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Publication numberUS3675271 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 11, 1972
Filing dateOct 30, 1969
Priority dateOct 30, 1969
Publication numberUS 3675271 A, US 3675271A, US-A-3675271, US3675271 A, US3675271A
InventorsCharles G Fellwock, Donald L Tuley
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reversible hinge for refrigerator
US 3675271 A
Abstract
A top hinge structure for mounting a door on a cabinet such as a refrigerator cabinet so that with the same hinge plate and the same receiving means hingedly connecting the plate to the door the door may be mounted for either right-hand or left-hand opening and closing.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Fellwock et a].

1 51 Julyll, 1972 [54] REVERSIBLE HINGE FOR REFRIGERATOR [72] Inventors: Charles G. Fellwoek; Donald L. Tuley, both of Evansville, Ind.

[73] Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation [22] Filed: Oct. 30, I969 [21] Appl. No.: 872,539

[ [58] FleldofSearch 16/128,170, 135, I70

[S6] Referenm Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,389,424 6/1968 Fellwock ,.l6/l70 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS I37,l29 9/1964 France ..l6/l70 2,002,358 10/1969 France Ul6/l70 Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay

Assistant Examiner-Doris C. Troutrnan Arwmey-Hofgren, Wegnen Allen, Stellman a McCord, James S. Nettleton, Thomas E Turcotte, Burton H. Baker, Gene A. Heth. Franklin C Harter, Anthony Niewyk and Robert L Judd [57] ABSTRACT A top hinge structure for mounting a door on a cabinet such as a refrigerator cabinet so that with the same hinge plate and the same receiving means hingedly connecting the plate to the door the door may be mounted for either right-hand or lehhand opening and closing.

REVERSIBLE HINGE FOR REFRIGERATOR One of the features of this invention is to provide a hinge structure for a cabinet door comprising a top hinge plate having a pair of opposite side edges each at an oblique angle to the centerline of the plate, a hinge pin member on the plate between its opposite edges, means for attaching the hinge plate to the cabinet top with one of the side edges of the plate adjacent a cabinet side and a corresponding door side and means on the door hingedly engaging the hinge pin member with the result that the hinge plate may be mounted on the cabinet top adjacent the selected side of the cabinet for hinged movement of the door in the corresponding direction.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of one embodiment thereof as shown in the accompanying drawings. Of the drawings:

FIG. I is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of one embodiment of the invention with the door mounted for hinging on the left side.

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. I but with the door mounted for movement in the opposite direction.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a hinge plate usable either in the embodiment of FIG. I or FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an edge elevational view of the plate of FIG. 3.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2 there is illustrated a cabinet I such as a household refrigerator cabinet with a front opening normally closed by a vertically mounted door II with this cabinet having a top 12 and sides 13 and 14. The door also has corresponding top 15 and side edges 21 and 22.

The hinge structure for location at the top of the cabinet and door and for either left or right operation comprises a hinge plate 16 having a pair of opposite side edges 17 and 18 each at an oblique angle to a centerline 19 of the plate. Any suitable bottom hinge structure (not shown) may be provided for use with the top hinge.

Hinge plate 16 also carries between its opposite side edges 17 and 18 a projecting hinge pin member 20. Means are provided for attaching hinge plate 16 to the cabinet top 12 with the side edge 17 adjacent cabinet side l3 and the correspond ing door side 21 or to the cabinet top 12 with the side edge 18 adjacent cabinet side 14 and the corresponding door side 22. In the embodiments shown this attaching means comprises three screws 23 adapted to extend through three openings 24 in a hinge plate l6 and to be held in three corresponding openings 25 in the cabinet top 12 for hinging on the left side and openings for hinging on the right side. In the embodimerits illustrated each hinge plate 16 is also provided with a spacer plate 26 and a cover 27.

The hinge structure also includes receiving means embodied in a socket 28 or socket 31 for receiving the pin 20. In the embodiment illustrated the socket 28 and 31 are located at the top edge 15 of the door I I.

In the embodiments illustrated the hinge pin member 20 is substantially symmetrical with respect to the side edges 17 and I8 which converge toward an end 29 of the plate 16 at which is located the pin 20.

With the hinge structure of this invention it is only necessary to employ a single hinge plate 16 and cooperating attaching means for mounting the door 11 for hinging on the left side as illustrated in the embodiment of FIG. I or for mounting the door 11 for hinging on the right side as illustrated in the embodiment of FIG. 2. In each of these embodiments the top hinge plate 16 is the same, the sockets 28 and 31 are the same and the attaching means 23, 26 and 27 are the same. The difference is that in the embodiment of FIG. 1 the one side edge I! of the hinge plate 16 is positioned adjacent the cabinet side I3 while in the embodiment of FIG. 2 the side edge 18 of the hinge plate is positioned adjacent the other side 14 of the cabinet.

In the embodiments illustrated cabinet I0 is an insulated refrigerator cabinet and the door I] is also insulated and each is mounted for opening in a desired direction depending upon the space available at the location of the refrigerator. This is possible because the hinge member is reversible and it is only necessary to provide a single top hinge plate 16 and associated structure for mounting the door for operation in either direction.

Having described my invention as related to the embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings, it is my intention that the invention be not limited by any of the details of description, unless otherwise specified.

We claim:

I. A top hinge structure for use in mounting an upright door having a top, and left and right edges on a cabinet having a top, and left and right sides, comprising: a top hinge plate having a pair of opposite, left and right, side edges each extending at an oblique angle toward a point on a center-line of the plate; a hinge member retained on said plate between its said opposite side edges; means for attaching said hinge plate to said cabinet top selectively with said left edge of said plate adjacent and parallel to said cabinet left side or with said right side edge of said plate adjacent and parallel to said cabinet right side, and with said plate being cantilevered forwardly from said cabinet to have said hinge member disposed over the top of said door; and receiving means on said door for hingedly engaging said hinge member with said hinge plate in either of said selective dispositions.

2. The top hinge structure of claim 1 wherein said hinge member is substantially centered between said side edges of its respective plate.

3. The top hinge structure of claim 2 wherein said side edges converge toward an end of said plate, and said hinge member is located adjacent said end.

4. The top hinge structure of claim I wherein said hinge member comprises a pin and said receiving means comprises a socket means on said door for pivotally receiving said pin.

5. A refrigerator structure comprising: a refrigerator cabinet having wall means defining right and left side walls and a front opening; a closure for said opening having a top and a bottom; bottom hinge means for hingedly mounting the bottom of the closure on the cabinet wall means; a reversible top hinge member for mounting the top of said closure to said wall means for selective left or righthand swinging of said closure relative to said opening, said top hinge member defining an end carrying a pivot connector means for pivotally engaging the top edge of said closure. said top hinge member having right and left opposite sides converging toward said pivot connector; means for mounting said top hinge member on said wall means selectively at the right or left opposite sides of said top hinge member substantially parallel respectively to said right or left refrigerator side walls.

6. A top hinge structure for use in mounting an upright door having a top, and left and right edges on a cabinet having a top, and left and right sides. comprising: a top hinge plate having a pair of opposite, left and right, side edges each extending at an oblique angle toward a point on a centerline of the plate, said hinge plate including a planar wide end and a planar narrow end extending parallel to and spaced from the plane of said wide end; a hinge member retained on said narrow end of said plate between its said opposite side edges; means for attaching said wide end of said hinge plate to said cabinet top selectively with said left edge of said plate adjacent and parallel to said cabinet left side or with said right side edge of said plate adjacent and parallel to said cabinet right side, and with said narrow end of said plate being cantilevered forwardly from said cabinet to have said hinge member disposed over the top of said door; and receiving means on said door for hingedly engaging said hinge member, with said hinge plate in either of said selective dispositions.

7. The top hinge structure of claim 6 wherein said wide end of the hinge plate includes a plurality of holes arranged symmetrically to said centerline of the plate, and said hinge member is disposed at said centerline.

8. The top hinge structure of claim 6 wherein said narrow end is spaced above the plane of said wide end when the hinge plate is attached to said cabinet top in either of said selective dispositions.

9. The tap hinge structure of claim 6 wherein said hinge member comprises a pin having a head overlying said hinge piate and a shank extending downwardly through said narrow end of the hinge plate.

a: a nr PC4050 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,675,271 Dated July 11, 1972 Inventt s CHARLES G. FELLWOCK and DONALD L, TULEY It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Claim 5, line 46, after "left" insert the phrase --top of said opening with right or left-- Signed and sealed this 23rd day of January 1973- (SEAL) Attest:

ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3389424 *Nov 14, 1966Jun 25, 1968Whirlpool CoReversible hinges for refrigerator door
FR137129A * Title not available
FR2002358A1 * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5960518 *Jan 15, 1998Oct 5, 1999Lg Electronics Inc.Door hinge fixing structure for refrigerator
US6070300 *Jul 31, 1998Jun 6, 2000Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Refrigerator door supporting structure
US7065832May 29, 2003Jun 27, 2006Maytag CorporationUpper hinge assembly for refrigerator door
US7621022 *Feb 8, 2006Nov 24, 2009Whirlpool CorporationPlastic top hinge for refrigerator
US7798584 *Apr 23, 2002Sep 21, 2010Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.Floating mullion
US8011064 *Nov 25, 2008Sep 6, 2011Whirlpool CorporationRefrigerator hinge cover
US8020256 *Feb 9, 2007Sep 20, 2011Hans-Peter GollerPivot device
US8506026 *Jun 16, 2009Aug 13, 2013Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Refrigerator with step adjustment device
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/265
International ClassificationE05D7/08
Cooperative ClassificationE05D7/08, E05Y2900/31, E05D7/02, F25D2323/024
European ClassificationE05D7/02, E05D7/08