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Publication numberUS3317259 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 2, 1967
Filing dateJun 3, 1965
Priority dateJun 3, 1965
Publication numberUS 3317259 A, US 3317259A, US-A-3317259, US3317259 A, US3317259A
InventorsOtis Samuel S
Original AssigneeOtis Samuel S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet construction
US 3317259 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

S. S. OTIS May 2, 1967 CABINET CONSTRUCTION 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 5, 1965 INVENTOR. SAMUEL 5. 0775 ar 'wwn 117,!

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May 2, 1967 s. s. OTIS CABINET CONSTRUCTION 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 5, 1965 INVENTO/P. SAMUEL 5. 0775 mfwm Y FLT-13 United States Patent Ofiice 3,317,259 CABINET CONSTRUQTEUN Samuel S. Otis, 516 Walnut St, Winnetka, llll. 60093 Filed June 3, 1965, Ser. No. 461,108 4 Claims. (Cl. 312-223) My present invention relates generally to a cabinet construction and more particularly to a cabinet having an open front and novel closure means therefor.

At the present time, wall cabinets used for example in kitchens are usually provided with swinging doors for closing the otherwise open fronts of the cabinets. When such doors are swung to an open position, they project a considerable distance in front of the cabinet. This arrangement is unsatisfactory because the work area adjacent the cabinet is obstructed, and because the projecting doors are frequently engaged accidentally by the head of a person moving about in the area of the cabinet.

It is an object of my present invention to provide novel closure means for a cabinet which obviates the disadvantages of swinging doors.

It is another object of my present invention to provide closure means, as described, which comprises a flexible closure member that may be extended for closing the front of the cabinet and retracted for opening the front of the cabinet, and power operated means for extending and retracting the closure member.

It is another object of my present invention to provide closure means, as described, wherein the flexible closure member is adapted to be wound upon transverse roller means located adjacent the top of the cabinet.

It is a further object of my present invention to provide a closure means, as described, wherein a transverse bar is secured to the lower edge of the closure member which bar is sufficiently heavy to maintain the latter taut during vertical movement, and wherein cooperating guide means are associated with the ends of the transverse bar and the sides of the front of the cabinet for guiding the transverse bar and the closure member during vertical movement.

It is a further object of my present invention to provide closure means, as described, wherein the power operated means for extending and retracting the closure member comprises an electric reversible motor and power transmission means between the motor and the roller means.

It is a further object of my present invention to provide closure means, as described, which incorporates an electrical control system operable to connect the motor to a power source to energize the same for rotation in either direction whereby the closure memberis extended or retracted, and including means responsive to motor rotation for interrupting energization of the motor for stopping movement of the closure member when the latter reaches closed and open position respectively.

It is still a further object of my present invention to provide closure means, as described, wherein the roller means, the motor and power transmission means are preferably disposed within a housing adapted to be mounted on the top of the cabinet.

Now in order to acquaint those skilled in the art with the manner of constructing and using cabinet construction in accordance with the principles of my present invention, I shall describe in connection with the accompanying drawings preferred embodiments of my invention.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a kitchen wall cabinet incorporating the closure means of my present invention and located above a combined open work counter and cabinet;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially along the line 22 3,317,259 Patented May 2, 1967.

in FIGURE 1, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view, taken substantially along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially along the line 44 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary view, on a further enlarged scale, taken substantially along the line 5-5 in FIGURE 2, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows.

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary horizontal view, on a further enlarged scale, taken substantially along the line 6-6 in FIGURE 1, looking in the direction indicated by the arrows, and illustrates schematically the electrical control system incorporated in my present invention; and

FIGURE 7 is a view of an alternative type of manual switch that may be used in the electrical control system of FIGURE 6.

Referring now to FIGURE 1, there is indicated generally by the reference numeral 10 a portion of a wall to which is suitably secured a cabinet 12, having conventional shelves 13, especially adapted for use in a kitchen. The cabinet 12 may be fabricated of wood, metal or other suitable material, and may be arranged above a combined open work counter and cabinet 14. The wall cabinet 12 is generally rectangular and is provided with an open front adapted to be closed by closure means incorporating the principles of my present invention to be described in detail hereinafter.

Suitably mounted on the top of the cabinet 12 is a generally horizontal container or housing 16 comprised of end or side panels 17, top and bottom panels 18 and 19 (FIGURE 2), and a transverse front panel 20. The side panels 17, in the preferred embodiment of my invention, project forwardly of the front plane of the cabinet 12 and the front edges thereof are semi-cylindrical. A transversely extending curved cover member 21 is removably mounted along the front of the housing 16 by means of snap catches 122. Extending between, and suitably journalled in, the front end portions of the side panels 17, as best shown in FIGURES 2 and 5, is a shaft 22 on which is secured for rotation therewith a roller tube 24 that is of shorter axial extent than the shaft 22. Secured to the roller tube 24 is the one horizontal edge of a flexible closure member 26 which may be fabricated of a pliable fabric or plastic sheet and which may be decorated or otherwise finished to match the adjacent woodwork. Rotation of the shaft 22 and tube 24 in one direction serves to roll up the closure member 26 substantially within the confines of the cover member 21, while rotation of the shaft 22 and the tube 24 in the opposite direction serves to unroll the closure member 26 whereby the lower edge of the latter is permitted to descend for closing the otherwise open front of the cabinet 12. Although the roller tube 24 preferably lies above the top plane of the cabinet 12 and forwardly of the front plane thereof, if desired the roller tube 24 may be arranged either below the top plane of the cabinet or rearwardly of the front plane thereof.

The lower horizontal edge of the closure member 26, as shown in FIGURES l-4, is secured to a generally horizontal transverse bar 28 from the ends of which project pin members 30 having enlarged generally spherical heads that are received in vertical slide tracks 32 mounted on the cabinet 12 adjacent the opposite sides of the open front thereof. The transverse bar 28 serves to maintain the closure member 26 taut by gravity during upward and downward movement of the latter as the same is rolled up on the tube 24 and unrolled therefrom. The coopcrating pin members 30 and slide tracks 32 serve to guide upward and downward movement of the transverse bar 28 and, in turn, the closure member 26. Also, a rotatable rod 33 is provided for maintaining the closure member 26 in proper position when being rolled up or down. By reason of the particular configuration of the pin members 30, the transverse bar 28 may be manually rotated and the closure member 26 thus rolled up from the bottom, for example, in the case of electrical or mechanical failure of the closure drive means to be described hereinafter.

As shown in FIGURES and 6, a reversible electrical motor 34 is secured to one of the side panels 17, within the housing 16, by strap members 35. Suitable power transmission means is arranged between the forward end of the drive shaft 36 of the motor 34 and the rotatable shaft 22. By way of example, such power transmission means may comprise a bevel gear 38 having disconnectible connection through a chuck 39 with the motor drive shaft 36, a bevel gear 40 meshing both with the gear 38 and a bevel gear 42 afiixed for rotation with a spur gear 44 which has meshing engagement with a spur gear 46 secured on the rotatable shaft 22. Suitable brackets 47 are provided for rotatably supporting the gears arranged between the motor shaft 36 and the gear 46. The chuck 39 permits the motor shaft 36 to be readily disconnected from the gear 38 so that the motor 34 may be removed for repairs or replacement, if necessary, without disturbing the power transmission means. The disclosed power transmission means affords a speed reduction of approximately one-half between the motor drive shaft 36 and the rotatable shaft 22. Those skilled in the art will ap preciate that a different gear arrangement, or a chain and sprocket arrangement, could be substituted for the gear arrangement shown. Also, the motor 34 may be mounted parallel to the front of the cabinet if desired.

Mounted at the rear end of the motor 34 is a switch actuating assembly comprised of frame members 48 and 50 projecting inwardly from the adjacent side panel 17. Extending between the frame members 48 and 50 is a stationary rod 52, and arranged parallel thereto is a threaded rod 54 which is journalled in the frame members 48 and 50 and drivingly connected to the motor shaft 36. The switch actuating assembly further includes an actuator arm 56 having a hub portion 58 slidably mounted on the stationary rod 52 and an interiorly threaded boss portion 60 having threaded engagement with the rod 54. Mounted at the outer ends of the frame members 48 and 50 are limit switches 62 and 64 which are normally spring biased to a closed position. When the actuator arm 56 is in the position shown in FIG- URE 6, the limit switch 62 is opened; when the actuator arm 56 is moved to a position adjacent the frame member 50, the limit switch 64 is opened.

The limit switches 62 and 64 are incorporated in an electrical circuit which includes a manual switch 66 that may be located at a convenient point in the side of the cabinet 12 as shown in FIGURE 1. The switch 66 comprises a switch arm 67, and cooperating pairs of male and female contacts 68 and 70, and 72 and 74. The switch arm 67 is pivotally mounted about an axis 76, and is provided with push button extensions 78 and 80. In the disclosed electrical circuit, the switch arm 67 is connected to one side of an electrical power source through a conductor 82, the female contact 70 is connected through a conductor 84 with one side of the limit switch 64, and the other side of the switch 64 is connected with the forward drive field winding of the motor 34 through a conductor 86. In addition the female contact 74 of the manual switch 66 is connected through a conductor 88 with the one side of the limit switch 62, and the other side of theswitch 62 is connected with the reverse drive field winding of the motor 34 through a conductor 90. To complete the electrical circuit, the

4 motor 34 is grounded through a conductor 92. The various conductors leading to the manual switch 66 are preferably retained in conduit 93 (FIGURES 2, 3 and 4).

Assuming that the closure member 26 is in a fully downwardly extended position closing the open front of the cabinet 12 as shown in FIGURE 1, the components of the electrical circuit will be disposed in the positions shown in FIGURE 6. Should it now be desired to raise the closure member 26, the push button extension 78 is depressed for interconnecting the contacts 68 and 70 and disconnecting the contacts 72 and 74. When the contacts 68 and 70 are snapped into latching interconnection, current will fiow through the conductor 82, the switch arm 67, contacts 68 and 79, the conductor 84. the limit switch 64, the conductor 86, the forward field winding of the motor 34, and the conductor 92. At this time, the motor 34 will be rotated in a forward direction causing rotation of the rotatable shaft 22 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 2, and the closure member 26 will be wound up on the roller tube 24. As the closure member is being wound up, the actuator arm 56 is threaded toward the right, as viewed in FIGURE 6, until the latter engages and opens the limit switch 64 thereby interrupting the fiow of current to the motor 34 and stopping upward movement of the closure member 26. Also, when the actuator arm 56 moves away from the position shown in FIGURE 6 the limit switch 62 is permitted to return to its normally closed position.

Should it be desired to lower the closure member 26, the push button extension is depressed for interconnecting the contacts 72 and 74 and disconnecting the contacts 68 and 70 as shown in FIGURE 6. At this time, current will flow through the conductor 82, the switch arm 67, the contacts 72 and 74, the conductor 88, the limit switch 62, the conductor 90, the reverse field winding of the motor 34, and the conductor 92. Concurrently, the motor 34 is driven in a reverse direction and the rotatable shaft 22 is driven in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 2 effecting unrolling of the closure member 26. As the closure member 26 is being unwound, the actuator arm 56 is threaded back to the position shown in FIGURE 6 until the latter engages and opens the limit switch 62 thereby interrupting fiow of current to the motor 34 and stopping downward movement of the closure member 26'. When the actuator arm 56 begins to move away from the frame member 50 toward the position shown in FIGURE 6, the limit switch 64 is permitted to return to its normally closed position. As will be appreciated, the distance that the actuator arm 56 travels between the limit switches 62 and 64 is arranged to correspond proportionally to the desired distance between the lowermost position of the transverse bar 23 (FIGURES l and 4) and the uppermost position (FIGURE 2).

If desired, a manual switch 94 of the type shown in FIGURE 7 may be substituted for the manual switch 66 shown in FIGURE 6. The switch 94 comprises a switch arm 96 pivotally mounted about an axis 98, push button extensions 100 and 102, and cooperating pairs of contacts 104 and 166, and 108 and 110. Also, a pair of springs 112 are suitably mounted at the ends of the switch arm 96 for normally maintaining the latter in a neutral position wherein the contacts 104 and 108 are retained disengaged from the associated contacts 106 and 110. As will be readily apparent, the contacts 164 and 166 are engaged for energizing the forward drive field winding of the motor 34 by applying manual pressure to the push button extension 169, while the contacts 108 and 110 are engaged for energizing the reverse drive field winding of the motor 34 by applying manual pressure to the push button extension 162. In either case, when pressure is released from the push button 100 or 102, the springs 112 serve to return the switch arm 96 to a neutral position. I

An opening is provided in each of the side panels 17 adjacent the ends of the rotatable shaft 22 whereby to facilitate the interconnection of the shafts of a series of cabinets adjacently located. Thus, it is possible to effect conjoint movement of a series of closure members 26 by means of a single electric motor. The adjacent ends of a pair of non-aligned shafts 22 may be interconnected by means of a flexible coupling thus permitting one shaft 22 to drive another around a corner. The openings in the side panels 17 may be closed when desired by a removable end cap 114.

While I have shown and described what I believe to be preferred embodiments of my present invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention.

I claim:

1. In combination with a cabinet having an open front, closure means adapted to close said open front comprising; roller means extending transversely of the front of the cabinet adjacent the top thereof, a flexible closure member wound on said roller means, said closure member having a lower edge being extended vertically downwardly upon rotation of said roller means in one direction for closing the front of the cabinet and being retracted vertically upwardly upon rotation of said roller means in the other direction for opening the front of the cabinet, power operated means for selectively effecting rotation of said roller means in either direction, a transverse bar secured to the lower edge of said closure member for maintaining the latter taut during vertical movement, and cooperating guide means associated with the ends of said transverse bar and the sides of the front of the cabinet for guiding said transverse bar and said closure member during vertical movement.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said guide means includes vertical slide tracks at the sides of the front of the cabinet and pin members projecting from the ends of said transverse bar and having enlarged generally spherical heads that are received in said vertical slide tracks 3. In combination with a cabinet having an open front, a housing mounted on the top of the cabinet and projecting forwardly thereof, transverse roller means within said housing at the forwardly projecting portion thereof, a flexible closure member wound on said roller means, said closure member being extended vertically downwardly upon rotation of said roller means in one direction for closing the front of the cabinet and being retracted vertically upwardly upon rotation of said roller means in the other direction for opening the front of the cabinet, a transverse bar secured to the lower edge of said closure member for maintaining the latter taut by gravity during vertical movement, vertical slide tracks at the sides of the front of the cabinet, pin members projecting from the ends of said transverse bar and having enlarged generally spherical heads that are received in. said vertical slide tracks, said vertical slide tracks and said pin members 5 serving to guide said transverse bar and said closure member during vertical movement, power operated means within said housing for selectively effecting rotation of said roller means in either direction, said power operated means including an electric reversible motor and power transmission means between said motor and said roller means, an electrical control system operable to connect said motor to a power source to energize the same for rotation in one direction whereby said closure member is distended, means responsive to motor rotation for interrupting energization of said motor for stopping down ward movement of said closure member when the latter reaches closed position, said electrical control system being operable to connect said motor to the power source to energize the same for rotation in the other direction whereby said closure member is retracted, and said lastnamed means serving to interrupt energization of said motor for stopping upward movement of said closure member when the latter reaches open position.

4. In combination with a cabinet having an open front, a housing mounted on top of the cabinet, transverse roller means within said housing, a flexible closure member wound on said roller means, said closure member being extended upon rotation of said roller means in one direction for closing the front of the cabinet and being retracted upon rotation of said roller means in the other direction for opening the front of the cabinet, a transverse bar secured to the lower edge of said closure member for maintaining the latter taut during movement, slide tracks at the sides of the front of the cabinet, cooperating guide means associated with the ends of said transverse bar and said slide tracks for guiding said transverse bar and said closure member during movement, and power operated means within said housing for selectively effecting said rotation of said roller means in either direction. 40

References ited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 537,351 4/ 1895 Neuenschwander 312297 X 755,675 3/1904 Kirby 312-297 X 1,246,570 11/1917 Edwards 1603 1 1,509,450 9/ 1924 Sweeney 16026 X 2,606,607 8/1952 Vita 160-27 2,909,718 10/ 1959 Lawick 318-266 CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner. C. E. HARRIS, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US537351 *Sep 11, 1894Apr 9, 1895 Window-blind
US755675 *Oct 12, 1903Mar 29, 1904Dayton Mfg CompanyCurtain-fixture.
US1246570 *Oct 10, 1916Nov 13, 1917David EdwardsRoll-screen for windows.
US1509450 *Jul 13, 1920Sep 23, 1924Edward J SweeneyAutomobile screen
US2606607 *Dec 28, 1949Aug 12, 1952Lawrence VitaWindow
US2909718 *Aug 26, 1955Oct 20, 1959Julius J LawickDoor operating apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3608988 *Jul 2, 1969Sep 28, 1971Theodor K L AmbergCulinary appliance shelf unit
US4088157 *Jun 8, 1976May 9, 1978Sulzer Brothers Ltd.Hood system for covering an automatically operating machine
US4537040 *Aug 26, 1983Aug 27, 1985Tyler Refrigeration CorporationAutomated energy conserving cover for refrigerated cabinet access openings
US6123136 *Jan 5, 1999Sep 26, 2000Williams; Wilfred J.Retractable top cover and awning for recreational vehicle
US6591555Jun 15, 2001Jul 15, 2003Steelcase Development CorporationStorage unit having flexible cover
DE19852545A1 *Nov 13, 1998May 18, 2000Bulthaup Gmbh & CoCabinet or cupboard closure design comprises roll shutter or sliding door with concealed guide grooves and elements as balls slide or rollers to give closed front
DE19852545B4 *Nov 13, 1998Apr 8, 2004BULTHAUP GmbH & CO. KÜCHENSYSTEMEKorpuselement mit Rolladen
EP0210431A1 *Jun 23, 1986Feb 4, 1987Kairos S.R.L.Door-type closure device for wall-mounted furniture units
WO2008111934A1 *Mar 12, 2007Sep 18, 2008Carrier CorpFood preparation apparatus with sliding cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/297, 160/274, 160/310, 160/23.1
International ClassificationE06B9/11
Cooperative ClassificationE06B9/115
European ClassificationE06B9/11F