US 3353888 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 21, 1967 G. PRITELLI, JR 3,353,888
ARTICLE OF FURNITURE ASSEMBLED FROM PREFABRICATED COMPONENTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 20, 1966 r J Km mm, Y i s e s m V p 0 We W 9A x 1 .w 6
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Nov. 21, 1967 G. PRITELL J 3,353,888
ARTICLE OF FURNITURE ASSEMBLED FROM PREFABRICATED COMPONENTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 20, 1966 Giuseppe Prifelh; Jr:
1 N VENTOR.
Attorney United States Patent 3,353,888 ARTICLE OF FURNITURE ASSEMBLED FROM PREFABRICATED COMPONENTS Giuseppe Pritelli, Jr., Cattolica, Forli, Italy Filed Jan. 20, 1966, Ser. No. 521,970 Claims priority, application Italy, Jan. 21, 1965, 1,316/65; Jan. 30, 1965, 1,951/65 9 Claims. (Cl. 312-257) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Three-dimensional framework forming one or more sixsided compartments each bounded by two parallel, foursided frames that are interconnected by upper and lower horizontal plates. Each frame consists of one or more U- shaped modules, the last one being complemented by a cross-piece, and is provided with grooves for the insertion of vertical panels within any module and/ or between the two frames, the grooves of the horizontal frame elements also receiving tongues of the adjoining vertical elements. A side of the framework may be closable by a shutter hinged to a frame member or to a connecting plate.
My present invention relates to an article of furniture which can be assembled from prefabricated components and, depending upon their number and arrangement, can assume a variety of shapes.
The general object of this invention is to provide an article of the character described whose components can be rapidly and easily put together and which may be eX- tended at will, from a basic structure having a single compartment, to include any desired number of such compartments in, preferably, vertically stacked relationship.
This object is realized, pursuant to my invention, by the provision of a three-dimensional framework which includes two parallel upright frames each in turn composed of one or more U-shaped modules, a module consisting of a horizontal and two vertical elongated elements, as well as one further horizontal element complementing the last module to a rectangle whereby each frame is composed of at least two horizontal and at least one pair of vertical elements; the modules of each frame are detachably fiXed to one another, as well as to the complemental horizontal element, and the frames are interconnected by two or more horizontal plates each secured to one of the horizontal elements of each frame.
Between each pair of connecting platesthere is thus formed a six-sided compartment whose four vertical sides may be left open or closed by suitable panels which may be slid into longitudinal grooves of the horizontal and vertical frame elements adjoiningthe respective sides; the panels may be solid or perforated, opaque or transparent, as desired.
For the purpose of detachably interfitting the'horizontal and vertical frame elements, the latter are advantageously provided at their upper and lower ends with projecting tongues re-received with a mortise-and-tenon fit in the longitudinal groove of an adjoining horizontal element. This groove, of course, may be the same one that receives the corresponding side panel and the horizontal element may, for this purpose, be a molding with an H- shaped profile. The horizontal and vertical elements of each frame may be detachably interconnected by fasteners, such as screws, passing through the aforementioned tongues.
Another feature of my invention relates to the provision of a shutter for an otherwise open side of any compartment, this shutter comprising four elongated frame members which may be generally similar to the elements of the frame structure and which together define a rectangular opening spanned by a panel received in inner longitudinal grooves of the frame members. Such a shutter can be hingedly connected with one of the elements bounding the compartment side to be closed by it, e.g. with one of the vertical moldings or jambs of either frame. A shutter of this description could, on the other hand, also be hinged to one of the sill or lintel moldings of a compartment so as to be swingable about a horizontal rather than vertical axis; in that case the shutter, when outwardly extended, may serve as a shelf for temporary storage or as a desk or writing surface.
The invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an article of furniture, specifically a display cabinet, embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of a module, of inverted U-shape, forming part of the article of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line III III of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a side view taken on the line IV-IV of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a face view of a shutter forming part of the article of FIG. 1; and
FIGS. 6 and 7 are cross-sectional views taken on the lines VIVI and VII-VII, respectively, of FIG. 5.
In FIG. 1 I have shown a display cabinet comprising a framework 20 of prismatic configuration divided into a lower and an upper compartment of substantially cubic shape. Structure 20 is composed of a pair of upright frames 21, 22 which are held together by three horizontal connecting plates 9. Each frame consists of three elongated horizontal molding 1, at the level of the three plates 9, and of four vertical elongated moldings 4 whose upper and lower extremities form tongues 5 (FIGS. 2 and 4) received in upper and lower horizontal grooves 2, 2' of adjoining moldings 1. The U-shaped module shown in FIGS. 2-4 is constituted by one horizontal molding 1 and two vertical moldings 4, specifically defining the lintel and the jambs of frame 21 in the region of the lower compartment. These moldings are detachably but firmly interconnected by screws 27 which extend through a threaded bore 7 in the upper end of each vertical molding 4 and through respective passages 3, aligned with these,
bores, in molding 1. Bore 7 terminates in a transverse hole 8 serving as an air vent; it will be understood that other fastening means, e.g. bolts co-operating with nuts introduced through the holes 8, could similarly be used. The screw 27 is countersunk so that its head comes to lie at the bottom of upper groove 2 of molding 1 and will not interfere with the insertion of a tongue 5 from an aligned jamb 4 of the next-higher module. As indicated, the bores 7 and holes 8 are duplicated at opposite ends of each molding 4 so that, if desired, the lowermost crossmolding or sill 1 can also be positively connected with the elements 4 shown in FIG. 2. Moreover, the provision of Patented Nov. 21, 1967 threaded bores at both ends of each vertical molding expedites the initial assembly of the modules even though some of these bores Will be functionless in the finished structure.
In a similar manner, the horizontal moldings 1 are provided near their ends with transverse holes 3' aligned with respective bores 7 which threadedly extend inwardly from adjoining edges of plates 9 and terminate in venting holes 8. The holes 3' and bores 7 accommodate mounting screws, similar to those shown at 27, for detachably but firmly securing the plates 9 to the elements 1.
Each of the vertical elements 4 is shown provided with six vertical grooves, Le. a pair of parallel grooves 6a, 6b on its inner broader surface, a single groove 60 on its outer narrow surface, a pair of parallel grooves 6d, 6e on its outer broad surface, and a single groove 6 on its inner narrow surface confronting the other jamb of the same module. These confronting grooves 67'' register and are coplanar with the grooves 2, 2' of adjoining horizontal moldings 1 so that a panel 25, e.g. a glass pane, may be removably held in these grooves, as by being slid into the corresponding module from below before the module is brought into engagement with the next-lower horizontal molding 1. Similarly, glass panes or other panels 23, 24 may he slid into confronting grooves 6a or 6b, respectively, to close the open side of a compartment between the two frames 21, 22. The duplication of the grooves 6a, 6b (and, if desired, of other grooves such as 6 enables the juxtaposition of two panels for purposes of thermal insulation, extra protection or special optical effects. Again, certain grooves (60, 6d, 6e) are provided only for purposes of standardization and will have no function in the completed structure. It will be noted that panels 23 and 24 are held only along their vertical edges, in contradistinction to the panels 25 which are engaged on all four sides.
One or more sides of either or both stacked compart ments shown in FIG. 1 may be closaole by hinged shutters 10, 10' whose construction has been illustrated in detail in FIGS. -7. Each of these shutters comprises a panel 19 framed by four elongated members 11, 12, 13 and 16 which are H-shaped moldings similar to the elements 1 of structure 26 and which are interconnected by screws 17 passing through aligned bores 14, 15 at the corners of the rectangle; the mode of connection, of course, is similar to that described above with reference to plates 9 and moldings 1, 4. Two of the bolts 17, traversing the frame member 16, also serve as means for attaching to this frame member a pair of hinges 18 whose swingable portions carry short rectangular blocks 18a with holes 18b through which screws 26 may pass from the purpose of se-. curing the hinges to one of the molding of FIG. 1. The blocks 18a are snugly receivable in the grooves of such moldings, eg. in the groove 6b of one of the moldings 4 in the case of shutter and in the groove 2 of one of the moldings 1 in the case of shutter 10.
The H-shaped profile of each frame member 11, 12, 13, 16 defines a pair of grooves which have been designated 11, 11"; 12', 12"; 13, 13" and 16', 16". The inner grooves 11', 12', 13' and 16 accommodate the central pane or panel 19 while the outer groove, otherwise functionless, could be occupied by sealing strips 28 or the like engaging the inner surfaces of confronting molding 1 and/ or 4 when the shutter is closed. When the shutter is swingable about a horizontal axis as illustrated for the assembly 10' in FIG. 1, conventional bracing means (not shown) may be provided to hold it temporarily in its outwardly swung position so as to keep open the access to the associated compartment. Such swung-out shutter could also be used as a supporting surface for various purposes.
The profiled el ments 1, 4, 11-13 and 16 could be rolled or extruded from metals or plastics, although of course other solid materials (e.g. wood) can also be used. The structure 20 shown in FIG. 1 can be extended at will in an upward direction, by the superposition of additional pairs of U-shaped modules 1, 4 with connecting plates 9 upon the two-level assembly illustrated. It will also be evident that the structure may be extended horizontally by the erection of additional frames connected by suitable means, similar to plates 9, with frames 21 and/ or 22. All' these modifications, and others which will be readily apparent to persons skilled in the art, are intended to be embraced within the spirit and scope of my invention as. defined in the appended claims.
1. An article of furniture comprising a three-dimen-- sional framework including two parallel upright frames. each composed of at least two horizontal elongated ele-- ments and at least one pair of vertical elongated elementsextending along respective edges of at least one six-sided? compartment, said pair of vertical elements and one of? said horizontal elements together constituting a U-shaped. module detachably secured to the other horizontal ele-' ment for defining therewith a rectangular side surface of.
said compartment; at least two horizontal. connecting; plates secured to said horizontal elements of both frames for defining upper and lower wall surfaces of said compartment, said plates being provided with horizontal bores extending inwardly from the edges adjoining said hori-- zontal elements, the latter having holes aligned with saidbores; and fastening means passing through said aligned holes and bores for detachably securing said plates to said frames.
2. An article of furniture comprising a three-dime n-- sional framework including two parallel upright frameseach composed of at least two horizontal elongated ele-- ments and at least one pair of vertical elongated elements extending along respective edges of at least one six-sided compartment, said pair of vertical elements and one of said horizontal elements together constituting a U-shaped module detachably secured to the other horizontal element for defining therewith a rectangular side surface of said compartment; at least two horizontal connecting plates secured to said horizontal elements of both frames for defining upper and lower wall surfaces of said compartment, the horizontal elements of each frame being moldings formed with longitudinal horizontal grooves, said vertical elements terminating at their upper and lower extremities in tongues received in said grooves with a mortise-and-tenon fit; and fastening means passing through said tongues for detachably interconnecting said horizontal and vertical elements.
3. An article as defined in claim 2 wherein said vertical elements are moldings provided with longitudinal vertical grooves coplanar with said horizontal grooves for accommodating panels insertable between the arms of the U-shaped modules.
4. An article as defined in claim 3 wherein said vertical grooves are duplicated along at least some surfaces of said vertical elements for accommodating a plurality of parallel panels.
5. An article as defined in claim 2 further comprising a panel framed by said elements and removably received in the grooves thereof.
6. An article as defined in claim 2 wherein said horizontal elements are moldings of 'H-shaped profile defining an upper and a lower horizontal groove on each molding.
7. An article of furniture comprising a three dimensional framework including two parallel upright frames. each composed of at least two horizontal elongated ele-- ments and at least one pair of vertical elongated elements extending along respective edges of at least one six-sided compartment, said pair of vertical elements and one of said horizontal elements together constituting a U-shaped module detachably secured to the other horizontal element for defining therewith a rectangular side surface of said compartment; at least two horizontal connecting plates secured to said horizontal elements of both frames for defining upper and lower wall surfaces of said compartment; a shutter fitting into the space bounded by said plates and two vertical elements of said framework; and hinge means swingably securing said shutter to an element bounding said space.
8. An article as defined in claim 7 wherein said shutter comprises four interconnected frame members defining the sides of a rectangle and a rectangular panel received in inner longitudinal grooves of said frame members.
9. An article as defined in claim 8 wherein at least some of said frame members are provided with outer longitudinal grooves, further comprising sealing strips received in said outer grooves for contact with adjoining elements of said structure in a closed position of the shutter.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1918 Shaw 312-257 3/1924 Hauserman et a1. 312-257 X 1/1926 Byrne et al 312-257 X 12/1935 Beers et al. 312-111 X 1/1952 McMurtrie 132-111 X 6/1966 Diem 211-148 X FOREIGN PATENTS 6/1967 Italy.
JAMES T. MCCALL, Primary Examiner.