US 3690744 A
The combination of a molded liner in a refrigerating unit and a shelf which is positionable between horizontal grooves formed on opposite walls at vertical increments in the liner. The length of the main shelf is less than the distance between opposite grooves. However, the shelf has an extension portion which is pivotally mounted to its front rim to cause its overall length to be sufficient to be supported by the grooves. The extension portion is restricted from pivotal movement upwardly from its aligned position with the shelf, but is allowed to pivot downwardly so as to allow the shelf to be moved either upwardly or downwardly to a new position in the refrigerator.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Squire  ADJUSTABLE REFRIGERATOR SHELF  Inventor: Herbert D. Squire, Galesburg, 111.
 Assignee: Admiral Corporation, Chicago, Ill.  Filed: Feb. 5, 1970 211 Appl. No.: 8,949
 US. Cl. ..3l2/35l, 211/153, 312/116,
 Int. Cl. ..A47b 96/02, A47f 5/00  Field of Search ..2ll/153, 150, 149, 183; 312/236, 214,116, 351
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,262,578 11/1941 Ellis ..2ll/l53 2,599,607 6/1952 Burrise ..2lll153 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 937,482 9/1963 Great Britain ..21 1/153 [451 Sept.12,1972
Primary Examiner-Ramon S. Britts Attorney-Carlton 'I-Iill, Benjamin H. Sherman, Charles F. Meroni, J. Arthur Gross, Donald J. Simpson, James Van Santen, Lewis T. Steadman, William C. Stueber, Charles F. Meroni, Jr., John D. Simpson and M. R. Chambers et a1.
[5 7] ABSTRACT The combination of a molded liner in a refrigerating unit and a shelf which is positionable between horizontal grooves formed on opposite walls at vertical increments in the liner. The length of the main shelf is less than the distance between opposite grooves. However, the shelf has an extension portion 1 which is pivotally mounted to its front rim to cause its overall length to be sufficient to be supported by the grooves. The extension portion is restricted from pivotal movement upwardly from its aligned position with the shelf, but is allowed to pivot downwardly so as to allow the shelf to be moved either upwardly or downwardly to a new position in the refrigerator.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Description of the Prior Art There are numerous devices in the prior art for supporting a shelf in a refrigerator or in other food containing apparatus, but in general, these devices require openings in the wall of the refrigerator or container to support pins or arms which provide an adjustable feature for the shelf. Such arrangements are sanitation 1o SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principal feature of the present invention to provide an improved adjustable refrigerator shelf.
It is another feature of the present invention to provide adjustment means for a refrigerator shelf which is more sanitary than prior adjustable refrigerator shelves.
[t is an important object of the present invention to provide an adjustable refrigerator shelf which may be used with a molded refrigerator liner.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an adjustable refrigerator shelf which is held in position in horizontal grooves in a molded refrigerator liner without the use of any fixtures external of the shelf itself.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an adjustable refrigerator shelf having a main shelf of the open lattice type structure and a shelf extension which is pivotally supported at the front rim of the main shelf and which extends from the front rim in a cantilever manner to increase the effective length of the shelf after the shelf has been positioned and to decrease the effective length by being pivoted about the front rim when it is desired to move the shelf to an alternate position.
It is a further feature of the present invention to provide a refrigerator shelf as described above having a shelf extension which includes a brace portion for preventing rotation of the shelf extension in a first direction and an extension portion which may be rotated downwardly to decrease the effective length of the shelf and to allow the shelf to be repositioned.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a shelf extension for an adjustable refrigerator shelf as described above wherein the shelf extension extends in a cantilever arrangement from the front edge of the shelf and has a crown region formed along the length thereof to increase its load carrying capacity.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the following description of a certain preferred embodiment thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, although variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the disclosure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 shows a combination of an open lattice type refrigerator shelf and a shelf extension which may be attached to the front rim of the shelf and which may be pivoted downwardly to reduce the overall length of the shelf for the purpose of moving the shelf to a different position within the refrigerator.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a refrigerator shelf according to the present invention showing the shelf extension pivotally attached to the front rim of the shelf and illustrating a portion of a molded refrigerator liner which has a series of horizontal grooves formed therein to support the shelf.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a portion of a molded refrigerator liner and is a top view of that portion showing a section of the adjustable shelf of the present invention in elevation.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Refrigerators normally require adjustable shelves to accommodate various size food items. To provide the adjustable feature in refrigerators, shelf supports are normally hooked to the refrigerator wall and the shelf is positioned on the supports. When it is desired to reposition the shelf, the supports must be repositioned and refastened to the refrigerator liner, or the shelf may be moved to engage extra supports provided for that purpose. The method of attaching the shelf supports to the refrigerator wall usually involves forming an aperture or crevice in the refrigerator wall. The hooks are then supported in the aperture or crevice.
Types of arrangements such as: that described above often provide regions where food can be trapped and where cleaning is difficult if not impossible. It is apparent that it would be desirable to provide a single molded refrigerator liner which had no openings or crevices or inaccessible regions where trapped food could develop into a hazard.
The present invention utilizes such a molded refrigerator liner and also employs shelves for the refrigerator which are readily adjustable and which do not require separate shelf supports which must be attached and detached from the walls of the refrigerator.
The present invention provides a shelf which has an extension or trim along one edge of the shelf. The trim is supported so that it is rotatable downwardly which decreases the overall length of the shelf. The molded refrigerator lining has a number of horizontal grooves formed in the rear wall of the refrigerator. Similar grooves are formed forwardly of the refrigerator so that a shelf can be supported between the rear and forward grooves. By means of the rotatable trim, the shelf can be positioned between opposite ones of these grooves and readily repositioned simply by lifting the shelf and pivoting the trim portion downwardly to reduce the overall length of the shelf whereupon the shelf may be moved either upwardly or downwardly. Once the new position has been reached, the trim portion is pivoted into alignment with the main shelf so that the effective length of the shelf is then sufficient to be supported by the horizontal grooves formed in the molded liner.
Referring to the drawings in greater detail, a main refrigerator shelf is indicated generally by reference numeral 10. Shelf 10 is of the open lattice type which is normally desirable for a refrigerator where air must be continuously circulated to assure uniform temperatures throughout the refrigerator.
Refrigerator shelf is formed by a rim 11 which extends on four sides of the shelf. A plurality of rods 12 are then welded across the front and back portions of rim 11 to form the open lattice structure shown in FIG. 2. In shelf 10, rods 12 run from the front of the shelf as at 13 to the rear of the shelf at a point in the vicinity of the numeral 14. In this way, each one of rods 12 assist in the operation of the shelf extension which is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.
It is apparent from FIG. 2, for instance, that since separate brackets are not used to support the refrigerator shelf, the shelf must have an extensible and retractable feature if it is to be moved upwardly or downwardly for being repositioned within different sets of horizontal grooves formed in the molded liner.
The shelf extension of the present invention is indicated by reference numeral 15 and is shown in detail in FIG. 1.
Shelf extension 15 includes a brace portion 16 and an extension portion 17. Brace portion 16 has a series of C shaped clips 18, 19 and 20 which may be welded or the like to the under surface 21 of shelf extension 15. C shaped clips 18, 19 and 20 are designed to snap above front rim ll of main shelf 10, so that shelf extension 15 may be rotated or pivoted on rim l1.
Shelf extension 15 is shown mounted to main shelf 10 in FIG. 2. C shaped clip 18, for instance, may be further crimped about rim ll of the main shelf to assure that it will be held in position.
In FIG. 2, a portion 22 of a molded refrigerator liner is intended to represent the wall near the front of the refrigerator, and a similar portion 23 is intended to represent the wall near the rear of the refrigerator. Portions 22 and 23 have a series of horizontal grooves 24, and 26 formed therein and spaced vertically to provide different positions for shelf 10. Similar grooves 24a, 25a and 26a are formed at the rear refrigerator wall as shown.
Shelf 10, as shown in FIG. 2 is positioned between opposite ones 'of the horizontal grooves which are formed integrally with liner portions 22 and 23. Shelf 10 is held in position merely by its own weight and does not require any clips or shelf supports or hangers. Shelf l0 sustains substantial weight due to the welding of clips 18-20 as at 27. Also, the shelf extension has a crown region 28 formed between brace portion 16 and extension portion 17 which increases the load carrying capacity of the shelf. Also, raised portion 28 tends to provide a rim at the front of the shelf for holding goods on the shelf. Shelf extension 15 presents a pleasing appearance and acts as a trim for the shelf. The front extremity of shelf extension 15 is folded as at 29 to improve the appearance and increase the load carrying ability of the shelf.
When it is desired to reposition the shelf in another pair of horizontal grooves, the front of the shelf is held at the front edge, and shelf extension 15 is pivoted by rotating the rear of the trim upwardly while supporting the shelf with fingers extending beneath the shelf. As the trim is rotated as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 2, the shelf may be moved forward and then vertically upwardly or downwardly to a new location. The shelf is locked in position by reversing this procedure. This type of shelf has the advantage of low cost when compared with other types of adjustable shelving and especially when compared with adjustable shelving which uses shelf supports or adjustable racks for holding the shelf in position. In addition, the shelf structure of the present invention is easy to manufacture and will result in fewer problems in production than other types of adjustable shelves. Most importantly, the adjustable shelf shown in these drawings allows the molded refrigerator lining to be smooth and uninterrupted so that every point in the lining is readily accessible for cleaning.
Refrigerator liner portions 22 and 23 are illustrated in FIG. 3. As shown in FIG. 3, the horizontal grooves which are used to support shelf 10 may in fact only be groove segments 30 and 31. Of course, the horizontal grooves could not extend across the entire front of the refrigerator. As shown in FIG. 3, the horizontal grooves extend between liner walls 31 and 32. Similarly, the horizontal grooves at the rear of the refrigerator extend only a relatively short distance from a region 33 to the end wall at a point 34. The rear wall of the refrigerator as at 35 curves away from the rear portion 36 of the rim of the shelf. It should be noted that in FIG. 3, the shelf is shown broken as at 37, and accordingly the dimensions of grooves 24, 25 and 26 are small in comparison with the overall length of shelf 10. The shelf 10 is similarly broken as at points 38 and 39 in FIG. 2.
In FIG. 2, it can be seen that the shelf extension is pivoted in a counterclockwise direction or pivoted downwardly in order to lift the shelf from one set of grooves to another set of grooves. When the shelf is repositioned, brace portion 16 contacts the shelf and prevents the shelf extension from pivoting upwardly beyond the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2. As further illustrated in FIG. 3, brace portion 16 contacts the rim as at 40 to prevent downward rotation thereof. Accordingly, the points of support for shelf extension 15 with respect to the main shelf 10 is at the pivot point 41 (FIG. 2) and at the contact point 40 shown in FIG. 3.
The shelf 10 then provides a sturdy but readily adjustable support for normal household food products while improving the sanitation characteristics of the refrigerator.
I claim as my invention:
1. The combination comprising a refrigerator having a molded liner enclosure, said molded liner enclosure having a rear wall and a door opening oppositely of the rear wall with front wall portions adjacent either side thereof, side walls connecting the front wall portions with the rear wall, said adjacent wall portions and rear wall having a plurality of vertically spaced horizontal grooves formed therein, said grooves in the front wall portion being horizontally aligned with corresponding grooves in the rear wall, said grooves defining platforms upon which a shelf may rest, a main shelf having a length which is generally less than the distance between the platforms on the front wall portions and the related platforms on the rear wall, a trim piece pivotally supported at the front edge of the main shelf, said trim piece being retractable to have a combined length with said main shelf which is less than the distance between said two platforms and being extensible to have a combined length with said main shelf which is greater than the distance between said two platforms, said shelf being receivable within any pair of said aligned grooves disposed oppositely of each other on said rear and front wall portions, and said shelf being adjustable from one pair of grooves to another pair of grooves either upwardly or downwardly by retraction and extension movements of said trim piece.
2. The combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein said trim piece has a brace portion and an extension portion, said trim piece being pivotally mounted to the rim of the main shelf at a point which is intermediate the longitudinal edges of the brace and extensions portions.
3. The combination in accordance with claim 2 wherein said brace portion of the trim piece has a number of C shaped clips rotatably secured to the rim of the main shelf, said brace portion contacting the main shelf and preventing rotation of the trim piece in a first direction but permitting rotation thereof in a second direction.
4. The combination in accordance with claim 2 wherein said trim piece is mounted as a cantilever from the end of the main shelf and said trim piece has a crown region formed along the length thereof to increase its load carrying capacity.