US 3616938 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States Patent Inventors Kenneth McAleenan  2,103,484 12/1937 Meyer 248/243 Larchmont; 2,691,502 10/1954 Jones 248/243 John B. Pendergrast,.lr., New Yorlr; 2,836,269 /1958 Anderson... 248/245 UX Howard W. LaMorte, New York, N.Y.; 2,997,269 8/1961 Urbain et a1. 248/245 Stanley Pitt, Closter,N.J.; William D. 3,151,576 10/1964 Patterson 108/2 Woods, Garden Grove, Calif. 3,151,744 10/1964 Patterson 21 H49  Appl. No. 858,449 3,178,243 4/1965 Dirmeyer 312/234 X Filed i 16.1969 FOREIGN PATENTS Patented Nov. 2,1971  Assignee Vitamakt Citrus Products Co. 1,021,879 3/1966 Great Britain 248/245 Covina, Calif. Primary Examiner- Ramon S. Britts AIt0rney-- Beehler, Arant & Jagger  CENTER CHANNEL ADJUSTABLE DISPLAY AND VENDING RACK 17 Claims, 17 Drawing Figs.
ABSTRACT: A display rack for individual articles of  11.8. CI 211/150, merchandise consisting of a vertical rear support which rests log/2 2] 174, 248/245 on a supporting surface and which has a single central channel  1118. C1 A47f 5/11) of dovetail shape A series of trays are Carried in the channel meld Search 21 H and are pivotally mounted on releasable fastening clamps for 491 7171,90 871 securing each tray in a selected vertically adjusted position in 162; 248/245 the channel. A spring acting between the tray and the clamp 216; log/2; 40/125 143; 312/2341 234-41234 tilts the tray upward against the support after it has been emptied of merchandise. The support may be fastened to a base  References Cited which extends forwardly beneath the trays, or may be fastened UNITED STATES PATENTS to a vertical wall, and an advertising panel is releasably 814,871 3/1906 Place et al. 40/143 X mounted either at the top of the support or on a shelf at the 866,695 9/1907 Taussig 248/245 top of the support.
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-- smzu MP 1 CENTER CHANNEL ADJUSTABLE DISPLAY AND VENDING RACK The invention relates to racks for the display and sale of merchandise and is of a type which has been popular in the display and sale of bottled soft drinks in such locations as supermarkets and food stores in general where the goods is handled as a self-service item and moves relatively rapidly. The invention follows in general the principle disclosed in Patterson, U.S. Pat. No. 2,637,445 wherein trays which support the merchandise are more in the nature of dividers, in that the weight of articles on each tray is passed downwardly to the articles on the tray next below, and so on downwardly to the supporting surface on which the entire unit is mounted. Each tray has a pivoted attachment to a vertical rear support on which it is mounted in such fashion that it can be adjusted up or down depending upon the height of articles to be merchandised. After the tray has been emptied, a spring tilts the tray upwardly out of the way so that the articles on the next lower tray are displayed for sale.
Although display racks of the type described have been in popular demand for considerable time, some limitations have been experienced. The supports heretofore employed have featured primarily two vertical slideways in which opposite sides of each tray are secured. Duplicating the mounting and attachment necessitates balancing the adjustment on both sides one with the other so that the tray will always be perfectly horizontal and the arrangement and construction is such that installation, servicing and cost has hampered to a degree acceptance of an overall principle which has appreciable fundamental ad vantages.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a new and improved display rack in which the trays are independently adjustable and adapted to move out of the way when emptied, wherein the trays are attached to a rear vertical support at only one point thereby to simplify installation and adjustment, and to minimize the cost.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved display rack the rear vertical support of which can be made, if preferred, of a single piece of material properly formed to provide a single channel of adjustment for the attachment of individual trays which can be quickly attached and quickly shifted in position by use of only the simplest tool permitting the supplier of merchandise to quickly adjust the rack to accommodate any one of a variety of different types of merchandise.
Also included among the objects of the invention is to provide a new and improved adjustable type display rack having single vertical rear supports of sufficient versatility to permit their being used either on a separate base or attached to a wall, and provided with a cover if need be together with a removable advertising panel which can be changed with the same case as the tray adjustment.
With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the construction, arrangement, and combination of the various parts of the device, whereby the objects contemplated are attained, as hereinafter set forth, pointed out in the appended claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the rack partially loaded with merchandise and partially broken away to show the location of operating parts.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view on the line 4-4 ofFIG.1.
FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of the top of the device.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary exploded view of the base and vertical rear support.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective exploded view of the tray and its mounting in the channel of the vertical support.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view on the line 8-8 ofFIG. 1.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view on the line 9-9 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary exploded view showing operating parts ofthe tray.
FIG. 11 is a front perspective view illustrating an alternative mounting of the vertical rear supports.
FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the device of FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view on the line 13-13 ofFIG. 11.
FIG. M is an exploded perspective view of the parts illus trated in FIG. 13.
FIG. 15 is a fragmentary exploded view of an alternate construction of an upper shelf.
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary sectional view of the upper shelf of FIG. 15.
FIG. 17 is a fragmentary structural detail of the upper shelf of FIG. 15.
In an embodiment of the device chosen for the purpose of illustration there is provided a base 10 substantially in the form of a box designed to have attached to it a rear support or channel member 11 in which is located a central vertically extending channel 12. Tray assemblies indicated generally by the reference character 13 are attached to the rear support in a manner permitting them to be adjusted up and down. An upper shelf 14 attached to the top of the rear support it overlies the uppermost tray assembly.
The base 10 which is designed to rest upon an appropriate supporting surface 15 includes sidewalls 16 and 16', a front wall 17 and a top 18. At the rear of each sidewall is a lug bracket 19, attached to the respective sidewall by some appropriate means as, for example, spot welding, the lug bracket 19 in each instance being provided with upper and lower lugs 20 and 21. The lugs, extending rearwardly as shown, provide respective recesses 22 and 23 so that when the lugs are pro jected through oversized slots 2 1 and 25, respectively, in the rear support 11, upper edges 26 and 27 will project into the respective recesses 22 and 23 thereby to lock the rear support 11 in position against the rear ofthe base 10 thereby to anchor the rear support in vertical position to the base.
The rear support which is in fact a channel member is customarily constructed of a single piece of sheet metal formed so as to provide opposite horizontally spaced vertical flanges 28 and 29. At the outer end of the flange 28 is a web 30 at the rear of which is an inwardly turned stiffening bead 31. Similarly, there is provided a web 32 for the flange 29, likewise provided with a stiffening bead 33.
The material of the rear support 11 moreover has inwardly bent portions forming legs 34 and 35 of the channel 12, the bottom of which consists of a web 36 including strengthening configurations 37 and 38 at the corners. Diagonal braces 39 and 40 on respectively opposite sides are substantially identical in form, the diagonal brace 39, for example, being attached by means ofa screw 31 to the web 30 and having a flat lower end 42, the lower end 42 of the brace 39 being adapted to project through a slot 43 in the top 18 of the base 10. A notch 44 on the flat lower end 42 provides a shoulder adapted to interlock with a front edge 45 of the slot 43 and a notch 46 at the opposite side of the lower end is adapted to interlock with a rear edge 47. Notches M and 46 on the lower end 42 of the diagonal brace 40 engage similarly in a slot 43'.
The tray assemblies 13, which might more properly be described as dividers, are identical in construction, except for the length of the uppermost tray assembly 13'. Each tray assembly consists of a wire grill 50 at the rear of which is a transverse bar 51. Loops 52,52 welded to the bar 51 provide hearing apertures 53, 53' for the accommodation of a pivot pin 54 which extends through holes 55, 55' in respective brackets 56, 56', thereby to attach the wire grill 50 pivotally to a midportion 57 of a vertically sliding body indicated generally by the reference character 58. A torsion spring 60 has one end 61 adapted to bear against the body 58 and another end 62 adapted to be spring pressed against the underside of the transverse bar 51 so that tension in the springs tends normally to elevate the wire grill to a vertical position as shown by the solid line positions of the uppermost shelf 13' and next upper shelfl3 in FIGS. 1 and 3.
For convenience and economy the body 58 has vertical side edges bent rearwardly to form respective slide shoes 63 and 64. Upper and lower flanges 65, 66 of lesser breadth serve to strengthen the body in a transverse direction.
As will be noted in FIG. 9 for example, the spread or distance between the slide shoes 63 and 64 is approximately the spread between rear ends of the legs 34 and 35 which form the channel 12, but the spread is substantially greater than the distance between corners 67 and 68, the channel 12 being of what is commonly termed a dovetail" shape. Proportioned as shown the body 58 is interlocked in the channel 12 where it is free to slide in a vertical direction but confined inwardly because of the sloping direction of the legs 34 and 35. The sliding operation as described permits each tray assembly to be adjusted vertically in the channel 12 on the rear support 11. A single-tightening screw 69 which extends through a threaded hole 70 in the midportion 57 can be forced against the web 36 of the channel 12, thereby to anchor the tray assembly in the selected vertical position of adjustment, as shown effectively in FIG. 8.
What has been previously described as the upper shelf 14 may be considered as a cover member or may be used in fact as a special shelf. In the form of device of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, for example, the shelf consists of a plate 73 having upturned side edges 74, 74', a front edge 75 and rear edge 76. At the opposite ends of the rear edge 76 are tabs 77, 77 which extend downwardly at the rear of the rear support 11, as shown in FIG. 5, and which are attached to the respective beads 31, 33 by self-tapping screws 78. Triangular gusset braces 79, 79' on opposite sides are secured to the respective flanges 28 and 29 also by means of self-tapping screws 80.
The upper shelf 14, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, is located high enough above the uppermost tray assembly 13 so that when the uppermost tray assembly is empty and folded upwardly by spring action, it can swing completely beneath the upper shelf 14 as can also the upper tray assembly 13. As noted especially in FIGS. 1 and 3, the tray assemblies are adjusted with respect to their position on the rear support so that they are level when resting upon the tops of cartons of bottles, for example. Arranged in this fashion, the weight of bottles on the topmost loaded tray assembly is passed downwardly to the bottles on the next lower tray assembly and so on down to the base and thence to the supporting surface 15. What is significant is that the spacing of the tray assemblies can be easily accomplished merely by loosening the screw 69 so as to shift the tray assembly up or down depending on the height of the bottles loaded on the tray assembly next beneath it. The entire device, moreover, assembles with appreciable ease from a knockdown condition in that the rear support 11 can be readily mounted on the base 10 merely by extending the lugs 20, 21 through the appropriate slots 24, 25, then fastening the diagonal braces 39, 40 by a single screw 41 each at the top and by merely projecting the bottom ends through the respective slots 43, 43'. The device can be disassembled with equal ease by merely reversing the process.
A second form of mounting the rear support 11 may be one merely of confining upper and lower ends by use respectively of an upper channel member 83 and lower channel member 84. The upper channel 83 has a relatively narrow forward flange 85 and relatively longer rearward flange 86, and similarly the lower channel 84 is provided with a relatively narrow forward flange 87 and relatively wider rearward flange 88. There is no real necessity for anchoring the channel membars to a vertical wall structure 89 inasmuch as the tray assemblies, whether it be the narrow tray assembly 13 or the wide tray assembly 90, as shown in FIG. 11, do not actually support any of the merchandise, but are merely separators between goods below and above the tray assembly. When a wide tray assembly is used, like the tray assembly 90 as shown in FIG. 11, an appropriate rear support 11' is merely provided with wider flanges 28' and 29, the rear supports being stacked side by side and retained at respective upper and lower edges by the upper and lower channel members 83, 84 as already described.
So that the upper channel member 83 may be releasably retained in its position on the tops of the rear supports, a hole 91 is provided in the web 36, the location of which matches a dimple 92 on the rearward flange 86 of the upper channel member 83 so that the dimple can snap into the hole when the channel member is applied, thereby to releasably detain the parts in assembled position.
When the rear supports are retained as shown and described in connection with FIG. 11, the arrangement is such as to provide a ready opportunity for making use of an advertising display panel 95. To accomplish this, recesses 96 and 97 are provided in the respective flange 28 and 29, as shown in FIG. 14. correspondingly located slots 98 and 99 are also provided. At the upper edge of the display panel are tabs 100 and 101 designed to be received in the respective recesses 96 and 97. Similar tabs 102 and 103 at the lower edge of the display panel are adapted to be received respectively in the slots 98, 99. To assemble the display panel on the rear support, the tabs 102, 103 are first inserted into the slots 98, 99, the display panel 95 then tilted backwardly into engagement with the flanges 28, 29, causing the tabs 100, 101 to fall into the recesses 96, 97, after which the upper channel member is pushed into place so that the forward flange 85 locks the tabs 100, 101 in their positions, as shown in FIG. 13.
The arrangement of FIG. 11 also makes possible employment of a deeper upper tray 105. The upper tray 105 is pro vided with a bottom 106, sidewalls 107, 108, and if desired, a conventional front wall (not shown). A stiffening wall 109 of lesser height is shown at the rear. For locking the upper tray 105 is position, special lug brackets 110, 110' are employed fastened to the rear of the respective sidewalls 107, 108, as for example by bolts 111. On the lug brackets are upwardly extending hooks 112, 112 and downwardly extending hooks 113, 113', the upwardly extending hooks being longer than the downwardly extending hooks. Upper slots 114, 114' on the respective flanges 28, 29 accommodate the upwardly extending hooks 112, 112 and lower slots 115, 115' accommodate the downwardly extending hooks 113, 113'. For mounting the deeper upper tray 105, the upwardly extending hooks are first projected into the slots 114, 114' and the lug brackets moved up until the downwardly extending hooks 113, 113 can be projected into the slots I15, 115. The entire lug bracket is then moved downwardly slightly as shown in FIG. 16 until the downwardly extending hooks engage behind the flanges 28, 29 in which position the upwardly extending hooks also remain engaged behind the flanges, thereby releasably'locking the respective lug brackets and the upper tray 105 in position. The arrangement permits the upper tray to be quickly applied whenever needed as, for example, when a display panel is not to be used, or the upper tray removed and the display panel substituted with equal ease.
Having described the invention, what is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:
I. An adjustable display rack comprising a rear vertical support of sheet material extending upwardly relative to a lower supporting surface, means forming a single vertically disposed channel in said support intermediate opposite vertical side edges and with an open side of said channel facing forwardly, said side edges being bent throughout their length from said support at opposite sides of said channel in order to render said support more rigid, a tray assembly having a vertically adjustable mounting on said support for carrying objects at a location above corresponding objects below the tray and supported on said supporting surface, said tray assembly comprising a tray and a body centrally disposed along one edge of said tray, said body having laterally spaced vertically extending parallel slide shoes adapted to engage vertically extending sides of said channel with forward portions of said channels overlying forward edges of said shoes, said body having a width sufficient to provide stability for said tray but less than the width of said tray and less than the width of said channel, a portion of said body having a tightening member adjustably and releasably extending into engagement with said channel,
said tray having a pivotal connection to said body on a horizontal axis, and spring means acting between said tray and said body biased in a direction tending to pivotally elevate said tray when empty.
2. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein there are a plurality of tray assemblies located one above the other each having a pair of slide shoes in said channel.
3. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein said rear vertical support is a single piece of sheet metal bent to form said channel and providing front edges at the sides located closer together than rear edges of said sides.
4. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein said body comprises a transverse web with said shoes at outer lateral edges and a pair of vertical parallel forwardly extending brackets having a pivot pin in holes therein.
5. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein said tightening member comprises a screw extending through said body into face to face engagement with the bottom of said channel for locating the tray in a selected position.
6. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein said body comprises a single sheet of metal having turned down lateral edges forming said slide shoes and a screw threaded through a central portion of the body into face to face engagement with the bottom of the channel to locate said tray in a selected position.
7. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein said spring means is a torsion spring surrounding said pivotal connection.
8. An adjustable display rack as in claim 4 wherein said spring means is a torsion spring surrounding the pivot pin and located between said brackets, one end of said spring being biased against the web and the other end of said spring being biased against the tray.
9. An adjustable display rack as in claim I wherein there is a cover member comprising a plate overlying the trays, a rear portion of said cover member having a set of respective upwardly and downwardly extending hooks on each side with the upwardly extending hooks being longer than the downwardly extending hooks, said vertical support having pairs of spaced vertically extending slots receptive of said hooks, the transverse distance between said sets being fixed whereby to inhibit spreading of the sides of said channel.
10. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein there is a base adapted to rest on the supporting surface, pairs of hooks extending rearwardly of said base, said vertical support having pairs of slots receptive of said hooks for holding said vertical support in upright position on said base, the transverse distance between said pairs being fixed whereby to inhibit spreading of the sides of said channel.
11. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein there is a plurality of vertical supports, a horizontal base channel member having an open side facing up and adapted to receive lower ends of said vertical supports, and a horizontal upper channel member having an open side facing down adapted to contain upper ends of said vertical supports.
12. An adjustable display rack as in claim 1 wherein said vertical support has a pair of upper and lower vertically spaced transverse slots, a removable and replaceable identification plate having a pair of lugs on each side comprising an upwardly extending lug removable receivable into said upper transverse slot and a downwardly extending lug removably receivable in said lower transverse slot, the distance between at least one lug of each pair being fixed whereby to inhibit spreading of the sides of said channel.
13. An adjustable display rack according to claim 1 wherein the tightening member is located between said shoes and engages the channel at a location intermediate the vertical sides of said channel.
14. An adjustable display rack according to claim 1 wherein the pivotal connection has a length less than the breadth of said channel.
15. An adjustable display rack according to claim 14 wherein said pivotal connection comprises a pivot pin and said pivotal connection IS located within said channel and the vertical sideedges thereof.
16. An adjustable display rack according to claim 14 wherein said pivotal connection comprises a pivot pin in engagement with forwardly extending brackets in said body, and a torsion spring around said pivot pin bearing in opposite directions respectively on said tray and said body, said pivot pin and said brackets being located within said channel and the vertical side edges thereof.
17. An adjustable display rack according to claim 1 wherein the width of said channel is greater than one-third the width of said rear vertical support and greater than one-half the width of said tray.