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 numberUS3514170 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 26, 1970
Filing dateMar 1, 1968
Priority dateJan 10, 1968
Publication numberUS 3514170 A, US 3514170A, US-A-3514170, US3514170 A, US3514170A
InventorsShewchuk Donald
Original AssigneeShewchuk Donald
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stackable and interlocking containers
US 3514170 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 26, 1970 D. SHEWCHUK STACKABLE AND INTERLOGKING CONTAINERS- 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 1, 1968 INVENTOR DONALD SHE CHUK 8% 7208/: and fldte ATI'OR E 3 y 6, 1970 D. SHEWCHUK 3,514,170

STACKABLE AND INTERLOGKING CONTAINERS Filed March 1, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 m DONALD SHEh/CHUK' 13 Y: flofte and 72oe A TTOR NE Y8 May 26, 1970 D. SHEWCHUK 3,514,170


INVEN TOR DONALD SHEWCHUK 6% 206!: and 7206i:

ATTORN United States Patent 3 514 170 STACKABLE AND IN'lERLOCKING CONTAINERS Donald Shewchuk, 46 Hamptonbrook Drive, Weston, Ontario, Canada Filed Mar. 1, 1968, Ser. No. 709,547 Claims priority, application Canada, Jan. 10, 1968, 54

Int. Cl. A47b 87/00; F16b 12/00 US. Cl. 312-107 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE cross-section.

The present invention relates to a stackable and interlocking compartment or receptacle assembly. In particular the invention relates to individual compartment units or container units, each unit being constructed to interlock securely with adjacent units to provide an assembly containing any desired number of compartments.

Each unit is constructed to interlock firmly and securely with adjacent units by sliding the units relative to each other, and the interlocking of such units together to form an assembly of any desired number of compartments is possible without the need of any separate supporting or framing member or members.

Each compartment unit is constructed having a front and a back, and top, bottom and side sections, with each of the four (top, bottom and two side) sections having means for securely interlocking with adjacent identical compartment units. Thus as a multiple compartment assembly is built up, each inner unit is securely interlocked with adjacent units positioned above, below or alongside.

Each individual unit is constructed having front and back ends, and top, bottom and two side sections. Two of the sections are provided with flat raised panels projecting outwardly from the surfaces, and the other two sections are provided with flat bottomed recesses adapted to receive projections provided on adjacent units. The edges of the projections are angled to provide a dovetail shape in cross-sectional View, and the edges of the recesses are also angled to provide a dovetailed recess (when viewed in cross-section) to receive the projections of adjacent units.

It has been proposed to provide compartment units which are stackable to form an assembly of any desired number of units, but usually additional framing or supporting members are required. Also the previous constructions are restricted to compartment locking in either the horizontal or vertical direction, but not in both directions as proposed by the present invention.

Individual compartment units which may be securely interlocked together to form a multiple compartment assembly and which may be easily increased in size as occasion demands have innumerable uses.

Smaller type compartment assemblies are useful in the workshop to provide separated storage for nails, screws, bolts, etc.; or, generally around the home for buttons, pins, needles, thread, ribbons and many other such ar ticles; and find many applications in industry as will larger style compartment assemblies as filing cabinets, etc.

The advantage of having a compartmented assembly which may be added to at any time to provide additional "ice separated storage, over that of a fixed compartment number set is obvious.

The size of each individual compartment unit will be dictated by the intended use of the unit, and the size will to a large degree determine the materials used in construction.

In smaller type units such as those for holding nails, screws, buttons, ribbons, tags, filing cards, labels or any number of smaller items that it is desired to compartmentalize, plastic materials have been found most suitable both from economy of construction and relative low cost of materials, and the durability of such construction.

If larger type compartment units are desired such as for holding wrenches, mechanics tools or as filing cabinets, a material such as aluminum, or some metal alloy is to be preferred.

It is the principal object of the present invention to provide individual compartment or container units, each unit being constructed to slidably interlock with adjacent units to provide an assembly containing any desired number of compartment units.

It is a further object to provide individual compartment or container units, each unit being constructed to slidably interlock with adjacent units to provide an assembly containing any desired number of compartment units, each unit having top, bottom sections and one of the side sections having projections of dove-tail cross-section, and the other of said top or bottom sections and other of said side sections having recesses of dove-tail cross-section.

It is another object to provide a stackable and slidably interlocking assembly of multiple identical compartment units.

It is still a further object to provide an assembly of stackable and slidably interlocking compartment units, each unit being slidably interlocked with adjacent compartment units.

The interlocking compartment units of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a right upper perspective view of a unit constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a left lower perspective view of the unit shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing three compartment units of the invention in interlocked assembly;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a drawer which can be used with the compartment units of the previous figures.

Referring to the drawings in detail, and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 a compartment unit is shown generally by reference number 2. The unit consists of front end back ends, and of a top section 4, bottom section 6 and side sections 8 and 10. The unit will be open at the front, and usually will be provided with a closed back 12 (see FIG. 3) and if the unit is to be used in association with a relatively snugly fitting drawer (see FIG. 6) the back will advantageously be provided with one or more apertures 14 to eliminate any air pressure or vacuum factor caused by closing or opening the drawer. If however the compartment units are to be used without drawers, such as for receiving rolled material such as maps, etc. the apertures may be omitted.

In the embodiment shown in the drawings the outer surfaces of the top 4 and one side 8 are provided with rectangular fiatted projections or panels 16. The longitudinal edges of each projection or panel are formed at angle whereby the panel in cross-section view projects outwardly in dove-tail fashion (see FIG. 3). The outer surfaces of the bottom 6- and other side 10 are provided with rectangular recesses 18 which have a dove-tail configuration as will clearly be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3.

In the drawings the top 4 and right side 8 (when viewed from the front) are provided with the projections 16 and the bottom 6 and left side 10 with the recesses 18. However the left side could just as well be provided with the projection and the right side with the recess. In addition the top could just as well have the recess and the bottom the projection; and as will be apparent the only criterion is that the top and bottomvdiffer, and the two sides differ. Whichever design configuration is followed all units must be identically constructed.

FIGS. 4 and illustrate the interlocking of three units together to form a three compartment assembly, and it will be appreciated that any number of individual units can be securely and slidably interlocked together. The interlocking of adjacent units together is clearly shown in section in FIG. 5.

The rectangular dove-tail projections and recesses may project the complete length of the compartment units, enabling additional units to be slidably engaged with other units from either the front or the back.

In the preferred embodiment and that which is shown in the drawings however, the projections and recesses do not extend completely forward to the front of the unit. Thus it is possible to add additional units to an assembly such as that shown in FIG. 4 only by sliding the additional units rearwardly with respect to the assembly. Thus while this provision enables compartment unit additions only in one direction, it provides for proper flush-front mounting of all units and locks the units in proper alignment.

In the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings the projections and recesses extend from the back of the unit substantially to the front, with the distances A in FIGS. 1 and 2 all being equal. Thus when one unit is slid rearwardly with respect to an adjacent unit the forward end 18' of the recess (see FIG. 2) abuts against the forward end 16' of the projection (see FIG. 1) maintaining the fronts of the two units in alignment and locking them together.

The projections 16 and recesses 18 are positioned centrally with respect to the width of their respective sections, and while the widths of the projections and recesses are necessarily narrower than the sections on which they are positioned no particular ratio between the width of the projections and recesses to their sections need be observed.

The compartment units may be of any length; fairly long for receiving maps, etc., or quite short for use with drawers for pins, screws, etc. Also the unit may be square or rectangular in longitudinal cross-section.

The width of the projections and recesses also may vary from top to side or bottom to side; but the dimensions of the top and bottom interlocking elements must be similar, as must the dimensions of the two side interlocking elements.

FIG. 6 illustrates a drawer 20' which can be used in conjunction with the compartment units of the invention.

The drawer is snugly received within an open end of the unit and may be provided with a handle or pull 22, and

can be made of a transparent plastic for ease in determin ing the contents or may be provided with means (not shown) to which labels or index cards may be attached.

The interior of the drawer may of course itself be compartmented.

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

1. A multiple compartment assembly of slidable interfitting identical units, each unit having a front and back end, top, bottom and side sections, said front end being open, a raised rectangular-shaped flattened projection having a dove-tail cross-section provided exteriorly on one side section and top section respectively, a rectangular recess having a dove-tail cross-section and shaped corresponding to said projection provided on the other side section and bottom section respectively, both said projections and said recesses extending longitudinally from the back end of the unit to identical predetermined distances from the front end of the unit whereby when adjacent units are interfitted with the projection on one of said units interfitting in an adjacent recess the frontal alignment of said interfitted units will be maintained upon the application of a force to one or more of the units in a direction rearwardly along the longitudinal axis of the units while two adjacent interfitted units may be disengaged by the application of a force to one of the units directed along the longitudinal axis of said units towards the front thereof.

2. A multiple compartment assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said raised rectangular flattened projection is provided with an end part extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the unit, said rectangular recess on said adjacent unit in which said rectangular projection interfits being provided with an end wall extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said unit, both said end part and said end wall being said predetermined distance from the front end of said unit whereby said end part is brought into abutting engagement with said end wall.

3. A compartment unit according to claim 1 further comprising a drawer received within the open end of the unit.

4. A compartment unit according to claim 1 wherein the other end of the unit is closed and is provided with apertures.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,506,844 5/1950 Smith 312-107 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,125,609 5/ 1955 France.

1,370,622 7/1964 France.

CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner U.S. C1. X.R. 312-111

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2506844 *Mar 12, 1946May 9, 1950Dale Smith FrederickUniversal expansion case
FR1125609A * Title not available
FR1370622A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3642337 *Aug 21, 1970Feb 15, 1972Manheim JayCassette container
US3722971 *Aug 28, 1970Mar 27, 1973Hefendehl HPlastic box furniture
US3738723 *May 5, 1972Jun 12, 1973Howard JConvertible capsule container
US3856145 *Jan 22, 1974Dec 24, 1974Myers Ind IncRecord storage rack
US3904259 *Feb 22, 1974Sep 9, 1975Boeing CoMagnetic tape cassette storage containers
US3999818 *Jun 20, 1975Dec 28, 1976Microfilm Enterprises CorporationModular storage system
US4243279 *Jan 12, 1979Jan 6, 1981Idn Inventions And Development Of Novelties AgStacking device
US4385212 *Oct 5, 1981May 24, 1983Bell Telephone Laboratories IncorporatedExpandable communication terminal housing
US4895253 *May 10, 1989Jan 23, 1990Ivan YaegerLocking device for restricting the viewing of video cassettes
US5325975 *Jun 14, 1991Jul 5, 1994United States Surgical CorporationSuture display cabinet
US5487599 *Sep 16, 1994Jan 30, 1996Alpha Enterprises, Inc.Storage cabinet for recorded media
US6050657 *Feb 8, 1999Apr 18, 2000Hiltzman; Jerry R.Shelf organizer system
US6877824 *Feb 21, 2003Apr 12, 2005Christine Elizabeth WinklessModular furniture
US7100999 *May 29, 2003Sep 5, 2006Stravitz David MSystem of interlocking storage and display modules connectable in a plurality of different configurations
US7588168Jul 18, 2005Sep 15, 2009Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Combination dispenser for carrying product dispensers
US8667908Apr 22, 2011Mar 11, 2014Steelcase Inc.Frame type table assemblies
US8689705Apr 22, 2011Apr 8, 2014Steelcase, Inc.Reconfigurable table assemblies
US8695795 *Jul 9, 2009Apr 15, 2014Jason W. HuberInterconnectable portable container systems
US9185974May 25, 2012Nov 17, 2015Steelcase Inc.Frame type workstation configurations
US9210999Apr 22, 2011Dec 15, 2015Steelcase Inc.Frame type table assemblies
US20030222545 *May 29, 2003Dec 4, 2003Stravitz David M.System of interlocking storage and display modules connectable in a plurality of different configurations
US20070012714 *Jul 18, 2005Jan 18, 2007Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Combination dispenser for carrying product dispensers
US20070145864 *Dec 23, 2005Jun 28, 2007Peter FreedmanModular furniture system
US20070228252 *Apr 4, 2006Oct 4, 2007Inventec CorporationFixing device
US20070289987 *Dec 15, 2006Dec 20, 2007Paul Francis TramontinaModular Hand Care System
US20090127143 *Nov 19, 2007May 21, 2009Stax DevelopmentInterlocking Media Tray
US20100155565 *Dec 18, 2008Jun 24, 2010Jay Alan BernsteinMethod and apparatus for affixing objects to a wall
US20110113702 *Nov 18, 2010May 19, 2011Hasan S RiazInterlocking roofing trays
US20130212941 *Mar 28, 2013Aug 22, 2013Firestone Building Products Co, LlcInterlocking roofing trays
US20150053630 *Aug 20, 2014Feb 26, 2015The Up Studio Architecture And Design, PllcHat display box
EP0518357A1 *Jun 12, 1992Dec 16, 1992United States Surgical CorporationA suture display cabinet
EP1847890A2Mar 20, 2007Oct 24, 2007Wolf Designs, Inc.Interlockable watchwinder
EP1847890A3 *Mar 20, 2007May 11, 2011Wolf Designs, Inc.Interlockable watchwinder
WO1983001361A1 *Sep 20, 1982Apr 14, 1983Western Electric CoExpandable communication terminal housing
WO2013012305A1 *Feb 29, 2012Jan 24, 2013Velasco Servando SotoSecured and/or illuminated dovetailed modules and associated accessories, for assembling modular furniture
U.S. Classification312/107, 312/111
International ClassificationA47B87/00, A47B87/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47B87/02
European ClassificationA47B87/02