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 numberUS3397934 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 20, 1968
Filing dateMay 24, 1967
Priority dateMay 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3397934 A, US 3397934A, US-A-3397934, US3397934 A, US3397934A
InventorsDushek Charles D
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet including vertically adjustable shelf supports
US 3397934 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1968 c. D. DUSHEK 3,397,934


CHARLES D. DUSHEK BY W ms ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,397,934 CABINET INCLUDING VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE SHELF SUPPORTS Charles D. Dushek, Lisle, Ill., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed May 24, 1967, Ser. No. 641,037 6 Claims. (Cl. 312-351) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cabinet including a storage compartment containing a shelf and a vertically adjutable shelf support structure comprising a disk-shaped member rotatable about a horizontal axis extending through the member and having a plurality of shelf-receiving slots spaced at graduated distances from the axis.

Background of the invention The fresh food storage compartment of a refrigerator normally includes a top shelf spaced a substantial distance from the top of the compartment to provide for the storage of milk bottles, beverage bottles and similar rather relatively tall items. It is desirable that this shelf as well as one or more of the remaining shelves include means for adjusting the vertical positioning thereof in accordance with the users storage requirements.

Summary of the invention The present invention is directed to a cabinet, more specifically a refrigerator cabinet, comprising side and rear walls defining a compartment having an access opening at the front thereof and a shelf including parallel side portions extending substantially the full width of the compartment. Means for supporting the shelf in any of a plurality of vertical positions comprises a disk-shaped member secured to each side wall of the compartment for rotation about an axis extending through the member with the member including at least tWo slots therein spaced at different distances from the axis. Each of the slots is adapted when in a horizontal position to receive and support a side edge portion of the shelf.

Brief description of the drawing In the drawing,

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator cabinet incorporating the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the adjustable shelf support means of the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a schematic view illustrating the various positions of operation of the shelf support means of the present invention; and

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the cabinet illustrating one manner in which the adjustable shelf may be anchored in any one of its positions.

Description of the preferred embodiment With reference to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, there is illustrated a refrigerator cabinet including a storage compartment 1 defined by a rear wall 2 and spaced side walls 3; the compartment having an access at the front thereof closed by a door 4.

The compartment 3 contains a plurality of vertically spaced storage shelves including an upper shelf 5 occupying substantially the entire horizontal cross sectional area of the compartment. The shelf 5 is of a generally rectangular configuration including parallel side edge portions 6, a rear edge 7 and a front edge 8.

It is desirable, for the reasons given hereinbefore, that the upper shelf of a refrigerator be vertically adjustable in order to provide the optimum vertical space between this shelf and the top wall 9 of the compartment for accommodating the tallest milk bottle or other container stored in the compartment.

In order to provide means by which the user may quickly select the desired vertical position of the shelf 5 from a plurality of dilferent vertical positions, there is provided shelf support means comprising a pair of adjustable disk-shaped members 14 mounted on the opposed side walls 3 of the compartment.

Each of these support members 14, as is illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3 of the drawing, preferably comprises a circular disk of injection molded or vacuum formed plastic sheet material or the like pivotally or rotatably secured to the side wall as by means of a shoulder screw 15 whereby each support member 14 can be rotated about the screw as its pivot axis. It will be noted that the axis of rotation is spaced from the geometrical center of the disk. Preferably, as shown in FIG- URE 3 of the drawing a coiled spring 16 and if desired a friction washer 17 may be included between the member 14 and the side wall 3 or between the member and the head of the screw 15 to assist in holding the mem ber 14 in any one of a number of fixed or pre-selected positions for shelf height adjustment.

Each of the support members 14 also includes two or more slots 18 spaced at different or graduated distances from the axis represented by the screw 15 so that each cooperating pairs of slots in the opposed support mernbers 14 may be cooperatively employed for receiving the side edge portions 6 of the shelf to support the shelf in any one of a number of vertical positions.

While each of the support members 14 may include any number of slots 18, in accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the invention, three such slots are provided at different distances from the pivot axis 15. Two of these slots as shown in FIGURE 2 are parallel to one another and on opposite sides of the pivot axis 15 while the third slot extends perpendicularly to these two and also in a different spaced relation to the pivot axis.

The manner in which the illustrated shelf support means 14 is employed for providing six diiferent shelf positions by the use of three slots 18 is diagramatically illustrated in FIGURE 5 of the drawing. In this figure the six shelf positions are labeled A to F inclusive and the same letters A to F are used to indicate the front edge of a particular slot when the support member is set to provide a specified elevation. In other words, the appropriate letter indicated the end of the slot adjacent the access opening to the cabinet, it being understood that, if desired, the support member may include this or other suitable indicia within or adjacent the appropriate ends of the slots to indicate the various settings of the support members.

With continued reference to FIGURE 5, the most elevated position A of the shelf is obtained with the illustrated support member in its solid line position in which the two parallel slots 18 are horizontally disposed. The shelf in this case is supported in the upper of the two slots. Also in this support member position the lower slot 18 with its forward end labeled B provides the next to the lowest shelf position E.

Rotation of the shelf supportthrough in a clockwise direction to its dotted line position brings the single slot 18 to a horizontal position above the pivot axis where it provides the position C for the shelf.

Further rotation of the support member an additional 90 to its dash-dot position reverses the original positions of the two parallel slots 18 and these two slots are then employed to support the shelf in positions B and Further rotation through 90 moves the support memher to its'broken line position in which the single slot is extended horizontally below the pivot axis 15 to provide another intermediate shelf position D.

Thus by the provision of three slots spaced at different distances from the pivot axis 15, each of which provides a shelf supporting surface of substantial length in a reasonably sized shelf support member, there is provided six difierent vertical shelf adjusting positions. It will be understood of course that additional slots may be employed but three such slots have been found to be adequate for most use requirements.

As shown in FIGURE 1 of the drawing, the shelf support members 14 are preferably positioned adjacent the forward edge portions of the side walls 3 where they primarily support the forward portion of the shelf 5.

If desired the same shelf support means may be employed for supporting the rear edge or edge portions of the shelf. However, in order to lock or anchor the shelf in position to prevent accidental displacement of the shelf during use, some type of releasable latching or locking means is preferably employed. One type of shelf support for this purpose is illustrated in FIGURE 6 of the drawing as including a vertically extending strip 21 mounted adjacent each rear corner of the shelf 5, these strips having a plurality. of T-shaped, slots 22 each adapted to receive a T-shaped catch 23 secured to the rear edge of the shelf whereby the cooperating slots 22 and catch 23 when interengaged prevent accidental displacement of the shelf during use. If desired each of the slots may be provided with suitable indicia as illustrated in the FIGURE 6 corresponding to the vertical shelf positions illustrated in FIGURE of the drawing.

For the above description it will be seen that there has been provided a novel shelf support means adapted to support a shelf in a plurality of vertical positions. It is of pleasing appearance, easily cleanable and readily adjustable by the average user of a refrigerator.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a cabinet comprising side and rear walls defining a compartment having an opening at the front thereof and a shelf including parallel side edgeportions, said shelf occupying substantially the entire horizontal crosssectional area of said compartment;

support means for supporting said shelf in any of a plurality of vertical positions, said support means comprising a support member secured to a side wall of said compartment for rotation about an axis extending through said member,

said member including at least two slots therein spaced at different distances from said axis, each of said slots being adapted to receive and support a side edge portion of said shelf at a predetermined elevation.

2. The cabinet of claim 1 in which said support member is circular and is secured to said side wall at a point spaced from the center thereof.

3. The cabinet of claim 1 in which said support member includes two parallel slots on opposite sides of said axis and one slot perpendicular to said parallel slots.

4. The cabinet of claim 1 including friction means for holding said member in any one of a plurality of positions.

5. The cabinet of claim 3 comprising cooperating support members on each of said side walls, said members including reference indicia indicating the selected positions of said members.

6. The cabinet of claim 1 in which said support members are adjacent the front of said shelf and including releasable support and locking means for supporting and anchoring the rear of said shelf.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,549,879 4/1951 Armore 312 -351 X 3,021,638 2/ 1962 Kristek 248-188.2 3,338,539 8/1967 Foster 248-4882 CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2549879 *Sep 4, 1946Apr 24, 1951Philco CorpRefrigerator cabinet construction
US3021638 *Oct 12, 1960Feb 20, 1962Olive M KennedyFurniture leg tip
US3338539 *Apr 2, 1965Aug 29, 1967Foster Edwin ELeveling device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3614187 *Feb 10, 1970Oct 19, 1971Whirlpool CoApparatus for supporting articles in a dishwasher
US3726578 *Nov 12, 1971Apr 10, 1973Gen ElectricConvertible side-by-side refrigerator
US3882795 *Jun 1, 1973May 13, 1975Steelcase IncTiltable desk top
US4244637 *Apr 26, 1979Jan 13, 1981General Electric CompanyTrack assembly
US4453065 *May 17, 1982Jun 5, 1984General Electric CompanyMicrowave oven door aligning assembly
US4735468 *Feb 19, 1987Apr 5, 1988General Electric CompanyMounting socket
US4830531 *Apr 2, 1987May 16, 1989Unistrut International Corp.Unitary connection assembly for metal channels and method for assembly
US4904032 *Jan 9, 1989Feb 27, 1990General Electric CompanyShelf support system for a refrigerator cabinet
US5415472 *Aug 13, 1993May 16, 1995Brise; Richard A.Portable shelf
US5642924 *Feb 29, 1996Jul 1, 1997White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Shelf system for a refrigerator cabinet
U.S. Classification312/351, 211/153, 108/144.11, 248/243
International ClassificationF25D25/02, F25D25/04, A47B57/00, A47B57/06, F25D25/00, A47B57/08
Cooperative ClassificationF25D25/04, A47B57/06, F25D25/02, A47B57/08
European ClassificationA47B57/08, A47B57/06, F25D25/02