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Publication numberUS3733759 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 22, 1973
Filing dateJul 26, 1971
Priority dateJul 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3733759 A, US 3733759A, US-A-3733759, US3733759 A, US3733759A
InventorsLogie C, Schulte D
Original AssigneeAmerican Store Equip
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fitting room
US 3733759 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Schulte et al.

[54] FITTING ROOM [75] Inventors: Donald W. Schulte, Grand Rapids;'

Charles F. Logie, Spring Lake, both of Mich.

[73] Assignee: American Store Equipment Corporation, Muskegon, Mich.

22 Filed: July 26,1971

211 Appl.N0.: 165,476

111 3,733,759 1 May 22,1973

l/1967 Gilson ..160/l99 8/1971 Kodaras ..52/241 [57] ABSTRACT A fitting room assembly includes panel sides and posts, the latter having individual levelers which include a keeper plate cocked angularly with respect to the posts so that its corners project beyond the post periphery to prevent feature strips mounted in the posts from sliding down beyond the ends of the posts. The levelers are encased by a sheath which is slidably positioned on the post. The tops of the panels and posts are covered by cornices which include an integral trackway for mounting draw curtains over the room opening. The cornices are open at their tops so that connector plates can be secured to adjoining panels which are cocked at oblique angles to one another rather than at right angles. The bottoms of the panels are covered by U-shaped caps having barbed legs for gripping the sides of the panels.

ltiClaims, 13' Drawing Figures FITTING ROOM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a system of panels connected to posts in various configurations. More specifically, the invention relates to the use of such panel and post configurations to create a fitting room construction. I

The prior art includes fitting room units utilizing versatile corner posts to which panels can be secured or into which decorative feature strips can be inserted in the place of a panel. This system has certain drawbacks, however, which the present invention eliminates.

One problem is that when curtains are to be used over the fitting room opening, a special curtain track must be secured to the overhead cornice for supporting the curtain. Turning to the bottoms of the panels, they have heretofore been capped along their bottom edges by an extruded T-shaped member having a spline which must be driven upwardly into a pre-cut slot in the bottom of the panel. Yet another problem is encountered in joining the panels together at angles other than right angles. When the panels are to be at right angles, they are merely connected to the posts. However, connecting the panels at oblique angles requires the fabrication of special shims and brackets at the job site.

The feature strips referred to above fit into channels within the various posts. Unfortunately there is some tendency for the feature strips to slide down below the edges of the panel. Also at the bottom of the posts, levelers must be positioned which must be accessible for properly leveling the posts, but which tend to detract from the beauty of the fitting room system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention, the cornice used to trim the tops of the wall panels includes an integral, recessed curtain mounting track such that the fitting room can be provided either with a swinging door or with a curtain. The need for a special curtain track when a curtain is desired is eliminated.

In another aspect of the invention, a leveler is provided which not only serves as a means for leveling the corner posts of the fitting room, but which also provides a means for retaining the feature strips which are slidably mounted on the posts. In this manner, the feature strips are prevented from sliding down. The leveler is so constructed that its clip includes portions projecting outwardly beyond the periphery of the post and into the path of the downwardly sliding feature strips.

The levelers utilized in this invention are hidden from view, and yet are accessible for adjustment purposes, due to the provision of a sheath which is slidably mounted on the bottom of the posts. When the leveler is to be adjusted, the sheath can be slide upwardly to provide access. Normally, however, the sheath is in a down position contacting the floor and thereby providing the posts with a continuous floor-to-top appearance.

The comices utilized in this invention are open at the top and when it is desired to join panels at oblique angles, rather than at right angles, connector members are provided for insertion into the open tops of the cornices and for connection to the tops of the panels. Each connector includes two or more legs angularly related to each other at the angles at which the panels are to be oriented.

Finally, it is an object of this invention to provide a cover for the bottom of the panels which can be placed on the bottom of the panels without the need for precutting a special slot therein. These covers are generally U-shaped, having legs with downwardly and inwardly projecting barbs thereon for gripping the sides of the panels.

The above aspects and objects of the invention will be further appreciated through reference to the appended drawings and written specification.

DESCRIPTION OFYTHE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of fitting rooms interconnected in side-by-side relationship incorporating the novel construction provided by this invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of a post interconnecting two panels at right angles to each other without the top comices being shown;

FIG. 3 is a side view showing the manner whereby a panel is attached to a post;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a panel having a cornice on top and having a bottom cap to protect the bottom edges of the panel;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a portion of a door opening showing the nature of the curtain track;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view showing a curtain hanger slidably mounted in the curtain track of a cornice member with the top cover of the cornice shown in exploded fashion;

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the leveler means including feature strip keeperplate;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the keeper plate and upwardly projecting clip shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the keeper plate shown inserted in a post;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view showing a sheath for covering the lower portion of a post and leveler assemy;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a decorative sheath which fits over the lower-portion of a post and leveler assembly;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a corner assembly fitting room showing a Y-shaped connector member and a V- shaped connector member used to facilitate angular orientation of interconnected panels; and

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a fitting room which utilizes a door instead of a curtain.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the preferred embodiment panels, such as panels l6, l8 and 20, which are joined to posts 22 are capped at the top by decorative comices (FIG. 1). Cornices 110 include integral curtain trackways (FIG. 5) such that when a curtain is used over the doorway, no special trackway assembly need be provided. The bottom of the panels are covered with decorative caps 101 (FIG. 4) to complete the neat, trim appearance of the panels. Versatility in panel arrangement can be achieved with multi-leg connectors and 152 (FIG. 12) which are placed in the open tops of comices 110 and bolted to the panels. This allows panels to be arranged at oblique as well as at right angles.

Leveling of panels is achieved by levelers 220 which are inserted in the bottom of the posts 22 (FIG. 7). The

keeper plate 226 of leveler 220 is cocked with respect to the tabs 228 which fit into the bottom of post 22 such that its corner portions 252 act to prevent feature strips 100 inserted in posts 22 from slipping down (FIG. 9). The leveler 220 is hidden from view by a sheath 260 which is slidably fit over the bottom of post 22 (FIG. 11). Sheath 260 can be slid upwardly to allow access to leveler 220 if necessary.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, and specifically to FIG. 1, a fitting room system is shown having a pair of individual rooms 12 and 14 interconnected in a side-by-side relationship. Each fitting room is comprised of a pair of identical side wall panels 16, back panel 18 and front panel 20 detachably secured to a plurality of identical and generally upstanding posts 22. It will be appreciated that the centrally located side panel 16 is shared commonly by the separate rooms 12 and 14. It will likewise be appreciated that if the fitting rooms are arranged in a back-to-back relationship, then the back wall provides a mutual wall to the two adjacent back-to-back fitting rooms. As shown in FIG. 1, each individual unit preferably includes a mirror 37 and other accessories such as clothes hooks, article receiving trays, etc., (not shown) which are conventionally used.

The front panel 20 of each fitting room is substantially narrower in width than the back wall so that an ingress and egress opening is provided. Generally, the opening to the fitting room is provided with a curtain 48 which can be drawn across the opening to provide complete privacy. In the alternative, some type of door means such as cafe doors 50, 52, which are biased to swing shut may be used to provide complete privacy. Referring specifically to FIG. 13, a plan view of a portion of a fittingroom 170 is shown which utilizes a swinging door 172 for enclosing the access opening. A stop brace 176 is shown anchored to one post 22 in a conventional fashion with a hinge mechanism 180 anchored to the post 22 on the opposite side of the openmg.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of post 22 and illustrates the basic configuration thereof. The post is generally tubular with an interior open portion 80 enclosed by sidewalls 82. Preferably, the overall cross-sectional configuration is square and each post is made of anodized aluminum which can be easily extruded. Anodized aluminum provides a very clean well presentable appearance which requires little or no maintenance. Each corner of the post has a projecting portion 90 which extends longitudinally the length of the post. A pair of support surfaces 92 and 94 are formed by the projection, each at a right angle to the side 82 from which its projects, to provide a channel-way 96 along each side 82 of the post for receipt of one or more panels. If a panel is not to be connected to a particular channel-way 96, the exposed grooves may be covered or decorated by a feature strip 100 which is receivable in an interiorly positioned groove 102 formed in each corner projection 90. Thus, each post is capable of having four panels connected to it at right angles to each other. Where there are less than four panels so connected, the feature strips provide an eye appealing shield as an alternative to the entirely exposed channel-way or groove 96.

With reference to FIG. 3, a quick and simple means is shown for detachably connecting a panel to a post 22. The top of a panel such as panel 16 is secured to post 22 by a bracket 58 which is secured to the end of panel 16 by a pair of set screws 60, 62. Bracket 58 includes a reversely bent hook element 64 at its upper end which element fits over one of the sides 82 (shown in hidden'lines) of the posts. A lower plate 68 having an interlocking lug 70 steadies and strengthens the panel while still permitting fast installation or removal should a change be necessary. Preferably lug 70 is receivable by a recess hole 72 provided conveniently at the bottom of each corner of the panel. The plate 68 is comprised of two legs 74 and 76 at right angles to each other, leg 76 being anchored to the post by a set screw 78 while leg 74 includes lug 70 and provides the support for the lower portion of the panel.

The panels have a core, such as particle bore, faced with sheet plastic which permits a variety of colors and- [or textures. A cap 101 is provided to cover the bottom portion of the panel (FIG. 4). The cap is U-shaped with legs 103 each having a barb extending downwardly and inwardlyfrom its top edge for gripping the sides of the panel.

Sturdy overhead construction is achieved with the unique interlocking design of the top member or cornice (FIG. 4) which is connected to and encloses the top edge of each wall panel in addition to extending over and across the opening in the fitting room. Referring specifically to FIG. 4, cornice 110 has a pair of vertical sidewalls 112 which are integrally interconnected along their bottom edge by a bottom wall 1 16. The bottom wall 116 includes an inverted generally U-shaped recess or channel 120 defined by sides 122 and ceiling 126. The width of channel 120 is slightly but not significantly larger than the width of a panel, such as panel 16, so that the panel can be snugly received in said channel to anchor the cornice thereto.

Projecting inwardly towards one another, but stopping short of abutment, from opposite sidewalls 122 of channel 120 are flanges 134 which cooperate to define curtain track 140. The inwardly projecting flanges 134 provide the trackway for a plurality of curtain runners 194 (FIGS. 5 and 6). The runners are conventional and include an eyelet portion 196 through which the curtain hooks are mounted to support the curtain, with the upper portion of each runner comprising an hourglass configuration 198 which will fit easily between the spacing between the flanges 134 and travel thereon. FIG. 5 shows the cornice 110 extending over a panel such as panel 20 shown in FIG. 1 to cover the opening. Prior to complete installation, the requisite number of runners 194 can simply be inserted into the curtain track and the curtain hanging capability is complete. This eliminates having to secure a separate track above the door every time a curtain is to be used.

The spacing between the flanges 134 and ceiling 126 provide sufficient room for draw wires should it be desired to move the curtain laterally down the trackway by wires rather than by manually pulling on the curtain. A pair of grooves 208 are provided on the upper surface of the flanges 134, one groove on each flange, spaced inwardly from the flange end for use with alternative type runners. In certain situations, it may be desired to accurately index the position of each runner, and grooves 208 provide means for positively locating the position of a particular runner which has depending portions for riding therein.

To seal off the open top of each cornice, a cover 212 is provided and includes a pair of downwardly extending projections 214 and 216 which are spaced essentially a distance equal to that between sides 112 so that when the cover is manipulated into place, projections 214 and 216 snugly engage the interior portion of each side respectively of the cornice to provide a friction fit therebetween as shown in FIG. 5 and prevent unintentional removal thereof. Cover 212 also hides electrical wires which might be positioned within cornice 110.

To provide complete versatility for arranging the panels, it is necessary to provide means for connecting two or more panels together at an angle other than a right angle. This is many times necessitated by the fact that the particular spacing available for the fitting room will not permit the normal rectangular configuration. In order to accomplish this in a simple and efficient way, the top portion of cornice 110 shown in FIG. 4 is open to permit the insertion of connector members such as 150 or 152 (shown in FIG. 12) for connection to the ceiling portion 126 of channel 120.

Connector member 150 is provided for connecting 154, and 156 jointly together at angles other than right angles. The connector has a generally Y-shaped configuration comprising three legs 158, 160 and 162 each leg of which is positioned within the upper portion of each respective cornice member. Each leg is securely anchored to each respective cornice and to the wall panel therebeneath by screws 164. An alternative connector member 152 is shown also in FIG. 12 for connecting two panels 154 and 156 together at an oblique angle.

In many installations, the particular floor on which the units or multiple units rest is not necessarily even. Therefore, it is desirable to provide a leveler means on the end of each post to compensate for uneven surfaces. Reference is now made to FIGS. 7-9 wherein the preferred leveler means generally designated 220 (FIG. 7) is shown as having a floor pad 222 having a bolt 224 integral therewith for threaded engagement with a keeper plate 226. The keeper plate includes upwardly extending tabs 228 which fit snugly within the interior opening 232 of a post 22 as shown in FIG. 7. The tabs are spaced approximately equal to the distance between opposed sides 82 of post 22 and the tabs are resilient so that when they are inserted, they form a tight friction fit within the spaced sidewalls 82 so that the leveler 220 will not become unintentionally removed therefrom. The tabs are thus inserted in the post opening until the keeper plate 226 abuts against the bottom of the post. The overall height of the post can then be adjusted by rotating pad 222 so that bolt 224 moves axially relative to the keeper plate.

The keeper plate 226, due to its orientation with respect to tabs 228, provides a function not heretofore known by applicant in the prior art. As described previously, there is a tendency for the feature strips 100 to work their way downwards beyond the bottom edge of the post. This destroys the intended effect of the feature strip and in addition, the strip is likely to become damaged by the accidental bumping or kicking of the exposed portion which is non-protected.

To eliminate this problem, the keeper plate 226 is arranged in a cocked relationship to the longitudinal projection of the resilient tabs 228. Preferably, the tabs are integral with each other and form a generally U-shaped clip having a flat webbing 250 (FIG. 8). The keeper plate which normally conforms to the overall dimensions of the rectangular shape of the sides of the post will be cocked with respect to the post sides when the tabs are inserted thereby exposing four corner portions 252 beyond the post sides (FIG. 9) and beneath the feature strip 100. This prevents the feature strips frompost cross section. Thus, it has corner projections 261 for fitting over portions 90 of the post and-indented or three wall panels, arbitrarily identified as panels 153,

recessed sides 264 which fit snugly within channel-ways 96 (FIG. 10). The sheath thus provides'a cover over the lower portions of the post to completely shield the leveler means 220 from the eye of an observer. The sheath length is preferably long enough to form an eye appealing continuity with the post, but short enough to allow the sheath to be raised to expose leveler 220 for adjustment. In no event can the sheath project upwards past the lower edge of the panels which are inserted in the channel-ways of the post. The overall effect of the sheath covers are illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 11. With respect to the cooperation of the sheath 260 with keeper plate 226, it will be appreciated that the portions 252 of keeper plate 226 which project below the feature strip should not project a significant distance beyond the feature strip or else they will interfere with the sheaths. With respect to the sheaths, the indented portion 264 of the sheath which fits snugly within channel-ways 96 of the posts should not extend inwardly the full depth of the channel-way. I

Although but one embodiment has been shown and described in detail, it will be obvious to those having ordinary skills in this art that the details of construction of this'particular embodiment may be modified in a great many ways without departing from the unique concepts presented. It is therefore intended that the invention is limited only by the scope of the appended claims rather than by particular details of construction shown, except as specifically stated in the claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. In a freestanding fitting room or the like including a plurality of wall panels, the improvement comprising: comices detachably connected to the tops of said wall panels, said cornices being generally hollow and having a bottom integral with a pair of generally upstanding sides, said bottom being recessed upwardly to form a generally U-shaped channel opening downwards, the walls of said channel being generally vertical and interconnected by a horizontal 'ceiling spaced from said channel opening such that said channel defines a panel receiving means; said channel fitting over the top of said panels in a tongue-and-groove fit, at least one of said comices including a pair of spaced and opposing flanges projecting inwardly from said channel walls, said flanges being spaced intermediate said channel opening and ceiling to define a means for slidably mounting curtain runners or the like therein, said channel walls, ceiling and flanges being integrally formed with said cornice.

2'. The enclosure system according to claim 1 wherein the tops of said flanges include a groove spaced inwardly from the free ends of said flanges for indexing the movement of said curtain runners and the like in a straight line.

3. The enclosure system according to claim 1 wherein said cornice includes a detachable cover having a clip means insertable between said cornice sides to form a friction fit with said cornice sides and cover the internal portion of said cornices.

4. The enclosure system according to claim 1 wherein said cornices are generally hollow and have an open top, said system further including connector members for joining two or more panels together at angles other than right angles, said connector members including two or more legs angularly related to each other at the angles desired to join said panels together, each leg being adapted to fit within the cornice: of each panel being joined together, said legs being inserted through said top opening between said sides and anchored to said horizontal ceiling.

5. The enclosure system according to claim 4 wherein said system further includes a cover having a clip means insertable between said cornice sides to form a friction fit internally with said cornice sides.

6. in a freestanding fitting room system or the like, comprising one or more enclosed individual units, each of which includes a plurality of wall panels detachably joined to generally upstanding posts and cornice members detachably secured to the tops of said wall panels, the improvement comprising: feature strip means slidable and removable from a channel-like groove on each side of said post for decoratively covering the exposed sides thereof; and leveler means for adjusting the overall height of each post so that said unit can be stabilized on uneven floors, said leveler means having a floor pad, threaded means extending up from said floor pad and threadable through a clip means which is receivable in the lower ends of each post so that when said threaded member is rotated, the distance between the lower end of each post and said pad is adjustable; said clip means further including means projecting beneath said channel-like grooves to prevent the feature strip positioned therein from sliding beneath the lower edge of said post.

7. The system according to claim 6 wherein said clip means is comprised of a keeper plate having resilient portions projecting upwards into said post ends to form a snap-fit therein; said keeper plate being generally rectangular and cocked with respect to said resilient portions so that when said resilient portions are inserted in the ends of said posts, the corners of said keeper plate project beyond the sides of said posts beneath said slidable feature strips.

8. The system according to claim 7 wherein said system further includes a sheath for enclosing the lower portion of each of said posts to shield said leveler 7 means, said sheaths conforming to the overall shape of said legs, and forming a telescoping fit over the lower portion of said legs.

9. The system of claim 8 in which: said sheath includes indented portions extending its height which correspond to said channel-like grooves in said posts; said indented portions extending into said channel, but

having a depth such that they do not extend inwardly the full depth of the channel and thereby do not interfere with said corner portions of said keeper plate.

10. The system according to claim 6 wherein said cornice has a bottom and a pair of generally upstanding sides, said bottom being recessed upwardly to form a generally U-shaped channel opening downwards, the walls of said channel being generally vertical and interconnected by a horizontal ceiling spaced from the opening of said channel such that said channel defines a panel receiving means for joining said cornice to the top of said panels.

11. The system according to claim 10 wherein said cornices are generally hollow and have an open top between said sides, said system further including connector members for joining two or more panels together at angles other than right angles, said connector members including two or more legs angularly related to each other at the angle desired to join said panels together, each leg being adapted to fit within the cornice of each panel being joined together, each of said legs being inserted through said top opening between said sides and anchored to said horizontal ceiling.

12. The system according to claim 10 wherein at least the cornice positioned over a doorway includes a pair of spaced and opposing flanges projecting inwardly from said channel walls, said flanges being spaced intermediate said channel opening and said channel ceiling to define a means for slidably mounting curtain runners therein; said channel walls, ceiling and flanges being integrally formed with said cornice.

13. The system according to claim 12 wherein the tops of said flanges include a groove spaced inwardly from the free ends of said flanges for indexing the movement of said curtain runners in a straight line.

14. The system according to claim 12 which further includes a cover having clip means projecting therefrom and insertable within said opening between said sides of said cornice to form a friction fit with said cornice sides to shield the internal portion of said cornices.

15. The system according to claim 6 and further including a generally U-shaped cap for covering the bottoms of said panels, said U-shaped cap including a pair of legs, each having a barb projecting downwardly and inwardly from the inside surface thereof, said legs fitting over the sides of said panels to form a friction fit between said panel sides and said barbs to prevent unintentional removal of said cap.

16. In a fitting room or the like including a plurality of wall panels and at least one cornice detachably connected to the tops of said wall panels, the improvement comprising: said cornice including a channel-shaped recess for fitting over the tops of said wall panels; said channel-shaped recess having upwardly projecting sidewalls joining a ceiling wall; means operably connected to said sidewalls at a point intermediate the opening of said channel-shaped recess and said ceiling wall for retaining a plurality of curtain runners or the like within said channelshaped recess; a plurality of curtain runners or the like retained in said curtainv retaining means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/126.4, 52/282.2, 160/196.1, D25/58, D25/16, D25/121, 52/36.1, 52/239
International ClassificationE04B2/74, E04H1/12
Cooperative ClassificationE04H1/1266, E04B2/74, E04B2/7433
European ClassificationE04H1/12C4, E04B2/74C3E, E04B2/74
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 5, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: AMSTORE CORPORATION, A MI CORP
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:ASE HOLDING COMPANY, A MI CORP;AMERICAN STORE EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, A MI CORP;BAYMEADOW, INC., A MI CORP;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:004334/0745
Effective date: 19841022