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Publication numberUS3538860 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 10, 1970
Filing dateAug 19, 1968
Priority dateAug 19, 1968
Publication numberUS 3538860 A, US 3538860A, US-A-3538860, US3538860 A, US3538860A
InventorsRichard D Fisher
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerator shelf arrangement
US 3538860 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Richard D. Fisher Worthington, Ohio [21] Appl. No. 753,374

[22] Filed Aug. 19, 1968 [45] Patented Nov. 10, 1970 [73] Assignee Westinghouse Electric Corporation Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a corporation of Pennsylvania [54] REFRIGERATOR SHELF ARRANGEMENT 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 108/1, 108/l52,21 1/49, 248/242, 312/136 [51] lnt.Cl A4713/06,

A47f 7/28 [50] Field ofSearch 108/1, 152; 248/242; 21 1/49D, 90; 312/] 16, 128, 136, 236, 313

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 946,337 1/1910 Clear 312/136 1,369,091 2/1921 Fifer 312/116 2,172,881 9/1939 Swedman et a1 248/242X 1,951,617 3/1934 Kress 211/90 2,218,444 10/1940 Vineyard 211/49 3,080,980 3/1963 Gibbons 108/152X 3,203,553 8/1965 Pendergrast et al. 211/49 3,311,072 3/1967 Pattison 108/152X 3,346,226 10/1967 Shell 248/242 FOREIGN PATENTS 275,861' 6/1967 Australia 248/242 664,154 11/1965 Belgium 248/242 90,291 11/1957 Norway 312/236 Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Jan A. Calvert Attorney- F. H. Henson, R. T. French and E. C. Arenz ABSTRACT: An adjustable refrigerator shelf supported in cantilever fashion at the rear of the refrigerator and adjustable from a horizontal position to a forwardly inclined position to permit forward feeding of cylindrical objects such as beverage cans and bottles by gravity.

Patented Nov. 10, .1970

4 v 2sr28 INVENTOR' Richard D. Fisher ATTORNEY L REFRIGERATOR SHELF ARRANGEMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention pertains to the art of refrigerator shelves and their support arrangements.

2. Description of the Prior Art Refrigerator shelves which are arranged to be supported in cantilever fashion at the rear, and adjustable to provide different vertical spaces between the shelves, are known. My invention deals with shelves of this general character, but which are structurally arranged to be supported in a fashion which permits them to be adjusted from a normal horizontal position to a slightly forwardly tilted or inclined position in which beverage cans and other cylindrical objects may be fed forwardly as the front object is removed.

It will be appreciated that such an arrangement is desirable to facilitate dispensing cans and such objects without having to reach into rear areas in the refrigerator. However, it is also desirable that a refrigerator owner who does not wish to store beverages in this fashion not be penalized by usurping part of the storage area of the refrigerator with an elaborate beverage dispenser where other food storage is considered more important, and that the flexibility ofan adjustable shelf arrangement not be restricted by having such a dispenser occupy a given vertical space. Finally, the arrangement facilitates identifying a beverage container by presenting the labeled side rather than the typical unlabeled top of the container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention, the refrigerated storage cabinet has a shelf and shelf support arrangement including first engaging means extending vertically along the rear of the cabinet storage space, for supporting shelves in cantilever fashion at selected heights, and one or more shelves including a rear portion having second engaging means complementary to the first engaging means, the second engaging means being engageable with the first engaging means in a first selected position supporting the shelf in a substantially horizontal position and in a second selected position supporting the shelf in an inclined position to feed cylindrical objects forwardly by gravity as the front object is removed. Further in accordance with the invention, the first engaging means preferably comprise at least a pair of upright stringer means having forward walls provided with vertically-spaced openings therein to receive the second engaging means, the second engaging means of the shelf being located at the rear of the side members of the shelf in the form of an upper lug, and a lower lug which includes a rear notch and a forward notch for selective seating in a stringer opening below the opening in which the upper lug is received.

To facilitate the removal of the front object on the inclined shelf, the arrangement preferably includes the provision of a deck which is sufficiently open immediately behind the front edge of the shelf to permit the insertion of the users fingers from below to elevate the front object.

The shelf according to the invention also preferably includes means adjacent the forward edge of the shelf projecting above the deck of the shelf to prevent the cylindrical objects from rolling off the forward edge of the shelf when the shelf is in the inclined position. Such means may be fixed or detachable.

DRAWING DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of the upper part of a refrigerator provided with a shelf arrangement according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view corresponding to one taken along the line IIII of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of a shelf according to a preferred form ofthe invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a front corner of a shelf illustrating a portion of one form of a trim strip of the front edge of the shelf; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the rear face of the trim strip of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT ever that in some instances it may be preferable to provide only two stringers spaced for full width shelves, or part width shelves. The stringers provide the engaging means for the rear portion of the shelves 20 and 22.

As best seen in FIG. 2, each stringer I8 is generally channelshaped in transverse section and includes a front wall (i.e., web) 24 provided along its length with a series of openings 26 spaced from each other. For greater flexibility in arranging the shelves at their various heights in the refrigerator, it is normally considered desirable to provide shelves which have a width equal to about half the width of the refrigerator storage cabinet. Thus the shelves on the two sides may be staggered to accommodate different height objects to be stored on the shelves. To the end of accommodating the half shelves, the center stringer, as distinguished from the corner stringers, has openings 26 which are wide enough to accommodate the lug portions at the rear of the side members of both the right and left shelves when they are placed at the same level in the cabinet.

It is considered preferable normally to provide only one or two shelves which will accommodate being downwardly inclined to handle beverage cans and the like. Accordingly the two shelves designated 22 in FIG. 1 are of this character in accordance with the invention, while the shelves 20 will typically be of conventional character in that they are adapted for mounting in cantilever fashion to extend horizontally only.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, each shelf 22 includes a pair of opposite side members 28, a series of heavy cross rods 30 extending between the opposite side members, a front cross member 32 also extending between the side pieces 28 at their front ends, and a series of front-to-rear extending wires 34 which form the surface or deck upon which articles rest on the shelf. In the form illustrated, the side members 28 may be of right-angle shape in lateral cross section, with the vertical leg portion tapering from rear to front, and having a rear end. portion of extended height. The rear portion of the side mem-" gaging behind the front wall 24 of the stringer above an upper opening 26, and a lower lug 38 received in an opening designated 26A spaced downwardly from the upper opening, the lower lug 38 including a rear notch 40 and a forward notch 42 which selectively seat upon the portion of the stringer front wall 24 immediately below the opening 26A. It will be seen from FIG. 2 that when the rear notch 40 is so seated, the shelf 22 is supported in a horizontal position, while if the forward notch 42 is so seated the shelf is tilted down in front so that cylindrical objects 44 placed thereon will feed forwardly by gravity as each front object is removed.

It will be appreciated that the openings 26 and 26A must be of sufficient height to accommodate removal of the shelf to adjust it to different levels, as well as accommodating the change in position from a horizontal to an inclined position.

To hold the objects 44 on the shelf, a means is provided for blocking the front object from rolling off. Such means may take the form of a permanently fixed part, such as upright welded studs at the front edge of the shelf, or upwardly projecting bends near the front edge in the wires 34. However it is considered preferable that any blocking means be detachable during horizontal use of the shelf. Thus in a preferred form, the forward trim edge 32 of the shelf accommodates a supplementary trim member 46 (FIGS. 4 and 5) which includes a flange 48 which projects above the shelf deck level formed by the wires 3 The supplementary trim member 46 is removed when the shelf is to be used in a horizontal position. Accordingly, as is illustrated in FIG. 5, the trim member may be of an extruded shape which can be slid off the end, or of some flexibility, and provided with stub flanges 50 and 52 to permit hooking the supplemental trim member upon the front fixed trim piece 32.

Further, as best illustrated in F168. 3 and 4, at least a portion of the front-to-rear extending wires 34 forming the deck of the shelf are omitted in the area immediately behind the trim member so that when the shelf is used in its inclined position, with the cans thereon, the removal of each can at the front is facilitated by inserting the fingers from below the shelf immediately behind the trim member 32 and pushing the front can up so it can be grasped to be carried over the upstanding flange 48.

it is noted that the illustrated and described embodiment is the best mode of carrying out the invention as currently contemplated, and that variations and details of the structure will likely suggest themselves to those skilled in the art in the light of the concepts disclosed herein.

lclaim:

1. In a refrigerator storage cabinet, a shelf and shelf support arrangement comprising:

first engaging means extending vertically along the rear of the cabinet storage space for engaging the rear portion of each shelf to support said shelf in cantilever fashion at a selected height;

said shelves including at least one shelf having a rear portion having second engaging means complementary to said first engaging means for mating therewith, said second engaging means being engageable with said first engaging means in a first selected position supporting said shelf in a substantially horizontal position, and in a second selected position supporting said shelf in an inclined position to accommodate feeding rearward located cylindrical objects forwardly by gravity as the forward located objects are removed;

said one shelf includes means adjacent the forward edge of said one shelf projecting above the deck of said one shelf to prevent said cylindrical objects from rolling off the forward edge when said one shelf is in said inclined position;

and

said projecting means comprises a trim member frictionally engaging and detachable from the forward portion of said shelf.

2. In an arrangement according to claim 1: said first engaging means comprise a pair of upright stringers having a forward face provided with vertically-spaced openings therein to receive said second engaging means.

3. In an arrangement according to claim 2: said shelf includes opposite side members having said second engaging means located at the rear thereof in the form of an upstanding upper lug for engaging said stringer above one of said openings, and a lower lug having rear downwardly-open notch means and forward downwardly-open notch means for engaging with said stringer below an opening spaced downwardly from said one opening of said stringer to provide said first and second support positions, respectively.

4. An arrangement according to claim i: said deck of said shelfis of sufficiently open work structure immediately behind said projecting means to permit the insertion of the users fingers from below to elevate the front cylindrical object to facilitate carrying it over said projecting means.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4008873 *Jan 29, 1976Feb 22, 1977Emhart Industries, Inc.Angularly adjustable shelf bracket
US4065088 *Aug 13, 1975Dec 27, 1977Shell Irving WUpright and bracket arrangement
US4365562 *Oct 3, 1980Dec 28, 1982General Electric CompanySupport assembly
US4492169 *Apr 5, 1982Jan 8, 1985S.B.F. CorporationAdjustable cantilevered shelving
US4583648 *Aug 20, 1981Apr 22, 1986Stainless Metal Products, Inc.Angularly adjustable shelf and support
US4598828 *Feb 22, 1983Jul 8, 1986Visual Marketing, Inc.Storage and dispensing rack
US4736997 *Jun 5, 1987Apr 12, 1988General Electric CompanyHousehold refrigerator shelf assembly
US4768659 *Jun 4, 1987Sep 6, 1988Marlboro Marketing, Inc.Merchandising shelf spacer assembly
US4865289 *Mar 29, 1988Sep 12, 1989Lawson John DHoltless motor mounting arrangement with self tightening of drive belts
US5356106 *Jul 6, 1993Oct 18, 1994Intermark Corp.Universal display mount
US5509541 *Jun 14, 1994Apr 23, 1996Merl; Milton J.Bracket construction
US6168032 *Jul 2, 1998Jan 2, 2001Milton J. MerlShelf construction
US6641098 *May 22, 2002Nov 4, 2003Med Division Of Hirsh Industries, Inc.Thin walled shelf fixture
US20070176065 *Jan 23, 2007Aug 2, 2007Display TechnologiesShelf bracket and shelving system
US20150230628 *Feb 19, 2014Aug 20, 2015Southern Imperial, Inc.Retail Shelf
DE3113570A1 *Apr 3, 1981Oct 28, 1982Linde AgShelf for a refrigerated cabinet
EP0344559A2 *May 20, 1989Dec 6, 1989Licentia Patent-Verwaltungs-GmbHRefrigerator or freezer with a shelf for goods to be cooled
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/1, 211/59.2, 312/136, 108/152, 248/242
International ClassificationF25D25/02
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2500/02, F25D2331/803, F25D25/02, F25D2331/805
European ClassificationF25D25/02