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Publication numberUS3653734 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1972
Filing dateJun 29, 1970
Priority dateMar 5, 1969
Publication numberUS 3653734 A, US 3653734A, US-A-3653734, US3653734 A, US3653734A
InventorsNicholas A Ungaro
Original AssigneeArmstrong Cork Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular furniture
US 3653734 A
Abstract
Modular furniture is assembled in a number of different designs from certain standard components. An H-shaped support frame is adapted to hold canister elements into which there are placed drawers or onto which is positioned doors. A lip structure on the canister locks the canister to the support frame. It is possible to lock together a plurality of canister structures without the support frame and with just the lip structure being used to hold together the plurality of canisters. The H-shaped frame could be utilized alone and, when provided with a number of legs of different lengths, the support frame may be utilized to form a plurality of book shelves of different heights.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 151 3,653,734

Ungaro 1 Apr. 4, 1972 [54] MODULAR FURNITURE 3,347,609 10/1967 Mann ..312/257 x 3,361,293 1/1967 Box ..220/97 [72] Inventor. Nicholas A. Ungaro, Louisville, Ky. 3,464,372 9/1969 Enema". W312 H [73] Assignee: Armstrong Cork Company, Lancaster, Pa. 3,481,507 12/1969 Sanders ..21 U126 [22] Filed: June 1970 Primary Examiner--James T. McCall [21] Appl. No.: 50,793 Attorney-Clifford B. Price Related U.S. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 804,499, Mar. 5, 1969, Pat. No. 3,606,506.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1962 Gottsegen ..220/97 X Tweed ...220/97 X Block ..220/97 X [57] ABSTRACT Modular furniture is assembled in a number of different designs from certain standard components. An H-shaped support frame is adapted to hold canister elements into which there are placed drawers or onto which is positioned doorsv A lip structure on the canister locks the canister to the support frame. It is possible to lock together a plurality of canister structures without the support frame and with just the lip structure being used to hold together the plurality of canisters. The H-shaped frame could be utilized alone and, when provided with a number of legs of different lengths, the support frame may be utilized to form a plurality of book shelves of different heights.

6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR' 4 I972 3,653,734

' sum 1 or 3 INVENTOR NICHOLAS A. UNGARO ATTORNEY PATENTEDAPP. 4 I972 SHEET 2 0F 3 INVENTOR NICHOLAS A- UNGARO ATTORNEY PATEHTED R 19 2 3.653734 sum 3 UF 3 INVENTOR NlCOLAS A- UNGARO ATTORNEY MODULAR FURNITURE CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 804,499, filed Mar. 5, 1969, in the name of Nicholas A. Ungaro, now US. Pat. No. 3,606,506.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention is directed to furniture construction and, more particularly, to a modular furniture construction.

2. Description of the Prior Art The structure of the above-mentioned copending application covers the unique H-shaped frame construction with the inserted canister. The H-shaped support frame is basically two end members with a horizontal interconnecting member extending between the two end members to form an H configuration structure. The canister structure is then placed on the horizontal member and between the two end members.

The invention herein is the provision of that above structure with a new and unique interlocking structure which has the further advantage of now permitting a variety of canisters to be nested together alone without the need to utilize the H- shaped frame support. In addition, the I-I-shaped frame support has been modified to permit its utilization alone as a bookcase construction unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention herein is directed to the use of the H-shaped support frame with a canister structure. The body of the canister structure is provided with projecting lip structures which extend beyond the lower plane of the canister structure. The horizontal support shelf of the H-shaped frame is provided with recesses into which the projecting lips of the canister may be placed. This locks the canister to the H- shaped support frame. In addition, the upper corners of the canisters are provided with recesses into which the projecting lip structures of the lower surface of an overlying canister may be placed. Consequently, a plurality of canisters may be stacked one upon the other, and the projecting lip structures coacting with the recesses in the underlying canister will lock together the two canisters.

The H-shaped frame structure has been provided with legs which are of different lengths. That is, the end members extending beyond the horizontal connecting member would be of different lengths on either side of the horizontal connecting member. Consequently, depending upon the manner in which a number of the H-shaped members are stacked together, the H-shaped members will provide a bookcase structure with open areas of different heights. The bookcase structure may be utilized alone or in conjunction with the H-shaped support frame and canister structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the H-shaped support and canisters;

FIG. II is an exploded perspective view of a canister and support base;

FIG. III is an enlarged perspective view of the projecting lip structure and recess for locking canisters together;

FIG. IV is an exploded perspective view of the lip structure locking together the H-shaped support frame and canister;

FIG. V is an exploded perspective view of a filler strip for the top of two adjacent canister structures;

FIG. VI is a perspective view of the bookcase structure;

FIG. VII is a modification ofFIG. VI; and

FIG. VIII is a perspective view of the interconnecting joint structure for the I-l-shaped members used as a bookcase.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. I, there is shown both the canister in conjunction with the I-I-shaped support frame and two canister structures interlocked together alone without the benefit of the I-I-shaped support frame. It should be remembered when reviewing this particular inventive structure that the disclosures herein are incorporating the disclosures of the abovementioned copending application. The modular furniture structure 2 is composed of the H-shaped support frame 4 into which is positioned the canister structure 6. In the canister structure, there is provided drawers 8. This structure is the same as described in the copending application. The modification which is provided is that a second canister 10 with a drawer 12 is positioned directly over the top of the canister 6 without the utilization of an intermediate second I-l-shaped support frame. An interlocking structure 14 connects together the two canister structures.

Referring to FIG. II, there is shown an exploded view wherein the canister 10 is placed on a special support structure 16 and not on the conventional H-shaped support frame. The interlock structure 14 which connected together the two canisters would connect together the canister 10 and base 16. The interlock structure is basically a projecting lip 18 which extends below the lower plane of the canister structure. This projecting lip 18 is received in a recess 19 of the base structure 16.

Now referring to FIG. III, there is shown an enlargement of the interlocking structure 14. The lower canister 6 has placed thereon the upper canister 10. The upper canister 10 has the projection or lip 18 which extends below the lower plane of the bottom surface of canister 10. The projecting lip 18 is formed merely by extending the side wall of canister 10 straight down to the horizontal surface 20. The curved surface 23 then blends in the horizontal surface 20 with the bottom plane of the canister 10. The recess 19' in the underlying canister 6 is provided with a configuration that will mate with lip 18. The horizontal surface 20 will rest upon the horizontal surface 21 of the recess 19'. There will also be engagement with the curved surfaces of the recess and projecting lip, and the bottom surface of canister 10 will rest upon the upper surface of canister 6. The projecting lip is made somewhat shorter in length than the total depth of the canister structure so that the ends of the lip structure will engage the ends of the recess 19, and this prevents relative movement between the canisters 6 and 10 in a direction perpendicular to the front and rear faces of the canister.

Referring now to FIG. IV, there is shown an exploded view of the modified I-I-shaped frame support which is necessary to now receive the canister structure which has a projecting lip 18. The transverse member 5 of the H-shaped support frame is provided with a recess 24 shaped to receive the projecting lip 18. This would lock the canister in position relative to the support frame. It should be noted that the canister may not be placed on the H-shaped support frame as shown in FIG. IV or on the base as shown in FIG. II, but that the canister could be rested directly on the ground with the projecting lip structure 18 functioning as a leg structure for the canister.

Referring now to FIG. V, there is shown a structure which may be utilized to provide a finishing effect to a plurality of canisters in a side-by-side relationship. When two canisters 6 are placed in a side-by-side relationship with no further canisters supported thereabove, each canister has a recess 19. These adjacent recesses 19 form an area by the canisters joint structure which may tend to be unsightly in appearance. This open area caused by the dual recesses 19 is filled in by the use of filler strip 26 which is shaped to fit within the dual recesses 19. The two adjacent canister structures are then provided with a finishedoff appearance.

FIG. VI is a modification of the basic H-shaped frame support system. The structure therein is provided with two basic H-shaped frame supports 4 into which are positioned two standard canister structures 6, in a manner very similar to that shown in the copending application. The above basic structure of F 16. V1 is provided with a bookcase configuration 28. This bookcase configuration is developed by the use of a plurality of specially dimensioned H-shaped frame support members 30. Each support end member is comprised of a section 32 which extends above the transverse member and a section 34 which extends below the transverse member. These two sections 32 and 34 are of difi'erent lengths. Specifically, these are of 4% inches and 6% inches in length. Consequently, depending on the manner in which the members 30 are stacked together, it is possible to get bookcase openings of different sizes. Referring to the elements marked 36 and 38, if both elements were 4% inches in length, there would be provided a 9 inch opening. If one was 4% inches and the other 6% inches in length, there would be an 1 1 inch opening. Naturally, depending on whichever size 36 and 38 would happen to be, the side opposite these sides would be the other dimension. That is, if side 36 was 4% inches, side 40 of the same support structure must be 6% inches.

FIG. VII is simply another embodiment of the structures 30 of FIG. Vl showing a modified nesting arrangement. It should be noted specifically that one leg of the modified H construction is the same size as the legs of the standard H-shaped support frame 4 so that the modified H-shaped support frame 30 may fit over a canister as shown on FIG. VII.

Referring to FIG. VIII, there is shown a modified joint structure for the H-shaped support frame 30. Since the frames of the copending application were meant to be stacked together without the need for rotation, each side of the ends was provided with two projections on one end and two recesses on the opposite end. Because the modified I-l-shaped frames 30 are meant to be utilized turned one direction or the other, there must be a modification of the interconnecting structure holding together a plurality of I-l-shaped support frames. Each end section has a recess 42 and a projection 44. The recess 42 will receive the projection 44' of the overlying I-l-shaped frame, and projection 44 will go into the recess 42' of the overlying frame member. When the overlying frame member would be rotated 180 to provide its opposite side dimension, it should be noted that its structures 42' and 44' would be in the positions shown by elements 42 and 44. Consequently, by the use of this joint configuration, it is possible to nest together the modified H-shaped support frames 30 to provide the different size openings therebetween.

What is claimed is:

1. In a modular furniture system comprising the combination of at least one of each of the following modular units; and H type support frame comprised of a pair of vertically disposed longitudinally spaced end members interconnected in upstanding relationship by an integrally formed transverse member, said transverse member having an upper and lower surface, and a canister, open at one end, comprising upper and lower walls, a pair of side walls and a rear wall, said canister dimension to be received between the upstanding end members of a support frame and supported on the upper surface of the transverse member thereof, the improvement therein comprising a lip structure projecting from the side walls of the canister and extending beyond the plane of the lower wall of the canister, said upper surface of the transverse member of the support frame having a recess at the junction of an end member and the traverse member and into which recess the lip structure is received to lock the support frame and canister together.

2. A modular furniture unit comprising an H-shaped support frame, said frame having two vertical end members forming the straight legs of the l-I-shape and a transverse member interconnecting the end members, said transverse member engaging the end members at a point between their two ends so as to provide an H shape with the legs of the H being of unequal lengths when measured from the transverse member to the ends of the end members, the ends of the end members being spaced the same distance apart and have means capable of engaging the ends of like I-l-shafied units to lock the units toge er, t e end engaging and loc ing means IS a pro ection and recess located on each end of the end members and the projection on one end of an end member is opposite the recess on the other end of the same end member.

3. A modular furniture unit comprising a canister structure which has a top, bottom and two sides in a closed configuration, said canister having at least one opening means which is capable of receiving components to form the canister into a closeable storage unit, a lip structure extending from at least one lower corner edge of the canister, said lip structure being an extension of the side of the canister and in the plane of the side and extending below the plane of the bottom side of the canister, said lip structure being shorter than the length of the comer edge of the canister, and a recess formed in the upper' comer edge of the canister with a size and configuration the same as the shape of the lip structure so that two canister structures can be placed one on the other and the lip of the upper canister will fit in the recess of the lower canister to lock the two units together.

4. A modular furniture unit as set forth in claim 3 wherein a base structure is provided, said base structure has a recess means to receive the lip structure of the canister so that the canister may be placed on a support base and not directly on the floor when in use.

5. A modular furniture unit as set forth in claim 4 wherein the base structure is I-I-shaped and the recess means is in the transverse member of the H shape.

6. A modular furniture unit as set forth in claim 3 wherein a trim strip is provided and shaped to provide a filler for the open area formed by the recesses of two adjacent canister structures.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3030163 *Aug 15, 1960Apr 17, 1962Gotham Ind IncNesting slide drawer receptacle
US3154197 *Apr 4, 1963Oct 27, 1964Western Electric CoMaterials handling tray
US3231074 *Nov 1, 1962Jan 25, 1966Mitchell BlockCoin storage receptacle
US3347609 *Dec 23, 1965Oct 17, 1967Wolverine Toy CompanyCabinet structure
US3361293 *Jan 5, 1966Jan 2, 1968Theodor BoxStackable plastic container
US3464372 *Nov 1, 1967Sep 2, 1969Fidelity File Box IncDesk top file with selectively positionable dividers and corner shelves
US3481507 *May 9, 1968Dec 2, 1969Pinckney Molded PlasticsNest and stack container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3790241 *Jul 20, 1972Feb 5, 1974J MessinaModular furniture structure
US3834776 *Jun 22, 1972Sep 10, 1974W BeckerFurniture module and furniture items resulting from module combinations
US3847460 *Dec 27, 1972Nov 12, 1974Schaffer F GmbhPlastic furniture
US4176747 *Mar 15, 1978Dec 4, 1979Sarvis OyStackable crates
US4182244 *Nov 2, 1978Jan 8, 1980The Mead CorporationModular display device
US4458961 *Jul 27, 1981Jul 10, 1984Jess BrowningComputer terminal work station
US4705178 *May 14, 1986Nov 10, 1987Vail Sr Kenneth EWire cube for use in a modular display rack
US5263772 *Feb 10, 1992Nov 23, 1993All-Glass Aquarium Co., Inc.Aquarium stand
US5287980 *Jun 17, 1992Feb 22, 1994Eddy Associates, Inc.Ticket dispenser assembly including interlocking dispenser units
US5628438 *Sep 15, 1995May 13, 1997Legrow; Mary K.Portable storage unit for vehicle seat
US5718491 *Dec 6, 1996Feb 17, 1998Li; Chin-ChuSupporting bracket/box
US5918762 *May 28, 1998Jul 6, 1999Graphic Controls CorporationContainer installing system
US7059253 *Mar 7, 2003Jun 13, 2006Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Table and microwave oven provided with table
US7850258 *Dec 18, 2006Dec 14, 2010Caterpillar IncInventory storage system
US8087735Jan 3, 2012Steelcase Inc.Free standing furniture kit and method of assembly
US20040103827 *Mar 7, 2003Jun 3, 2004Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Table and microwave oven provided with table
US20060220501 *Apr 4, 2005Oct 5, 2006Robertson James DStacking modular display
US20070284973 *Jun 5, 2006Dec 13, 2007Jannifer JonesMobile modular furniture framework
US20080143220 *Dec 18, 2006Jun 19, 2008Caterpillar Inc.Inventory storage system
US20140251934 *Mar 15, 2013Sep 11, 2014Sac Acquisition LlcModular shelving assembly with universal design ratio
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/107, 206/509, 312/198
International ClassificationA47B88/00, A47B87/00, A47B47/04, A47B87/02, A47B67/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B88/0003, A47B2220/02, A47B47/04, A47B67/04, A47B87/0253, A47B2210/19, A47B88/00, A47B87/00
European ClassificationA47B67/04, A47B47/04, A47B88/00A, A47B88/00, A47B87/02B4, A47B87/00