Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3680941 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1972
Filing dateFeb 17, 1971
Priority dateFeb 17, 1971
Publication numberUS 3680941 A, US 3680941A, US-A-3680941, US3680941 A, US3680941A
InventorsHarry R Shanks
Original AssigneeSears Roebuck & Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Food storage compartment for refrigerator
US 3680941 A
A food storage compartment arranged to be contained wholly within a refrigerator and comprising a housing having a forward opening and marginal edge portions surrounding said opening and carrying a gasket of elastomeric material. A drawer is slidably received in the housing and includes a forward wall having marginal edge portions arranged to abut the gasket to effect substantially sealing engagement therewith.
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Shanks [451 Aug. 1, 1972 [54] FOOD STORAGE COMPARTMENT FOR REFRIGERATOR [72] Inventor: Harry R. Shanks, Glen Ellyn, 111.

73 'Assignee: Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago,

[22] Filed: Feb. 17, 1971 [21] App1.No.: 116,097

[52] 11.8. CI. ..3l2/296, 312/116, 312/270, 312/330, 312/333 [51] Int. Cl. ..A47b 96/00 [58] Field of Search ..3l2/296, 270, 291, 214, 116, 312/122, 236, 330, 204, 333; 220/8, 46, 41;

5/1965 Guth ..312/330 3,519,319 7/1970 Taylor ..3l2/270 X 2,763,526 9/1956 Falek..... ..312/270 3,331,646 7/1967 Peters ..3l2/270 2,705,820 4/ 1955 Torrence ..52/716 X 3,104,142 9/1963 3,298,767 1/1967 Crandell et a1. ..312/330 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall Attorney-Nathan N. Kraus et a1.

[ 5 7] ABSTRACT A food storage compartment arranged to be contained wholly within a refrigerator and comprising a housing having a forward opening and marginal edge portions surrounding said opening and carrying a gasket of elastomeric material. A drawer is slidably received in the housing and includes a forward wall having marginal edge portions arranged to abut the gasket to effect substantially sealing engagement therewith.

2 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures 11 n n n I i l & i I" illi/m7 "11 PATENTEDAUG 1 1912 3,680,941 sum 3 [IF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION air and any odors which normally may be present in the refrigerator interior. Thus, the foods are maintained in fresh moist condition and desirable appearance for extended periods of time. The compartment preferably is provided with clear transparent walls so that the contents may be readily viewed without exposing the same to outside air.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One of the objects of my invention is the provision of a food storage compartment arranged to be mounted within a refrigerator and affording a sealed space for storing perishable foods without requiring wrapping of the same.

Another object of my invention is the provision of a food storage compartment which effectively prevents dehydration of the food contained therein and which maintains the food contents in desirable moist condition and appearance.

Still another object of my invention is the provision of a food storage compartment in a refrigerator in which the contents are readily accessible and which includes clear transparent walls through which the contents of the compartment may be viewed.

Still a further object of my inventionis a provision of a food storage compartment which may be adjustably mounted within the refrigerator interior.

Other and further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the following description when the same is considered in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a food storage compartment, in accordance with my invention, and showing the same in partly opened condition.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the storage compartment illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, of a structural detail.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view of the forward left corner portion of the compartment illustrated in FIG. 1 but showing the same in closed condition.

FIG. 5 is a similar view of the rearward left comer of the compartment.

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal vertical cross-sectional view taken on a line substantially medially of the compartment.

FIG. 7 is atransverse vertical cross-sectional view of the compartment.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary horizontal cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, of a comer portion of the compartment.

FIG. 9 is a vertical cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, illustrating the structural features shown in the lower righthand comer portion of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is a similar, view showing the structural features of the upper righthand corner portion of FIG. 6, and

FIG. 11 is a bottom plan view of the drawer of the compartment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, the numeral 20 indicates, generally, a housing preferably formed of a transparent clear plastic material and including a top wall 21, a bottom wall 22, side walls 23 and a rear wall 24, the front of the housing 20 being open. The top wall 21 on its underside is provided with integral spaced ribs 25 which extend both longitudinally and transversely and provide a reinforcing grid substantially over the entire surface. The top wall 21 is preferably formed as a separate member and is provided with depending side and rear flanges 26 and 27 which are arranged to overlap the top portions of the side and rear walls 23 and 24, respectively, the top wall 21 being attached to the side and rear walls by means of suitable fasteners, such as rivets or screws 28.

The forward edges 29, 30 and 31 of the top, bottom and side walls respectively, are each formed in a channel configuration immediately adjacent the opening of the compartment as seen clearly in FIGS. 8-10. Thus, there is provided a continuous groove or recess 32 opening forwardly and surrounding the opening. A unitary gasket 33 formed of rubber or any suitable elastomeric material and having a suitable cross-sectional form is anchored in the recess 32. The gasket as illustrated, in cross section, may have a generally T-formation with the vertical leg 34 of the T being received in the groove 32 and the transverse leg 36 of the T affording a resilient sealing surface adapted to engage the sliding drawer 37, hereinafter to be described.

The bottom wall 22 of the housing is provided along each longitudinal edge with an offset marginal portion 38. These portions together provide co-planar shoulders arranged to support the sliding drawer 37. Each of the shoulders 38 is downwardly offset near the rear wall, as illustrated in FIG. 3, to provide a vertically inclined shoulder 39 for a purpose, as will be hereinafter explained.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the housing 20 is provided with a pair of metal cantilever brackets 41 secured to the side walls 23, as by rivets 28. The brackets 41 are provided with conventional hooked ends which are received in the slots of vertical standards 42 which are mounted on the rear wall of the refrigerator space. The housing 20 may be adjustably mounted on the standards within the refrigerator space.

In a modified embodiment, not shown, the brackets 41 are eliminated and, in in such case, the housing is intended to be supported on a suitable surface, such as the bottom of the refrigerator space or on a shelf.

Received within the housing 20 is a slideable drawer 37 which preferably is formed of the same transparent material as the housing so that the contents may be clearly viewed without requiring opening of the drawer. The drawer 37 includes a bottom 43, side walls 44, a

7 there is provided a perimetral area which overlaps the gasket 33 of the housing and affords a flat smooth surface arranged to abut against the gasket in sealing engagement therewith, when the drawer 37 isin closed position. The forward wall 47 of the drawer, along its upper edge, is provided with an integral flange 49 which extends both forwardly and downwardly so as to provide a drawer pull which may be readily engaged by a hand to draw the drawer outwardly of the housing. Integrally formed with the lower portion of the forward wall 47 is an angularly inclined flange 51 which similarly affords a hand engageable pull for manipulating the drawer.

The drawer 37 is provided on its bottom wall '43 with a pair of depending protrusions 52 (FIG. 3), each arranged to engage a respective shoulder 39 of the housing. The forward edges of the protrusions 52 are inclined, as illustrated in FIG. 3, so as to facilitate movement of the drawer within the housing 20. The rearward edge 53 of each protrusion is inclined at an angle corresponding to the angle of the shoulder 39 so that when the drawer is in fully closed position the two surfaces are interengaged to releasably secure the drawer in closed position wherein the gasket is in substantial sealing engagement with the perimetral surface area of the drawer. Thus, inadvertent opening of the drawer which would defeat the purpose of the seal is precluded.

l have found that food stored in a sealed compartment, in accordance with my invention, has a higher weight retention and generally superior visual appearance than similar food stored in a conventional crisper drawer which is part of the conventional refrigerator.


l. A food storage compartment for a refrigerator comprising a housing arranged to be contained wholly within the refrigerator and having a forward opening, a drawer slideably received in said housing, said housing having marginal edge portions surrounding said opening, said drawer having a forward wall having marginal edge portions arranged in confronting relation to the marginal edge portions of said housing, and a gasket of elastomeric material carried on one of said marginal edge portions and adapted to abut the other confronting marginal edge portions to effect substantially sealing engagement therewith, said housing having a longitudinally extending shoulder along each side, each shoulder'being upwardly offset from the bottom wall and the drawer being supported on said shoulders, said shoulders and the bottom wall of said drawer having interengaging surfaces for releasably securing said drawer in closed position.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the surfaces are inclined in a direction to draw said drawer to closed position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2705820 *May 7, 1951Apr 12, 1955Colotrym CompanyMolding strip
US2763526 *Oct 19, 1954Sep 18, 1956Merchandise Presentation IncDrawer tray installation
US3104142 *Jun 9, 1961Sep 17, 1963Knape & Vogt Mfg CoSelf closing drawer slide structure
US3169813 *Aug 26, 1963Feb 16, 1965Westinghouse Electric CorpCabinet structure
US3181924 *Jan 17, 1964May 4, 1965Guth Lauren WRack arrangement for dishwasher
US3266858 *Mar 12, 1964Aug 16, 1966American Motors CorpRefrigerator cabinet storage compartment construction
US3298767 *Dec 30, 1964Jan 17, 1967Weiss Fred LeeDrawer
US3331646 *Nov 4, 1965Jul 18, 1967Whirlpool CoPan support structure
US3447850 *May 22, 1967Jun 3, 1969NasaSealed cabinetry
US3519319 *Nov 6, 1968Jul 7, 1970Rubbermaid IncRemovable tilt-down drawer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3796474 *May 12, 1972Mar 12, 1974Tomco Plastic IncMolded plastic drawer
US3923347 *Oct 12, 1972Dec 2, 1975Wright Barry CorpSuspension latch
US3984163 *Dec 22, 1975Oct 5, 1976General Electric CompanyCantilever sliding shelf including a shelf removal notch on one side only
US4173378 *Jul 31, 1978Nov 6, 1979White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Refrigerator sealed food storage drawer
US4657319 *Apr 18, 1985Apr 14, 1987Aspects, Inc.Extruded nosing for a furniture pedestal or the like
US4736997 *Jun 5, 1987Apr 12, 1988General Electric CompanyHousehold refrigerator shelf assembly
US4867512 *Feb 25, 1987Sep 19, 1989Sub-Zero Freezer Co., Inc.Adjustable storage module
US5974818 *Jan 28, 1998Nov 2, 1999White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Low temperature static display
US6170276Feb 26, 1999Jan 9, 2001Maytag CorporationHigh performance food storage system for a refrigerator
US6223553Jan 19, 2000May 1, 2001Maytag CorporationAir flow for refrigerator food storage system
US6272875Jan 30, 1998Aug 14, 2001White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Glass dipping cabinet
US6343477Jan 19, 2000Feb 5, 2002Maytag CorporationRefrigerator food storage temperature control system
US6463752Feb 5, 2002Oct 15, 2002Maytag CorporationRefrigerator food storage compartment with quick chill feature
US6513890Sep 17, 1999Feb 4, 2003Sapron AsContainer and locking device
US6612116Oct 15, 2002Sep 2, 2003Maytag CorporationThermoelectric temperature controlled refrigerator food storage compartment
US6898830 *Jan 27, 2000May 31, 2005Batesvilleeservices, Inc.Sealable casket having memorabilia compartment
US7316054 *May 31, 2005Jan 8, 2008Batesville Services, Inc.Sealable casket having memorabilia compartment
US7665327Feb 23, 2010Sub-Zero, Inc.Chilled food storage area for refrigerated appliance
US8100486 *Jul 10, 2009Jan 24, 2012Prince Castle, LLCFood storage unit with drawer having impact-absorbing seal
US20030020384 *Jul 15, 2002Jan 30, 2003Bush Roger K.Crisper trim enhancement
US20050217090 *May 31, 2005Oct 6, 2005Batesville Services, Inc.Sealable casket having memorabilia compartment
US20080041756 *Feb 12, 2004Feb 21, 2008Mark TasmanStackable Carrying Case and Storage Device and Methods for Using Same
US20080168792 *Jan 17, 2007Jul 17, 2008Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Inc.Chilled food storage area for refrigerated appliance
US20080265733 *Jan 12, 2005Oct 30, 2008Aktiebolaget ElectroluxFresh Keeper
US20090009044 *Jun 19, 2008Jan 8, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US20090273259 *Apr 30, 2008Nov 5, 2009Newell Operating CompanyMobile Storage Assembly
US20100162745 *Mar 31, 2008Jul 1, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US20100270902 *Apr 27, 2010Oct 28, 2010Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Door guard assembly and refrigerator having the same
US20110006652 *Jul 10, 2009Jan 13, 2011Prince Castle Inc.Food storage unit with drawer having impact-absorbing seal
US20130263621 *Apr 5, 2013Oct 10, 2013Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Refrigerator
USRE34377 *Sep 18, 1991Sep 14, 1993Sub-Zero Freezer Co., Inc.Adjustable storage module
CN100565053CJan 12, 2005Dec 2, 2009电气联合股份有限公司A fresh box for fruit and vegetable
CN103277964A *Jun 5, 2013Sep 4, 2013合肥美的电冰箱有限公司Refrigerator
CN103277964B *Jun 5, 2013May 13, 2015合肥美的电冰箱有限公司冰箱
CN103335470A *Jun 5, 2013Oct 2, 2013合肥美的电冰箱有限公司Refrigerator
CN103591758A *Aug 17, 2012Feb 19, 2014海尔集团公司Refrigerator moisturizing drawer
EP0545246A2 *Nov 25, 1992Jun 9, 1993Whirlpool Europe B.V.Improved refrigeration appliance such as a domestic refrigerator, freezer or the like, with a vacuum compartment
EP1794518A1 *Jan 12, 2005Jun 13, 2007Ab ElectroluxA fresh keeper
WO2000016660A1 *Sep 17, 1999Mar 30, 2000Sapron AsContainer and locking device
WO2006026898A1Jan 12, 2005Mar 16, 2006Ab ElectroluxA fresh keeper
U.S. Classification312/296, 312/333, 312/270.3, 312/116, 312/330.1
International ClassificationF25D25/02, A47B96/00, A47B88/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B96/00, A47B2210/19, A47B88/0003, F25D25/025
European ClassificationA47B96/00, A47B88/00A, F25D25/02C2