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Publication numberUS3675981 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 11, 1972
Filing dateJan 22, 1970
Priority dateJan 28, 1969
Also published asDE2002918A1
Publication numberUS 3675981 A, US 3675981A, US-A-3675981, US3675981 A, US3675981A
InventorsMallander Filip Birger Emanuel
Original AssigneeMallander Filip Birger Emanuel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible storage unit
US 3675981 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 11, 1972 F. B. E. MALLANDER COLLAPSIBLE STORAGE UNIT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 22, 1970 INVENTOR.

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COLLAPSIBLE STORAGE UNIT Filed Jan. 22, 1970 Z Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V ENTOR.

01 57,965? AMA 0,52 M444 amt-e kw r-JW United States Patent 6 Int. (:1. A47b 45/00,- E04h 1/12, 1/14 US. Cl. 312-257 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention concerns a collapsible storage unit, comprising a rigid frame surrounding the access opening of said unit and a bag of flexible, but substantially nonstretchable material, the edge of which is attached to said frame. At least two U-formed stretching members are so mounted in said frame that they are swingable from a position in plane with said frame into a position mainly perpendicular thereto. In the last mentioned position the stretching members keep said bag in a taut condition in order to form the bottom and side walls of said unit. A rigid board is furthermore insertable between said stretching members to maintain same in the last mentioned position.

The present invention is a collapsible storage unit consisting of a frame surrounding an opening, a bottom board of roughly the same shape and size as the frame, plus side walls between the frame and the bottom board.

Modern furniture industry goes in for more and more prefabricated furniture. What is meant by prefabricated furniture is that all parts of the item are manufactured and partly assembled in the factory in easily packed units which are delivered to the retailer or consumer in unit packages. Simple means are enclosed to facilitate final assembly so that this can be done easily and with simple tools by a customer with no special do-it-yourself experience. This system implies considerable savings in transport costs and storage area.

This system has not yet, however, proved suitable for furniture with drawers or similar storage facilities, as drawers cannot be made so that a customer can without difficulty assemble its various parts. As the drawers must be transported and stored assembled there is no great advantage in having pieces of furniture with sets of drawers in prefabricated form, as there is little to be won in transport or storage.

The invention overcomes this disadvantage, mainly by aid of a bag of pliable but non-stretchable material, which is fixed to the frame and forms the above mentioned bottom and side walls and by at least two U-fornEd stnetching members attached to the frame so as to be swingable from a position flush with the frame to one perpendicular thereto, whereupon the stretching members hold the bag stretched and taut. At least one rigid board can furthermore be inserted between the stretching members to hold them in the latter position.

3,675,981 Patented July 11, 1972 The rigid board can either be placed parallel with the frame, lying on the bottom portion of the bag being of the same shape and size as same, or it can be placed at to the frame, parallel with one side wall of the bag and be of generally the same shape and size as this side Wall. In this way, the storage unit can be shaped to form either a box or a cabinet.

The frame is preferably rectangular and the U-formed stretching members are mounted in the short sides of the frame, adjacent to the long sides thereof, whereby each stretching member preferably comprises a middle section of roughly the same length as the frame side parallel to it, and an end section at both ends of the middle section, both end sections being of about the same length as the height of the cooperating side wall.

When the unit is formed as a box, at least a couple of parallel frame sides can have grooves, flanges or the like so that, with skid rails, the unit can be used as a drawer. In such a case it is best to provide at least one of the remaining frame sides with mounting means for a drawer front.

When the unit is formed as a cabinet, the middle sections of the U-formed stretching members and the frame sides parallel to these can be provided with a number of opposing holes to permit the mounting of shelf brackets to support the rigid board or boards at various heights. In this embodiment it can also be suitable to provide the middle sections of the stretching members and the frame sides parallel to same with extensions on which the unit can rest in an upright position as a cabinet. A door for closing the unit can be hung on hinges on one of the frame sides parallel to the said middle sections.

In order that the walls formed by the bag shall be really taut when set up, the bag is of flexible but non-stretchable material, having roughly the same form as the assembled unit. The bag can preferably be made of fabric, galloon, coated fabric or the like.

Some embodiments of units, according to the invention, will be described in detail, with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a drawer, according to the invention, FIG. 2 is a partial view in perspective of the drawer illustrated in FIG. 1, when assembled. FIGS. 3a-c are sections through the line IIIIII in FIG. 2 of three different modifications, FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the unit, when formed as a cabinet and FIG. 5 is a partial section view along the line VV in FIG. 4.

The unit, according to FIGS. 1-3, includes a rigid frame 1, which is preferably rectangular, and a bag 2, of a flexible but non-stretchable material. The bag 2 is, for example, of fabric, leathercloth, fabric-backed plastic or similar material and by way of suitable cutting and sewing, bonding, sticking or similar methods it is so formed that the size and shape thereof correspond to that of the assembled storage unit. The free edge 2 round the opening of the bag 2 is fixed to the frame 1. The edge 2' can for instance be fixed to the frame by being formed as a hem through which the side pieces of the frame can run as per FIG. 3a, or by being stuck or riveted directly to the outer or inner surface of the frame as per FIG. 3b or 30.

Two U-formed stretching members 3, 4 are swingably mounted in the frame 1, preferably with an extension parallel with each long side thereof 1, and are journalled in the short sides of the frame near to the corners formed with the respective long sides. Each members 3, 4 consists of a middle section 3 and 4, respectively, which by the parallelepipedic box shown extends parallel to the plane of the frame 1, and an end section 3" and 4" at each of the middle section 3' and 4' and perpendicular thereto. The end sections 3" and 4" have a length corresponding to the desired depth of the box and their free ends are journalled in the opposite short sides of the frame 1. In the illustrated embodiment, where the stretching members 3 and 4 are of some suitable metal rod, the mounting is provided by the free ends of the end section 3" and 4" which are bent at 90 and inserted in corresponding holes in the two opposite short sides of the frame. At least the middle sections 3' and 4' could also be L-shaped, the apex being turned outwards when the members are set up. The members are then mounted on a rivet through the side of the frame and the end section 3" or 4" of the stretching member.

The drawer-shaped unit also includes a rigid board 6 of blockboard, plywood, cardboard or the like, having generally the same shape and size as the area to be enclosed by the frame 1.

During transport and storage the stretching members 3 and 4 are folded into plane with the frame 1 as denoted by the dotted lines in FIG. 2, the bag 2 being folded so that the frame 1 and members 3 and 4 and the bag 2 together with the rigid board 6, can be packed relatively flat. When assembling the unit as shown, the stretching members 3 and 4 are swung out to a position roughly 90 to the frame and are thereby inserted into the bag 2 so that this is unfolded and stretched as shown with solid lines in FIG. 2. The rigid board 6 is then inserted through the frame 1 into the space enclosed by the bag 2 and pressed down between the end sections 3 and 4" of the stretching members 3 and 4, into engagement with their middle sections 3' and 4. The members are thus pressed outwards and stretch the bag 2 so that the sides and bottom formed by same are tightly stretched. The members 3 and 4 and the bag 2 are held in this position by the tightly fitting rigid board '6.

By the shown embodiment, in which the stretching members 3 and 4 are made of metal rod, the rigid board 6 is suitably provided with corner recesses 7 to accommodate the end sections 3" and 4 of the stretching members 3 and 4. When the stretching members as a whole-or only their middle sections-are made of L-shaped metal with the apex pointing outwards when the bag is stretched, no such recesses are required.

FIGS. 3a-c show diflerent profiles suitable for the frame sides and suitable ways of attaching the edges 2' of the bag 2 to the frame 1. In FIG. 3a, the frame is made of rectangular tubing and the bag edge 2 is folded over it, with the free edge attached to the sides of the bag by a welded seam or similar seam so that a hem is formed, through which the frame tubing may run. In the modification illustrated in FIG. 3b at least two parallel frame sides are L-shaped, and the horizontal flanges are back to back and form skid rails for the unit when it is to be for-med as a drawer. In this modification, the bag edge 2' is fixed to the outside of the vertical flange by adhesive or rivets.

In the third alternative, illustrated in FIG. 30, the frame is made of wood, metal or plastic with a groove along the outer side of at least two parallel frame sides so that the storage unit together with skid rails can be used as a drawer. The edge of the bag 2' is drawn over the inside of the frame and over its upper side, thus forming a very sturdy joint, the bag being protected from the wear that can be caused by pulling the drawer in and out.

It is also convenient to provide at least one of the frame sides perpendicular to the sliding means with means for mounting of a drawer front.

In the embdiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the storage unit forms a cabinet. This embodiment also includes a rigid frame 8 which surrounds the opening and a bag 9 of flexible but non-stretchable material which is fixed to the frame 8 all around its edge. A couple of parallel stretching members 10 and 11 are attached to the frame 8 at its corners, and are swingable from a position in the same plane as the frame 8 to a position at thereto. In the latter position the members 10, 11 stretch out the bag 9 so that a back wall or bottom, two side walls, a top and perhaps a bottom are formed. Each member consists of a middle section 10' and 11, running parallel to and having the same length as a frame side and of end sectons 10" and 11", forming a 90 angle with the middle section, and having a length corresponding to the depth of the cabinet.

The unit also comprises a number of rigid boards 12 which can be inserted in the space enclosed by the bag 9 at a 90 angle to both the frame 8 and the swung out members 10 and 11.

The middle sections 10' and 11 of the stretching members 10 and 11, and the frame sides parallel to these are also at one end provided with extensions 14 which extend a little from the space enclosed by the bag 9 and form feet for the cabinet-type unit.

The frame sides fitted with extensions 14 and the middle sections 10' and 11 of the stretching members are also fitted with a number of opposing holes in which shelf brackets 15 may be inserted. The stiff plates 12 are intended in the inserted position to rest on these shelf brackets 15 and form shelves in the cabinet, and can thus be placed at various heights by moving the shelf brackets to different holes. The plates 12 also have (at least in the corners facing the back of the cabinet) recesses 16 to receive the middle sections 10 and 11' of the members 10 and 11, which are best made of tube material.

With such a construction, it may be suitable to omit the side of the bag 9 facing downwards so that the extensions 14 can freely extend out of the space enclosed by the bag 9. One of the stiff plates 12 should then be placed on a level with the bottom transverse side of the frame 8 to form a bottom of the cabinet. It is, however, also possible to equip this side of the bag with openings for the extensions 14.

One of the frame sides parallel to the middle sections 10' and 11 can also be fitted with a hinge mechanism for a door 17 for closing the cabinet. The opposite frame side can then be fitted with a lock.

By means of the construction described above and defined in the enclosed claims, a storage unit is attained which is both collapsible and easily dismantled so that it can be packed and stored without requiring much space. From a collapsible state, the unit can Without difficulty and without the use of tools, be set up to form a surprisingly stable unit.

The invention, is however, not limited to the alternatives described above, but can be modified in many ways within the outline of the enclosed patent claims.

What I claim is:

1. A collapsible unit comprising a substantially rectangular frame, a bag of flexible material having a bottom panel and two pairs of opposed side panels, said panels together defining a substantially parallelepipedal space open at one side, said open side having substantially the same size and shape as said frame, at least two extending members each of substantially the same size and shape as the side panels of one of said panel pairs and being attached to the inside of said frame for swinging movement about an axis parallel to the frame member to which said side panel is attached from a collapsed position in the plane of said frame through substantially 90 to an extended position substantially at 90 thereto, the swinging axis of one said extending member being situated adjacent to each one of the opposed side panels of said panel pair, at least one stiif board retaining said extending members in said extended positions, said board being disposed between said extending members and urging said extending members against adjacent side panels of said bag at the border lines between said side panels and said bottom panel, whereby said bag is extended and the side panels and bottom panel thereof are held taut by said extending members which in turn are held extended by said board.

2. A unit as claimed in claim 1, said rigid board being parallel to the plane of the frame and comprising the bottom of the unit.

3. A unit as claimed in claim 1, said rigid board being disposed at right angles to the plane of the frame.

4. A unit as claimed in claim 1, said extending members being U-shaped and having straight midportions of substantially the same length as the adjacent side of said frame.

5. A unit as claimed in claim 1, said board being rectangular and having recesses in at least the corners thereof with said extending members disposed in said recesses.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/ 1892 Barrett 312-6 4/ 1928 Isoyama 312-630 U X 5/19'54 La Voy 312-5 12/1966 Munroe 312-258 FOREIGN PATENTS 12/ 1912 Great Britain 312-6 1948 Great Britain 312-6 1 0/ 1922 Great Britain 312330 12/1963 France 3126 12/1963 France 312-6 US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4316644 *Oct 22, 1979Feb 23, 1982Landes Manufacturing CompanyModular container
US5382088 *Feb 4, 1993Jan 17, 1995Young; NelsonSite erectable cabinet
US5964533 *Sep 16, 1996Oct 12, 1999Lamont LimitedHamper apparatus and methods
US6089394 *Jul 22, 1996Jul 18, 2000Lamont LimitedCollapsible hamper for the storage of laundry and other items
US6494335Oct 27, 2000Dec 17, 2002Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc.Two frame collapsible structure and method of making and using same
US6923516 *Aug 4, 2003Aug 2, 2005Sourcing Solutions, Inc.Cabinet with soft storage drawers
US6948632Apr 15, 2003Sep 27, 2005Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc.Collapsible structure
US7484465Jun 6, 2005Feb 3, 2009Todd LabyFurniture storage unit structure and construction method
US7845507Mar 5, 2008Dec 7, 2010Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc.Collapsible container having discontinuous frame members
US8127956Jun 23, 2009Mar 6, 2012Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc.Collapsible structure
US9485957Aug 28, 2014Nov 8, 2016Sportpet Designs, Inc.Pet kennel
US20050029911 *Aug 4, 2003Feb 10, 2005Hsieh Sheng-BinCabinet with soft storage drawers
US20050223953 *Jun 6, 2005Oct 13, 2005Todd LabyFurniture storage unit structure and construction method
USD461638May 21, 2001Aug 20, 2002Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc.Collapsible container
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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/265.1, 312/5, 312/6
International ClassificationA47B43/04, A47B43/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B43/04
European ClassificationA47B43/04