US 3563394 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor James E. Joyce 878 Darien Circle, Rochester, Mich. 48063 798,372
Feb. 11, 1969 Feb. 16, 1971 Appl. No. Filed Patented BIN ASSEMBLY HAVING DETACHABLE SUPPORT MEMBER 12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 211/126, 220/97, 248/223 Int. Cl A471 3/14, B65d 21/00 Field ofSearch 2 1/126,
1 128,133, 88, 87,177, 90,148, l3435; 08/91, 92, 93; 312/128; 248/225, 223, (Peg Board Digest); 220/97B, 97C, 23.83, 23.6
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,863,567 12/1958 Friar 211/90 2,974,808 3/1961 Joyce 211/126 3,113,680 12/1963 Frater et al. 211/126 3,204,776 9/1965 Brown et al..... 211/87 3,207,321 9/1965 Joyce 211/126 3,313,513 4/1967 Howell 248/441 Primary ExaminerRamon S. Britts Attorney-Bernard, McGlynn & Reising ABSTRACT: A storage bin of the type used to hold relatively small articles in batch quantities and having a detachable back support member which, in the attached condition, permits several similar bins to be stacked in a vertical array.
I Patented Feb; 16,1971 ,563,3
c Zmzes Z Jqyce Y ATTOR NE BIN ASSEMBLY HAVING DETACHABLE SUPPORT MEMBER This invention relates to storage bins of the type which can be stacked in a vertical array and more specifically to such a storage bin wherein a back support member which permits such stacking is removable from the body of the bin.
A storage bin which can be stacked in a vertical array with other similar storage bins is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,207,321 granted to James E. Joyce on Sept. 21, 1965. As disclosed in the patent, a storage bin or other similar article is provided with an upstanding back support member which is spaced rearwardly from the rear wall of the bin to define a downwardly opening vertical slot extending laterally across the back of the bin. This slot is adapted to receive the upper portion of the back support member'of a similar bin to permit two or more bins to be vertically stacked. In the aforementioned patent, the bins and back-support members are part of an integral assembly. Therefore, the back support members which extend vertically above thebins cannot be removed.
In accordance with the present invention, a bin body portion and a back support member which permits two or more similarbins to be stacked vertically are formed as separate and detachable units. Accordingly, when the bins are to be used in a nonstacked manner, the upstanding back support member may be detached. In general, this is accomplished byconstructing the rear wall of the bin and the upstanding back support member to define in the assembled state a downwardly opening vertical slot adapted to receive the upper portion of the back support member of a similar bin and back support member assembly.
In the specific form of the invention, the rear wall of the bin is constructed to have an'upper vertical plane surface and an inwardly stepped lower verticalplane surface. In the assembled state, the forward surface of the back support member bears against the upper vertical plane surface of the rear bin wall and extends parallel to the inwardly stepped lower vertical plane surface to define therebetween the downwardly opening vertical slot which accepts the back support member of the next lower bin in the vertically stacked array.
In accordance with the invention, various uses may be made of the detachable back support member; for example, the detached back support member may form a lid covering the bin. In a specific form of the invention the back. support member is provided with laterally extending pivot pins which are received by suitably disposed holes in the side walls of the bin to pivotally support the detached back support member over the bin as a lid or cover.
Further advantages of the invention will become apparent from a reading of the following specification describing illustrative embodiments of the invention. This specification is to be taken with the accompanying drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a front isometric view, with parts broken away, of an illustrative embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view, partly in cross section of a stacked array of bins constructed in accordance with the FIG. 1 embodiment',
FIG. 3 is a front isometric view, with parts broken away, of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a rear isometric partial view of yet another embodiment of the invention.
Referring to FIG. I, an assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention is shown to comprise a bin and a detachable back support member 12 both of which may be suitably formed by molding an organic polymeric material. Bin 10 includes a generally flat horizontal bottom 14 integrally connected to a generally upstanding, forwardly angled front wall 16, a pair of sidewalls 18 and 20, and a generally upstanding rear wall 21 having an uppervertical portion 22 and an inwardly stepped lower vertical portion 24. The upper and lower vertical portions 22 and 24, respectively, are joined by the sidewalls l8 and and also by a horizontal rib 26. The rib 26 is contiguous with the bottom edge of upper portion 22 but joins lower portion 24 at a vertically intermediate point to.
define an upwardly opening vertical slot 30 which extends laterally between the sidewalls I8 and 20.
Back support member 12 includes a generally flat rectangular portion 32 and a flange 34 which extends horizontally across the rectangular portion 32. Flange 34 includes a vertical portion 36 which is spaced outwardly from the rectangular portion 32 by a horizontal spacer 38.
In the assembled state, back support member 12 is joined with bin 10 by inserting the flange 34 into the slot 30 between the upper and lower vertical portions 22 and 24, respectively, until the flange 34 bottoms against the rib 26. When so assembled, the forward face of the rectangular portion 32 of the back support member 12 bears against the rear plane surface of upper portion 22 of rear wall 21, and extends vertically downwardly therefrom. Portion 32 is tlhus parallel to but rearwardly spaced from the lower portion 24 to define a downwardly opening vertical slot 39.
As shown in FIG. 2, the slot 39 is adapted to receive therein the upper edge of the back support member 12' of a similar bin 10'. Accordingly, the bins 10 and 10' together with the back support members 12 and 12' may be assembled in a vertically stacked array wherein the member 12 provides support for the uppermost bin 10. Obviously, additional bins may be added to the stacked array. The bins l0 and 10' are vertically spaced by the back support member 12' to provide convenient access to both bins 10 and 10'.
FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment including a bin 40 and a detachable back support member 42. The configuration of bin 40 is generally similar to that of bin 10 of FIG. I. In FIG. 3 bin 40 comprises a generally flat horizontal bottom 44, and upstanding and' forwardly angled front wall 46, a pair of sidewalls 48 and 50, and generally upstanding rear wall 52. Rear wall 52 includes an upper vertical wall portion 54 and an inwardly stepped lower wall portion 56. The upper and lower wall portions 54. and 56, respectively, are integrally joined by a pair of horizontal ribs 58 and 60 to define an opening 62 which extends laterally between sidewalls 48 and 50. In the integrally molded construction of FIG. 3, sidewalls 48 and 50 also join the wall portion 54 and 56 for greater rigidity.
Referring again to FIG. 3, the back support member 42 comprises an upstanding rectangular portion 64 of greater vertical dimension than the rear wall 5.2 of bin 40. In addition, back support member 42 includes a pair of forwardly directed resilient flanges 66 and 68 disposed on opposite lateral ends of the back support member 42 and carrying laterally inwardly directed pins 70 and 72, respectively.
When bin 40 and back support member 42 are to be assembled, the flanges 66 and 68 are flexed outwardly to permit them to embrace the sidewalls 48 and 50, respectively, such that the pins 70 and 72 extend laterally into the opening 62. The opening 62 and the pins 70 and 72 are made of similar cross-sectional configurations to provide a snug mating relationship therebetween. So assembled, the front surface of rectangular portion 64 bears against the rear surface of upper wall portion 54 and also extends parallel to but rearwardly spaced from the lower vertical wall portion 56 to define a slot which is adapted to receive the upper portion of the back support member of a similar assembly. Accordingly, in the assembled state, bin 40 and back support member 42 may be stacked with similar combinations in a. manner corresponding to that shown in FIG. 2. So stacked, the flanges 66 and 62 also embrace the sidewalls of the next uppermost bin in the stacked array to provide lateral support for the uppermost bin.
FIG. 4 shows another embodiment including a bin 74 and a detachable back support member 76. In FIG. 4 the bin 74 is generally similar to bins 10 and 40 and includes a bottom 78, front wall 80, sidewalls 82, and a rear wall 84 having upper and lower portions 86 and 88, respectively. The lower portion 88 is inwardly or forwardly stepped from upper portion 88. The upper plane surface as is provided with at least two rearwardly directed keys 90 having upturned semicircular terminal portions. B ack support member 76 is provided with a pair of apertures 92 having a semicircular portion for receiving the corresponding portions of keys 90 and a keyway of rectangular cross section adapted to surround the horizontal portion of key 90.
When attaching the back support member 76 to bin 74 the keys 90 are inserted through the apertures 92 and the back support member 76 is urged laterally relative to the keys 90 to force the keys into the rectangular portions of the apertures 92 thus locking the back support member 76 to the bin 74. In the assembled state the forward surface of back support member 76 bears against the upper vertical wall portion 86 and is parallel to but rearwardly spaced from the lower wall portion 88 to define a slot adapted to receive the upper edge of a back support member of a similar bin assembly. Accordingly, the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 also permits of the vertically stacked array shown in FIG. 2.
As a further feature of the FIG. 4 embodiment, the back support member 76, when detachable from the bin 74, may also be used as a lid or cover for the bin when desired. To this end the normally vertical edges of back support member 76 shown in FIG. 4 are provided with inwardly recessed portions 94 toward the lower extremity thereof such that the lateral dimension of back support member 76 between the recesses 94 fits between the sidewalls 82 of the bin 74. Each of the recessed portions 94 carries a laterally outwardly directed pivot pin 96. The sidewalls 82 of the bin 74 are provided with apertures 98 to accept the pins 96 in pivotal engagement therewith. Accordingly, the back support member 12 when used as a lid or cover may be raised or lowered when desired. The pins 96 and the sidewalls 82 may be resilient to permit the pins to be installed in and removed from the holes 98. The embodiments of FIG. I and 3 may also be modified to include the pivotal lid of FIG. 4.
It is to be understood that the foregoing description of the various embodiments illustrated herein is exemplary rather than definitive in nature and various modifications to the embodiments shown herein may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
l. A bin assembly for holding articles comprising: a generally horizontal bottom, an upstanding rear wall being rearwardly recessed at a lower portion thereof, a generally planar back support member having a greater vertical dimension than the rear wall, and means for readily removably attaching the back support member to the bin, the back support and the bin in the attached state lying juxtaposed in parallel relationship and defining a vertical slot between the lower portion of the rear wall and the back support member to receive the back support member ofa similar bin assembly to thereby maintain the bin assemblies in a vertically stacked array.
2. A bin assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said bin is integrally formed of an organic polymeric material.
3. A bin assembly for holding articles comprising: a generally flat horizontal bottom, a rear wall having an upper vertical portion and a lower vertical portion stepped inwardly of the upper vertical portion, a generally planar back support member having'a greater vertical dimension than the rear wall, and means for readily removably attaching the back support member to the bin in engaging relation with the upper vertical portion of the rear wall, the back support member and the bin in the attached state forming a downwardly opening vertical slot between the back support member and the lower wall portion to receive the back support member of a similar bin assembly thereby to maintain the bin assemblies in a vertically stacked array.
4. A bin assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein the bin is integrally formed of an organic polymeric material.
5. A bin assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein the attaching means includes a vertically downwardly directed flange disposed on and outwardly spaced form the forward face of the back support member, and means in the bin defining an upwardly opening vertical slot to receive the flange therein.
6. A bin assembly as defined in claim 5 wherein the means in the bin defining the upwardly opening slot includes a horizontal rib extending between the upper and lower vertical portions of the rear wall.
7. A bin assembly as defined in claim 3'wherein the bin includes sidewalls, the attaching means includes a pair of forwardly directed flanges disposed on opposite lateral ends of the back support member and carrying laterally inwardly directed pins, and an opening extending between the sidewalls for receiving the pins therein.
8. A bin assembly as defined in claim 7 wherein at least the flanges disposed on the back support member are formed of a resilient material.
9. A bin assembly as defined in claim 8 wherein the pins and the opening are noncircular in cross section.
10. A bin assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein the attaching means includes at least one key attached to the rearward face of the upper vertical portion of the rear wall and having an upturned end and at least one hole in the back support member to receive the key into lockable engagement therewith.
11. A bin assembly as defined in claim 10 wherein the back support means includes a pair of laterally outwardly directed pins secured thereto adjacent a normally horizontal edge, and the bin includes sidewalls and a hole formed in each of the sidewalls for receiving the pins in pivotal engagement therewith whereby the back support 'member may be employed as a pivotal lid for the bin.
12. A bin assembly as defined in claim 11 wherein at least the back support member and said sidewalls are formed of a resilient material.