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Publication numberUS3498239 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1970
Filing dateFeb 15, 1968
Priority dateFeb 15, 1968
Publication numberUS 3498239 A, US 3498239A, US-A-3498239, US3498239 A, US3498239A
InventorsBartlett Robert N, Pendergast William F
Original AssigneeSteelcase Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Metal shelving
US 3498239 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 3, 1970 BARTLETT ET AL 3,498,239

METAL SHELVING Filed Feb. 15, 1968 'llll JEMHHWIIMHII- TIG. 2'

INVENTORS ROBERT N. BARTLETT WILLIAM F. PENDERGAST ATTORNEY a United States Patent METAL SHELVING Robert N. Bartlett and William F. Pendergast, Grand Rapids, Mich., assignors to Steelcase Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Feb. 15, 1968, Ser. No. 705,825

Int. Cl. A47b 57/10, 57/16 US. Cl. 108-110 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to metal shelving in which a frame structure supports one or more shelf units through brackets which engage slots in the frame. The brackets have a slot which interlocks with a downwardly extending tongue on the shelf to restrain inadvertent lateral movement of the shelves relative to the brackets.

The brackets contain upwardly extending tabs which are positioned behind the frame wall and a downwardly extending flange which is positioned on the inner surface of the frame wall to protect the wall from paint chipping and scratching during the placement and removal of the shelf units. The brackets also contain a laterally extending support surface and an upwardly extending flange which aids in positioning the shelf on the clips during assembly.

A downwardly extending flange on the edge of the shelf contains the tongue and slots for engaging the bracket.

This invention relates to metal shelving. In one of its aspects it relates to a metal shelf unit comprising a frame structure, a shelf mounted in the frame structure, and a bracket supporting the shelf wherein the bracket and the shelf have interengaging members to prevent the shel from lateral movement.

Many metal cabinets currently available have shelves which are removable and adjustable within the cabinets. The simplest form of this type of cabinet contains a pair of side frame members with inwardly and upwardly extending tab members cut from the frame to engage downwardly extending flanges on the shelf units. In this type of arrangement wherein the shelf flanges are directly adjacent the frame walls, paint is frequently chipped from the walls during shipping of the unit and/or placement and removal of the shelf. After the paint has been chipped from portions of the side walls of the frame, readjustment of the shelves leave a mark on the inner surface of the cabinet. Further, in this kind of unit, the shelf units are diflicult to install and replace after cabinet doors have been placed on the front of the cabinet.

To overcome this problem of paint chipping off the inner surfaces of the frame walls, clips have been devised which engage slots in the frame wall and extend downwardly alongside of the frame walls so that the sides of the shelf unit do not touch the sides of the frame wall.

For eXample, Joyce, 3,294,043 discloses a clip which hooks over the slots in frame walls with downwardly extending flanges on either side the the slots. The clips have outwardly extending surfaces to support flanges of the shelf unit. Although these simple clips are suitable for most instances, the shelf units frequently slide on the clips since there is no lateral restraining surfaces between the clips and the shelf units. Further, when the clips are placed in the slots or removed from the slots in the frame walls, marring of the frame walls can occur due to the fact that the clips must he slid at least a small distance in contact with the frame walls.

Jarvis, 2,896,794 discloses a metal shelving construction in which shelves are prevented from lateral displacement by a bracket which extends down along the side walls and a shelf flange engaging latch which pivots on 3,498,239 Patented Mar. 3, 1970 the bottom of the bracket. Whereas the device disclosed in Jarvis is suitable, the construction is rather complex requiring rather expensive bracket construction and complicated motion in order to change the position of the shelves.

I have now discovered a metal shelving construction which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, which shelving is easily assembled and disassembled, and which construction minimizes the chance of marring the inner surfaces of the frame.

By various aspects of this invention one or more of the following, or other, objects can be obtained.

It is an object of this invention to provide a rigid metal shelf construction which is easily manufactured and quickly assembled.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a removable metal shelf construction wherein removal of paint or marring of the surface of the sides of the frame due to the removal and assembly of the shelf is minimized.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a rigid shelf construction in which the shelf is constrained from inadvertent lateral movement and/or upward movement but which shelf is easily removed and shifted to a different position when it is desirable to do so.

According to the invention, there is provided a metal shelf unit comprising a frame structure, a shelf mounted in the frame structure, and a bracket supported by the shelf. Means are provided for attaching the bracket to the frame structure such that marring of the wall surfaces of the frame due to insertion and removal of the bracket is minimized. Further, inter-locking means are provided on the shelf and the bracket to secure the shelf to the bracket to prevent the shelf from moving laterally relative to the frame. The inter-locking means comprise a slot on the lower portion of the bracket and a tongue on the shelf extending downwardly into the slot.

The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational, sectional view of a shelving unit and frame structure according to the invention, with the view being taken generally along lines II of FIG. 2;

FIG. 2 is a side sectional, elevational view of the shelf unfit shown in FIG. 1 taken along lines II-II of FIG. 1; an FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the brackets employed in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Referring now to the drawings, a cabinet is provided with'a pair of spaced side frame walls 2 and 4. The inner frame wall 4 supports shelves 8 through bracket 6 on either side of the shelves. For simplicity, only one side of the shelf supporting unit has been shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. However it is understood that the other side of the shelf can be supported by an identical bracket in an identical manner.

Each frame wall 4 contains two rows of a plurality of vertically aligned slots 18. The brackets 6 contain a pair of wall engaging tabs 16 which extend upwardly from laterally extending portions. Two of the slots 18 support the laterally extending portion 14 of brackets 6. The upwardly extending tabs 16 are positioned behind the inner frame walls 4 to secure the brackets in the two of the slots 18. The brackets 6 contain downwardly extending flanges 20 a laterally extending support 22 and an upwardly extending portion 24. The downwardly extending flanges 20 are positioned adjacent the side walls 4 and protect the side walls 4 of the frame from marring when the shelf units are placed in position or removed from the bracket. The laterally extending support 22 contains a longitudinal slot 26 (FIG. 3) for receiving tongue 28 of shelf 8. The upwardly extending flange 24 of 3 bracket 6 extends to the under surface of shelf 8 and can thereby at least partially support the shelf.

The shelf 8 has a front and back downwardly extending flange 12 which is curled under as shown in FIG. 2 to give the shelf an apparent thickness and to also strengthen the shelf.

At either end of the shelf 8, a downwardly extending flange is provided, Tongue 28 is positioned on the lower portion of downwardly extending flange 10 to prevent lateral movement between the bracket and the shelf when the tongue 28 is inserted into slot 26. The downwardly extending flange 10 also has a tab 30 which forms with tongue 28 a downwardly opening slot 32. This slot 32 receives support 22 between slot 26 and the end of clip 6 to restrain the lateral movement between shelf 8 and clip 6.

Flange 10 also has a downwardly extending tab 34 which forms with a laterally extending tab 36 of tongue 28, a second downwardly opening slot 38. This slot 38 is somewhat wider than slot 32 and connects with a laterally extending slot 40 at the upper portion thereof. This slot 40 permits the tab 36 to be inserted into the slot 26 of clip 6 and permits the shelf to slide laterally, to the rear as the slot 32 is moved downwardly on to support 22 into position within the slot.

Tab 36 has a rounded corner at the top portion thereof to facilitate the insertion of the shelf into the slotted clip.

The tab 36 on tongue 28 prevents the inadvertent upward movement of shelf 8 relative to bracket 6.

When it is desirable to remove the shelf, the front portion of the shelf 8 is lifted upwardly to raise slot 32 from engagement with support 22 of bracket 6, thereby rotating the shelf 8 about slot 40. The shelf 8 can then be moved forwardly (toward the left of FIG. 2) and then upwardly to 28 moved forwardly and disengage the tongue 28 and tab 36 from slot 26, As the shelf is moved, it will not contact the wall 4 due to the presence of downwardly extending flanges 20, The brackets can then be removed from the wall slots 18 by simply rotating the same upwardly about the slots and pulling them outwardly from the walls. In this manner, the clips and shelves are easily removed from the walls without marring the inner surface of walls 4. There is no sliding relationship between the brackets and the frame walls.

The shelves are replaced in a different position by merely inserting the tabs 16 of the brackets into different slots 18 and rotating the brackets downwardly to position the outwardly extending portions 14 of the brackets within the slots. The shelf units 8 can then be positioned by moving them downwardly and rearwardly (to the right in FIGURE 2) until tab 36 is positioned between the rearmost portion of support 22 with slot 40 engaging the slot 26, the front portion of the shelf is then rotated downwardly to seat slot 32 on support 22.

The shelf and bracket units are simple to manufacture and can be stamped out of sheet metal without anycomplex mechanical operations such as riveting or bolting. The shelf units can be simply bent after the stamping operation to form the finished part.

Whereas the invention has been described with reference to a frame wall having two sets of vertically aligned slots 18, it is obvious that one set of vertically aligned slots, or more than 2 sets of vertically aligned slots 18 can be employed without departing from the scope of the invention.

It is to be understood that whereas the invention has been described with reference to a single slot 26 in a supporting bracket, itis within the scope of the invention to provide a plurality of slots in a bracket to engage a plurality of downwardly extending tongues on shelf flanges.

It is also to be understood that a plurality of shelves can be supported within a frame structure with the use of the invention. For simplicity, only one side of one shelf unit has been shown.

As is obvious to one skilled in the art, the shape of the removed from the frame walls without marring the surfaces of the frame walls.

In addition to serving a supporting function, the flanges 24 prevents the back edge of the shelf from dropping into the clip until the shelf edge is at the back of the clip.

Reasonable variation and modification are possible within the scope of the foregoing disclosure and the drawings Without departing from the spirit of the invention.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. In a metal shelf unit comprising a frame structure, a shelf mounted in said frame structure, brackets supporting said shelf, means for attaching said brackets to said frame structure, interengaging means between said shelf and said brackets to secure said shelf to said bracket, the improvement which comprises: slot means on a lower portion of said brackets and tongue means on said shelf extending downwardly through said slot means and substantially coextensive with said slot means to engage said slot means to prevent lateralmovement of said shelf with respect to said brackets said tongue means having a tab at one end thereof extending along the line of said slot and beneath a portion of said bracket whereby said shelf is held relatively fixed within said bracket against lateral movement along the line of said slot and said shelf is removed by first rotating an end opposite said tab in an upward direction to free said tab from beneath said bracket.

2. A metal shelf unit according to claim 1 wherein said frame structure has at least one slot in opposite frame walls, said bracket attaching means comprises at least one tab extending outwardly a spaced distance and then upwardly, which tab is positioned behind said frame wall with said outwardly extending portions of each bracket resting in said slot in said opposite frame walls.

3. A metal shelf unit according to claim 2 wherein said opposite frame walls have at least two sets of vertically aligned slots, and each of said brackets have at least two tabs which engage said slots.

4. A metal shelf unit as defined in claim 1 wherein said brackets have a laterally extending support which contains said slot means; said bracket further contains an upwardly extending flange on the end of said lateral support adjacent the walls of said frame, which upwardly extending flange extends to the surface of said shelf to provide additional support for said shelf.

5. A metal shelf unit according to claim 4 wherein said shelf has a downwardly extending flange on either side thereof, said tongue means is positioned on the lower portion of said flange, said tongue means and said flange form a slotted portion which opens downwardly, said slotted portion engages said laterally extending support to prevent accidental lateral displacement of said shelf with respect to said bracket.

6. A metal shelf unit according to claim 5 wherein a portion of said downwardly extending flange of said shelf rests on said laterally extending support.

7. A metal shelf unit as defined in claim 5 wherein a second downwardly opening slot is formed in each bracket between said tongue means and said downwardly extending flange, said second slot having a laterally extending portion at the top thereof between said tongue means and said flange forming said tab, said slot extending toward said first mentioned downwardly opening slot, and said laterally extending support of said bracket is positioned within said laterally extending portion of said second slot so that the top portion of said laterally extending slot is adjacent said laterally extending support.

8. A metal shelf unit as defined in claim 1 wherein said brackets have tabs which engage slots in said frame, said brackets have downwardly extending flanges adjacent said frame slots; lateral supports extend out from said downwardly extending flanges, said slot means being positioned within said lateral support, whereby marring of the inner Walls of said frame is prevented while assembling and disassemblying said shelf unit.

9. In a metal shelf unit comprising a frame structure including side walls, at least one set of vertically aligned slots in said side walls; a shelf within said frame structure; brackets engaging said slots in said side walls, and supporting said shelf, the improvement which comprises: said brackets having a slot engaging tab extending through one of said slots and positioned behind said frame walls above said one slot, a downwardly extending flange adjacent said frame walls and laterally offset from said slot engaging tab, a laterally extending base extending from said downwardly extending flange, a slot formed in said base, and an upwardly extending flange at the outer portion of said base abutting against said shelf; said shelf having downwardly extending flanges at the sides thereof adjacent said side walls, tongues extending from said flanges and engaging said bracket slots, whereby said shelf and said brackets can be removed and inserted at different locations within said frame structure without marring the inner walls of said frame structure.

10. A shelf unit according to claim 9 wherein each of said frame walls containstwo sets of vertically aligned slots, and each of said brackets contain a pair of said slot engaging tabs aligned With said slots and extending upwardly of the upper portion of said downwardly extending flange.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,164,439 12/1915 Winquist 108-110 1,937,935 12/1933 Zimmerman 108110 3,294,043 12/1966 Joyce 108-111 2,978,112 4/ 1961 Brandell 1081 10 3,186,363 6/1965 Moore 1081 14 3,225,937 12/1965 Amthor et al. 211148 FOREIGN PATENTS 93 5,876 7/1948 France.

JAMES T. McCALL, Primary Examiner GLENN O. FINCH, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3570682 *Jul 7, 1969Mar 16, 1971Elliott Williams Co IncRack and shelving system
US4034683 *Jul 28, 1975Jul 12, 1977Dicenzo Guy JShelving structure
US6036034 *Jan 29, 1999Mar 14, 2000L&P Property Management CompanyModular display stand assembly
US6220464Nov 23, 1999Apr 24, 2001L&P Property Management CompanyModular display stand assembly
US6286694Jul 21, 2000Sep 11, 2001L&P Property Management CompanyDisplay stand and shelf assembly
US6311856Feb 8, 2001Nov 6, 2001L&P Property Management CompanyDisplay stand module
US7337729 *Aug 12, 2004Mar 4, 2008Metalsistem Group S.P.A.Modular shelving
US7780250 *Jun 10, 2003Aug 24, 2010Simon KnowlesCollapsible bar
US8667908Apr 22, 2011Mar 11, 2014Steelcase Inc.Frame type table assemblies
US8689705Apr 22, 2011Apr 8, 2014Steelcase, Inc.Reconfigurable table assemblies
US9185974May 25, 2012Nov 17, 2015Steelcase Inc.Frame type workstation configurations
US9210999Apr 22, 2011Dec 15, 2015Steelcase Inc.Frame type table assemblies
US20050061760 *Aug 12, 2004Mar 24, 2005Metalsistem Group S.P.A.Modular shelving
US20060055291 *Jun 10, 2003Mar 16, 2006Simon KnowlesCollapsible bar
U.S. Classification108/110
International ClassificationA47B57/00, A47B57/42
Cooperative ClassificationA47B57/425
European ClassificationA47B57/42B