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Publication numberUS3309816 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1967
Filing dateMay 28, 1964
Priority dateMay 28, 1964
Publication numberUS 3309816 A, US 3309816A, US-A-3309816, US3309816 A, US3309816A
InventorsJr Benjamin D Malone
Original AssigneeJr Benjamin D Malone
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Movable partition structures
US 3309816 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 21, 1967 B. D. MALONE, JR

MOVABLE PARTITION STRUCTURES 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May T18, 1964 INVENTOR BENJAMW D. MALONE JR ATTORNEY March 21, 1967 MALONE, JR 3,30%,816

MOVABLE PART I TION STRUCTURES Filed May 28. 1964 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Ceiling Line 5 69 @i 2 2a 42 Q Ffloos Line INVENTOR BENJAMIN D. MALONE, JR.

ATTORNEY 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR ATTORNEY BENJAMW D. MALONE, JR.

vywm/h B. D. MALONE, JR

MOVABLE PARTIT ION STRUCTURES March 21, 1967 Filed May 28. 1964 March 21, 1967 B. D. MALONE, JR

MOVABLE PARTITION STRUCTURES 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 28. 1964 R O T .N. E W m ATTORNEY March 21, 1967 B. D. MALONE, JR

MOVABLE PARTITION STRUCTURES 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 filed may T18, 1964 2.3:: or 2 5d INVENTOR BENJAMIN D. MALONE, JR.

ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,309,816 MOVABLE PARTITIQN STRUCTURES Benjamin 1). Malone, Jr., R0. Box 1415, Punta Gorda, Fla. 33950 Filed May 28, 1964, Ser. No. 370,873 12 Claims. (Cl. 49-127) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in movable partition structures of the general type which embodies a set of panels arranged so that they may be moved from a coplanar partition forming position wherein their side edges are in abutment to a laterally stacked storage position when the use of the partition is not desired. As such, the partition structure of the invention may be conveniently used to divide a space such as a room into two smaller rooms, while permitting expeditious conversion of the two smaller rooms into one large room by the simple expedient of moving the panels of the partition to their stacked, storage position.

The principal object of the invention is to provide a movable partition structure of this type wherein the panels are supported wholly by a floor track and stabilized by an overhead or ceiling track, so that suspension of the panels from the ceiling is not necessary.

As another of its objects, the invention provides a floor track and an overhead track which coact to effectively guide the panels in their movement between the partition forming and the storage positions, this being attained without undue friction, binding, or instability.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved overhead or ceiling track arrangement utilizing a floating action so that any downward deflection of the ceiling under load is absorbed by the overhead track and is not transmitted to the panels so as to interfere with free movement thereof.

Another object of the invention is to provide improved gasket means at the side edges and at the top and bottom edges of the panels, such gasket means being coordinated so that when gaskets at the side edges are compressed by abutment of the panels in their partition forming position, the gaskets at the top and bottom edges become expanded into sealing engagement with the overhead track and with the floor track, yet when the panels are separated, the engagement of the top and bottom gaskets with the tracks is broken to facilitate free movement of the panels.

The several panels of the invention are individually movable and one of the features of the arrangement lies in the fact that when the panels are in the partition forming position, one of them may be moved to provide a passageway or a door for passage from one side of the partition to the other, without disturbing the other panels in the set.

Some of the advantages of the invention reside in its simple construction, in its durability, eflicient operation, and in its adaptability to convenient and economical manufacture.

With the foregoing more important objects and features in view and such other objects and features as may become apparent as this specification proceeds, the invention will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference are used to designate like parts, and wherein:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of the movable partition structure, showing the panels thereof in the partition forming position;

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic plan view showing the partition panels in relation to the floor track;

FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic plan view similar to FIGURE 2 but showing the panels moved or moving to their stacked, storage position;

33%,816 Patented Mar. 21, 1967 'ice FIGURE 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary vertical sectional view of one of the panels, taken substantially in the plane of the line 4-4 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary, enlarged sectional detail of the lower edge portion of the panels, taken substantially in the plane of the line 5-5 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal sectional view, taken substantially in the plane of the line 66 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary group sectional view of the gasket between adjacent panels when the latter are separated;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of the gasket means;

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary sectional view showing a modified panel construction;

FIGURE 10 is a plan view of one of the roller assemblies;

FIGURE 11 is a sectional view, taken substantially in the plane of the line 11-11 in FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a sectional view, taken substantially in the plane of the line 1212 in FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 13 is a perspective view of one of the trolleys;

FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary vertical sectional detail of the trolley;

FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary plan view of the floor track;

FIGURE 16 is a sectional view of the track, taken substantially in the plane of the line 1616 in FIGURE 15;

FIGURE 17 is a sectional view of the track, taken in the plane of either of the lines 17-17 and 1717 in FIGURE 15; and

FIGURE 18 is a perspective view of the latch operating mechanism and handle means used in the invention.

Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, more particularly to FIGURES 1-3, the movable partition structure in accordance with the invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 29 and embodies a set of vertical panels 21, 21' which are movable from a coplanar, partition forming position in which the side edges of the panels are in abutment as shown in FIG- URES 1 and 2, to a laterally stacked, storage position as shown in FIGURE 3. The panels are individually movable and any number of them may be used so as to span the distance between opposite side walls 22 of a room which is to be divided by the partition. Immovable strip-like panel sections 23 are fixedly mounted against the room walls 23 to complete the partition span, and one of the movable panels, in this instance identified as 21', serves in the manner of a door whereby access may be gained from one side of the partition to the other without disturbing the remaining panels in the set. The panels 21, 21' and 23 are similarly constructed, as will be hereinafter described in detail. However, for purposes of the immediate description, the panels may be regarded simply as vertically disposed, rectangular panels, each having a pair of side edges and upper and lower edges.

Provided at the lower edge of each of the panels 21, 21' is a pair of roller assemblies, designated as 24a and 24b in the instance of each of said panels. The rollers of these assemblies respectively engage a pair of spaced parallel rails 25:: and 25b of an elongated floor track 25, whereby the movable panels are supported from the floor. It will be noted that the roller assemblies are spaced longitudinally on the lower edge of the panel and that, as is best shown in FIGURE 4, they are transversely offset so that the rollers in each pair of assemblies may engage the respective rails of the floor track. The roller assemblies 24a, 24b are similar in construction which will be detailed hereinafter, but for the time being it is to be noted that the roller in each assembly may turn about a vertical axis as well as rotate on a horizontal axle, the turning movement being necessary to permit the rollers to follow the track when the panels are moved to their stacked, storage position. The floor track 25 is mounted flush with the floor line as indicated in FIGURE 4 and is suitably anchored to sub-floor supporting means, examplified at 26.

Each of the panels 21, 21' is provided at its upper edge with a stabilizing trolley 27 which rides in an overhead track 28. The latter is installed in a ceiling if the partition extends from the floor to the ceiling, although the overhead track may be disposed below the ceiling if the partition is of a lesser height. The trolley 27 will be detailed hereinafter, but for the moment it may be noted that it includes a pair of transversely spaced wheels 29 riding on a pair of spaced parallel rails 36 of the overhead track 28, the wheels 29 being mounted on a cross shaft or axle 31 carried by a block 32 which, in turn, may turn about the axis of a vertical supporting stud 33, so that like the roller assemblies 24a, 24b at the lower edge of each panel, the trolley 27 at its upper edge may be turned or steered during movement of the panels.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 15, it will be observed that one end portion of the floor track 25 is provided with two lateral offsets or branches, including a branch rail 250 which is reversely curved and constitutes a continuation of the rail 25b, and a branch rail 25d which extends from the track laterally toward the end of the branch rail 250. When the several panels 21, 21' are disposed in coplanar relation to form the partition as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the side edges of the panels are in abutment and the rollers 24a of the panels engage the floor track rail 25a, while the rollers 24b of the panels 21 engage the rail 25b. The roller 24b of the panel 21' would ordinarily also engage the rail 25b, but inasmuch as the roller 24]) of the panel 21 ride-s only along the rail 25d, it is turned into alignment with that rail, as will be apparent from FIG. 2. The panel 21' may be moved from the position shown in FIG. 2 to that shown in FIG. 3 by pushing the same in the direction of the arrow 34, which causes the roller 24b of that panel to ride outwardly along the rail 25d while the roller 24a thereof rides along the rail 25a, so that the panel 21' ultimately assumes a 'folded position against the wall of the room as illustrated in FIG. 3. This is possible without disturbing or moving any of the other panels 21 and shifting of the panel 21 to the folded position provides a passageway or doorway through which access may be had from either side of the partition to the other.

If the other panels 21 of the partition are to be moved out of the way as well, this is done by moving each such panel individually, sliding the same along the floor track rails 25a, 25b until the roller 24b of the panel enters upon the offset rail 250. However, as the movement progrosses, the roller 24:: of the panel still continues to travel along the rail 25a, and ultimately the panel becomes stacked laterally alongside of the panel 21', as shown in FIG. 3. All of the panels 21 are moved in the same manner, so that eventually all the panels 21 are stacked side by side against the panel 21' in the storage position and the partition becomes non-existent apart from the presence of the fixed end panel sections 23.

When the panels 21, 21' are in their partition forming position, the panels 21 cannot be moved without first moving the panel 21. The latter, of course, functions as a door through the partition as already mentioned, and it is desirable to provide means for locking or latching the door panel 21' in coplanar relation with the partition, that is, in its closed position. Such means may assume the form of a pair of slidably projectable and retractable latches 35, provided in both side edge portions of the panel 21, such latches being receivable in sockets 36 provided in the panel 21 and in the panel member 23 adjacent to the panel 21', as shown in FIG. 1. The panel 21 also carries an operating mechanism 37 for the 4 latches, including handle means 38, as will be herein-after explained.

The foregoing describes the general arrangement and operation of the invention so that a more detailed explanation of the structure of the various components may now be presented as follows:

THE PANEL STRUCTURE The panels 21, 21' and 23 are of sturdy, light weight construction, two alternative embodiments of which are disclosed. One of these, which is the simpler, is exemplified by the panel member 23 in FIGURE 9 and comprises two outer skins 40 with a core 41 sandwiched therebetween. The skins 40 may consist of tough, rigid boards known as Masonite, Flexboard, Glasal, or the like, while the core 41 consists of a low density, foamed synthetic resin, such as foamed polystyrene. The core with its skins is edged by a perimetric frame of extruded metal such as aluminum, a portion of such a frame appearing at 42. The frame is bonded to the edge portion of the panel by a soft latex composition 43 which also serves as insulating means so that sound frequency vibrations of sound waves impinging upon the panel do not telegraph through the metallic frame. The frame members of the panel have different cross-sections for different purposes, as will be hereinafter explained.

The alternative embodiment of the panel structure is somewhat more complicated and is typified in FIGS. 47. This embodiment utilizes two units of the same but somewhat thinner construction as shown in FIGURE 9, which units are spaced apart by suitable spacers 44 of wood, or the like, so that a space exists between them, which space is filled by a blanket 45 of glass fiber filament-s such as Microlite. The frame members of the double panel are bonded thereto by the latex composition 43, as already mentioned. In its assembled form, the double sandwich panel of FIGS. 47 approximates the thickness of the single sandwich panel of FIG. 9.

The side edges of the several panels are interfitted as is diagrammatically shown in FIGURE 2 so that when the panels are in coplanar abutting relation, the partition formed thereby is substantially sturdy. This interfitting involves a tongue-and-groove arrangement 46 at the junction of the end panel 21 with the adjacent, fixed panel member 23, and a similar arrangement 46 at the junction of adjacent panels 21, regardless of how many of them there may be. However, zig-zag interfits 47 are provided at the junctions of the panel 21 with the adjacent panel 21 and with the adjacent fixed member 23, so that the panel 21 may be moved out of the partitionin the direction of the arrow 34. The interfits 46, 47 between the panels are afforded by frame side members of special cross-section which are used for edging the panels, as will be apparent from FIGURE 6. Thus, the interfit 46 is effected by the provision of an extruded frame side member 48 which forms a groove for reception of a tongue 49 on a co-acting frame side member of the adjacent panel. Similarly, the interfit 47 is effected by the provision of complementally zig-zagged extruded frame side members 50 and 51. The frame members 42 at the side edges of the fixed panels 23 which abut the room walls 22 are simply in the form of U-shaped channels, as shown.

The bottom edges of the panels 21, 21' are edged with frame members 52 of the cross-section shown in FIG- URE 5, and these frame members are recessed at proper points to accommodate the roller assemblies 24a, 24b, as will be apparent from FIGURE 4.

The to edges of the panels 21, 21 are edged with frame members 53 which have a dropped center portion 53' to accommodate the stabilizing trolleys 27, also as shown in FIGURE 4.

THE SEALING GASKETS These are provided at the side as well as top and bottom edges of the panels to exclude passage of air and impede passage of sound through the partition. The gaskets are hollow and are formed from resiliently compressible material such as rubber, for example, a typical gasket cross section at panel side edges in the interfit 46 being shown at 54 in FIGS. 6 and 7, while a corresponding side gasket at the interfit 47 is shown at 55. It will be apparent that when the panels are moved into abutting relation as indicated by the arrow 56 in FIG. 7, the gaskets 54 will become compressed and most of the air in their hollow interior will be expelled. The gaskets 54 are held in dovetailed or undercut grooves 57 formed in the frame members 48, and ribs 58 are provided on the gaskets for engagement by the tongue portion of the frame members 49, whereby to compress the gaskets in the illustrated manner when the side panels come into abutment. Similarly, the gaskets 55 are held in undercut grooves 59 provided in the frame members 50.

At the upper edge, the panels 21, 21 are provided with hollow, resiliently compressible and expansible gaskets 60 held in undercut grooves 61 of the upper frame members 53, while the lower edges of the panels are equipped with similar gaskets 62 held in the grooves 63. The configuration of the upper and lower gaskets 6t 62 will be apparent from FIGURE 4, and it is to be particularly noted that on each of the panels 21, 21, the hollow interiors of the side edge gaskets 54 communicate with the hollow interiors of the upper edge gaskets 60 and of the lower edge gaskets 62 and that the gasket ends are closed and hermetically sealed as shown in FIG- URE 8, so that when the side edge gaskets 54 are compressed between the abutting side edges of the panels, air is expelled therefrom into the upper and lower edge gaskets 6t), 62 and these gaskets consequently become inflated or expanded into a sealing engagement with the overhead track 28 and the floor track so as to effectively seal the entire partition. As shown in FIGURE 4, the lower edge gaskets 62 upon expansion are in sealing contact with flanges 64 of the floor track 25, while the upper edge gaskets 60 upon expansion are in sealing contact with flanges 65 which carry the rails of the overhead track 28. Of course, when the partition panels are moved out of abutting relation, the side edge gaskets 54 expand and the upper and lower edge gaskets 60, 62 contract, so that they do not interfere with free movement of the panels.

THE OVERHEAD TRACK The overhead or ceiling track 28 runs in a straight line from one side of the room to the other and consists of two major components, that is, a trolley engaging track section 28a and a ceiling supported track section 2812. The sectional configuration of these sections will be apparent from FIGURE 4, and while the section 28b is secured to the ceiling framework 66 by suitable screws 67, the section 28a is free to slide upwardly and downwardly within limits inside of the section 28b. Thus, the section 28a floats inside the section 28b, or conversely, the section 28b may slide upwardly or downwardly on the section 28a, if the latter were assumed to be held at a fixed distance above the floor, which in fact it is by virtue of the trolleys 27 engaging the rails 30 on the flanges 65 of the track section 28a. The floating relationship of the track sections 28a, 28b permits the ceiling supported section 28b to become downwardly deflected under a ceiling load, without transferring such deflection to the track section 28a and causing the panels to bind in their movement along the floor and ceiling tracks. In the region of the stacked panel storage area, the overhead track section 28a may be fastened against vertical movement relative to the section 28b so as to prevent any tendency of the floor track rollers 24a to run off the floor track. Such fastening of the overhead track sections may be effected by limiting screws 68, extending through the track sections into the ceiling framework 66, as shown in FIGURE 4.

ill

6 THE STABILIZING TROLLEYS For most part, the structure of the stabilizing trolleys 27 has already been described, the same including the wheels 29 rotatable on the cross shaft 31 which is carried by the block 32, the latter in turn being supported by the stud 33 so that the trolley is capable of turning about the vertical axis of the stud. The stud 33 is screw-threaded into the block 32 and secured in an adjusted, vertically extended position by a nut 69, while the lower end portion of the stud is freely rotatable in suitable bearing means 7% carried by a supporting plate 71. The latter is slidably positioned in the drop center portion 53' of the upper edge frame member 53, and as is best shown in FIGURE 13, spacers 72 and guide plates 73, fastened to the frame member 53 by screws 74, are utilized to retain the trolley in place, while allowing a certain amount of longitudinal movement thereto which is necessary to facilitate proper movement of the panels.

THE ROLLER ASSEMBLIES The roller assemblies 24a, 2412 at the bottom edge of the panels are similar in construction, which is typified in FIGS. 10-12. Each assembly consists of a rectangular base plate 75 which is formed with an annular bearing race 76 for anti-friction bearings 77 interposed between the race 76 and an inner race 78 provided at the edge of a carrier plate 79. The latter is recessed to provide clearance for a grooved roller 89 which is mounted by an anti-friction bearing 81 on an axle 82 supported by a pair of brackets 83. These brackets are secured to the carrier plate 79 by the screws 84 and project below the lower edge of the roller 80, where they are provided with inturned ears 85. As shown in FIG. 4, these cars underlie the floor track rail 25a or 25b on which the roller 86 is riding, so as to prevent any possibility of the roller leaving the track. The rotatability of the carr er plate 79 in the bearing means 76, 77, 73 enables the roller to turn about a vertical axis during movement of the panels between the partition forming position and the storage area.

THE LATCH MECHANISM As already mentioned, the partition panel 21 is locked in coplanar relation with the panels 21 by the latches 35, and these are operated by the mechanism 37. The latter includes a pair of connecting rods 35 which are connected to the respective latches 35 and are pivoted to studs 87 on a disc 88 which is secured to a shaft 8?, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 18. The shaft 89 is rotatably journalled in rectangular, box-like sockets 99 which are recessed into the opposite faces of the panel 21, and suitable handles 91 are secured to the ends of the shaft 89 so that the latches may be operated from either side of the panel. The box-like sockets also accommodate the aforementioned handles 38 which are pivotally mounted in the sockets as at 92. The handles are thus unabtrusive, but may be readily swung upwardly and outwardly from the sockets when the panel 21' is to be moved.

While in the foregoing there has been described and shown the preferred embodiment of the invention, various modifications and equivalents may become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention relates. Accordingly, it is not desired to limit the invention to this disclosure, and various modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is:

1. In a movable partition structure, the combination of a set of vertical panels each having side edges and upper and lower edges, an elongated floor track having a pair of spaced parallel rails and including a laterally offset branch rail communicating with one of said rails adjacent one end of said floor track, a pair of longitudinally spaced rollers provided at the lower edge of each of said panels and engaging the respective rails of the floor track, an elongated overhead track, a stabilizing trolley provided at the upper edge of each panel in vertical alignment with one of said rollers at the lower edge, said trolley engaging said overhead track, said panels being individually movable from a coplanar partition forming position wherein their side edges are in abutment to a laterally stacked position overlying said branch rail, and latch means projectable and retractable through the side edge of one of said panels into the side edge of the next adjacent panel when said panels are in abutment.

2. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said rollers and said trolley are rotatable about vertical axes.

3. In a movable partition structure, a vertical panel having side edges and upper and lower edges, a floor track including a pair of spaced parallel rails one of which is provided with a branch offset laterally from the other rail, a pair of roller assemblies mounted at longitudinally spaced points at the lower edge of said panel, each of said roller assemblies including a support plate, a carrier rotatable about a vertical aXis in said support plate, and a roller rotatable about a horizontal axis in said carrier, the rollers of said roller assemblies engaging the respective rails of said floor track, a straight overhead track including a pair of spaced parallel rails, and a single stabilizing trolley provided at the upper edge of said panel in vertical alignment with one of said roller assemblies at the lower edge, said trolley including a support plate, a block rotatable about a vertical axis on said last mentioned support plate, a cross shaft extending horizontally through said block, and a pair of trolley wheels rotatably mounted on end portions of said cross shaft, said wheels engaging the respective rails of said overhead track, said panel being movable along said floor track and laterally stabilized by the overhead track in its movement from a partition forming position coplanar with the overhead track to a storage position wherein it overlies said rail branch nearly at right angles to its partition forming plane.

4. The structure as defined in claim 3 together with means for vertically adjusting said block relative to the support plate of said trolley.

5. The structure as defined in claim 3 together with means for mounting the support plate of said trolley on the upper edge of said panel for longitudinal sliding movement of the trolley support plate within limits along the panel upper edge.

6. The structure as defined in claim 3 wherein said overhead track includes a trolley engaging section having said pair of rails provided thereon for engagement by the trolley wheels, and a ceiling supported section movable vertically relative to the trolley engaging section, whereby the ceiling supported section may deflect under load without transmitting its deflection to the trolley engaging section.

7. The structure as defined in claim 3 together with compressible gasket means provided at one side edge of said panel for sealing engagement with an abutting side edge of another panel, and expansible gasket means provided at the upper and lower edges of said panel, said expansible gasket means being sealingly engageable with said overhead track and with said floor track upon compression of said compressible gasket means, said compressible and expansible gasket means comprising hollow resilient gaskets, said gaskets being hermetically sealed but in communication with one another to facilitate flow of air therebetween.

8. The structure as defined in claim 3 together with a latch projectable and retractable through at least one side edge of said panel.

9. In a movable partition structure, a vertical panel having side edges and upper and lower edges, a floor track including a pair of spaced parallel rails, a pair of roller assemblies mounted at longitudinally spaced points at the lower edge of said panel, each of said roller assemblies including a support plate, a carrier rotatable about a vertical axis in said support plate, and a roller rotatable about a horizontal axis in said carrrier, the rollers of said roller assemblies engaging the respective rails of said floor track, an overhead track including a pair of spaced parallel rails, a stabilizing trolley provided at the upper edge of said panel in vertical alignment with one of said roller assemblies at the lower edge, said trolley including a support plate, a block rotatable about a vertical axis on said last mentioned support plate, a cross shaft extending horizontally through said block, and a pair of trolley wheels rotatably mounted on end portions of said cross shaft, said wheels engaging the respective rails of said overhead track, means for vertically adjusting said block relative to the support plate of said trolley, means for mounting the support plate of said trolley on the upper edge of said panel for longitudinal sliding movement of the trolley support plate within limits along the panel upper edge, said overhead track including a trolley engaging section having said pair of rails provided thereon for engagement by the trolley wheels, and a ceiling supported section movable vertically relative to the trolley engaging section, whereby the ceiling supported section may deflect under load without transmitting its deflection to the trolley engaging section, and compressible gasket means provided at one side edge of said panel for sealing engagement with an abutting side edge of another panel, and expansible gasket means provided at the upper and lower edges of said panel, said expansible gasket means being sealingly engageable with said overhead track and with said floor track upon compression of said compressible gasket means, said compressible and expansible gasket means comprising hollow resilient gaskets, said gaskets being hermetically sealed but in communication with one another to facilitate flow of air therebetween.

it In a movable partition structure, the combination of a set of vertical panels each having side edges and upper and lower edges, a floor track including a pair of spaced parallel rails one of which is provided with a branch offset laterally from the other rail, a pair of longitudinally spaced rollers provided at the lower edge of each panel and engaging the respective rails of said floor track, a straight overhead track including a pair of spaced parallel rails, and a single stabilizing trolley provided at the upper edge of each of said panels in vertical alignment with one of said rollers at the lower edge, said trolley including a support plate, a block rotatable about a vertical axis on said support plate, a cross shaft extending horizontally through said block, and a pair of trolley wheels rotatably mounted on end portions of said cross shaft, said wheels engaging the respective rails of said overhead track, said panels being individually movable along said floor track and laterally stabilized by the overhead track in their movement from a partition forming position wherein the panels are coplanar with the overhead track and have their side edges in abutment, to a laterally stacked storage position wherein the panels overlie the rail branch of the floor track nearly at right angles to their partition forming plane.

11. The structure as defined in claim it) together with compressible gasket means provided at one side edge of each of said panels for sealing engagement with an abutting side edge of an adjacent panel when the panels are in their partition forming position, and expansible gasket means provided at the upper and lower edges of said panels, said expansible gasket means being sealingly engageable with said overhead track and with said floor track upon compression of said compressible gasket means, said compressible and expansible gasket means comprising hollow resilient gaskets, said gaskets being hermetically sealed but in communication with one another to facilitate flow of air therebetween.

12. In a movable partition structure, the combination of a set of vertical panels each having side edges and upper and lower edges, a floor track including a pair of spaced parallel rails one of which is provided with a branch offset laterally from the other rail, a pair of longitudinally spaced rollers provided at the lower edge of each of said panels and engaging the respective rails of said floor track, a straight overhead track, and a single 9 10 stabilizing trolley provided at the upper edge of each 2,524,663 10/ 1950 Heijmer 52578 panel in engagement with said overhead track, said panels 2,657,436 11/ 1953 Fairhurst n 20l9 being individually movable from a coplanar partition 2,864,132 12/1958 Clement 52 578 forming position wherein their side edges are in abutment 2 945,53 5 7 1960 Haws 1 0 199 X to a laterally stacked position wherein they overlie said 5 3 100 9 3 19 3 coverley 2 19 rail branch at nearly right angles to their partition forming 3,235,915 2/1966 Glaser 20 19 plane, said overhead track including a trolley engaging section and a ceiling supported section movable vertically FOREIGN PATENTS relative to the trolley engaging section, whereby the ceil- 624,567 7/ 1961 Canada. ing supported section may deflect under load without 10 985,354 4/1951 F transmitting its deflection to the trolley engaging section. 665,263 9 /1938 Germany,

374,684 9/1939 It 1 References Cited by the Examiner a y UNITED sTATEs PATENTS HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner. 2,052,089 8/ 1936 Fairhurst 20-19 15 KENNETH DOWNEY, Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification49/127, 49/489.1, 49/411, 49/449, 49/477.1, 49/425
International ClassificationE04B2/82, E05D15/06
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/827, E05Y2900/142, E05D15/0608, E05D15/0652
European ClassificationE04B2/82D