Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3377756 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1968
Filing dateOct 22, 1964
Priority dateOct 22, 1964
Publication numberUS 3377756 A, US 3377756A, US-A-3377756, US3377756 A, US3377756A
InventorsPolhamus Harry M
Original AssigneeMovable Interior Products
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Demountable building partition construction
US 3377756 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


m y WWW m m mm m M m A ril 16, 1968 H. M. POLHAMUS DEMOUNTABLE BUILDING PARTITION CONSTRUCTION Filed Oct. 22, 1964 2 Sheets-$heet 2} INVENTOR. Harry M. Polhamus Attorney United States Patent 3,377,756 DEMOUNTABLE BUILDING PARTHTIGN CONSTRUCTKON Harry M. Polhamus, Orinda, Calif., assignor to Movable Interior Products, a corporation of California Fiied Oct. 22, 1964, Ser. No. 405,807 3 Claims. Cl. 52-220) This invention relates generally .to the art of building construction, and more particularly to the construction of interior par-tition structures including solid panels, doors, glass panels, and the like.

In modern oflice buildings and similar structures, there is a frequent need to rearrange and improvise floor plans and room designs to accommodate the particular requirements of different building tenants. This accommodation often involves moving interior walls, substituting different types of partition panels, doors, etc., for existing structure-s, and modifying electrical wiring or other utility services.

A difficulty often encountered in providing movable or demountable partition structures is that there is limited service access for electrical wiring, telephone connections or the like. Consequently, electrical wiring conduit and similar provisions must be installed at the time the building partition is being constructed, and cannot be easily modified or serviced after the structure is completed. Another difficulty sometimes presented is in the substitution of one type of partition member for another, which may require extensive dismantling of otherwise unatfected adjacent partition members. For example, if a glass panel or a door is to be substituted for an existing solid panel, it may be necessary to substantially disassemble the partition structures adjacent either side of the solid panel being replaced.

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a building partition construction in which electrical wiring and the like can be installed at any time during or after the assembly of a wall partition structure, and can be readily serviced or changed without disassem'bling or otherwise modifying the existing wall structure.

Another object of the invention is to provide a building partition construction in which various partition members can be readily replaced or rearranged without disassembling adjacent unchanged portions of the partition construction.-

A further object of the invention is to provide a building partition structural support member that houses electrical wiring or similar utility conduit and retains various types of partition members such as solid panels, glass, doors, etc., and which enables installation or modification of such conduit and replacement of such partition mem bers without disassembly or modification of other-wise unchanged portion of the partition construction.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a structural support member as described above that utilizes a removable retaining portion and a removable cover portion, and which provides secure retention of such removable portions without threaded fasteners or other separate fastening devices.

The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which of the foregoing will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming part of this specification. It is to be understood howeventhat variations in the showing made by said drawings and description may be adopted within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims.

Referring to said drawings:

3,377,756 Patented Apr. 16, 1968 FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a building partition construction comprising a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary perspective View of a support member utilized in the structure shown in FIG- URE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a partially exploded transverse crosssectional view of the member shown in FIGURE 2.

A building partition construction comprising a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG- URE l, and is seen to include a vertical support member 12, a horizontal support member 13 having an end 14 disposed adjacent the vertical member 12, the members 12 and 13 each respectively having elongated raceways 16 and 17 for housing utility conduits, a solid panel partition member 18 retained by each of the support members, the members 12 and 13 each respectively including selectively removal cover portions 19 and 21 for providing access to the raceways 16 and 17, the cover portions being removable from their respective support members without movement of the partition member 18. The aforesaid utility conduit as shown consists of electrical wiring conduit 22 which extends through the raceways 16 and 17 and connects with outlet sockets 23 and 24 and a switch 26.

Each of the support members 12 and 13 further includes a removable retaining portion 27 and 28 for securing the panel member 18 in place. As will be described more fully hereinafter, the cover portions 19 and 21 respectively engage the retaining portions 27 and 23 with the latter being removable only when the corresponding cover portion is removed. The cover portions, however, are removable while the retaining portions re main in position securing the panel member. It thus will be seen that the electrical conduit 22 can be installed or serviced after the panel 18 is secured in place simply by removing the cover portions to provide access to the raceways. The panel 18 can be removed from the support members by removing the retaining portions 27 and 28 after the corresponding cover portions are re moved.

Support member 12 and 13 are of identical construction and are formed to accommodate a variety of partition arrangements as illustrated in the drawings. The

' detailed description of these main support members with reference to a typical member 20 illustrated in the enlarged views FIGURES 2 and 3 will accordingly suffice for a description of members 12 and 13. As will be observed from FIGURES 2 and 3, the support member 20 is of generally elongated channel shape having a central wall portion 29 and a pair of spaced side walls 39 and 31 extending perpendicularly from wall 29 internally from opposite side edges 36 and 38 which project as flanges perpendicularly from the side walls 30 and 31. These flanges cooperate with flanges 34 and 37 at the outer extremities of side walls 30 and 31, for retaining wall partition members extending away from the channel member 20. In FIGURE 1 a partition panel 18 is shown as being retained by similar spaced flanges on members 12 and 13. A snap-in bracket 39 is shown in FIGURE 3 removably secured between the flanges 34 and 36, and is adapted to retain a glass panel 41 or similar member. Another snap-in bracket 42 is secured between opposed flanges 37 and 38, and includes a portion of 43 that forms a door jamb for a door 44. A

similar door and door jamb are illustrated in FIGURE 1 adjacent the vertical support member 12.

An elongated front wall cover portion 46 is removably secured across the outer ends of the side walls 30 and 31 in spaced relation with central portion 29 to define a service raceway 47 within the channel member 26. The cover portion 46 is removable from the side wall portions independently of the spaced flange retaining means. In the preferred form of the invention as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, the removable cover portion 46 is secured in place by means of an elongated ridge 48 provided longitudinally on the said wall 31 in confronting relation with the side wall 30 and an elongated ridge or boss 49 provided longitudinally on the side wall 36 in confronting relation with ridge 48. The edge 51 of the cover portion 46 has an elongated groove 52 therein that is engageable with the ridge 43,

and an elongated flexible resilient flange or clasp 53 extends inwardly from the cover portion 46 for engagement with the boss 49. To insert the cover 46, the groove 52 is first engaged with the ridge 48, and the cover 46 is then pivoted about the axis of the ridge 43 until the flange 53 resiliently engages the ridge 49 and snaps into locking engagement therewith.

In accordance with the present invention and as an important feature thereof, flange 34 is provided by a separate slide-out member removably retained in position on the outer end of wall 39 by the front wall 46 when the later is in closed position; and the flange member 34 may be removed as desired to repair or replace the partition member retained thereby only after the front wall member 46 is removed. The slide-out flange member 34 corresponds with the removable retaining portions 27 and 28 described in connection with the showing in FIGURE 1. As will be best seen in FIGURES 2 and 3, boss 49 is formed with a longitudinally extendwall 30 in parallel opposed relation to flange 36 for retaining partition members, brackets, and the like of the type above described. An end portion 58 of cover 46 overlies and engages a portion of the flange member 34 outside of the tongue 57 so as to prevent the sliding out of the tongue from its engaged position in slot 56. As here shown, member 34 is formed with a recess 59 which received the edge portion 58 with the outer surfaces of the members substantially flush and neat fitting as seen in FIGURE 2. Also the slide out member 34 is prevented from being separated from the main channel member 20 by means of an internal ridge or shoulder 61 formed on the cover plate member 46 at the edge portion 58 and which is received within an interlocking groove 62 provided in recess 59.

As will be observed from the foregoing the cover 46 can be removed to provide access to the raceway 47 while the flange member 34 is left undisturbed in its support of the partition holding bracket 42. In the event it becomes necessary or desirable to repair or replace a particular partition member being secured to the flange member 34, the latter is simply removed by sliding the tongue 57 out of the slot 56. The parts may then be reassembled by repositioning the flange member 34 as illustrated in FIGURE 3 and then snapping the cover member 46. Preferably and as here shown, tongue 57 extends from the plane of flange member 34 at about 45 degrees and slot 56 is formed in boss 49 so as to open out diagonally at about 45 degrees with respect to wall 30 and front cover member 46. Accordingly to insert or remove flange 34 as depicted in FIGURE 3, the flange member is required to move diagonally with respect to wall 31 and cover member 46 as illustrated.

In the preferred form of the invention the channel member 27, the retaining portion 54, and the cover portion 46 are all constructed from extruded aluminum. It wil be appreciated that aluminum has sufficient flexibility and resiliency to enable the flange 53 to engage the ridge 49 for selective snap-in positioning and removal of the cover portion 46.

In view of the foregoing it is seen that the present invention provides an improved and versatile building partition construction that affords the various objects and features described hereinabove.

I claim:

1. In a building partition construction, the combination comprising:

an elongate channel having a central wall and first and second spaced side walls extending therefrom at substantially right angles thereto, said side walls being located inwardly from the proximate side edges of said central wall, the first of said side walls having a boss formed at the free end thereof, said boss having a slot formed therein an-gularly disposed in respect to said central wall at an angle of less than 90 and extending longitudinally thereof;

a detachable flange including a tongue portion adapted to slidably mount into said slot for support by said boss wherein that portion of the detachable flange not entering said slot is disposed parallel to said central wall with the angle of said tongue portion relative to said central wall selected to cause the tongue to bind within the slot and remain secured in the event of movement of said detachable flange along a line normal to the central wall;

an elongate cover plate shaped to form a closure for said channel between said side walls and define a service raceway within the bosom of the channel; and means associated with said cover plate and said side walls for demountably securing the cover plate to the free edge of the second of said side walls and to said boss, said cover plate having one edge away from the second side wall overlapping and engaging a portion of said detachable flange so as to retain the latter when said tongue is engaged in said slot, said cover plate being moveable from the closure position without movement of said detachable flange and the latter being removable when said cover plate is disengaged from overlapping the flange.

2. In a building partition construction, the combination as claimed in claim 1 and wherein further said slot is angularly disposed in respect to said central wall at an angle of 45.

3. In a building partition construction, the combination as defined in claim 1 and wherein further said means includes means hingedly securing one edge of said cover plate to the free edge of said second side wall, and a clasp carried by the front wall of said cover plate adjacent the one edge thereof proximate said boss and formed for detachable engagement with the boss.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,016,993 1/1962 Owen 52-502 X 3,160,244 12/1964 Kushner 52-221 X 3,195,698 7/1965 'Codrea 52-221 X 3,212,225 10/1965 Neal 52-501 X 3,221,453 12/1965 Lietaert 52-209 FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.


Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3016993 *Jun 18, 1959Jan 16, 1962Owen Harry LBuilding framing unit
US3160244 *Apr 11, 1960Dec 8, 1964Kushner Leonard HBuilding parttion systems
US3195698 *Apr 11, 1960Jul 20, 1965H B RothbardPartition structures
US3212225 *Jan 16, 1963Oct 19, 1965Anaconda Aluminum CoGlass setting assembly
US3221453 *Jun 21, 1962Dec 7, 1965Lietaert Harold EWall system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3567842 *Sep 5, 1968Mar 2, 1971Meyer Ronald KWall structure
US3589083 *Mar 20, 1969Jun 29, 1971Lightcraft Of California IncWall system
US3593468 *Nov 5, 1968Jul 20, 1971Leopold BustinInterlocking channel sections for use in the construction of floors, ceilings, walls and the like
US3631942 *Jul 14, 1970Jan 4, 1972Otis Elevator CoElevator cab structure
US3707817 *Jun 26, 1970Jan 2, 1973Schmitt EBuilding construction
US3708607 *Mar 18, 1971Jan 2, 1973Brode EPrefabricated wall system
US3814833 *Jun 13, 1972Jun 4, 1974Matsushita Electric Works LtdElectric equipment channel
US3818659 *Dec 11, 1972Jun 25, 1974Clark Equipment CoConstruction for mounting and supporting lines, such as air conduits and electrical conductors
US3831330 *Jul 9, 1973Aug 27, 1974Steelcase IncPanel system
US3844084 *Apr 3, 1970Oct 29, 1974American Metal Climax IncConstruction element assembly
US3858377 *Dec 26, 1972Jan 7, 1975Browne Warren GWall panel joint structure
US3918223 *Jun 3, 1974Nov 11, 1975Phelps Dodge Ind IncSectional stud for modular wall section
US3924056 *Dec 13, 1973Dec 2, 1975Locicero James TSlotted masonry wall structure and metal stud therefor
US4032821 *Apr 2, 1976Jun 28, 1977Mcgraw-Edison CompanyUtility distribution console
US4033081 *May 16, 1975Jul 5, 1977Perkins Jr Fred MModular building system
US4043626 *Jun 24, 1976Aug 23, 1977Herman Miller, Inc.Power supply for movable office unit
US4135775 *Jun 20, 1977Jan 23, 1979Steelcase Inc.Movable divider panels with electrical wiring
US4232183 *Aug 29, 1977Nov 4, 1980Person Nelson HElectrical connection system for panel structures
US4255611 *Oct 20, 1978Mar 10, 1981Herman Miller, Inc.Energy distribution system for enclosed areas
US4278834 *Dec 6, 1978Jul 14, 1981Westinghouse Electric Corp.Versatile, electrified space dividing wall panel system
US4354052 *Dec 12, 1980Oct 12, 1982C-Thru Aluminum Awning Co.Patio enclosure with electrical conduit housing
US4470232 *Dec 16, 1981Sep 11, 1984Enterprises Electriques Mors-Jean Et BouchonModular assembly for constructing an exhibition stand
US4640314 *Jul 23, 1984Feb 3, 1987Kirkhill Rubber CompanyEnclosed conduit
US4685255 *Sep 10, 1984Aug 11, 1987Herman Miller, Inc.Work space management system
US4712352 *Dec 4, 1985Dec 15, 1987Low R GlennModular construction system
US4720768 *Dec 5, 1986Jan 19, 1988Ernst SchindeleElectrical medical rail system
US4800696 *Dec 17, 1986Jan 31, 1989Amp IncorporatedPremise wiring system for frame structures
US4874322 *Sep 28, 1987Oct 17, 1989Amp IncorporatedSurface applied wiring apparatus
US4876835 *Apr 7, 1987Oct 31, 1989Herman Miller, Inc.Work space management system
US4881352 *Jul 29, 1988Nov 21, 1989Karl GlockensteinWall panel arrangement
US4882885 *Jan 6, 1989Nov 28, 1989Haworth, Inc.Panel port retention system
US4942713 *Jun 9, 1989Jul 24, 1990Harter CorporationInterconnecting structure for releasably securing successive panels in a relocatable wall
US4952163 *Dec 12, 1989Aug 28, 1990Amp IncorporatedOutlet for surface accessible wiring
US5038539 *Aug 21, 1989Aug 13, 1991Herman Miller, Inc.Work space management system
US5086194 *Apr 3, 1990Feb 4, 1992Electrak International Ltd.Trunking assembly
US5209035 *Jan 10, 1991May 11, 1993Steelcase Inc.Utility panel system
US5341615 *Mar 23, 1993Aug 30, 1994Steelcase Inc.Utility panel system
US5357055 *Oct 26, 1992Oct 18, 1994Sireci Donald JElectric routing system for modular office partitioning systems
US5511348 *Oct 8, 1991Apr 30, 1996Steelcase Inc.Furniture system
US5724778 *May 25, 1995Mar 10, 1998Steelcase Inc.Furniture system
US5768840 *Aug 22, 1994Jun 23, 1998Steelcase Inc.Integrated utility distribution and panel system
US5784841 *Jan 11, 1996Jul 28, 1998Patio Enclosures, Inc.Electrical raceway housed in a structural member
US5852904 *Oct 24, 1996Dec 29, 1998Haworth, Inc.Panel arrangement
US5918433 *Apr 21, 1997Jul 6, 1999Knoll, Inc.Lay-in wireways for a space divider system
US5994644 *Feb 20, 1998Nov 30, 1999Rindoks; Kurt P.Modular furniture raceway component
US6003273 *May 29, 1998Dec 21, 1999Steelcase Development Inc.Utilities infeed panel
US6003275 *Oct 19, 1998Dec 21, 1999Steelcase Development Inc.Furniture system
US6134844 *Jun 24, 1997Oct 24, 2000Steelcase Inc.Method and apparatus for displaying information
US6161347 *Dec 23, 1998Dec 19, 2000Haworth, Inc.Panel arrangement
US6167665May 28, 1997Jan 2, 2001Herman Miller, Inc.Corner post for a wall panel system
US6170200Aug 27, 1999Jan 9, 2001Steelcase Development Inc.Furniture system
US6202381Apr 28, 2000Mar 20, 2001Herman Miller, Inc.Method for reconfiguring a wall panel system
US6301847Jun 21, 2000Oct 16, 2001Herman Miller, Inc.Wall panel
US6339907Jun 21, 2000Jan 22, 2002Herman Miller, Inc.System of wall panels
US6388190Oct 29, 1999May 14, 2002Dekko Engineering, Inc.Modular power assembly with switch
US6393783Feb 22, 2001May 28, 2002Herman Miller, Inc.Wall panel
US6481168Nov 20, 1995Nov 19, 2002Steelcase Development CorporationUtility panel system
US6591563 *Jun 15, 2001Jul 15, 2003Steelcase Development CorporationPanel system
US6629386Sep 13, 2000Oct 7, 2003Steelcase Development CorporationFurniture system
US6684583Jan 28, 2002Feb 3, 2004Steelcase Development CorporationUtility panel system
US6711871Apr 26, 2001Mar 30, 2004Herman Miller, Inc.Wall panel with off-module components
US6922949Apr 18, 2003Aug 2, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationFurniture system
US6951085Feb 2, 2004Oct 4, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationUtility panel system
US7178300Sep 30, 2002Feb 20, 2007Krueger International, Inc.Latch-type tile mounting system
US7568318 *Aug 8, 2000Aug 4, 2009Thermocore Structural Insulated Panel SystemsPre-fabricated wall paneling
US7805965 *Jul 21, 2004Oct 5, 2010Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Apparatus to reinforce a drum washing machine
US7966782 *Apr 23, 2007Jun 28, 2011Wood Donald MPatio enclosure
US7968805Jan 9, 2008Jun 28, 2011Milano Innovation Company LlcCable conduit system
US8065855 *Nov 25, 2009Nov 29, 2011Wood Donald MPatio enclosure
US8261580May 11, 2010Sep 11, 2012Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Apparatus to reinforce a drum washing machine
US9382710 *Sep 24, 2014Jul 5, 2016Jaime DiazCubicle assembly
US9525279 *Mar 6, 2016Dec 20, 2016Jeffrey BaldwinThrough wall electrical and low voltage connector
US9675172 *Apr 23, 2009Jun 13, 2017Robern, Inc.Medicine cabinet
US20040060253 *Sep 30, 2002Apr 1, 2004Elsing Robert J.Latch-type tile mounting system
US20040154233 *Feb 2, 2004Aug 12, 2004Hodges Ronald R.Utility panel system
US20050097679 *Jul 21, 2004May 12, 2005Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.Apparatus to reinforce a drum washing machine
US20060026917 *Oct 4, 2005Feb 9, 2006Patrick EganPrefabricated wall panel
US20080222991 *Apr 23, 2007Sep 18, 2008Wood Donald MPatio enclosure
US20080236086 *Feb 18, 2008Oct 2, 2008Yongsheng HuangCavity Wall
US20090173535 *Jan 9, 2008Jul 9, 2009Montgelas Rudolph ACable conduit system
US20100132285 *Nov 25, 2009Jun 3, 2010Wood Donald MPatio enclosure
US20100270438 *Apr 23, 2009Oct 28, 2010Pandorf Robert PMedicine Cabinet
US20120192505 *Jan 31, 2011Aug 2, 2012Alfred Lawrence MichaelsenWood construction members and methods
US20150308128 *Dec 11, 2012Oct 29, 2015Lifting Point Pty LtdA service duct and spacer system
US20160024805 *Jul 28, 2014Jan 28, 2016Paul Thaddeus GrazianoChannel and cap extrusion system
US20160060865 *Sep 2, 2015Mar 3, 2016Chung Jong LeeConstruction panel assembly and construction method using same
CN104968872A *Dec 11, 2012Oct 7, 2015利夫廷波因特私人有限公司A service duct and spacer system
DE2625321A1 *Jun 4, 1976Dec 23, 1976Attema KunststoffenindElektrische installationseinrichtung
EP0147801A2 *Dec 20, 1984Jul 10, 1985Nihon Shuno System Kabushiki KaishaA partition wall
EP0147801A3 *Dec 20, 1984Aug 14, 1985Nihon Shuno System Kabushiki KaishaA partition wall
EP1126121A2 *Jan 19, 2001Aug 22, 2001Tegralis GmbHMultipart frame member
EP1126121A3 *Jan 19, 2001Jun 26, 2002Tegralis GmbHMultipart frame member
EP2931993A4 *Dec 11, 2012Oct 5, 2016Lifting Point Pty LtdA service duct and spacer system
WO1985002516A1 *Nov 23, 1983Jun 6, 1985Roton CorporationAttachable housing unit for powered electrical component unit
WO2003071050A1 *Feb 14, 2003Aug 28, 2003Steelcase Development CorporationPartition panel with modular appliance mounting arrangement
WO2008135831A1 *Apr 29, 2008Nov 13, 2008Bau-How AsA wall-related construction element
WO2008135850A2 *May 7, 2008Nov 13, 2008Bau-How AsA wall-related construction element (connection devices)
WO2008135850A3 *May 7, 2008Dec 31, 2008Bau How AsA wall-related construction element (connection devices)
U.S. Classification52/220.7, 138/166, 52/781, 52/476, 174/101, 174/499, 174/495
International ClassificationE04B2/74, H02G3/08, E06B1/16, E06B3/58, E06B1/12, H02G3/10
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2002/7488, E06B3/5842, E04B2/7453, H02G3/105, E06B1/16
European ClassificationE06B3/58B6, E04B2/74C5, H02G3/10G, E06B1/16