles farther down in the freezer are being removed. Then when all articles have been returned to the freezer, the shelves may be folded until the next time they are needed.

Thus, it is seen from this example that the present invention not only adds to the convenience of the economical chest type of freezer, but has many other excellent applications.

While the invention has been disclosed and described in some detail in the drawings and foregoing description, they are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, as other modifications may readily suggest themselves to persons skilled in this art and within the broad scope of the invention, reference being had to the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A folding shelf device comprising an elongated double-faced pressure sensitive adhesive strip, the rear face of said strip being adhesively attached to an upstanding mounting wall; a first plate adhesively attached to the.

front face of said strip, said plate having a plurality of horizontal loops projecting forwardly therefrom, said loops accommodating entry of a prong moving vertically downward; a second plate covering said first plate and having apertures therein receiving said loops when said plates are disposed in face-to-face relationship, said apertures having prongs therein projecting down from upper margins thereof, and received by said loops and retaining said plates together as said loops support said second plate; a vertical frame secured to said second plate, said vertical frame including side members, a first fixed cross member and a second fixed cross member spaced below said first fixed cross member; a first shelf frame having first and second generally L-shaped shelf side members in spaced relation with a first shelf cross member affixed to said shelf side members and extending therebetween, the short leg of each of said shelf side members having an end portion looped around said first fixed cross member whereby said shelf frame is povitally mounted to said first fixed cross member, the short leg of each of said shelf side members abuttingly engaging said second fixed cross member to thereby support said shelf frame in a horizontal plane; said vertical frame also including third and fourth fixed cross members spaced substantially above said first fixed cross member, said third fixed cross member having a central portion projecting downwardly toward said first fixed cross member; a latching ball mounted to the front surface of said central portion and providing a downwardly opening notch between said central portion and said ball, said notch being spaced from said first fixed cross member a distance substantially equal to the distance of said first shelf cross member from said first fixed cross member, and portions of said ball and said central portion adjacent said notch being closer to said first fixed cross member than said first shelf cross member, and one of said cross members being resiliently deflectable, whereby said first shelf cross member is movable into said notch and securely retainable therein to retain said shelf frame in a folded vertical condition; said fourth fixed cross member spaced above said third cross member; a second shelf frame having third and fourth generally L- shaped side members in spaced relation, with a second shelf cross member aifixed to said third and fourth shelf side members and extending across said second shelf frame, the short leg of each of said third and fourth shelf side members having an end portion looped around said fourth fixed cross member, and the short leg of each of said third and fourth shelf side members abuttingly engaging said third fixed cross member to support said second shelf frame in a second horizontal plane, said second plane being disposed farther from said first fixed cross member than said first shelf cross member, to accommodate folding of said first shelf frame to said folded condition while said second shelf frame remains supported in said second plane.

2. The device of claim 1 and further comprising a third plate mounted to said second fixed cross member and having an aperture therein with a prong projecting vertically downward in said aperture, a fourth plate disposed in faceto-face relationship and coextensive with said third plate and having a loop projecting forwardly from the front face of said fourth plate and received in the aperture of References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 568,199 9/1896 Keeler 211-106 840,512 1/1907 Palmer 211106 1,039,694 10/1912 Burton 108--111 1,468,813 9/ 1923 Huff 248-247 1,543,839 6/1925 Gale 5294 1,790,977 2/ 1931 De Boer 248-224 2,042,517 6/ 1936 Ellis 211 2,066,822 1/1937 Cohen 211-87 2,291,381 7/ 1942 Drake 248376 2,675,130 4/1954 Dore 211119 3,023,991 3/ 1962 Fisher 21187 3,043,441 7/ 1962 Dumford 211178 3,045,831 7/1962 Pendergrast 108111 3,083,493 4/1963 Malachuk 28115 3,137,251 6/ 1964 Pendergrast 21149 FOREIGN PATENTS 12,362 of 1913 Great Britain.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification108/163, 211/150, 211/106, D06/570, D06/566
International ClassificationA47F5/13
Cooperative ClassificationA47F5/13
European ClassificationA47F5/13