US 3567034 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
O United States Patent l 13,567,034
 lnventor Salomon Mozelsio 2,588,1 10 3/1952 l-lalliday 211/4 1624 Nutwood St., Fullerton, Calif. 92631 2,708,522 5/1955 Loomis.... 211/7 ] Appl. No. 880,723 3,400,812 9/1968 Snow 21 1 /4X  Filed Nov. 28, 1969 3,428,282 2/1969 Pernice 211/123X  Patented Mar. 2, 1971  LOCKABLE HANGER BAR 10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.(l 211/7  lnt.C1. E05b 73/00  Field ofSearch 211/7,124, 123, 4; 248/203  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,077,513 11/1913 Eagleson 294/5.5 1,235,267 7/1917 Wheary 211/7 3/ 35 h a 0 j 22 m a a Primary Examiner-Nile C. Byers, Jr. Attorney-Hinderstein and Silber ABSTRACT: A lockable hanger bar comprises an elongate tubular bar adapted to hold a plurality of garment hangers in the crenels between hollow projections extending upwardly from the bar. A unitary, substantially planar locking member is moveably disposed entirely within the bar. The locking member includes a plurality of inverted L-shaped extensions which in an open position are hidden in the projections. In a closed position, the top part of each extension extends across an associated crenel between two projections so as to lock a hanger retained in the crenel.
LOCKABLE HANGER BAR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION ,shorttime.
In most clothing stores, individual garments are placed on hangers-and the hangers looped over a horizontal, tubular bar or, rack situated at eye level or lowerJJsually all of the hanger hooks are oriented in thesame direction, with the open hook end toward the rear. This arrangement is used because all hair gers can be placed on or removed from the bar simultaneously. 'This easily permits the shopkeeper to carry a large number, of hangered garments compressed between his arms from a storage rack in the backtof the store to the display rack in thepublic area of the store. Moreover, by keeping the hangers hooks so arranged, it is easy for a customer to remove the particular garment which he desires to try on or purchase. Of course, this arrangement also enables a thief to grasp a large number of garments and quickly remove all of them from the rack. Thus, even if the store is equipped with a burglar alarm which is. tripped by the thief as he enters, the short time required to remove the garments from the rack often is less than the time taken by the police or detective agency to respond to the burglar alarm.
In an attempt to overcome this problem, several approaches have been triedin the past. A simple solution is that of alternating the direction of the hanger hooks of adjacent garments.
While such alternating arrangement makesit much more difficult to remove rapidly a large number of garments, thus hindering a potential thief, it also makes it correspondingly difficult for merchant and customer to handle the clothing.
Another approach of the prior art is typified by US. Pat. No. 3,419,154 to Shapiro et al. This patent shows a hangerbar lock comprising a semicylindrical'member pivotally attached to one end of an otherwise conventional hanger bar. When pivoted downward, the garment hangers are clamped between the bar and the semicylindrical member. When pivoted upward, the garment hanger readily may be removed from the bar. Whilesuch approach is an effective detriment to theft, it has the disadvantages of being unsightly and of drawing attention to its intended security purpose.
Another approach of the prior art is to utilize a special type of hanger having an unconventional hook which can be lo'ckably secured to a corresponding mounting. This approach is typified by US. Pat. No; 1,235,267 to Wheary, US. Pat. No. 3,005,558 to Sandgren and US. Pat. No. 3,014,593 to Risely et al. While effective in reducing instances of stealing, the specom- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provideda lockable hanger bar suitable for supporting hangered garlockable hanger bar comprising a tubular bar having hollow.
ments for display in a clothing stcire and which readily may be actuated to retainably lock the hangers to the bar. The bar has an attractive appearance with the locking mechanism completely hidden from view of the customer.
In a preferred embodiment, the inventive lockable'hanger bar comprises an elongate, tubular bar having a plurality of hollow projections extending upwardly from the bar to form a crenelated structure. Garment hangers may be supported by the bar with the hookpo rtion of each hanger seated in one of the crenels. Moveably situated entirely within the tubular bar, hidden from view, is a unitary, substantially planer locking member having an elongate rectangular portion and a plurality of inverted L-shaped extensions. In an open position, each of the inverted Lshaped extensions is hidden within an associated one of the hollow projections. By moving the locking member longitudinally of the tubular bar, the top part of each inverted L-shaped extension bridges across one of the crenels, thereby retainably locking a hanger the. hook of which is seated within the crenel.
The locking member may be actuated electromechanically by means of a solenoid positioned within the hanger bar. Alternatively, a lever or other-mechanical arrangement may be used to move the locking member between open and closed positions. Typically, a spring may be used to bias the locking member to the open position. A key lockmay be provided to secure the locking member, if mechanically actuated, inthe closed position.
Thus it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved lockable hanger bar.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a hanger bar adapted to hold conventional garment hangers and provided with a hidden locking mechanism.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a lockable hanger bar which may be actuated either manually or electromechanically and having an inconspicuous locking mechanism.
Stillanother object of the present invention is to provide a lockable hanger bar comprising a tubular bar having crene' lated projections extending upwardly therefrom and including a locking member entirely disposed within the tubular bar.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a projections extending therefrom, and an elongate planer locking member moveably situated within the bar, the locking member including L-shaped extensions moveable from an open position entirely within the projections to a closed position in which the extensions enclose the regions between the projections.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Still other objects, features, and attendant advantages of the, present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments constructed in accordance therewith, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals designate like parts in the several FIGS.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the inventive lockable hanger bar installed in a typical clothing store;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view, partly broken away and in section, of a first, solenoid actuated, embodiment of the inventive lockable hanger bar;
bar may be actuated either manually or electromechanically I to lock all of the hangers in place, thus making it considerably more difficult for a thief rapidly to remove the hangered garments.
FIG. 6 is another sectional view of the hanger bar of FIG. 4 as seen generally along the line 66 thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown a typical installation of the inventive lockable hanger bar in accordance with the present invention. As seen therein, hanger bar 10 is mounted horizontally between the frame portions 11 of a recessed area 12 in a clothing store wall 13.
Typically, hangerbar 10 may be at eye level with respect to a customer standing on floor 14.
Although only a single garment 15 is illustrated in FIG. 1, generally a plurality of such hangered garments would be suspended from hanger bar 10 for display. Garment 15 is supported by a conventional hanger 16, the hook portion of which is looped over bar 10. I-Ianger bar 10 has an attractive, crenelated appearance, with nothing to indicate to the casual customer that the bar is lockable.
FIGS. 2 and 3 show a first embodiment of the inventive lockable hanger bar. Referring thereto, hanger bar comprises an elongate cylindrical tube 21 having a slot 22 along the top thereof, slot 22 extending for the entire length of tube 21. Vertically disposed within tube 21 and projecting upwardly through slot 22 is an elongate, crenelated member 23 having a substantially inverted U-shaped cross section. The height of member 23 is greater than the diameter of tube 22, so that projections 24 between crenels 25 of member 23 extend above the top of tube 21.
Moveable disposed within member 23 is a substantially planar, unitary locking member 27 having an elongate rectangular portion 28 from the top edge of which extend a plurality of planar, inverted L-shaped extensions 29. The overall width of each inverted L-shaped extension 29 is slightly less than the width of each projection 24, so that when locking member 27 is in the open position illustrated in FIG. 2, each of extensions 29 is hidden entirely within a corresponding one of projections 24.
Locking member 27 may be biased to the open position by means of a pair of coil springs 31 situated within tube 21 on either side of member 23. One end 32 of each spring 31 is fixedly attached to member 23, as by looping end 32 over a tab 33 provided on member 23. The other end of each spring 31 is attached to a bolt 34 which extends through a horizontal elongate slot 35 in either side of member 23, and which is fixedly connected to locking member 27.
Disposed within tube 21 at the opposite end from bias springs 31 is a solenoid 38. The shaft 39 of solenoid 38 is attached to end 28a of locking member 27. When solenoid 38 is energized by means of an electrical current provided via wires 40, shaft 39 and locking member 27 are moved toward solenoid 38 (i.e. toward the right in FIG. 2). Locking member 27 is moved sufficiently far so that the top part 41 of each inverted L-shaped extension 29 bridges across an associated crenel 25 (as shown in phantom at 41 in FIG. 2). This is the closed position of locking member 27.
With locking member 27 in the closed position, the hook 42 of hanger 43 supported by hanger bar 20 is locked within typical crenel 25 (FIG. 2). In this situation, hanger 43 cannot be removed from bar 20 by lifting the hanger upward. Moreover, most hangers commonly in use in clothing stores include an enlarged or looped-back portion 44 at the end of hook 42. The spacing between the top of tube 21 and the top part 41 of inverted L-shaped member 29 is less than the diameter of looped-back portion 44. This insures that hanger 43 cannot be removed from hanger bar 20 by rotating hanger 43 past the end of hook 42.
In the embodiment of FIG. 2, each end of lockable hanger bar 20 is provided with a flange 46 for mounting within an inclosure such as that shown in FIG. 1. Of course, the invention is not so limited, and hanger bar 20 may be provided with any appropriate type of mounting hardware. For example, the
ends of hanger bar 20 may be provided with 90 elbows to allow the bar to be mounted atop a rack having vertical tubular supports.
Although the embodiment of FIG. 2 is shown to be solenoid actuated, this is not required. Alternatively, any appropriate mechanical actuator may be used to move locking member 27 longitudinal of tube 21. Thus, for example, the lever actuator described hereinbelow in conjunction with the embodiment of FIG. 4 may be used in the embodiment of FIG. 2. Moreover, if a bidirectional solenoid is employed, bias springs 31 may not be required. 1
A plurality of lockable hanger bars of the type shown in FIG. 2 may be actuated from the same source of current. This current source may be switched on, for example, from a private, secure area of the store or via a key-operated switch. Thus, when a merchant is ready to close the store at the end of a business day, he need only actuate the switch to supply current to the solenoid 28 of each hanger bar in the store. Locking members 27 will move to the closed position described, lockably securing all of the displayed garment hangers to the hanger bars, and effectively deterring theft of the clothing.
An alternative embodiment of the inventive lockable hanger bar is illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6. Referring thereto, hanger bar 50 comprises a unitary, generally tubular elongate bar 51 having a plurality of projections 52 extending from the top thereof. Asbest illustrated in FIG. 4, projections 52 are separated by crenels 53.
Disposed entirely within tubular bar 51 is an elongate, unitary locking member 55 of substantially the same configuration as locking member 27 of FIG. 2. Locking member 55 includes a substantially rectangular portion 56 from the upper edge of which extend a plurality of inverted L-shaped extensions 57, each having a top part 58. In an open position, each of inverted L-shaped extension 57 is situated within a corresponding one of projections 52.
To maintain locking member 55 in. a generally vertical orientation within tubular bar 51, one or more pins 59, extend substantially horizontally through member 55. Pins 59 may be fabricated of plastic or metal, and have a length approximately equal to the inner diameter of tube 51. As shown in FIG. 6,
7 this permits pins 59 to move smoothly along the inner surface of tube 51 as locking member 55 is moved longitudinally thereof.
Still referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, locking member 55 may be moved between open and closed positions by means of a lever 60 situated near one end of hanger bar 50. Lever 60 includes an arm portion 61 disposed within tubular bar 51 and pivotally attached to a projection 52a by means of a pivot pin 62. The other end of arm 61 extends through a slot 63 in the bottom of tubular bar 51 and terminates in a handle 64. Handle 64 may be configured as shown so that a portion 65 thereof seats against the underside of tubular bar 51 when locking member 55 is in the open position shown. As evident in FIG. 6, a portion 56a of locking member 55 is offset from the remainder of rectangular portion 56. Arm 61 is provided with a longitudinal slot 66 through which extends a coupling member 67 fixedly attached to offset portion 56a of member 55.
To move locking member 55 to the closed position, lever 60 is rotated to the position shown in phantom at 60' in FIG. 4. As arm 61 pivots about pin 62, coupling member 67 is pulled toward the right (as shown in FIG. 4), thereby moving member 55 to the closed position shown in phantom at 55'.
To securely retain member 55 in the closed position, lockable hanger bar 50 is provided with a conventional key operated lock mechanism 70 mounted through a side of tubular bar 51. The end 56b of locking member 55 is tapered and terminates in a hook portion 71. When locking member 55 is in the open position, book 71 is withdrawn from lock mechanism 70. When locking member 55 is moved to the closed position, book 71 becomes inserted within lock mechanism 70, and may be restrained therein by a mating member (not shown) which is moved into locking engagement with hook 71 by rotating a key (not shown) inserted into lock mechanism 70. s
In the embodiment of FIG. 4, only lever handle 64 and the key hole associated with lock mechanism J are visible at one end of lockable hanger bar 50. These items are inconspicuous,
and do not announce to the casual customer that the hanger bar 50 is provided with a mechanism which, when actuated at the end of the business day, will prevent hangered garments supported by the bar from being removed by a potential thief.
Although the embodiment of FIG. 4 is illustrated as being manually actuated by lever 60, the inventionis not so limited. Thus, other mechanical arrangements could be used to move locking member 55 longitudinal of tubular bar .51. Altematively, solenoid actuation could be employed.
Thusthere is provided, in accordaneewith the present invarious modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.
I claim: 1. A lockable hanger bar comprising: an elongate, substantially tubular bar having a plurality of hollow, spaced projections extending upwardly therefrom; and I g a unitary, substantially planar locking member having an elongate portion with a plurality of inverted L-shapedex- 1 tensions attached to an edge thereof, said member being moveably disposed within said tubular bar with said extensions situated in said projections, said member being moveable between an open position in which said extensions are hidden within said projections and a closed position in which the top part of each extension bridges across an associated crenel between a pair of said projections, said closed position lockably retaining hangers supported by said hanger bar within said crenels.
2. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 1 wherein said tubular bar is unitary.
3. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 1 wherein said tubular bar comprises:
a tube having an elongate slot along the top thereof; and
an elongate, crenelated member. having a substantially inverted U-shaped cross section, said crenelated member being disposed partly within said tube with the crenelated portion thereof extending through said slot to form said projections.
4. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 1 further comprising means for moving said locking member longitudinally of said tubular bar between said open and closed positions.
5..A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 4 wherein said means for moving comprises a solenoid operatively connected to said locking member.
6. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 5 wherein said solenoid is situated within said tubular bar.
7. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 4 wherein said means for moving comprises a lever partly situated within said tubular bar and operatively connected to said locking member.
8. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 7, further comprising lock means within said tubular bar for securing said locking member in said closed position.
9. A lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 4 further comprising bias means for biasing said locking member in said open position.
10. In combination; a lockable hanger bar as defined in claim 1; and
at least one hanger supported by said hanger bar within one of said crenels, said hanger including a hook terminating in an end portion having a dimension greater than the spacing between the bottom of said crenel and the top part of one of said extensions.