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Publication numberUS3565152 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 23, 1971
Filing dateAug 26, 1968
Priority dateAug 26, 1968
Publication numberUS 3565152 A, US 3565152A, US-A-3565152, US3565152 A, US3565152A
InventorsCohn Harry Jr, Gette Arthur W Le, Papsco William G
Original AssigneePapsco Building Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foldable partition
US 3565152 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D United States Patent 3,565,152

[72] Inventors Harry CohmJr. 3,239,873 3/1966 Fisher l6/35 Portola Valley; 3,261,625 7/1966 Cripe 52/239 Arthur W. Le Gene, O William 3,289,368 12/1966 Mark 52/239 PapscmPoflolfl Vall y, C 3,319,801 /1967 Nordstrum 160/135 [21] Appl. No. 755,295 3,425,171 2/1969 Propst et al..... 52/36 [22] Filed Aug. 26, 1968 3,463,218 8/1969 Cannon et a] 160/351 [45] Patented Feb. 23, 1971 Primar y Exammer-Peter M. Caun [73] Asslgnee Paps) Bulldmg Products Attorney-John F. Lawler [54] FOLDABLE PARTITION ABSTRACT: A three-section portable partition has identi- 13 Claims, Drawing Figs cally shaped vertical posts formed with continuous slots for ad ustably mounting appurtenances and also to provide a [52] US. Cl 160/135, unique interlock h transverse panels for exceptional pane] /125 160/351 rigidity. The partition sections are hinged at adjacent verti- [51] ll!!- Cl. A47g 05/00 Cally extending edges and are pivotable relative to each other Flfld ol'Search 160/135, about the vertical hinge axes between a fully folded storage 351; 5 2/ 3391 1 582; position with the planes of the sections approximately parallel 243 2452l1/(lnq"ed); /(Inqm red) to an extended or operative position with the section planes 1752; 16/35; 40/125 (H), (Inqu'red) intersecting at equal angles. l-l-shaped transverse frame members interconnect with the posts such that a onepiece key is [56] References Clted readily insertable into and is hidden within the upwardly open- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing recesses of the top transverse members to lock the sections 2,002,339 35 copeman 2 8/245 in the operative position. Lockable casters onthe outside 2,788,902 1957 NOWiCki 1 8/ 5 posts provide three-point support for the unfolded partition 2,308,136 1957 Mammill e1 81- 2/ 4 and a fourth caster on one of the inner posts is elevated 2,904,991 1959 Vaughan 6! 52/242 slightly above the plane of the other three to give support 3,178,244 4/ 1965 Reiss et al 312/257 when the partition is folded.

PATENH-iflnazaxsn 3.565152 8HEET2UF4,



FOLDABLE PARTITION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to room dividing partitions, and more particularly to an improved three-section foldable partition.

The efficient use of room space in schools, libraries, hospitals, auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias and convention halls may be greatly enchanced by the use of space dividing partitions. The utility of such partitions is measured by the ease with which they are stored, moved into position and set up, their structural rigidity and stability in the unfolded or operative position, and the facility with which appurtenances such as shelves, work tops and the like may be supported on the structure. In addition, the partition should balance these functional features with an eye-pleasing design which blends tastefully with the decor of the room. Finally, structural simplicity is needed in such partitionsto permit fabrication of low cost units that provide an economically equivalent alternative to permanent or semiperrnanent wall structures.

1 l .A general object of the invention is the provision of a foldablepartition with a center caster shorter than casters at the extremities of the sections to provide two stable planes of sup port for the unit in the foldedand unfolded positions, respectively.

SUMMARY or THE INVENTION Each panel of a three-section partition is rigidly framed in and by interlocked vertical side posts and upper and lower transverse H-rnembers. Each post is a one-piece extrusion with continuous vertically extending lipped recesses on, opposite faces to which outwardly projecting brackets are connectable and adjustable to selected elevations for supporting work tops, book shelves and similar appurtenances. The upwardly opening channel-shaped recesses of the top H-members intersect at the hinged sides of the opened or extended sections and provide a receptacle for a one-piece key which looks the panels relative to each other. The partition is supported on lockable casters and may be arranged serially with other opened partitions to divide available space into a variety of sizes and configurations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a partition unit embodying the invention and shown in the opened oroperative position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the same partition unit in the folded position; j

FIG. 3 is a vertical section of a panel showing the upper and lower parts thereof; the section being taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3 showing the caster mounting block in the post;

FIG. 5 is a top partial plan view partly in section of the extended partition, the view being taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary end view of the hinged end of one of the partition sections, the view being taken on line 6-6 of FIG.

FIG. 7 is a se taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 5 showing the construction of the work top support bracket and its connection to the post;

FIG. 8 is a transverse section taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7;

fig. 9 is a section taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 10 is an end view of the bracket showing the bolt head shape, the view being taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 7.

Still another object is the provision of'a three-section folda- DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A partition assembly 10 embodying the invention is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in the unfolded and folded positions, respectively, and comprises three substantially identical planar sections 11, 12 and 13 which extend vertically from a supporting floor surface S. The sections are interconnected at their inner ends by hinges l4 and 15 for pivotal movement relative to each other about vertical hinge axes A and B. The entire assembly 10 is readily movable over the surface S on casters 17 mounted at the outer extremities of the sections and on a central caster 18 mounted at the inner end of section 13. Casters 17 preferably are lockable in order to prevent movement of the assembly when desired and have foot-actuatable locking levers 19 for this purpose.

In order to rigidly lock the sections in the unfolded or operative position shown in FIG. 1, a star-shaped bar-type key 21 having three'fixed arms 21a is inserted out of view into corresponding recesses or passages in the tops of the three sections. Alternatively, a similarly shaped channel-type key 23 may be disposed over the exterior of the upper parts of the sections for the same purpose. In addition to functioning as a room divider, the partition-assembly may also carry a work top or shelf 25 which projects out from sections 12 and 13 as shown and is vertically adjustable supported thereon by brackets 26 as described in detail below. It will be understood that other appurtenances such as cabinets, book shelves, electronic voice equipment and lighting fixtures may alsobe mounted on the partition sections, the work top 25 being merely exemplary of this feature of the assembly.

Sections 11, 12 and 13 are similar in construction and therefore the following description will be directed primarily to section 13; like reference characters indicate like parts on the drawings.

Section 13 comprises vertical posts 28 and 29, horizontally extending upper and lower transverse members 30 and 31, respectively, and a panel 32 framed in the posts and transverse members. Post 28 extends below member 31 by a slightly greater distance than does inner post 29 and casters I7 and 18, respectively, project equally from the lower ends of the posts. Thus the three casters 17 at the partition extremities are in a common plane below center caster 18 and support the posts 28 perpendicular to the floor surface S when the partition sections are unfolded as shown in FIG. 1; caster 18 is spaced slightly above the floor surface as shown in FIG. 6 when the assembly is opened. Upon folding the sections into the position shown in FIG. 2, however, center caster 18 engages the floor surface S and stabilizes support of the folded assembly on the floor. The lower ends of inner posts 29 of sections 11 and 12 are flush with the bottoms of lower members 31 and to this extent section 13 differs from the other two.

Posts 28 and 29 are identically shaped preferably anodized aluminum extrusions, each having a generally channel-shaped cross section, see FIGS. 4 and 5, with a plane end wall 34, sidewalls 35 and 36 formed with vertically extending outwardly opening channel-shaped recesses 37 and 38, respectively, and coplanar spaced inner strips 39 and 40 opposite the end wall. The space between the edges of strips 39 and 40 defines a vertically extending opening 41 in the post. The portions of the post which extend above or below transverse members 30 and 31 may have plates 42 which slidingly interlock with the edges of the strips and therefore cover those lengths of opening 41.

Panel 32 preferably is a laminar structure and comprises a woodlike center sheet 44 sandwiched between outer sheets 45 and 46 of composition board or tack board preferably having suitably textured and colored external surfaces. The stiff centerboard gives structural rigidity to the panel and the less dense decorative outer sheets provide a lightweight acoustically impervious tack wall ideally suited for a room divider. Additionally, the dense center sheet 44 provides a suitable means to which frame securing screws may be firmly anchored. The thickness of panel 32 is approximately the same as the width of post opening 41 and the narrowest internal spacing of post sidewalls 35 and 36 so that each post is snugly telescoped over the outer edges of the panel and is secured thereto by screws 47 which extend through the backwalls of vertical recesses 37 and 38.

Upper and lower transverse members 30 and 31 are I-lshaped preferably anodized aluminum extrusions, see FIG. 3, which extend snugly over the upper and lower edges, respectively, of panel 32 and are secured thereto by screws 49. End portions 50 and 51 of each member 30 and 31 extend into outer and inner posts 28 and 29 through the vertical post openings 41, see FIG. 5, and for this purpose members 30 and 31 are formed with vertical slots 52 into which the edges of post strips 39 and 40 extend. The panel frame" consisting of posts 28 and 29 tightly interlocked with transverse members 30 and 31 thus has a border continuity which both enhances the appearance and preserves the structure of the entire panel section. The vertically extending legs 30a and 31a of members 30 and 31 define the sides of channel-shaped passages 53 and 54 and have lipped ends 30b and 31b designed to receive and slidingly interlock with a cover plate 55 similar to plate 42 and indicated in broken lines on member 31 in FIG. 4. Passage 53 in upper member 30 is a convenient receptacle for receiving the legs of key 21 to lock the partition sections open. Use of the interlocking cover plate 55 on lower member 31 converts the latter into a convenient conduit for electrical cables and the like if this service is desired or required. In order to accommodate the one-piece locking key 21, U-shaped slots 56 are cut in the tops of walls 34 of inner posts 29.

Each of the casters 17 and 18 is securely mounted in the lower end of a post by a metal block 57, see FIG. 4, which fits snugly within and against the post walls and is secured thereto by screws 58.

Hinges l4 and are both secured to inner post 29 of section 13, see FIGS. 5 and 6, and their other halves are connected to the inner posts of sections 11 and 12, respectively. In other words, sections 11 and 12 are hinged to section 13. These hinges preferably are almost as long as the posts so as to insure stable pivotal connection of the sections free of play. The centrai caster 18 is secured within the lower end of inner post 29 of partition 13 and, as shown in FIG. 6, is spaced slightly above the floor surface S when the partition is in the operative or unfolded state so that a very stable three-point support is provided by casters 17.

While the partition is shown and described in the open position with the planes of the sections intersecting at 120 and thus providing maximum stability to the unit, it will be understood that the sections may be locked open at other intersecting angles, for example, 90. When opened and with the casters locked, the partition is a stationary wall unit; several such wall units may be arranged in series to divide large areas into a wide variety of shapes and sizes as desired. Storage of a plurality of partitions is convenient and compact by nesting units that have been folded into a V-shaped configuration or the like.

Brackets 26 are uniquely designed to releasably interlock with posts 28 and 29 so that work top or other accessories they support may be conveniently installed and adjusted to any desired height without disturbing the basic partition setup. Referring now to FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10, bracket 26 comprises a one-piece member 59 having a T-shaped transverse section (FIG. 8) and having a horizontal top plate 60 and a vertical brace 61 connected at and integral with a hub 62. A bore 63 in hub 62 receives an elongated bolt 65 having a T-shaped head 66, see FIG. 10, abutting the outer edge of member 59, the bolt being threaded at the opposite end to receive a nut 68 which'fits into vertical recess 37 or 38 of the posts. Nut 68 is designed to fit long ways into recess 37 as shown in broken lines in FIG. 9, and when rotated 90 to lock behind lips 37a (or 38a). The profile of the nut is substantially a parallelogram as shown with a length slightly greater than the width of recess 37 so to limit rotation of the nut to 90 in one direction (clockwise as shown in FIG. 9) and thus facilitate tightening of the bolt.

The underside 61a of brace 61 slants downwardly from the outer extremity to a rear edge 61b of substantial length which abuts against the inner wall of post recess 37. The inner or rear edge 60a of top plate 60 engages the outer surface of the post sidewall and clamps against the post when the bolt and nut are tightened. The work top 25 is secured by any suitable means to bracket plate 605 Bracket 26 may be clamped to as many posts as desired or required for the particular application. The bracket is installed simply by inserting nut 68 into the post recess and rotating bolt head 66 to rotate the nut and tighten the bolt. Similarly the bracket is loosened by the reverse operation, moved to a different height as desired, and retightened without disconnecting the bracket from the post.

We claim:

1. A foldable partition adapted to stand vertically on a supporting surface and having a plurality of plane sections pivotably interconnected at adjacent vertical edges for relative movement between a folded position with the sections adjacent each other and an unfolded position with the sections angularly displaced from each other, each of said sections comprising:

a panel;

inner and outer vertically extending posts telescoped over the side edges of said panel;

upper and lower transverse members secured at opposite ends to said posts and telescoped over the upper and lower edges, respectively, of said panel, said upper member having an upwardly opening passage traversing at least part of the upper end of the inner post;

means for securing said posts and said members to said panel, each of said posts having at least one vertically extending recess on the same side of the panel, and a caster secured to and projecting below the lower end of the outer post engageable with said supporting surface;

a caster secured to the lower end of the inner post of one of said sections; and

means for locking said sections in the unfolded position comprising a key having legs adapted to be disposed in the vertical planes of and intersecting at the desired angular displacement of said sections in the unfolded position and alignable with the inner posts and engageable with said upper members to limit relative pivotal movement of said sections.

2. The partition according to claim 1 in which said passages are open at their ends adjacent to the respective inner posts, said key being a one-piece bar-type element insertable into said passages.

3. The partition according to claim 1 in which each of said posts comprises a one-piece extrusion having a generally U- shaped cross section with a plane end wall and opposing sidewalls and spaced strips opposite said end wall,

said sidewalls having opposed inwardly extending channelshaped portions defining said vertical recesses,

the space between said strips being approximately equal to the thickness of said panel whereby the latter extends into the post between said strips.

4. The partition according to claim 3 in which the space between said inwardly extending portions of the side walls is approximately equal to the panel thickness, and

securing means extending through the inwardly extending sidewall portions into said panel.

5. The partition according to claim 3 in which said strips have lipped edges, and plates adapted to be disposed between said strips on parts of the post above and below said panel, said plates having interlocking engagement with said strip edges.

6. The partition according to claim 3 in which each of said transverse members is H-shaped in cross section and has outwardly extending legs defining said passage, the ends of said members extending into said outer and inner posts between the strips thereof, said members having slots therein for receiving the edges of said strips.

7. The partition according to claim 1 in which said panel is a laminar structure having a rigid centerboard and porous outer boards, said securing means comprising screws extending through the walls of said posts and of said members into said centerboard. v

8. The partition according to claim 1 in which the outer post extends vertically from its junctions with said transverse members and the upper end of the inner post is flush with the upper member, the end wall of said inner post having an upwardly opening slot therein aligned with said passage in the upper member and dimensioned to receive a leg of said key.

9. The partition according to claim 1 in which each post has a pair of lips defining the opening of the vertical recess therein, in combination with a bracket adapted to be secured to each of said posts, said bracket having support plate and a brace member integrally joined in a T-shaped cross-sectional configuration, the junction of the plate and brace member having a longitudinal bore therethrough, an elongated bolt extending through said bore and projecting therefrom for insertion into said vertically extending recess of the post, and a nut disposable within said post recess and threadedly engageable with said bolt whereby to clamp said plate and brace element against the sidewall of the post when said bolt is tightened.

10. The partition according to claim 11 in which a rear edge of said brace member abuts said post within said vertical recess and a lower edge thereof inclines upwardly toward convergence with said plate in a direction outwardly from the post. I a

11. The partition according to claim 10 in which said nut has a parallelogram-shaped profilev with a height less than spacing of the lips of the recess whereby the bracket is clampable to and unclampable from the post at any selected height.

12. The partition according to claim 1 with at least three of said sections, said caster on the inner post being spaced slightly above said supporting surface when said sections are in the unfolded position.

13. The partition according to. claim 1 with accessory supporting bracket means insertable into said vertical recesses and releasably interlockable with said posts at selected elevations therealong.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,565,152 Dated February 23, 1971 Inventor(s) Harry Cohn,Jr., Arthur W. LeGetfie and William G. 1

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 69, "se" should read --section--.

Claim 10, line 1, "11" should be --9-.

Signed and sealed this 21st day of March 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting' Officer Commissioner of Pete

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U.S. Classification160/135, 40/605, 160/351, 40/610
International ClassificationE04B2/74, A47G5/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2002/7483, E04B2/7427, A47G5/00
European ClassificationE04B2/74C3D3, A47G5/00