US 3612288 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent James Richard Lesley Inventor P. 0. Box 685, Clayton, Ga. 30525 Appl. No. 853,422 Filed Aug. 27, 1969 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 llillNGED DISPLAY RACK 9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
US. (31 211/132, 108/2, 108/6, 211/49, 211/150,211/162 Int. (31 A4713/14, A47f 5/10 Field oiSearch 211/132,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,685,372 8/1954 Palaith 211/153 2,7 32,952 1/1956 Skelton 211/49 2,992,742 7/1961 Pendergrast 211/49 3,161,158 12/1964 Lurey 2l1/49X 3,403,789 10/1968 Morte et a1. 211/150 Primary Examiner-Ramon S. Britts Attorney-Newton, Hopkins & Ormsby ABSTRACT: A display rack for stacking articles which normally do not form a stable stack in which the shelves are constructed of a plurality of sections hingedly connected at their sides and spring loaded to retract in an accordionlike manner as each article is removed from the stack.
PATENTED am 1 219?: 3,612,288
SHEET 10F 3 INVENTOR t/M5 Q [51127 BY mm ATTORNEYS PATENTED um I 2 ran SHEET 2 OF 3 lNVENTOR k/mwzs Q. [ESL m BYf qmg PATENTEDncnmsn 3,612,288 sum 3 0F 3 BINVIZN'INDM ATTUMNE S muons nisrtkv hack BACKGROUND OF THE lNl/ENTJION This invention relates generally to display devices an more particularly to a device of the type found in supermarkets and the like for displaying stacked goods or merchandise.
in present day retail merchandising there has been an increasing trend toward displaying stacked goods and merchandisc on display racks where the articles of merchandise are readily accessible to the buying public. it is, of course, desirable that the articles of merchandise be attractively displayed and that the appearance and utility of the display is not lost even through merchandise has been removed from the display rack. Thus, even as articles of merchandise are removed from the display rack, it is important that the merchandise remaining on the rack be kept readily visible and within each reach of potential customers to insure continued maximum sales.
Special self-service display racks have therefore been provided for these purposes. Such device are especially useful in displaying certain types of merchandise, particularly articles of merchandise of the type such that when stacked in vertically arranged layers and in adjacently positioned rows, the stack normally presents an unstable structure. One particular area of merchandising in which self-service display racks of the type described are currently being widely used is in displaying soft drinks packaged in paperboard carriers. The soft drinks are generally packaged six bottles to the paperboard carrier, this being a conventional quantity established in recent years in the trade to purchase and to carry, and though the paperboard carriers usually have a complete bottom, the bottles are exposed at the top and are subject to a certain amount of freedom within the carrier such that when stacked upon each other, the stack is relatively unstable, as previously indicated.
Self-service display racks heretofore provide for use in connection with displaying articles of merchandise, particularly such articles of the type not readily stackable with any marked degree of stability, have included pivotally mounted, biased trays which are automatically removed and self-recoiling sheets which are automatically retracted as they are emptied of merchandise. Although these self-service display racks have been generally successful for the purpose intended, they have not been found to be entirely satisfactory in every respect. In the case of the former, for example, either each display shelf of the rack holds only a single unit of merchandise or, if designed to hold more, the shelf remains in place only partially filled until the last article of merchandise is removed, thus diminishing the attractiveness of the display and often making it difficult for the customer to reach the last article on each shelf. in the self-recoiling-type displays, the stability of the display often is impaired because of the slack which exists between the point at which the rack is joined to a standard or a rear wall and the initial point at which the article of merchandise rests.
SUMMARY OF THE lNl/IENTHON Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a display device which displays the merchandise always in easy reach of the purchasing public and having features which will provide a more stable stack of merchandising articles where such articles normally do not form a stable stack.
Another object of this invention is to provide a display device having shelves which are automatically removed as they are emptied in order to render the remaining articles readily accessible to the buying public.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a display device having shelves for holding a plurality of articles of merchandise and which are automatically removed in sections as they are emptied whereby it is not necessary for all articles in any one layer to be removed in order to expose the next lower layer of articles.
A further object of this invention is to provide a display device of the class described in which the shelves are automatically pivoted in sections from a horizontal position to a vertical position as the displayed articles of merchandise are removed from each section thereof.
These and other objects are attained by the provision of a display rack in which the shelves thereof are constructed of a plurality of sections hingedly connected together and spring loaded to retract in an accordionlike manner as each article of merchandise is removed therefrom.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Still other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters indicate corresponding or like parts throughout the several views thereof and wherein:
FIG. l is a perspective view of a display device according to the present invention with a number of bottle carriers displayed thereon and showing one shelf being held or otherwise maintained in an extended or stretched-out position for receiving additional bottle carriers in setting up a display;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a display device according to this invention and showing, for the purpose of better illustrating the construction thereof, a number of shelves in various degrees of extension thereof;
MG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the standard or support utilized with the shelves of the present invention and the hinge and spring construction of the shelf;
lFllG. 4 is a side view, partly in section, of a hinged shelf of the present invention secured within a standard therefor;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FlG.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line as of FIG. ti};
FIG. 7 is a perspective view partly in phantom of a solid shelf or support adapted for use with the display device of the present invention; and,
FIG. d is a perspective view of a modified base for the display device of this invention.
DESCRIIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in detail, the display device comprises one or more display sections generally indicated at llll, each of which comprises a base if defining a horizontal platform 112 on the upper surface thereof and a pair of upright and spaced channeled supports or standards l3 affording a substantially coplanar support against a back or wall lid. Each of the standards 13 is constructed of a metallic material, such as aluminum or a similar material suitable for the purpose, and is formed with a substantially rectangular cross section as is best shown in FIG. 5. A longitudinal slot 15 is formed in one side of each standard 113 along the entire length thereof by virtue of a pair of suitably arranged opposing flanges lid to thereby define a longitudinal channel 117 within the standard i3.
Another longitudinal slot 118 is formed in a narrow rearwardly disposed side of each standard 113 by virtue of similarly arranged opposed flanges 119 to define a longitudinal channel 2d therein adjacent to but not communicating with the channel 17. A plurality of screws 21 or the like are partially embedded in a vertical row in the back or wall l t for securing each of the standards l3 thereto. As best shown in MG. 5, the standard l3 may be vertically dropped or slid along the back lid with the heads of the screws 2i being received in the channel 2d and the bodies of the screws 21 being received in the longitudinal slot 11d, until the bottom of the standard 13 engages the platform 112, whereby the standard 113 is unable to be dislodged from the back Ml because of the engagement of the heads of the screws 2ll with the flanges l9.
Each pair of standards 13 is adapted to support a plurality of vertically spaced stabilizing members or shelves 22, thereby comprising a section of the display device. Each shelf 22 comprises a plurality of substantially rigid rectangular-shaped partitions 23 disposed in side-by-side relation and hingedly connected on shafts 24 therebetween as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. The end partition 23 nearest the back 14 is provided with an enlarged shaft 24' having torsion springs 25 disposed on the ends thereof and secured in place by end collars 26. Each torsion spring 25 has end portions 27 bent at diametrically opposed angles for tightly engaging the rear wall of the channel 17 in the standard 13 whenever the ends of the shaft 24' are disposed in the slots of adjacent, spaced standards 13 for vertically positioning the shaft 24' and the shelf 22 associated therewith in a desired vertical adjustment along such standards. Another torsion spring 28 is centrally disposed on the shaft 24' and has an end portion 29 for engagement with the back 14 beneath the shaft 24' and another end portion 30 disposed against the bottom surface of the end partition when viewed in its extended position.
A similar torsion spring 28 is loosely positioned midway along the length of every other or each alternating shaft 24 and is provided with end portions 30' disposed one each against the flat lower surfaces of the adjacent partitions 23 connected by each of such alternating shafts 24. The torsion springs 28 thus provide a constant bias for the partitions 23 of the shelf 22, urging the partitions from the operating position illustrated lowermost in FIG. 1 to the folded position illustrated uppermost therein.
It may be seen that the partitions 23 may be of a length to accommodate an article to be stacked thereon and of a width approximately half the width of such article, whereby two adjoining partitions 23 connected by a shaft 24 not supporting a torsion spring 28' are utilized for containing each article. An uneven number of partitions 23 are provided such that the partition 23' most remote from the back 14 does not support an article, but rather is constantly biased to a vertical position against an article to secure the article in place on the stack or, when all the articles have been removed, against the folded partitions 23. Thus, this partitions 23 may also be used for displaying an advertisement of the product, visible either when the article is in stock on the display or after all the articles have been removed.
The partitions 23 are also provided with raised line contacts 31 on the upper surfaces thereof for supporting articles thereon, such as bottle carriers, in such a manner to permit the circulation of air .thereunder. Thus, if the paperboard carrier has gotten wet in delivery, it may be permitted to dry out on the display rack.
Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 6, an additional product advertisement may be displayed at the top of the standards 13 upon a special display plate 32. The plate 32 is provided with rearwardly disposed upper and lower angled flanges 33 for affording relatively tight fitting engagement with the flanges 16 of the standard 13 and is fixedly secured, as by welding or adhesives, to an upper transverse plate 34 which seats itself upon the tops of the standards 13.
A different self-supporting shelf 35 designed for use with the display device of this invention is shown in FlG. 7. The shelf 35 is constructed of metal such as aluminum or the like and is provided with keyed apertures or slots 36 in a rear depending wall thereof for receiving rivets or screwheads 37 on the back 14 to secure the shelf 35 to the back 14. Depending sidewalls or flanges 38 may be provided for affording additional cantilevered support by engagement with the standards 13.
ln FIG. 8 a base 1! suitable for use with this display device is shown having an extension member 40 adapted to be secured thereto if desired. The standards 13 are shown and it may be noted that the same standard may be used for either side of a shelf 22 merely by inverting the standard. A substantial savings in production costs may therefor be realized through this method of construction.
To initially install the device, an initial layer of articles is disposed on the platform 12. Then a shelf 22 is placed on the standards 13 by positioning the ends of a shaft 24' of a shelf in the slots 15 of the standards 13 and forcing the ends 27 of springs 25 into the channels 17. The shelf may then be vertically displaced in the standards to the desired position just above the initial layer of articles. Additional layers of articles are constructed and additional shelves 22 are installed in the manner indicated, whereby the shelves 22 cover a layer of articles therebeneath and support a layer thereabove.
Operatively, as an article such as, for example, a carton of soda bottles is removed, the two adjoining partitions 23 supporting it are automatically folded up in an accordion manner by the torsion springs 28' and the end portions 30 thereof. During the period in which a shelf 22 has articles remaining thereon, the advertising partition 23' most remote from the base 14 is vertically disposed against the outermost or forward article, securing it in place on the stack. Whenever all the articles are removed from a shelf 22, the partitions 23 are all folded between the standards 13 with the advertising partitions 23' still displaying the advertisement thereon, thus removing all obstructions, yet retaining an attractive advertisement even when the articles displayed have all been removed.
Obviously, many modifications and variations are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is:
1. A display stabilizing device adapted to be placed between adjacent vertically spaced articles supported in a vertically stacked array comprising; a retractable stabilizing member, said stabilizing member detailed in dimension to provide a number of article-supporting areas for supporting a number of said articles in a horizontal row, said retractable stabilizing member being progressively movable from a fully extended position, to a number of retracted article-supporting positions and to a fully retracted inoperable position, said stabilizing member including a plurality of partitions hingedly connected in side-by-side relationship, with each of said article-supporting areas including at least two partitions, with said partitions of each of said article-supporting areas including biasing means operatively associated therewith for individually moving said partitions of said article-supporting area to a retracted position in response to an article being removed therefrom and wherein said biasing means are collectively operable to move all of said partitions of said stabilizing member to said fully retracted inoperable position when all of said articles supported on a row have been removed.
2. A display device capable of stabilizing a number of articles in a vertically stacked array comprising:
a. support means, said support means including means defining a vertically oriented supporting surface; and
b. at least one retractable stabilizing member supported on said vertically oriented supporting surface, said stabilizing member detailed in dimensions to provide a number of article-supporting areas for supporting a number of said articles in a horizontal row, said retractable stabilizing member being progressively movable from a fully extended position, to a number of retracted article supporting positions and to a fully retractable inoperable position, said stabilizing member including a plurality of partitions hingedly connected in side-by-side relationship, with each of said article supporting areas including at least two partitions, with said partitions of each of said article-supporting areas including biasing means operatively associated therewith for individually moving said partitions of said article-supporting areas to a retracted position in response to an article being removed therefrom and wherein said biasing means are collectively operable to move all of said partitions of said stabilizing member to said fully retracted inoperable position when all of said articles supported on a row have been removed.
3. A display device as described in claim 2 further characterized in that means is operatively associated with said vertically oriented support means and said retractable stabilizing member whereby said retractable stabilizing member can be set at selected vertically spaced position on said supporting surface.
4. A display device as described in claim 2 further characterized in that a plurality of retractable stabilizing members are supported on said vertically oriented supporting surface and wherein adjusting means is operatively associated with said supporting surface and said plurality of stabilizing members whereby said stabilizing members can be adjusted to selected vertically spaced positions along said vertically oriented supporting surface.
5. A display device as described in claim 2 further characterized in that said vertically oriented supporting surface includes a pair of channel shaped supporting members with the channels of each of said members being directed toward each other and wherein said retractable stabilizing member includes means for slidably supporting a stabilizing member within said channel shaped member and wherein said stabilizing member includes means for maintaining said retractable stabilizing member in a selected vertically spaced position therealong.
6. A display device as described in claim 2 further characterized in that said support means includes a supporting base operatively connected to said vertically oriented supporting surface and extending outwardly therefrom beneath said retractable stabilizing member when moved to said extended article-supporting position and wherein said stabilizing member is connected to said vertically oriented supporting surface at a position vertically spaced above said base support means a sufficient distance to allow an article to be supported therebetween.
7. A display device as described in claim 6 further characterized in that said supporting base includes means operatively associated therewith for increasing and decreasing the effective supporting surface thereof.
8. A display device as described in claim 6 further characterized in that said vertically oriented supporting surface includes a rigid supporting member operatively connected thereto, said supporting member including means defining a substantially horizontally aligned rigid supporting surface.
9. A display device as described in claim 1 further characterized in that said stabilizing member includes an article retaining and article indicating member connected to the extended most partition and wherein the said retaining and indicating member and said movable partitions are operatively associated with each other whereby said retaining and indicating member is maintained in an angular position relative to said partitions when moved to each of said article-supporting positions and to said fully retracted operable position.