US 3302917 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M. B. WINKLER Feb 7, 1967 HANGER MEMBER Filed June 16, 1966 IVENTOR. 0242/5 m/KLE/e United States Patent 3,302,917 HANGER MEMBER Morris B. Winkler, Los Angeles, Calif, assignor to Mor- Win Products, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif, a corporation of California Filed June 16, 1966, Ser. No. 557,971 9 Claims. (Cl. 248--317) The present invention relates generally to the removable support of an article. More particularly, it relates to a simple and economical hanger member which can be readily attached to an article to removably support it on a display track, or the like.
It is often advantageous to package and display merchandise in small individual packages readily accessible to View and/or handling by prospective customers. The packages are often suspended or hung from racks from which they are easily removed, as desired, by the customer or by sales personnel. Such display and promotion of merchandise may be at the point of sale, i.e., at the checkout or sales counter, but has its broadest application in the tremendous growing number of self-service stores, such as super markets, drug stores, novelty stores, discount depar-tment stores, and the like. While such merchandise is usually presented in packaging of some sort, some merchandise lends itself to such display without packaging, and the merchandise with or without packaging is sometimes referred to herein as the article.
As a principal corollary to these mass merchandising techniques, there is a constant search for quicker and more economical means for supporting the individual articles on the display racks. Hanger members or elements previously used are, for the most part, either difficult or time consuming to attach to the articles, or have failed to securely and relatively permanently be attached to the articles, causing other problems.
The present invention contemplates, in the preferred and illustrated form, :a hanger element including a support means for removably supporting the element on a support member, such as a display rack. The hanger element further includes an elongated body means depending from the support section, and at least two arms connected to and extending transversely outwardly from the lower portion of the body means. The arms are flexibly connected to the body means to permit them to deflect to positions generally lengthwise of the body means for insertion of the arms and the lower portion of the body means through an aperture in an article. The arms are constructed and arranged for return to their outwardly extending positions once they have passed through the aperture to provide a relatively permanent connection to and support of the article.
The arms are in the form of an elongate, relatively rigid transversely extending beam which is flexibly connected intermediate its ends to the lower end of the body means for pivoting into a position generally lengthwise of the body section and for return to its transversely extending position after passing through the aperture.
The principle object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved hanger element.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a hanger element which is integrally formed of a flexible resilient synthetic resin for economy and simplicity of manufacture.
This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of a form in which it may be embodied. This form is shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. It will now be described in detail, for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to 3,302,917 Patented Feb. 7, 1967 "ice be understood that such detailed description is not to be taken in a limting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
Referring to the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a box of merchandise removably supported by a hanger element on a display support rod;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional View taken generally along the line 22 on FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged side sectional view taken generally along line 3-3 on FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a further enlarged side sectional view of the lower portions of the hanger element and associated merchandise box shown in FIGS. 1 through 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the hanger element shown in FIGS. 1 through 4.
Briefly, the hanger element 10, which is an integral structure of a molded flexible resilient synthetic resin, such as a thermoplastic resin, which may be polypropylene, polyethylene, or vinyl, for example, includes a support section 12 in the form of a. loop or eye, an intermediate elongate body section 14 depending downwardly from the support section, and a lower connector section 16 in the form of an elongate transversely extending bar or beam pivotally connected intermediate its ends to the lower end of the body section. To assemble the hanger element 10 with an article 20 in the form of a box of merchandise which is to be supported, the beam 16 is flexed to a position generally lengthwise of the body section 14, as shown in broken line in FIGURE 4, and the entire beam, as well as the lower portion of the body section, are inserted into an aperture 22 in an upper Wall 24 of the article. Once the beam has been moved beyond the wall 24, it will tend to return to its transversely extending position to underlie the wall 24 and relatively permanently connect the hanger element 10 to the article 20. The loop 12 may be slidably received on a horizontal support rod 26 to suspend the article, usually adjacent to a plurality of similarly suspended articles, for display, ready access, and ready removal.
The article 20, shown by way of example of a use of the hanger member 10, is in the form of a generally rectangular cardboard box or container that includes the upper Wall 24 which is generally horizontal when the box is suspended by the hanger element. For convenience, the box will be described with reference to such a preferred position, that is, oriented in any manner compatible with the display and promotion of the article and which also provides an upper wall having an aperture for connection with the hanger element. Desirably, the upper wall will be disposed generally horizontally, although an inclined or even vertically extending position may be used. The term article is used to include any item which it may be desirable to suspend for display and subsequent removal. This includes various types and varieties, as well as shapes, of boxes or other containers, partial containers, back-up mounting or support cards, or unpackaged items or goods, so long as a suitable article wall is provided through which the hanger member may extend to connect to the article.
As noted generally above, the support section 12 of the hanger element 10 is in the form of a loop or eye adapted to be slidably received on the generally horizontally extending display rod 26. The body section 14 of the hanger element comprises a pair of legs 30 which are integral with and tangent to the circular eye, converging downwardly from substantially diametrically opposite portions of the eye or eyelet toward one another. The lower ends of the legs 30 are integral with one another, and with a generally fiat tab or hinge 32. This hinge 32 lies in the plane of the eyelet 12 and legs 30. The thickness of the tab decreases 3 or thins toward its lower edge where it is integrally connected to the transversely extending beam 16 at its midpoint.
The beam 16 extends generally horizontally and parallel to the axis of the eyelet. The beam 16 is connected to the hinge 32 of the body section at approximately the midpoint of the beam length. The beam thus provides a pair of transversely extending arms 16a projecting outwardly away from each other in a direction normal to the plane of the eye 12 and legs 30. If desired, the beam section could be connected at a point ofiset toward one of its ends. It is desirable, however, that the distance designated X in FIG. 4, which extends from the outer end of the shortest arm to the tab or hinge 32, be greater than any distance measured across the aperture 22 (such as the distance designated Y in FIG. 4). When this condition exists and the hanger element is assembled in an article, both arms 16a of the hanger element will necessarily engage the wall 24 of the article to support the article and maintain the element connected to the article. The beam 16 has a generally horizontal flat upper surface 16b for engagement with the underside of the article wall 24.. The beam 16 is thicker at its center with the lower surfaces 160 of the arms inclining upwardly towards the ends of the arms 16a so that each arm narrows toward its outer end.
The resilient hinge connection 32 between the beam and the body section 14 is advantageous in urging the beam to automatically return to its transversely extending position once it has cleared the article aperture 22 and in maintaining the beam in that position. However, a hinge connection which is flexible but not resilient may be used, with the arms being caused to return to their outwardly transversely extending positions by manipulation of the hanger element and the article once the arms 16a have passed through the aperture 22.
The beam may take various shapes, configurations, and sizes, subject to the foregoing referred limitations.
To assemble the hanger element to an article, such as the box 20, the beam 16 is pivoted to a position such as shown in broken line in FIG. 4, in which it is generally lengthwise of the body section 14. The beam 16 and the lower end of the body section 14 are inserted into the aperture 22 sufliciently for the entire beam to pass through the aperture and clear the wall 24. The hanger element may then be manipulated to generally position the beam transversely of the body section 14 and beneath the wall 24 adjacent and on opposite sides of the aperture, as shown in solid line in FIG. 4. The more resilient the material from which the hanger element is constructed, the more will be the tendency of the beam to return to the transversely outwardly extending position generally normal to the body section. The eyelet 12 of the hanger element may then be slid onto the support rod 26 to hang or suspend the article, as shown in FIG. 1. The article is readily removed from the display rod 26 by sliding the eyelet 12 ofi the rod.
Thus, the illustrated hanger element provides means for rapid and ready attachment to an article to be suspended or hung for display and ready accessibility. The hanger element is simple to operate and relatively simple and economical to produce. The connection, once achieved between the hanger element and the article, is relatively permanent to minimize additional work in reh-anging the article and to prevent harm or damage to the article incident to its falling from its suspended position.
1. A hanger element for connection to an article and for removably supporting the article, said element comprising support means adapted to be removably supported on a support structure, an elongate body means depending from said support means, and at least two connector arms connected to and extending outwardly in two substantially diiferent directions from a lower portion of said body means, at least one of said connector arms being flexibly connected to said body means for movement into a position generally lengthwise of said body means to permit ready insertion of said arms and the lower portion of said body means through an aperture in an upper wall of an article to be supported, said flexibly connected arm being constructed and arranged so that when it is returned to its outwardly extending position, it will tend to remain in substantially the outwardly extending position in response to a downward force upon it, whereby said arms will act to support the article and to maintain a connection between the hanger element and the article.
2. A hanger element as defined in claim 1, wherein there are two connector arms extending in opposite directions from the lower end of said body means.
3. A hanger element as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said connector arms is flexibly and resiliently connected to said body means in said transversely extending positions for flexure into positions generally lengthwise of said body means and for return to said outwardly extending positions when released from being flexed, whereby said arms will support the article and maintain the connection between said hanger element and the article.
4. A hanger element as defined in claim 1, wherein said element is a single molded part of flexible synthetic resin, with said support means integral with said body means and said body means integral with said arms.
5. A hanger element as defined in claim 2, wherein said two arms comprise a single solid transversely extending beam flexibly and pivotally connected intermediate its ends to the lower end of said body means.
6. A hanger element as defined in claim 5, wherein said beam is flexibly and resiliently connected to said body means in said outwardly extending position for flexure into a position with the arms generally lengthwise of said body section and for return to the outwardly extending positions when released from being flexed.
7. A hanger element as defined in claim 4, wherein the lower end of said body means comprises a generally flat vertical tab which is thinner at its lower end than at its upper end to provide the flexible connection between the body means and the movable arm.
8. A hanger element as defined in claim 1, wherein said support means comprises a loop and said body means comprises a pair of legs connected to said loop and contverging downwardly toward one another and being connected together at their lower ends, said arms being pivotally connected to said legs at their lower ends.
9. A hanger element for connection to an article and for removably supporting the article, said hanger element being a unitary part integrally formed of a flexible and resilient synthetic resin, said hanger element comprising an eye section adapted to be removably supported on a generally horizontal support rod, a pair of legs integral with said eye section and generally tangent thereto, said legs converging downwardly toward each other from said eye section with the lower ends of said legs integral with each other, a hinge integral with the lower ends of said legs, a beam extending substantially normal to the plane of said eye section and legs, the mid-portion of said beam being integral with said hinge, whereby said hinge permits pivoting of said beam to a position lengthwise of said legs for insertion of said beam and lower portion of said legs through an aperture in the article to be supported, whereupon said beam pivots to its initial position normal to said plane and underlies portions of said article on opposite sides of its aperture to support the article.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,206,152 9/1965 Wimmer M 248-359 FOREIGN PATENTS 85,148 3/1958 Denmark.
CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.