US 3696960 A
A modular box formed of only two types of pieces is described, the pieces being capable of formation into a single unit or into a series of units, each of the same form. One of the pieces is provided with tabs through which locking members can be inserted to join to the second piece, the tabs being provided in such a way as to allow for joining of additional members. The box has particular utility as a display vehicle for flowers, especially artificial flowers.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Smirle 1541 MODULAR BOX  Inventor: James M. Smirle, 309 Windsor Road, Wood-Ridge, NJ. 07075 [22) Filed: Sept. 3, 1970  App]. No.: 69,276
 US. Cl ..220/23.4, 47/36, 220/4 R, 220/62, 220/DIG. 25  Int. Cl. ..B65d 21/02, B65d 11/18  Field of Search ..220/3.92,3.94,23.4, 22 1 2 G-2 4 R; 7I. 4.,,. 3Z.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,257,536 9/1941 Roycroft ....2 2o/ 1;iq. 25
[451 Oct. 10,1972
3,184,071 5/1965 Delaire ..220/22 X 597,065 1/1898 Loverin ..2l7/l3 U X 3,478,722 11/1969 Falcone ..220/23.4 X
Primary Examiner-George E. Lowrance Attomey-Kane, Dalsimer, Kane, Sullivan and Kurucz ABSTRACT A modular box formed of only two types of pieces is described, the pieces being capable of formation into a single unit or into a series of units, each of the same form. One of the pieces is provided with tabs through which locking members can be inserted to join to the second piece, the tabs being provided in such a way as to allow for joining of additional members. The box has particular utility as a display vehicle for flowers, especially artificial flowers.
5 5 may em PATENTEDIJCI 10 I972 SHEET 2 BF 2 FIG. 3
MODULAR BOX SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Modular units for a variety of purposes have previously been described. For example, in the flower box art, Hurst U.S. Pat. No. 1,293,785 describes a particular construction for such a system. In the Hurst patent, the boxes are preferably made of wood, one end of the box being provided with a tongue and the other with a groove so as to provide for a row of boxes when such a length is desirable. With this construction, two types of end pieces are obviously required, one supplied with a tongue to be placed within the groove of the last box, and the other with a groove to accommodate the tongue of the box at the opposite end of the row, in addition to the box portion.
In accordance with the present invention, a modular unit has been designed which may be formed of less expensive materials and which requires only two major pieces. A first piece is formed of a sheet of plastic or sheet metal which is scored in two places to allow for bending. This single piece forms the bottom and the two sides of the unit. A single end member design is provided having tabs which are employed for joining the end sections to the sides and to the bottom of the first section. Any of a variety of joining means can be used, such as screws, rivets, etc.
The tabs provided on these end pieces are so formed as to allow for additional bottom and side members to be attached, or if the end piece forms the end of the row of boxes, or no additional units are to be joined, the extending tab section may be removed to provide a smooth finish. The box may also be provided with internal supports to hold a supporting layer for artificial flowers and with drain holes, when growing plants are to be placed within the box.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is an assembly view of two end sections and a single bottom and side section in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a single unit, according to the present invention, with one end section in place and a second end section provided for attachment;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along the line 3--3 of FIG.
FIG. 4 is an elevational view, in section, from the top of an assembled end; and
FIG. 5 is a view showing the sections joined for multiple unit construction.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the accompanying drawings, FIG. 1 shows a bottom and side section 1, and sections 2,2 for formation of a modular unit according to the present invention. The bottom and side section 1 is formed from a single sheet of plastic or sheet metal or, if desired, may be formed of cardboard. This section 1 is scored along the lines 3 and 4 to allow for bending so as to provide for the side panels 10,10 to be placed at an angle to the bottom panel 1 1.
Each of the side panels is provided with a pair of depressed portions 5,5 with each depressed portion having openings 6,6 for a purpose to be hereinafter described. Each of the side sections is also provided with support members 7,7, extending inwardly from the sides. These support members 7,7 can be employed for supporting a sheet, such as a sheet of polystyrene foam into which artificial plants are inserted.
The bottom panel 11 is provided with four depressed portions 20,20,20,20, each of which has two openings 21,21 for a purpose to be hereinafter described. Additionally, the bottom panel is provided with openings 22,22 to provide for drainage of water from the bottom panel. Such drainage is necessary either when the modular unit is employed for artificial flowers and is placed outdoors or when the unit is employed for growing living plants which must be watered.
The end sections 2, as may be seen from FIG. 1, are identical. These end sections are provided with tabs 30,30 along that portion which will adjoin the bottom panel 21 and tabs 31,31 along that portion of the end section which will adjoin the side panels 10. In each case the portion of the tab on either side of the end section is provided with openings 32,32 in a manner which, it will be noted, is similar to that employed for the openings 6,6 and 21,21 in the depressed portions of the side panels and bottom panel 11 of the bottom and side section 1. It will also be noted that each of the tabs 30 and 31 lie in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the end section 2. This provision is made in order to allow joining of additional bottom and side sections 1 in a row.
The end sections 2 are joined to the bottom and side sections 1, when the unit is to be formed in a single box, as illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. When it is desired that a single unit be formed, it is also preferable that the end panel be essentially flush with the end of the bottom and side section 1. In this case, the two holes on one side of each tab 30 are lined up with the two holes in the depressed portions 20 and joining members 40,40 are placed through the aligned holes so as to secure the end panel to the bottom. As illustrated in FIG. 3, these joining members are a male threaded member 41 and a female threaded member 42. As will be appreciated, however, these joining means can take other forms, such as rivets, etc. In the same manner in which one side of tab 30 was aligned with the depressed portion 20, one side of each tab 31 is aligned with the depressed portions 5 in the adjacent side panels 10. Again, the holes 32,32 are aligned with the holes 6,6 and joining members 43,43 are placed through the aligned holes. The end panel for the opposite side is connected in the same manner, if this is to be a single box construction.
As will be appreciated, for esthetic reasons, it is not desirable that the portion of the tabs 30 and 31 which extend outside the single box be visible. As the unit is formed from a piece of sheet metal, or plastic, it will be appreciated that these extending tabs may be easily removed and a smooth surface formed.
When a series of boxes are to be joined, the end section 2 is connected to the bottom and side section 1 in a slightly different manner. The two holes of the mating tab and depressed area are not aligned, but rather the outennost hole of a tab, such as the tab 30, is aligned with the outermost hole of the depressed area 20. Similarly, the outermost hole of the tab 31 is aligned with the outermost hole of the depressed area 5. The latter alignment is illustrated in FIG. for joining of side sections by a joining means 44, in the same manner in which the joining means was employed for single unit construction in FIGS. 3 and 4. It will be appreciated that the bottom panel 1 1 of the bottom and side section 1 is joined in the same manner. Because of the manner in which the end section is formed, one-half of the thickness of the end section will lie along the side panel and bottom panel sections of the member 1. The other half of the end panel 2 will extend from the first bottom and side section 1 to allow for joining of an additional bottom and side section 1, as shown in FIG. 5, the outer holes of tabs 30 and 31 again adjoining the outer holes of tabs 5 and 20 and being joined by joining means 45. in this manner, any number of consecutive bottom and side sections may be joined to form any number of boxes in a row.
When the last bottom and side section 1 of a series is added and joined as illustrated in FIG. 5, the last end section 2 may be mounted as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 for single unit construction. Thus, again, the end of the row of boxes will have a smooth face.
As will be appreciated, the portions 5 and 20 of the bottom and side section 1 need not necessarily be depressed. it is in the alignment of holes that the primary advantage of the present invention lies. Additionally, while the two portions of the tab members 30 and 31 are shown aligned, it will also be appreciated that if more desirable in the forming operation, these tabs can be offset. The overall modular construction unit will still require only two pieces. This may be accomplished through similar offsetting of the portions 5 and 20 on one side of the bottom and side member 1. The modular construction described can be employed in a variety of uses. As already indicated, it is particularly useful as a display box for artificial flowers, where a sheet of styrofoam is supported on the extending members 7, formed on each of the side panels, and the artificial plants or flowers placed in the styrofoam sheet. For this purpose, openings 50,50 are provided in one side panel of the bottom and side panel member 1. These openings 50 can be employed for mounting the modular unit to a vertical wall, either inside or outside.
In some instance it will be possible to achieve the same results as have been described employing a single hole in the aligning means 5 and of the bottom and side member 1. Similarly, even when two holes are provided, as have been illustrated, a single joining member 40,43 can be employed in each aligning means so that one of the holes provided in the depressed portions 5,
20, 30 and 31 is not used.
Similarly, the modular units can be employed for growth and display of living plants in the same manner, but omitting the styrofoam sheet. Still further, while the device as described is employed for horizontal display, it can be equally well employed for vertical display. In that situation, the holes 22 provided for drainage when used with vertical display, can be employed for mounting the units which can then be used for the display of bric-a-brac and similar items.
- The invention has been described in detail with particular reference made to preferred embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modific tion can be effected within the s irit and scope of the invention as described hereinaboee and as defined in the appended claims.
1. A modular display unit formed of at least one bottom and side sections and at least two end sections:
a. said bottom and side section formed of a sheet, said sheet being provided with two score lines to allow for bending of the panels extending from said score lines and each of the three panels formed by the use of said score lines being provided with first aligning means, said aligning means being in the form of depressed portions formed on one side of the sheet, and
. said end sections of sheet material being provided with second aligning means, said second aligning means being in the form of tabs extending from each side of the sheet member along its edge, to align with said first aligning means so as to allow for joining of said bottom and side section and said end sections.
2. The modular unit of claim 1 wherein one bottom and side section and two end sections are secured together by joining means.
3. The modular unit of claim 1 wherein a series of said bottom and side sections are secured together, each pair of said bottom and side sections being joined by one of said end sections and joining means through said aligning means.
4. The modular unit of claim 1 wherein extended portions are formed on the extreme panels of said bottom and side section, as defined by said score lines, to provide support for a horizontal member held within the modular unit.
5. The modular unit of claim 1 wherein each of said aligning means is provided with a pair of openings and said sections are joined by joining members placed through holes in mating aligning means.