US 3711977 A
A dimensional display flagger has a normally flat-lying display body and oppositely extending supporting arms with a flexible but form-stable spacing portion connecting the body and arms, the relationship being such that the spacing portion will buckle when the arms are moved longitudinally toward one another, whereby to thrust the display body into a substantially spaced plane relative to the arms. This device is especially useful as an attention-getter on merchandise sales shelves, and the like.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Blankenhorn I 1 Jan. 23, 1973 154] DIMENSIONAL DISPLAY FLAGGER  Inventor: Siegfried C. Blankenhorn, Naperville, Ill.
 Assignee: Blankenhern Display, Inc., Chicago,
22 Filed: Jan.8, 1971 21 App1.No.: 104,863
 U.S. Cl ..40/l24.l  Int. Cl. ..G09f 1/00  Field of Search ..40/l25 R, 126 A, 124.1, 10
[56} References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,522,018 1/1925 Lodge ..40/124.l 1,682,758 9/1928 Hornecker ..40/124.l 2,984,031 5/1961 Giesecke ..40/126 A Montalto ..40/125 R Berry et a1. ..40/125 R X Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras Attorney-Hill, Sherman, Meroni, Gross & Simpson  ABSTRACT A dimensional display flaggcr has a normally flat-lying display body and oppositely extending supporting arms with a flexible but form-stable spacing portion connecting the body and arms, the relationship being such that the spacing portion will buckle when the arms are moved longitudinally toward one another, whereby to thrust the display body into a substantially spaced plane relative to the arms. This device is especially useful as an attention-getter on merchandise sales shelves, and the like.
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures DIMENSIONAL DISPLAY FLAGGER This invention is directed to advertising display devices in general, and is more particularly concerned with the provision of a new and improved dimensional display flagger, that is, a device which is especially useful as applied to merchandise sales shelving, and the like to attract the attention of prospective purchasers to the location of especially designated merchandise.
A common practice in self-service merchandising, such as in supermarkets, is to identify by aisle markers and signs the general location of various categories of merchandise. Special promotions are generally allocated a particular table, sometimes apart from the general category location, or if left in the customary location a special sale marker may be associated with the particular merchandise such as by applying a sale tag to the price rail or the like. Generally, such a tag is in a flat plane requiring the prospective customer to approach relatively closely before the sale or special sign is within the customers line of vision.
An important object of the present invention is to overcome the foregoing and other disadvantages, defects, inefficiencies, shortcomings and problems inherent in prior structures and to attain important advantages and improvements by the provision of a novel dimensional display flagger, as will hereinafter more particularly appear.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved dimensional display flagger which is especially adapted to be applied to the exposed edge of a merchandise sales shelf.
A further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved dimensional display flagger which is normally flat for storage and shipment in minimum space and which when mounted in use provides a device having three-dimensional effectiveness.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a dimensional display flagger which is adapted to be made at low cost from flat sheet material, is simple and easy to install at the desired location, and is possessed of sufficient ruggedness and inherent resistance to damage from accidental contacts therewith to remain effective at the desired display location at least for the duration ofintended use.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved dimensional display flagger equipped not only with ample flagging or attentiongetting means but also providing large useful area for advertising, pricing, and the like.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the following description of certain preferred embodiments 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 embodied in the disclosure, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a dimensional display flagger embodying features of the invention showing the same installed for use;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional elevational view taken substantially along the line II-ll of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front plan view of the dimensional display flagger as it appears in flat form;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional detail view taken substantially along the line IVIV of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a flat front plan view of a modified form of the dimensional display flagger;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional detail view taken substantially along the line VI-VI of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 2 but showing a modified mounting arrangement.
A dimensional display flagger 10 (FIGS. 1-3) according to the present invention comprises a flat-lying display body 11 and oppositely extending supporting arms 12, with a flexible but form-stable spacing portion 13 connecting the body and arms. When the arms 12 are moved longitudinally toward one another from the flat condition of FIG. 3, the spacing portion 13 is adapted to buckle as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and thereby thrust the body 11 into a substantially spaced plane as best seen in FIG. 2 relative to the arms. In this instance all of the parts of the device are constructed integrally in one piece from suitable sheet material which may comprise heavy paper, plastic sheet or combinations thereof in which there is desirably substantial resilience in addition to flexibility. Although the device may be of any suitable size and dimensions to serve par ticular purposes, in the form shown, the device is of a suitable size and dimensioned to be mounted in a price rail 14 provided with upper and lower return bent flanges providing price-card retaining grooves 15 and 17, respectively. As is common practice, the price rail 14 may be in the form of a rolled sheet metal member or an aluminum extrusion and is adapted to be secured to the outer or exposed edge of a merchandise sales shelf 18 to which the rail is attached by suitable means such as nails 19.
For ready mounting in the rail 14 and retention therein, the arms 12 are longitudinally aligned and of a common width which is the same as or slightly greater than the width between the roots of the grooves 15 and 17 so that by manually buckling the arms slightly transversely they can be eased into the rail grooves or, where the rail is of a generally concave form in cross section, one edge, such as the upper edge of the respective arms can be inserted by an upward movement into the upper groove 15 and then by pressing inwardly, the lower edges of the arms will snap into the lower groove 17. In any event, when mounted in the price rail, the edges of the arms 12 will be engaged frictionally in the roots of the grooves whereby to maintain the arms in place with reasonable assurance against accidental displacement from the rail or shifting longitudinally along the rail. To assist in mounting the arms 12 on the rail, respective opposite clearance notches 20 are provided at juncture with the spacing portion 13, such notches being just deep enough to clear the groove flanges of the price rail 14 so as to provide a maximum integral juncture with the spacing portion.
In order to enable the display body 11 to be integral with the spacing portion 13, these elements are partially separated along discontinuous cuts 21, leaving solid upper and lower connecting areas 22 and 23, respectively, which are along an axis spaced from the opposite sides of the display body. In the form shown, the cuts 21 are generally semi-circular, but they may be of any other desirable geometric outline such that the spacing portion 13 will have a functionally continuous form about the display body 11. In effect, the spacing portion 13 has respective pairs of relatively divergent legs extending from juncture with the respective arms 12 to and connected together by the connecting areas 22 and 23. In a sense, therefore, the connecting areas 22 and 23 conne'ct not only the adjacent ends of the respective pairs of legs and of the spacing portion but also connect the display body 1 l to the legs of the spacing portion. To prevent tendency to tear into the display body 11 at juncture of the legs of the spacing portion 13 with the areas 22 and 23, short inward exten sions 24 from and generally transverse to each of the opposite ends of the cuts 21 are provided. As a result of the particular arrangement of cuts and elements of the device, when the arms 12 are moved longitudinally toward one another, the legs of the spacing portion 13 buckle, generally move into position behind and thrust the display body 11 into a substantially spaced plane relative to the arms. Such movement of the arms 12 may be effected before the device is mounted on the price rail 14, but is most conveniently effected after the arms have been inserted into position in the rail. The result is a substantial spaced relation of the display body 11 outwardly from the rail 14, where the display body will be prominently viewable and attract the attention of a prospective purchaser looking down an aisle of shelves. Further, the display body may be of a particular shape associated with a product, in this instance representing a form 25 which will be recognized as generally outlining a bottle associated with a certain type or brand of goods. It will be understood, of course,
that the display body 11 and the outline of the goods 25 may, and usually will be imprinted with a picture depicting the goods and any other desirable printed matter such as legends and advertising as may be desired. Further, of course, each of the arms 12 provides a substantial outer face area receptive of imprinted advertising, price markings, and the like.
Although edge friction on the arms 12 in the grooves of the price rail 14 may be adequate to hold the arms in position for maintaining the spacing portion 13 buckled and the body 11 projected forwardly, additional retaining means may be provided such as pressure-sensitive adhesive 27 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which may be applied in suitable areas on the back faces of the arms 12. Thereby after the device has been mounted and the body 11 projected outwardly as desired, the arms 12 may be fastened by pressing inwardly thereon to attach the same by means of the adhesive 27 to the confronting surfaces of the rail 14. Further, the pressure-sensitive adhesive 27 is advantageous where it is desired to mount the device 10 on the edge of a shelf not equipped with a price rail, or where it is desired to mount the device in the operating condition to any other surface such as to the face of a display or other surface where it is desirable to have the device mounted. By using a pressure-sensitive adhesive, the arms can be readily stripped from the surface to which secured by the adhesive when it is desired to move or remove the device 10.
In another form of the dimensional display flagger 10' as shown in FIGS. and 6, the display body 11 may be formed separately from the arms 12' and the spacing portion 13' and then suitably united therewith to provide a functionally integral unit. To this end, the arms and spacing portion may be constructed similarly as described in respectto FIGS. l-3, including the notches 20, but the body 11' is adapted to be secured to the connecting areas 22 and 23 of the legs of the spacing portion as by means of adhesive 28. The areas of attachment of the spacing portion 13 are thus limited and are desirably located in vertically centered relation with respect to the back of the body 11'. As a result, when the arms 12 are moved longitudinally toward one another, the spacing portion 13' can readily buckle behind the body 11 and thus thrust the body into a substantially spaced plane relative to the arms. While the spacing portion 13' has been shown as of general outline form, it may, if preferred, be a solid member of the same geometric form shown 'or any other suitable or preferred geometric form depending upon the size and shape of the body 11. An advantage of this two-part construction of the device 10' is that variously shaped display bodies 11' may be supplied to a basic supporting arm and spacing portion structure thus substantially reducing manufacturing die costs, especially for small production runs, although the onepiece construction of FIGS. l-3 is better suited for large production runs because it eliminates the need for assembling of parts as is true in the form of FIG. 5.
On reference to FIG. 7, a manner of mounting the flagger 10, or 10' if preferred, which will enable fitting it into more crowded spaces, comprises moving the legs 12 toward one another into lapped relation behind the display panel body 11. There the legs 12 are adapted to be attached to a supporting surface by stapling, thumb tacks, adhesive, or the like, or in the price rail 14. For this arrangement the legs 12 may be somewhat shorter than where intended for opposite extension as in FIGS. 1 and 5.
As to any of the disclosed forms of the invention, an important advantage resides in that the device can be shipped and stored in bulk quantities in a minimum of space because the device in its unmounted state lies flat. The device is easily mounted in a price track or other support utilizing much the same techniques as with ordinary price tags so that the user for the most part need not employ any new skills, and to secure the unique display effect of the device only the simplest-instructions, namely to push the two arms longitudinally toward one another, need be followed. When in position, the device is formed stable and because of the inherent resiliency of the material relatively resistant to damage or displacement by objects such as a persons clothing or arm or other object brushing thereagainst. If the display body is pressed inwardly by such an object, it will readily spring back. If the pressure from an object is in a lateral direction against the display body it will readily yield and then spring back when released by reason of the resilience of the form-stable spacing means.
It will be understood that variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of this invention.
I claim as my invention:
1. A dimensional display flagger comprising:
a normally flat-lying display body and oppositely extending supporting arms with a flexible but formstable spacing portion connecting said body and arms;
said spacing portion being connected to said display body along an axis spaced from opposite sides of the display body but otherwise free to move relative to the display body and adapted to buckle when the arms are moved longitudinally toward one another whereby to thrust said display body into a substantially spaced plane relative to said arms.
2. A flagger according to claim 1, in which said display body, said spacing portion and said arms are all in normally a common plane in a one-piece construction said spacing portion comprising respective pairs of divergent legs between the connection with the body and the arms.
3. A flagger according to claim 1, said body comprising a separately formed part from said arms and said spacing portion, and being attached to said spacing portion at limited areas on said axis.
4. A flagger according to claim 1, said body being partially separated from said spacing portion, said spacing portion comprising pairs of legs respectively connected to said arms and connected together at top and bottom areas, and said areas also being connected to said body.
5. A flagger according to claim 4, in which said body, said spacing portion and said said arms are all integrally formed from a common piece of sheet material.
6. A flagger according to claim 4, in which said display body is a separately formed piece from said arms and said spacing portion and is attached to said spacing portion at said areas.
7. A flagger according to claim 1, comprising a onepiece sheet material member, said display body being partially severed from said spacing portions by cuts through the material.
8. A flagger according to claim 1, in which said spacing portion comprises respective pairs of relatively divergent legs extending from said arms, and connected together at respective generally diametrically opposed areas on said axis and connected with said display body.
9. A flagger according to claim 1, including notches at juncture of the arms with said spacing portion enabling engagement of opposite longitudinal edges of said arms in price rail grooves.
10. A flagger according to claim 1 comprising a onepiece sheet material member, said display body being partially severed from said spacing portions by cuts through said material and terminating adjacent to integral areas of the body on said axis such that the spacing position comprises legs joined with said areas and said arms, and short extensions from the cuts generally transverse thereto at said portions to prevent tendency to tear into the body at juncture of the legs with said portions.