US 3622011 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Gerald A. Snow 106 7th Ave. NE, Independence, Iowa 50644  AppLNo. 29,459
 Filed  Patented Apr. 17, 1970 Nov. 23, 1971  THEFT-PROOF DISPLAY FIXTURE 4/1922 Bassett et a1 Primary Eraminer-Nile C. Byers, Jr. Attorney-Brufsky, Staas, Breiner and Halsey ABSTRACT: A theft-proof fixture for displaying merchandise capable of being mounted on a conventional pegboard. The fixture includes a barrel within which is slidably mounted a lock rod, the barrel and rod being provided with slots and lock fingers, respectively, for securing and locking in place in dividual, spaced tabs. Articles of merchandise are slid onto the barrel and disposed between the individual tabs and cannot be removed except upon removal of the tabs in front ofit. Twisttype tabs are also provided enabling merchandise to be selectively removed from the display fixture without the necessity of removing merchandise and tabs in front of the desired article.
' PATENTEBuuv 23 |97l SHEET 2 BF 2 INVENTOR GERALD A SNOW 2M4 Haas Bruin I 1W ATTOR N EYS BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a fixture designed to display articles of merchandise and provided with a locking mechanism for preventing their unauthorized removal.
Merchants are constantly harassed by shoplifters, who over a period of timeaccount forlosses of merchandise involving substantial sums. This problem is particularly acute where the vended goods have substantial value.
This poses something of a dilemma, since the merchant wants to display his goods in the hope of interesting a legitimate customer, but he cannot maintain a constant watch over the displayed goods. In order to aleviate this problem, racks have been designed for displaying merchandise which include means for locking the display article to the rack in an inconspicuous manner, to prevent its unauthorized removahMost of these racks are specifically designed to display jewelry, such as rings'mounting preciousgems, watches, etc. Examples of such racks are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 989,571; 2,935,202 and 3,024,774. I
The racks disclosed in-these patents are adapted to display precious articles of merchandise although the need exists to display and protect articles of merchandise of less value. Furthermore, the locking mechanisms utilized involve complicated structures having highmaintenance and fabrication costs, or their operation is readily discemable to the experienced eye, rendering them ineffective.
In U.S. Pat. No. 3,400,812 I have disclosed a theft-proofdisplay rack employing a locking mechanism simple in construction'but not readily apparent to the naked eye.
The rack disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,400,812 includes an article support surface provided with a series of slots corresponding in number to the number of articles to be displayed. Beneath the support surface is a slidable locking plate having a plurality of lock fingers corresponding to the number of slots, each lock finger being adapted to bedisposed in intersecting'registration with a corresponding slot and pass through a series of clips to which the articles of merchandise area'ttached. A finger pull is provided to push the locking plate out of abutment withthe pin so as to enable a spring to move each lock finger out of intersecting registration with its respective slot permitting removal of the article of merchandise and its associated retainer clip.
In the present invention, principles similar to those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,400,812 are employed but with refinements permitting more widespread use in stores.
The theftproof display fixture of the present invention features a barrel within which is slidably mounted a lock rod, the barrel and rod being provided with a series of slots and lock fingers, respectively, for securing and locking in place individual, spaced tabs. Articles of merchandise are slid onto the barrel and disposed between the individual tabs and cannot be removed except upon removal of the tabs in front of it. A spring is mounted within the barrel urging the rod and its lock fingers out of registration with the slots of the barrel. The barrel is further provided with a slotted portion through which protrudes a pin secured to the lock rod such that by moving the pin by hand the lock rod can be forced against the pressure of the spring so as to move the lock fingers into registration with the barrel slots, after which the pin is moved downwardly following the contour of the slotted portion within the barrel to lock the fingers in registration with the slots securing the tabs in spaced relation, with merchandise therebetween.
A mounting bracket is secured to the barrel and in the form of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings is provided with hooks for insertion within a conventional pegboard, although the bracket can be wall mounted, for example. In this manner, the merchandise can be conveniently displayed on a wallwhile providing easy access to the store clerk and customer.
Twist-type tabs are also provided enabling an individual tab to be removed from the display fixture without the necessity of removing any of the remaining merchandise and tabs. Articles of merchandise are directly secured to the tab. While not pilferproof, as-in thecase of disposing the merchandise on the barrel behind a retaining tab, the necessary and not apparent recognition that the article mightbe removed without removal of the tab, which is locked to the barrel, renders the combined fixture a pilfer deterrent.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the assembled display fixture including a series of merchandise retaining tabs in locked position and a mounting bracket having hooks secured to the fixture barrelfor insertion within a conventional pegboard;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane indicated by line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating the fingers of the 'lock rod in registration with the slots of the barrel locking the DETAILED DESCRIPTION or THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring nowto the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout the'several views, the theftproof display fixture of the .present invention is generally designated by the referencenumeral 1.0.
As seen in-'FIG..3, fixture 10 consists of an outer cylindrical barrel 12 containing a plurality of spaced slots 14. While barre] 12 is illustrated as cylindrical, as will be readily apparent, the barrel is capable of having other polygonal shapes in cross section. The end. 16 of. barrel 12is closed while the opposite enlarged end 18 i'sprovid'ed with internal threads (not shown Finally, a 'ri ght angle slot 20 is provided, the purpose of which will be explained hereinafter. Slidably mounted within barrel 12 is lock rod22 of complementally shaped cross section containing spacedfingers 24 and a threaded opening 26, the purpose of which will be explained hereinafter.
Assembly of the components of fixture 10 is as follows. Spring 28 is slidably positioned within barrel 12 so as to abut end 16. The'n loc'krod 22 is slid within barrel l2 compressing spring 28 until slot 20 and threaded opening 26 are in juxtaposition, after which pin 30 is insertedthrough slot 20 and threaded withinopening 26. As will now be apparent, movethem of pin 30 within slot 20 controls movement of lock rod 22 within barrel l2 and, accordingly, the position of fingers 24 in relation to slots '14. When pin 30 is positioned within portion 20' of slot :20, the force of spring 28 moves lock rod 22 to the right moving fingers 24 out of registration with slots 14. When pin 30 is moved downwardly within portion 20" of slot 20, lock rod 22 is moved still further against the force of spring 28 and fingers24 register with slots 14, as depicted in FIG. 2.
A representative mounting bracket 32 is provided with arms or hooks 34 and issecured to barrel 12 by threading screw 36 through opening 38 within bracket 32 into the internally threaded portion of end 18 of barrel 12. In this manner, the components of display fixture 10 are assembled as illustrated in FIG. 1.
A plurality of merchandise retaining tabs 40 are illustrated in FIG. 1 each including an upper opening 42 near the top thereof defining a slender neck 44 dimensioned to fit beneath fingers 24of lock rod 22, as seen in FIG. '2.
Each tab 40 is secured to fixture 1 0 by inserting the fixture barrel 12 through opening 42 of the tab 40, after which the tab 40 is slid along the barrel l2 and dropped into a selected one of slots 14. Pin 30 is then moved downwardly within portion 20" of slot 20 moving lock rod 22 and fingers 24 into registration with each slot 14 fastening the tab or tabs 40 in place by overlying neck 44 of each tab, as seen in FIG. 2. An article of merchandise consisting of bag B (FIG. 4) or handle H of a cooking utensil (FIG. 1) may hang from barrel 12 behind any one of tabs 40. Bag B or handle l-I cannot be removed from rack 10, except by removal of any other articles of merchandise and tabs 40 in front of it on barrel l2 and the rack is therefore pilferproof.
In order to overcome the possible objection of having to remove a number of tabs 40 and other merchandise from rack 10 to remove a desired article, a second embodiment twisttype tab 48 is illustrated in FIGS. 4-6 and includes connected sides 50 and 52 containing oppositely disposed semicircular openings 54 and 56 through which fingers 24 pass in looking relation, as seen in FIG. 6. Oppositely extending lateral openings 58 and 60 are provided through which barrel 12 passes.
FIGS. 4-6 illustrate how the tabs 48 are twisted into engagement with barrel 12 of fixture l0. Initially, as illustrated in FIG. 4, opening 58 is positioned about barrel 12 after which tab 48 is twisted, as illustrated in FIG. 5, folding down side 52. After continuous twisting, as illustrated in FIG. 6, side 52 regains its upright position and opening 60 is fitted over barrel 12, from the opposite direction. Finally, openings 54 and 56 are positioned within a selected slot 14 after which pin 30 is moved downwardly and to the left within slotted portion causing fingers 24 to pass through semicircular openings 54 and 56 into registration with slot 14.
An article of merchandise is adapted to be directly secured to tab 48 and tied about the bend between sides 50 and 52. While this does not provide for a pilferproof arrangement, as in the case of using tabs 40, it will not be readily apparent to a prospective shoplifter that the article might be removed without removal of tab 48, which is locked to barrel l2. Accordingly, the second embodiment of the invention is intended merely as a pilfer deterrent, while enabling selected merchandise to be removed by the unlocking of twist tabs 48.
While a specific embodiment of my invention has been disclosed in the foregoing description, it will be understood that various modifications within the spirit of the invention may occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is intended that no limitations be placed on the invention except as defined by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A theftproof display fixture, comprising a barrel having at least one slot therein, a rod slidingly mounted within said barrel and provided with at least one lock finger adapted to intersect said slot and pass through an object disposed therein, said rod being substantially hidden when viewed externally thereby rendering said lock finger resistant to tampering, biasing means located within said barrel urging said lock finger out of intersecting registration with said slot and means connecting said barrel and rod alternatively urging and retaining said lock finger in intersecting registration with said slot against the force of said biasing means and urging and retaining said lock finger at a predetermined position out of intersecting registration with said slot against the force of said biasing means.
2. A theftproof fixture as in claim 1, including a bracket for attachment to a wall and means securing said bracket to said barrel.
3. A theftproof fixture as in claim 2, said bracket including at least one arm for insertion within a pegboard.
4. A theftproof fixture as in claim 1, including at least one tab to retain an article of merchandise adapted to be slid onto said barrel, said tab including a neck portion positioned within said slot of said barrel beneath said lock finger when said lock finger is in intersecting registration with said slot having an opening defined by a continuous edge, a portion of which abuts said lock finger along an inner surface of said lock finger when said tab is disposed in said theft roof display fixture.
5. A thefiproof ixture as in claim said means altematively urging and retaining said lock finger in and out of intersecting registration with said slot of said barrel including a slot located within said barrel and provided with two spaced supporting surfaces and a pin connected to said lock rod and passing through said slot for engagement with either of said spaced supporting surfaces.
6. A theftproof display fixture, comprising a barrel having at least one slot therein, a rod slidingly mounted within said barrel and provided with at least one lock finger adapted to intersect said slot and pass through an object disposed therein, biasing means located within said barrel urging said lock finger out of intersecting registration with said slot and means connecting said barrel and rod alternatively urging and retaining said lock finger in intersecting registration with said slot against the force of said biasing means and urging and retaining said lock finger at a predetermined position out of intersecting registration with said slot against the force of said biasing means, a tab adapted to be received in said slot including generally parallel sides having aligned openings through which said lock finger passes when in intersecting registration with said slot of said barrel, said sides of said tab further including oppositely extending lateral slots permitting said tab to be attached to said barrel of said fixture by positioning one of said slots of one of said sides over said barrel after which said tab is twisted causing the other of said sides to bend under said barrel until it clears said barrel and straightens after which the other of said slots of the other of said sides is positioned over said barrel of said fixture.
7. A theftproof fixture as in claim 6 wherein said aligned openings are semicircular.
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