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Publication numberUS3406645 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1968
Filing dateSep 15, 1965
Priority dateSep 15, 1965
Publication numberUS 3406645 A, US 3406645A, US-A-3406645, US3406645 A, US3406645A
InventorsMonroe John E
Original AssigneeJohn E. Monroe
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Prefabricated furniture
US 3406645 A
Images(8)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 22, 1968 J. E. MONROE 3,406,645

PREFABRI CATED FURN ITURE Filed Sept. 15, 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet l rw%wj-j==iz gg O O as \lhh o 4 42 I I06 as V i v INVENTOR 1 2 JOHN E, MONROE 7 ATTORNEY Oct. 22, 1968 J. E. MONROE 3,406,645

PREFABRI CAT ED FURNITURE Filed Sept. 15, 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. JOHN E MONROE ATTORNEY J. E. MONROE v PREPABRICATED FURNITURE 8 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 15, 1965 2 8 u OR E M\ A mdmww KM flfl .w 4

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EZV H ATTORNEY F ay? J. E. MONROE PREFABRICATED FURNITURE Oct. 22, 1968 8 Sheets-Sheet 4.

Filed Sept. 15, 1965 58 INVENTOR. 64 JOHN E. MONROE ATTORNEY FIG.

Oct. 22, 1968 J, MQNROE 3,406,645

PREFABRICATED FURNITURE Filed Sept. 15, 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR.

JOHN E. MONROE BY KW ATTOR N EY 1968 J. E. MONROE PREFABRICATED FURNITURE 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Sept. 15, 1965 \IIIi IlHIIIWIIH u R 0 mm M fllf zm E m H w 1.

ATTORNEY Oct. 22, 1968 J. E. MONROE 3,406,645

PREFABR I CATED FURNITURE Filed Sept. 15, 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 0 I52 Q i a \s IIIIIIA\\\\\ 3 I IIIAI VIII/Ill WIIIIIJ'I/I/l! INVENTOR. JOHN E. MONROE 32 ATTORN EY Oct. 22, 1968 J. E. MONROE 3,406,645

PREFABRICATED FURNITURE Filed Sept. 15, 1965 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR. JOHN E. MONROE ZWAWM M ATTORN EY United States Patent 3,406,645 PREFABRICATED FURNITURE John E. Monroe, 132 N. Bleckley,

Wichita, Kans. 67208 Filed Sept. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 487,457 8 Claims. (Cl. 108-23) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to prefabricated furniture, more particularly to prefabricated desks and the like, still more specifically to prefabricated carrel units adapted to be easily assembled and disassembled, and particularly adapted to be assembled in a great variety of arrangements capable of meeting the needs of a great diversity of applications. Additionally, this invention relates to carrel unit kits including upright interconnected back panels and wing panels; a desk panel interconnected between the wing panels and the back panel; a shelf member positioned above the desk panel and extended between the wing panels; electrical adapter means connected between one of the wing panels and the back panel; and lighting means mounted beneath the shelf in a concealed manner providing the required lighting to the carrel unit.

There is a pressing need for prefabricated library furniture that can be easily assembled and disassembled when the need for altering the arrangement of a library occurs. In a library, books, magazines, and the like are continually being added necessitating increasing the storage facilities. Very frequently libraries make substantial acquisitions of new books and the like that require additional storage space. In some instances, the acquisition takes place over long periods of time and the need for additional storage is a gradual one. In other instances the acquisition is very rapid. However, in both instances it is desirable to utilize the space ultimately intended for additional book stacks as study area until the actual acquisition takes place. In order to utilize it as a study area to the best possible advantage, it is usually most desirable to provide study carrels. Study carrels provide individual study area, which reduce distractions both to the users and to other persons to a minimum.

Individual study desks are known in the art. However the known type of study desks, particularly the type used in libraries, are not generally adapted to accommodate for revision and remodeling alterations encountered in an expanding library. The known desk unit cannot be readily disassembled ad assembled quickly and easily. Further, the known desk units now in use are not sufficiently adaptable in that they cannot be assembled in different arrangements to most efiiciently utilize the available space. The known desk units cannot be conveniently attached to columns, or mounted on walls which are intended to ultimately have mounted thereon bookshelves when the storage space is needed at a later date. The disassembly of known study units is in general a major operation. Moreover, the disassembled elements cannot be used interchangeably to provide different arrangements than the original. Thus, with desk and carrel units known to the prior art, no prefabricated unit is known or available to meet the problems encountered in library expansion.

In one preferred embodiment of my invention, a prefabricated carrel unit is provided including spaced upright posts having spaced apertures; a back panel having fastening means connected to the apertures in the posts; wing panels having engagement means connected to the posts; and a desk panel connected to the wing panels by securing members. The desk panel is surrounded by the back panel and the wing panels extended above and below the 3,406,645 Patented Oct. 22, 1968 same to present a private enclosed area. Additionally, a shelf panel is connectable in a concealed manner to the wing panels above the desk panel adapted to support a fluorescent light fixture thereunder (to illuminate the desk panel and enclosed working area. The carrel unit of my invention is adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled quickly and easily and is capable of being as sembled to form single or multiple units in a large variety of arrangements. V

The new carrel unit of my invention solves all of the problems associated with desk-ltype furniture known to the prior art. The carrels can be easily assembled and disassembled with only a minimum of tools by ordinary unskilled workmen. The various components are designed to be used interchangeably, and to enable the carrel unit or units to be assembled in a multitude of difierent arrangements to make the most effioient use of any available space, irrespective of the shape. A further advantage to my carrel unit is that it is designed to utilize :upright channel posts, frequently provided to secure bookshelves to a wall, as mounting support. This ability to utilize channel posts makes the changeover from a study area to a book storage area, or vice versa, a very inexpensive and rapid transition. The various components of my carrel unit are designed so that many convenient and attractive arrangements are possible, utilizing bookshelves, covering panels, blackboards, and the like which can be attached to the units. This can normally be done without materially altering the components themselves which would otherwise destroy the capability to use same in a different later arrangement. The carrel units of my invention are also provided with electrical raceways etc. which provide outlets for both audio and light fixtures. The outlets can also be used for any other suitable purpose, as for example microfilm viewing apparatus and the like. Since the carrel unit can be assembled and disassembled very easily, very significant savings are realized whenever the need for remodeling or changing the library or study area occurs. Further, since the carrel units can be assembled to form many different arrangements and utilize bookshelf fixtures etc., there is no waste if irregular or unusual areas need to be utilized. The carrel units of my inven tion are both practical and attractive and materially lower the initial cost, and also the cost of redecorating a library or study area at a later date.

An object of this invention is to provide new prefabricated furniture.

Another object of this invention is to provide new prefabricated carrel units.

Still another object of this invention is to provide new prefabricated carrel units which can be easily and quickly assembled and disassembled with a minimum of tools by relatively unskilled workmen.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a new carrel unit which can be assembled to form a great variety of different and attractive arrangements.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new carrel unit consisting of uniform interchangeable parts which permit same to be assembled in a great variety of different arrangements making possible a better utilization of space etc.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a new carrel unit which is adapted to utilize existing bookshelf mounting fixtures as a mounting support thereof.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a new carrel unit which materially reduces the cost of a transition between storage area and study area.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new carrel unit which is provided with outlets for both audio and electric current.

Still another object of this invention is to provide structural units adapted to mount panels, such as blackboards, screening panels, etc.

Another object of this invention is to provide a prefabricated kit adapted to be assembled to form a carrel.

These and other objects will become more apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion and claims.

Drawings accompany and are a part of this disclosure. These drawings are not to be construed to unduly limit the scope of the invention. These drawings illustrate preferred specific embodiments of the carrel unit of my invention. In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a preferred specific embodiment of the carrel of my invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view, in exploded relation, illustrating the various components of the electrical adapter and means for aflixing the back panel to same.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view, in exploded relation, showing the specific construction of the channel element that is mounted on the edges of the wing panel which secures same to the upright post.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view in broken section of the electrical adapter, upright post, and panels secured thereto.

FIG. 6 is a detailed view in enlarged scale illustrating the attaching brackets and their relation to the mounting channels and posts.

FIG. 7 is a detailed view in broken section illustrating the structure of the leveling means of the post.

FIG. 8 is a detailed view in enlarged scale illustrating the structure of the means provided for rem vably mounting the shelf on the wing panels.

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view in broken section illustrating the relationship of the shelf panel and mounting brackets therefor.

FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of the upright post of the carrel of my invention.

FIG. 11 is a pictorial view illustrating one of the arrangements which can be formed from six carrel units of my invention.

FIG. 12 is a detailed view in broken section illustrating the joining arrangement of the desk panel and wing panel.

FIG. 13 is a top plan view in cross section illustrating the arrangement of a post and the associated panel elements as assembled in the structure shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 14 is a pictorial view illustrating conventional bookshelves removably secured to the upright posts of a carrel unit of my invention.

FIG. 15 is a top elevational view in broken section illustrating an alternate preferred arrangement of mounting bookshelves to the carrel unit.

FIG. 16 is a pictorial view of a preferred specific embodiment of a carrel assembly combination of my invention shown affixed to an upright wall.

FIG. 17 is a detailed view in enlarged scale illustrating an arrangement of components of the carrel unit of my invention for mounting same on a fiat upright wall.

FIG. 18 is a detailed view illustrating the relationship between the lower edge of the panel mounting channel and the panel.

FIG. 19 is a pictorial view further illustrating how the components of the carrel unit of my invention can be afiixed to fixtures provided for mounting bookshelves.

FIG. 20 is a top elevational view illustrating a specific arrangement adapted to utilize the structure shown in FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 is a top elevational view in broken section illustrating still another mode of attaching the back panels to an upright support.

FIG. 22 is a cross sectional view of a mounting channel provided to mount bookshelves and the like.

FIG. 23 is a pictorial view further illustrating how preferred specific embodiments of carrel units of my invention can be combined with bookshelves and the like.

FIG. 24 is a detail view in enlarged section illustrating extension elements which can be used in combination with my carrel unit to provide additional mounting structure.

FIG. 25 is a top elevational view in cross section taken on line 25-25 of FIG. 24.

FIG. 26 is a top elevational view in broken section illustrating structure adapted to removably mount flap panels and the like to upright posts.

I FIG. 27 is a top elevational view in cross section illustrating structure adapted to support panels for use as blackboards, bulletin boards etc.

FIG. 28 is a perspective view illustrating a plurality of carrel units of my invention assembled to form a rosette design.

FIG. 29 is a top elevational view illustrating an arrangement of carrel units of my invention mounted about an upright post.

FIG. 30 is a top elevational view illustrating a carrel unit combination of my invention arranged in an H pattern.

The following is a discussion and description of the invention made with reference to the drawings, whereon the same reference numerals are used to indicate the same or similar parts and/or structure. The discussion and description is of preferred specific embodiments of the new carrel and combinations thereof of the invention, and it is to be understood that the discussion and description is not to unduly limit the scope of the invention.

Referring now the drawings FIGS. 128, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a preferred specific embodiment of the prefabricated free standing carrel unit 30 of my invention. The carrel 30 has two spaced upright posts 32 on the rear side. As indicated more clearly in FIG. 5 of the drawings, each of the posts 32 is preferably formed from a pair of channels 34 which are welded or otherwise secured together. Each of posts 32 is provided on opposite sides with two spaced sets of slots 36. On the remaining opposite sides of posts 32 are provided three spaced sets of aligned slots 38. As more clearly indicated .in FIG. 10 each of the sets of slots 36 and 38 are preferably made up of four pairs of vertically spaced and aligned slots. The paired arrangement of slots 36 and 38 will become apparent from the description that follows. A square-shaped knockout plug 40 is provided in each of the sides of the posts provided with three pairs of sets of slots 38 as shown most clearly in FIG. 10. Preferably the remaining adjacent sides of the posts 32 are provided with two knock-out plugs 42 on the sides provided with two sets of slots 36. This arrangement is most clearly shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. On the tops of upright posts 32 are provided suitable covers 44 having a portion insertable in the ends thereof. A leveling means 46 is provided on the bottoms of each of posts 32, as shown most clearly in FIG. 7 of the drawings. The leveling means 46 has a flat transverse plate 48 secured to the lower end of each of the posts which is provided with a central threaded aperture 49. A threaded rod 50 is threadedly engaged in aperture 49, and has a circular transverse head 51 on the lower end thereof which in use engages the floor or other fiat supporting surface.

Mounted between upright posts 32 is a flat rectangular shaped back panel 52. Two elongated panel mounting channels 54 are mounted on the opposite upright edges of back panel 52. Each of mounting channels 54 has a transverse portion 55 across the end thereof, and a set of aligned slots 56 in the base thereof. As most clearly indicated in FIG. 3 of the drawings, the set of slots 56 has four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots. A hole 57 is provided in the lower end of channel 54, the use of which will become more apparent as the description of the invention progresses. Attaching brackets 58 are disposed in and associated with each pair of the aligned slots 56 in mounting channels 54. Each of the brackets 58 has a flat length of sheet metal 59 overlying a single pair of aligned slots 56, and two flat L-shaped tabs 60 secured thereto which extend through the slots in the mounting channel 54. Woodscrews 61, disposed through the apertures 62 in channel 54 and apertures 63 in the brackets 58, secure the entire assembly to the upright edges of panels 52. The structural relationship between the brackets 58 and channel 54 is illustrated in FIG. 6 of the drawings. The brackets 58 can be inserted into channel 54 with the transverse portions of the L-shaped tabs in either an upwardly extending position or a downwardly extending position. The distance between the slots 56 in channel 54 is identical to the spacing of the slots 36 and 38 in upright posts 32.

An upwardly extending hollow elongated tubular electrical adapter 64, having a rectangular transverse cross sectional configuration, is mounted between one upright edge of back panel 52 and one of posts 32, as most clearly shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The electrical adapter, shown in exploded relation in FIG. 3 has two mating channel shaped elements 66, each provided with a set of four pairs of elongated slots 68 in the base thereof. The adapter has cut out portions 69 which receive spaced electrical outlets 70 which face both sides of the adapter. Suitable wiring is provided in the adapter 66 to connect electrical outlet 70 which wiring extends to the lower end of the adapter. Brackets 58 are disposed in the slots 68 in one of the channels 66, as shown in FIG. 3. Preferably the top bracket 58 is provided with a protruding aligning projection 67 which maintains the channels 66 in alignment. Blocking elements 71 are positioned behind the brackets 58 to maintain same in outwardly extending relation, which elements are provided with a passage for receiving the electrical wires connected to electrical outlets 70. The channels 66 of adapter 64 are secured together in assembled relation by threaded bolts 72 which are threadedly received in threaded plugs 74. A cap 75 is inserted on the open top end of the adapter 64 to give same a finished appearance. When the back panel 52, electrical adapter 64, and upright post 32 are assembled, the tabs 60 secured to panel 52 by mounting channel 54 on one upright edge of the panel 52, are inserted into a set of slots 38 in one side of post 32. The protruding L-shaped tabs 60 on the opposite upright edge of panel 52 secured in place by mounting channel 54, are inserted into the slots 68 in one side of adapter 64, and the tabs 60 mounted on theopposite side of adapter 64 are locked in the slots 38 in the second post 32.

Two upright rectangular wing panels 76 are mounted on upright post 32 in a position transverse to back panel 52, as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. As shown most clearly in FIG. 4 of the drawings, each of wing panels 76 is preferably provided with a recessed edge portion 78. A mounting channel 54 provided with four pair of aligned slots 56 is mounted on the upright recessed edge portion 78 of wing panel 76. Mounting brackets 58 are disposed in channel 54 with the L-shaped tab 60 protruding through the slots in the same general arrangement as described in relation to back panel 52. The lower attaching bracket 58 is provided with an elongated portion 80 which protrudes downwardly beyond the lower end of mounting channel 54. The mounting channel 54 is secured to the wing panel 76 with woodscrews 61 which pass through the mounting channel 54, brackets 58, and into the edge portion 78 of channel 76. The wing panel is affixed to the upright posts 32 by hooking the protruding L-shaped tabs 60 in a set of slots 36. The wing panel is locked into position-by inserting a metal screw 82 through the aperture in protruding portion 80 of the lower most bracket 58 and screwing same into the side of the post 32. This prevents the wing panels from being moved upwardly and unhooking.

As shown in FIG. 2 an L-shaped leg 84 having horizontal portion 85 is mounted on one side of wing panel 76. A length of angle iron 87 is mounted horizontally on the other of wing panels 76 opposite to and aligned with portion 85 of L-shaped leg 84. A flat rectangular horizontal desk panel 86 is mounted between wing panels 76 in supported relation thereto resting on one side on horizontal portion 85 of leg 84 and on the other side on the length of angle iron 87. The desk panel 86 can be secured to leg portion 85 and length of angle iron 87 by bolts or screws etc. A flat rectangular shelf panel 88 is mounted between wing panels 76 above desk panel 86. Preferably shelf panel 88 is removably mounted to wing panels 76 by brackets 90 shown in detail in FIGS. 8 and 9. Shelf panel 88 has recessed portions 91 on the opposite edges for concealing the brackets 90. The brackets 90 are each provided with two longitudinally spaced U- shaped hooks 92 having a cut out portion 93. The U- shaped hooks 92 on each of the brackets 90 interlock to form a rigid concealed supporting engagement for the shelf 88. Shelf 88 can be removed by merely pushing same upwardly to release the interlocking engagement between the U-shaped hooks 92. One of brackets 90 is secured to the shelf 88 by woodscrews or suitable means. The other of brackets 90 is mounted on panel 76 preferably with bolts 94 which threadedly engage a threaded sleeve 95 mounted within the panel 76. With this arrange ment, shelf brackets 90 can be conveniently mounted on both sides of wing panels 76 when a plurality of adjacent carrels are utilized. A fluorescent type light fixture 98 is preferably mounted on the underside of shelf 88 as most clearly shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. The fluorescent light consists of a housing 99, a reflector 100, a fluorescent bulb 101, and a polarized glass panel 102. The fluorescent light fixture can be provided with a separate switch, and can be plugged directly into the electrical adapter 64.

An elongated tubular electrical raceway 104 is mounted beneath panel 52 as most clearly shown in FIG. 2. Electrical raceway 104 is provided with an upwardly extending apertured tab 105 as shown most clearly in FIG. 3 of the drawings, which tab can be used to secure the raceway to the edge of panel 52. Suitable electrical wiring is disposed in electrical raceway 104 to supply electricity to electrical outlets 70. The electrical wiring can be strung to adjacent booths through the knock-out plugs 40 or 42. Positioned below electrical raceway 104 is an elongated audio raceway 106, which is mounted below back panel 52 by inserting the ends into the knock-out plugs 42 in upright post 32. As the unit is assembled, bolt 107 is positioned in an aperture in the electrical adapter 64 which extends through mounting channel 54 and into back panel 52 to prevent unhooking of the L-shaped tabs 60 from the slots in the electrical adapter. A machine bolt '107 is used to secure the upwardly projecting tab 105 of the electrical raceway 104 to the assembly by threading into T-nut 108 imbedded into panel 52. A generally U-shaped cover element 210 provides a retaining and supporting means for both the electrical raceway 104 and the audio raceway 106. The cover 210 is secured to the electrical adapter 64 with a metal screw 212. Cover 210 produces a very pleasing appearance covering the opening in the electrical adapter 64 and past, and at the same time provides an eflective support for the audio and electrical raceway.

As most clearly shown in FIG. 6, the brackets 58 are removably mounted relative to channels 54 by coined portions 111 which extend into apertures 63. The spacing of the slots, the tab 60, the apertures 63 in the bracket 58, and in mounting the channels, are arranged so that the brackets 58 can be positioned in the mounting channels ineither positions, that is with the transverse portions of the L-shaped tabs either in an upwardly extending position, or in a downwardly extending position.

It can be seen that the carrel unit of my invention is composed of standard parts which can be very readily assembled and disassembled by ordinary unskilled workers. The various elements of the carrel units of -my invention can be assembled to either form single or multiple units of carrel combinations which can be arranged in a inafter.

The carrels of my invention can conveniently be sold in kit form adapted to be assembled into single or multiple units. The carrel unit kit preferably includes at least one post having a plurality of sets of slots therein, a back panel, means to secure the opposite edges of the back panel to a post, a wing panel, a means securable to the edge of the wing panel for securing the wing panel to the post in engagement with the slots thereof, a leg means mountable on the wing panels, a desk panel adapted to be disposed transverse to the wing panel, and a means for securing the desk panel to the wing. The various elements of the kit and their association with the respective elements of the carrel has been described previously.

In FIG. 14 of the drawings there is depicted a convenient and useful bookshelf arrangement 110 that can be releasably secured to the backside of a carrel 30. The bookshelf 110 has a flat lower shelf 112 provided with relatively thin upright end partitions 114. The rear edges of end partitions 114 are provided with L-shaped tabs generally similar to tabs 60 provided on attaching bracket 58. The tabs are releasably hooked into a set of aligned slots 36 provided in post 32. The length of the shelf 110 can be made to extend across one or more carrel units. Preferably the shelves extend across a single carrel unit and engage the inside set of aligned slots 36. This combination of a bookshelf and carrel unit is very convenient in that it provides an attractive arrangement for storing books, which can be assembled and disassembled very quickly. Moreover, since the shelves are of a uniform length they can be readily removed and assembled on different locations on the upright posts to quickly and conveniently provide for different arrangements and storage requirements.

Also, depicted in FIG. 14 is another shelf arrangement 116 adapted to hold and display magazines and the like. Shelf 116 has an inclined surface 118 with means on the end which releasably engage the slots 36 in upright posts 32 in generally the same manner as shelf 110.

In FIG. 15 is depicted a cross section of another modification which adapts commercially available bookshelf structure to be mounted on the carrels of my invention. In this embodiment a channel 120 having slots 122 is releasably secured to posts 32 of the carrel unit of my invention. The channel 120 is provided with attaching brackets 58 having L-shaped tabs which are inserted in releasable engagement with slots 36 or 38 in upright post 32. The shelves 124 can then be attached to the upright channel 120. The slots 122 in channel 120 can be formed to accommodate any desired type of bookshelf.

In FIGS. 11, 12, and 13 there is depicted an arrangement wherein a double row of carrels of my invention are assembled to form a multiple unit. The general arrangement of each carrel is similar to the carrel described previously except that a single back panel 52 serves two adjacent carrels. The arrangement of the respective wing panels and back panels is shown in FIG. 13 of the drawings. In this arrangement the back panel 52 is secured in the center set of aligned slots 38 in posts 32. In like manner, electrical adapter 64 is secured on one side to the upright edge of a back panel and on the opposite side to post 32 in the center set of slots 38. The wing panels 76 are secured in sets of slots on opposite sides of post 32 directly opposite each other. In this arrangement the wing panels 76 also serve to separate two adjacent carrels. In FIG. 12 is illustrated the arrangement for supporting the desk panel 86. The leg 84 is mounted on the same respective side of all of the wing panels 76, while the length of angle iron 87 is mounted directly opposite same at the same height. As indicated in FIG. 12, bolts 118 are used to secure both the length of angle iron 87 and the leg 84 to wing panel 76.

In FIG. 16 there is depicted still another arrangement of a wall mounted unit made up of a plurality of carrels 30 of my invention. In this arrangement one-half of post 32 is secured to the wall with bolts 126 or the like. In assembling this arrangement, the channels 32 are first mounted on the wall in the appropriate spaced arrangement. The panel mounting channels 54 are then secured to the upright posts 32 in an inverted or upside down position, that is with the transverse portion 55 on the bottom end thereof. This arrangement is illustrated in FIG. 18 of the drawings. In afiixing the mounting channel 54, the attaching brackets are inserted through the slots 56 in mounting channel 54 in the opposite direction, that is with the protruding transverse portions of L- shaped tab 60 directed toward the end provided with transverse portion 55. The tabs 60 are in effect pointed downwardly. In like manner, the electrical adapter 64 is attached to the post 32 and the mounting channel 54 affixed thereto with the transverse portion 55 on the lower end thereof. The back panel 52 is then slid downwardly into position in mounting channels 54 through the open top ends. The lower edges of the panel 52 abut transverse portion 55 of mounting channels 54 to support same. The wing panels 76, desk panels 86, and shelf panel 88 are then assembled in the conventional manner.

In FIGS. 19 and 20 of the drawings is illustrated still another arrangement of the carrel unit of my invention which further illustrates its versatility. In this arrangement the side and back panels, wing panels, and desk panel are shown mounted on a portable rack or stand 130 normally used to support bookshelves. This type stand is commercially available. The stand 130 is provided with a plurality of slots 132 in the outwardly facing sides thereof which normally are utilized to mount shelves 110 thereon. In this arrangement one of the mounting channels 54 is mounted on the upright posts 131 with a metal screw 134 or the like with the transverse portion 55 on the lower end thereof. The electrical adapter 64 is likewise mounted to post 131 with metal screws 134, or the like. The other mounting channel 54 is then secured to the electrical adapter 64 with the transverse portion 55 on the lower end thereof. The back panel 52 can then be slid into position from the top in the same manner described in the arrangement shown in FIG. 16. The wing panels 76, desk panel 86 and shelf panel 88 are then assembled in the conventional manner described previously. Any variations in the width between posts 131 can be easily accommodated by sawing or cutting the back panel 52 to the proper width if the panel is too wide, or conversely, by mounting the mounting channel 54 on an inverted mounting channel 54 secured to post 131 by metal screws 134 or the like if the panel is too narrow to span the distance. This latter arrangement is illustrated in FIG. 21 of the drawings. In FIG. 22 is illustrated still another form of a commercially available mounting channel which can be used to support the carrel unit 30 of my invention.

In FIG. 23 is illustrated an arrangement whereby carrel units 30 of my invention can be mounted directly on bookshelf stack support structure which provides great versatility in arrangements. In this arrangement the mounting channels 140 extend well above the carrel units 30. Shelving or the like can be mounted on, above, and immediately adjacent the carrel units to make the most efficient use of the available space.

In FIGS. 24 and 25 is illustrated a post extension which can be used to extend th upright post 32 of the carrel units 30 of my invention. The extensions 150 can be used to mount additional bookshelves, blackboards, panels, or the like. The extensions 150 greatly increase the variety of arrangements that are possible. The post extension 150 is generally square in cross section and is preferably formed of two channels in the same manner that posts 32 are formed. The post 150 is normally provided with sets of aligned slots adapted to releasablv mount bookshelves, etc. thereto. As indicated in FIG.

25, two lengths of angle iron 152 are welded in opposing relation to the inside of extension post 150. The extension 152 can be inserted into the top of upright post 32 to form a strong sturdy and very useful support.

In FIG. 26 is illustrated structure for releasably mounting large panel sections 160 to the upright posts 32 of the carrels of my invention. The panels 160 can be used for blackboards, screens, bulletin boards, and the like. As indicated in FIG. 26, a mounting channel 54a having one leg removed is secured to one end of panel 160. The mounting channel 54 having one of the outwardly extending legs thereof removed is secured to an upright edge of panel 160. Attaching brackets 58 are secured in the slots in mounting channel 54a, and the mounting channel secured to panel 160 with woodscrews 162, or the like. If the panel 160 is relatively large and extends across an intermediate upright post 32, it can be secured to the post with a mounting channel 54b having both of the protruding flanges or legs removed. The intermediate channel 54b is likewise secured to panel 160 by woodscrews 162. After the mounting channels have been secured to the panel 160 the panel is merely releasably secured to the post 32 by inserting the L-shaped tabs 60 into the appropriate slots in posts 32.

In FIG. 27 is illustrated how various types of panels can be mounted by utilizing the mounting channels 54 of the carrel unit of my invention, As indicated in FIG. 27 the combination panel 170 can be composed of various thinner sheets 172, 174 and 176. Panel 176 can,for example, conveniently be a chalkboard, a soft board to serve as a bulletin board, etc. Sheet 174 serves as a backing element which lends rigidity to the panel assembly.

In FIG. 28 there is illustrated an arrangement whereby the carrel units 30 of my invention can be assembled to form a rosette design. In this arrangement four carrel units are assembled in a manner that each of the persons using same enjoys complete privacy. The back panels 52 can be provided with apertures adapted to mount the length of angle iron used for supporting one end of desk panel 86, and also the brackets 90 supporting the ends of shelf panel 88.

In FIG. 29 is illustrated a modified rosette arrangement in which the carrel units 30 are mounted on a post or column 180, instead of an upright channel post 32 as in FIG. 28. In this arrangement the back panels can be secured to each other by screws, brackets or the like.

In FIG. 30 is illustrated an H arrangement of carrels 30 of my invention. In this arrangement six carrel units 30 are conveniently arranged to give each of the users thereof a great degree of privacy, the H arrangement provides a very desirable environment for study. In this arrangement the back panels 52 are utilized to support the desk panel 86 and shelf panel 88 of the center carrel units.

The foregoing discussion and description has been made in connection with preferred specific embodiments of carrels of the invention. However, it is to be understood that the discussion and description is only intended to illustrate and teach those skilled in the art how to practice the invention, and such is not to unduly limit the scope of the invention, which is defined in the claims set forth hereinafter.

I claim:

1. A prefabricated free standing carrel unit comprising, two spaced upright posts, each of said posts being hollow and having a square transverse cross sectional configuration and formed from a pair of channels secured together, each of said posts provided on opposite sides with two spaced sets of four pairs of vertically spaced and aligned slots, and on the remaining adjacent opposite sides with three spaced sets of four pairs of vertically spaced and aligned slots, a square shaped knock-out plug in each of the sides of said posts spaced upwardly from the bottom and below the lowermost pairs of aligned slots in each set, top covers for said posts, leveling means on the bottoms'of each of said posts, each of said leveling means having a fiat transverse plate secured to the lower end of said post and provided with a central threaded aperture, a threaded rod, and a circular transverse head on the lower end of said threaded rod for in use engaging the floor or other fiat supporting surface, a fiat rectangular shaped back panel mounted between said spaced upright posts, two elongated panel mounting channels on the opposite upright edges of said back panel, each of said mounting channels having a transverse portion across the end thereof, and a set of four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots in the base of said channel, an attachtng bracket disposed in each pair of aligned slots in said mounting channels, each of said attaching brackets having a flat length of metal overlying a pair of aligned slots, and two transverse flat L-shaped tabs secured to said flat lengths and extending through said slots of said mountlng channels, an upwardly extending hollow elongated tubular electrical adapter having a rectangular transverse cross sectional configuration mounted between said back panel and one of said posts, said adapter having a plurality of longitudinally spaced electrical outlets arranged on opposite sides, two sets of four pair of aligned slots in the adjacent opposite sides, one of said last-mentioned sets of slots in one side receiving said tabs of said attaching brackets in said mounting channel on one up right edge of said back panel, a set of four attaching brackets having aligned L-shaped tabs disposed in the other of said sets of slots, said last-mentioned tabs of said brackets received in said aligned slots in one of said posts, two upright rectangular wing panels, recessed portions on one upright edge of each of said wing panels, a panel mounting channel provided with a set of four pair of aligned slots and secured to an upright edge of each of said wing panels receiving said recessed portion, four attaching brackets mounted in each of said mounting channels and seated in said set of aligned slots in said post, an L-shaped leg secured to one of said wing panels, a length of angle iron mounted horizontally on the other of said Wing panels opposite said L-shaped leg, a flat rectangular horizontal desk panel mounted between said wing panels in supported relation on said length of angle iron and the horizontal portion of said L-shaped leg, a flat rectangular shelf panel mounted between said wing panels above said desk panel, recessed portions on the opposite edges of said shelf panel, means for removably mounting said shelf panel on said wing panels comprising, four lengths of strap iron, each of said lengths having two longitudinally spaced U-shaped hooks, two of said lengths secured to opposite ends of said shelf panel and seated in said recessed portions, two of said lengths secured to said wing panels in spaced and parallel relation to said desk panel, a fluorescent-type fixture mounted on the underside of said shelf panel, an elongated tubular electrical raceway positioned below said back panel, an upwardly projecting apertured tab on one end of said electrical raceway, means securing said tab to the lower end of said electrical adapter and thereby providing a ground for the carrel unit electrical system, an elongated audio raceway positioned below said electrical raceway having end portions positioned in said knock-out in said posts, a generally U-shaped cover and retaining means for supporting said electrical and audio raceways, means for securing said cover and retainer means to the lower end of said electrical adapter, said carrel unit adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled easily and quickly, and being capable of being assembled to form single or multiple units in a large variety of arrangements.

2. A prefabricated carrel unit comprising, two spaced upright posts having a square transverse cross sectional configuration, each of said posts provided with spaced sets of four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots on the sides thereof, a knock-out plug in each of the sides of said posts spaced upwardly from the bottom, leveling means on the bottom of each of said posts, a

flat rectangular shaped back panel mounted between said spaced upright posts, two elongated panel mounting channels on the upright edges of said back panel, each of said mounting channels having a transverse portion across the end thereof, and a set of four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots in the base thereof, attaching brackets disposed in said pairs of aligned slots in said mounting channels, each of said attaching brackets having a length of sheet metal overlying a pair of aligned slots, and two L-shaped tabs secured to said fiat length and extending through said slots of said mounting channels, an upwardly extending hollow elongated electrical adapter having a rectangular transverse cross sectional configuration mounted between said back panel and one of said posts, said adapter having a plurality of longitudinally spaced electrical outlets arranged thereon, a set of four pair of aligned slots in an adjacent side receiving said tabs of said attaching brackets on one upright edge of said back panel, a set of four pair of aligned L-shaped tabs on the opposite side received in said aligned set of slots in one of said posts, two upright rectangular wing panels, recessed portions on one upright edge of each of said wing panels, a panel mounting channel secured to the upright edge of each of said wing panels receiving said recessed portion therein, four attaching brackets mounted on each of said mounting channels and seated in a set of aligned slots in said post, a leg secured to one of said wing panels, a length of angle iron mounted horizontally on one of said wing panels opposite said leg, a flat rectangular horizontal desk panel mounted between said wing panels in abutting relation to said length of angle iron and said leg, a flat rectangular shelf panel mounted between said wing panels above said desk panel, means releasably securing said shelf panel to said -wing panels in spaced parallel relation to said desk panel, a light fixture mounted on the underside of said shelf panel, an electrical raceway positioned below said back panel and communicating with said electrical adapter, said carrel unit adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled easily and quicky, and being capable of being assembled to form single or multiple units in a large variety of arrangements.

3. A prefabricated carrel unit comprising, two spaced upright posts, each of said posts having a square transverse cross sectional configuration, each of said posts provided with at least one set of a plurality of vertically spaced and aligned slots on each side, a flat rectangular shaped back panel mounted between said spaced upright posts, two elongated panel mounting channels on the upright edges of said back panel, means securing said mounting channel to the edges of said back panel, a set of a plurality of vertically spaced and aligned slots in the base of each of said channels, attaching brackets disposed in said aligned slots in said mounting channels, each of said attaching brackets having a length of metal and at least one L-shaped tab secured to said length and extending through one of said slots of said mounting channels, an upwardly extending hollow elongated tubular electrical adapter having a rectangular transverse cross sectional configuration mounted between said back panel and one of said posts, said adapter having at least one electrical outlet, a set of aligned slots in one side of said adapter receiving said tabs of said attaching brackets on the upright edge of said back panel, a set of aligned L-shaped tabs on the opposite side received in said aligned slots in one of said posts, two upright -wing panels, a mounting channel secured to one upright edge of each of said wing panels, a set of aligned slots in the base of said mounting channel, attaching brackets mounted in the slots of said mounting channels seated in a set of slots in said posts, a leg secured to one of said wing panels, abutment means secured to the opposite wing panel, a fiat horizontal desk panel mounted between said wing panels in supported relation to said abutment means and a portion of said leg, a shelf panel mounted between said wing panels in spaced parallel relation to said desk panel, said carrel unit adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled easily and quickly, and being capable of assembly to form single or multiple units in a large variety of arrangements.

4. A carrel unit comprising, two spaced upright posts, each of said posts having a generally square cross sectional configuration, each of said posts provided with at least two sets of spaced slots in the sides thereof, a flat rectangular shaped back panel mounted between said spaced upright posts, mounting channels secured to the upright edges of said back panel, each of said mounting channels having a plurality of spaced hooks mounted on the base portion thereof and projecting outwardly, an upwardly extending elongated electrical adapter having a generally rectangular cross sectional configuration mounted between an edge of said back panel and one of said posts, said adapter having at least one electrical outlet therein, a set of spaced slots in one side adapted to receive said hooks on said mounting channel, and a set of projecting spaced hooks on the opposite side thereof adapted to be secured within said slots in said upright post, two wing panels, a mounting channel secured to an upright edge of each of said wing panels, a plurality of spaced projecting hooks on said mounting channels adapted to be received in said sets of slots in said upright posts, at least one leg secured to one of said-wing panels, a desk panel mounted between said wing panels extended above the lower edges of said wing panels and said back panel a substantial distance for privacy, means securing said desk panel to said wing panels, said carrel unit adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled easily and quickly and being capable of being assembled to form single or multiple units in a large variety of arrangements.

5. A prefabricated free standing carrel combination comprising, an upright post having a square transverse cross sectional configuration and provided on opposite sides with two spaced sets of four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots, and on the remaining opposite sides with three spaced sets of four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots, a square shaped knockout plug on each side in the lower portion of said post spaced upwardly from the bottom and below the lowermost pair of said aligned slots, leveling means on the bottom of said post, a flat rectangular shaped back panel, two elongated panel mounting channels mountable on the upright edges of said back panel, each of said mounting panels having a transverse portion across the end thereof, and a set of four pair of vertically spaced and aligned slots in the base of said channel, attaching brackets disposable in each pair of aligned slots in said mounting channels, each of said attaching brackets having a fiat length of sheet metal adapted to overlie a pair of aligned slots, and two flat L- shaped tabs secured to said fiat length and extending through said slots of said mounting channels, and upwardly extending hollow elongated tubular electrical adapter having a rectangular transverse configuration mountable adjacent one upright edge of said back panel, said adapter having a plurality of longitudinally spaced electrical outlets arranged on opposite sides thereof, two sets of four pair of aligned slots in the adjacent opposite sides, one of said sets of slots in one side adapted to receive said tabs of said attaching brackets on one upright edge of said back panel, a set of four pair of aligned L- shaped tabs disposed in the other of said set of slots adapted to be received in the set of slots provided on an upright post, an upright rectangular wing panel having recessed portions on the upright edge thereof, a panel mounting channel provided with a set of four pair of aligned slots and securable to one upright edge of said wing panel, four attaching brackets mountable in the base of said panel mounting channel adapted to be seated in a set of aligned slots in said post, an L-shaped leg securable to said wing panel, a length of angle iron mountable on the side of said wing panel opposite said L-shaped leg, a fiat rectangular horizontal desk panel mountable transverse to said wing panel, a fiat rectangular shelf mountable on said wing panel above said desk panel, means for removably mounting said shelf panel on said wing panel, an elongated tubular electrical raceway adapted to be positioned below said back panel, an elongated audio raceway positionable below said electrical raceway having an end portion adapted to be disposed in said knock-out in said post, means for supporting said electrical raceway and audio raceway on the bottom of said back panel, said carrel unit adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled easily and quickly and be capable of being assembled to form single or multiple units in a large variety of arrangements.

67 A carrel unit kit comprising, a pair of post members having a plurality of spaced sets of connecting slots therein, a back panel, means securable to opposite edges of said back panel releasably connecting said back panel to said posts, a wing panel, hook means securable on the edge of said wing panel securing the same to one of said posts in engagement with said slots thereon, leg means connected to said wing panel, a desk panel connected to said wing panel and said back panel, said desk panel extended the proper height for working thereon and having said wing panel and said back panels extended a substantial distance therebelow for privacy, said carrel unit adapted in use to be assembled and disassembled easily and quickly and being capable of assembly to form multiple units in a large variety of arrangements.

7. A carrel unit kit as described in claim 6, including a pair of said wing panels connected to said posts, a shelf panel extended between said back panel and said wing panels above said desk panel, and means releasably connecting said shelf panel to said wing panels in a concealed manner so as to present an attractive structure.

8. A carrel unit kit as described in claim 7, including a light fixture means connected to the underside of said shelf panel to provide substantial illumination to the top area of said desk panel.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,665,963 1/1954 Wallack 312-235 2,991,889 7/1961 Levy et a1 21ll11 3,078,133 2/1963 Schauer 3l2223 3,156,510 11/1964 Hindin et a] 312-223 3,181,920 5/1965 Burr 312 223 3,200,961 8/1965 Kolster et a1. 211148 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.

' G, o. FINCH, Assistant Examiner.

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US8689705 *Apr 22, 2011Apr 8, 2014Steelcase, Inc.Reconfigurable table assemblies
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US20110297051 *Apr 22, 2011Dec 8, 2011Kirt MartinReconfigurable Table Assemblies
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Classifications
U.S. Classification108/23, 108/180, 108/186
International ClassificationA47B47/03, A47B87/00, A47B96/14, A47B47/00, A47B96/00, A47B47/04, A47B97/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B87/00, A47B97/00, A47B47/04, A47B47/03, A47B96/1416
European ClassificationA47B87/00, A47B47/03, A47B47/04, A47B97/00, A47B96/14C