US 3782296 A
A modular merchandise display device having a pedestal and a plurality of cantilevered shelf units mounted one on the other upon said pedestal. The shelf units and the pedestal each include a vertical columnar formation having an end portion of square cross section arranged to abut the next adjacent formation, said formation having an axial channel suitable for receiving an elongate support member therethrough. The shelf units include a pair of opposite top and bottom arcuate wall portions each carrying said vertical columnar formation and being symmetrical about the horizontal axis thereof. The shelf units can be arranged in aligned, staggered or horizontally parallel relationship, or in a stair-step arrangement with a continuity of exterior surface being maintained overall.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llnited States Patent [191 Moretini 1 1 MODULAR MERCHANDISE DISPLAY DEVICE  Inventor: Billy Moretini, Chicago, Ill.
 Assignee: International Design Corporation,
22 Filedz Apr. 20, 1972 21 Appl.No.:245,969
 U.S.Cl l08/l01,2l1/l28,2ll/131  Int. Cl A47b 57/00  Field of Search 108/92, 101, 94,
1,430,748 Nolte 211/78 Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorneyl. Irving Silverman et a1.
[ 5 7] ABSTRACT Amodular merchandise display device having a pedestal and a plurality of cantilevered shelf units mounted one on the other upon said pedestal. The shelf units and the pedestal each include a vertical columnar formation having an end portion of square cross section arranged to abut the next adjacent formation, said formation having an axial channel suitable for receiving an elongate support member therethrough. The shelf units include a pair of opposite top and bottom arcuate wall portions each carrying said vertical columnar formation and being symmetrical about the horizontal axis thereof. The shelf units can be arranged in aligned, staggered or horizontally parallel relationship, or in a stair-step arrangement with a continuity of exterior surface being maintained overall.
13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENTEDJAN H814 3.782.296
SHEET 1 [IF 3 MODULAR MERCHANDISE DISPLAY DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to modular merchandise display devices and more particularly is concerned with the provision of a novel modular display device which includes cantilevered shelf units having integral vertical portions adapted for abutting interconnection with similar cross section vertical portions to form a vertical arr rangement of shelves, the overall arrangement being characterized by a continuity of exterior wall surface simulative of a unitary molded construction.
2. Background of the Invention The modular concept involves the provision of standardized basic'structural units which are arranged in combination with other standardized structural units to define finished constructions. The modular units may be combined with themselves or with other modular units to complete many highly varied resultant constructions.
It is desirable, both economically and esthetically, to apply the modular concepts to display devices for merchandise. Successful display devices find their acceptance dependent upon several important criteria, including the stability under load, versatility for varied usage, esthetic appearance of the unit, smoothness of line and pleasantness of design so as to contribute to rather than detract from the best display of the merchandise. In addition, ease of assembly and disassembly as well as economy of manufacture also comprise important criteria in determining the acceptability of the display device.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A modular merchandise display device formed of a pedestal including a vertical columnar portion. of polygonal cross section and at least one cantilevered shelf unit including a shelf-supporting member having an integral, vertical portion of like polygonal cross section adapted for abutting interconnection with like polygonal cross section integral vertical portions of adjacent shelf-supporting units and with the vertical columnar portion of the pedestal. The abutting ends are of matching configuration to enable the juxtaposed exterior wall surfaces to appear continuous overall. Axial channels are formed in the columnar vertical portions and rod means are provided of size and configuration for insertion through said channels to maintain the assembly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a modular display device constructed in accordance with the invention and illustrated with the shelves in parallel horizontal planes but offset in vertical alignment one relative to the other to define a stair-step configuration;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the display device illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the cantilevered modular shelf units, portions being broken away to show. the interior construction;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken'along lines 4--4 of FIG. I and in the general direction indicated;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the pedestal base illustrated in FIG. I;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the modular display device according to the invention illustrated with the shelves in a vertically aligned row; and
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the modular display device according to the invention illustrated with the shelves arranged in a pair of vertically aligned rows, each shelf unit oriented degrees from the next adjacent shelf units. "7 7 I i 7 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, the modular display device constructed in accordance with the invention is designated generally by reference character 10 in FIG. 1. It includes a molded pedestal or base 12 and a plurality' of like molded cantilevered shelf units 14, 16 and 18 mounted one upon the other in a vertically oriented row all supported on the base 12. The base 12 and the respective shelf units can be formed of any suitable material by conventional molding or casting processes and preferably, are molded of plastic material.
In the illustrated embodiment, the base 12 is of cruciform configuration having radial legs 20 in the form of walls tapering downwardly in radially outward direction relative to a central upright portion 22. Bridging web formations 24 of concave exterior surface configuration link the radial legs 20. The upright 22 of the base 12 has an upper end portion 28 of square cross section tenninating in a flat end surface 30. End surface 30 lies in a horizontal plane parallel to the planar bottom surface 32 of the base 12. An axial channel 34 preferably polygonal in cross section, is formed in the upright 22 at least through portion 28 thereof and opens to the end surface 30. As illustrated, the channel 34 has a square cross section.
The modular cantilevered shelf units l4, l6 and 18 are substantially the same in overall construction so that only one need be described in detail. Shelf unit 14 for example, is formed of a ring member 36 provided with a circumferential shoulder or ledge 38 formed on the inner wall 39 thereof. A disc 40 is seated upon said ledge 38. The ring 36 has upper and lower coextensive circumferential arcuate wall portions 42 and 44 including, the vertical columnar portions 46 and 48. Portions 46 and 48 are of generally polygonal cross section substantially identical to the cross-sectional configuration" of portion 30 of the upright 22 of base 12. The vertical portions 46 and 48 terminate in flat, square end surfaces 50 and 52 lying in parallel horizontal planes. Axial channels 54 and 56 are formed in columnar portions 46 and 48. These channels are of polygonal cross section substantially the same as the cross section of channel 34 of base 12 and open to the respective end surfaces 50 and 52 thereof. In the embodiment described the cross section of columnar portions 46 and 48 is square, with the channels 54 and 56 also being of square cross section.
The upper and lower curvilinear surfaces 58 of the walls 42 and 44 extend from the edges of ends 50 and 52 respectively symmetrically to merge into the ring 36 as shown at 60 with the columnar portions 46 and 48 equidistant respectively from said merge points 60. Accordingly, the ring 36 can be said to have its arcuate wall formations 42 and 44 symmetrical about the axis of channels 54 and 56 carried thereby.
Elongate support means in the form of rod member 62 is provided to supportthe assembled array of shelf units upon the pedestal to erect the display device 10. The rod 62 preferably is of a length and cross-section configuration conforming to the cross section of the channel 34 of the pedestal and channels 54 and 56 of the shelf units. The shelf units are assembled to the base by first seating the rod member 62 in the channel 34. Thereafter, the respective shelf units are mounted one above the other, passing the rod 62 through the aforesaid channels 54 and 56 of each unit. The end surfaces 30, 50 and 52 are engaged respectively in abutting relation to the next adjacent end surface. Since the upright and columnar portions are of like cross section, and the end surfaces 30, 50 and 52 are parallel, flat and of the same perimetric configuration, the overall arrangement has a continuous exterior surface, with any discontinuity at the joints substantially minimized. The shelf unit, here unit 18, which functions as the uppermost one of the group may have its upper columnar end capped or solid so that the rod 62 is not visible.
In FIG. 1, the shelf units are illustrated as mounted one above the other with each succeeding shelf unit arranged ninety degrees from the next lower unit so as to provide an overall stair-step configuration.
In the construction illustrated in FIG. 6, the shelf units are arranged in a vertical row, with the shelves aligned and in FIG. 7 four shelf units are arranged in two aligned rows, each shelf unit arranged 180 degrees from the next adjacent shelf unit.
The shelf units according to the invention are cantilevered when mounted to form the display device 10 since the center of gravity thereof is located along the vertical axes of the columnar portions 46, 48 thereof, with the walls 42 and 44 symmetrical thereabout. Accordingly the various arrangements illustrated in FIGS. 1, 6 and 7 are stable although at first glance, one could doubt such stability. The arrangement of the shelf units into said various configurations is effected with retention of a continuity of line and exterior surface, the surfaces merging one into the other with minimization of the junctions.
The removable discs 40 are convenient since there are occasions when merchandise may be more attractively displayed by draping through the rings 36 or supported by the rings in the absence of the disc. Shoes, ties, draperies and yardgoods are among such type of merchandise.
While three shelves are shown in the respective embodiments illustrated, a greater or lesser number may be utilized, and likewise, various other configurations of base and/or shelf units may be utilized so long as such configurations enable the abutting ends to define :1 continuous surface on assembly.
What I claim is:
l. A display device comprising a base and at least one shelf unit mounted thereon, said base including an upright section of polygonal cross-section, saidshelf unit including a vertical columnar portion integral therewith and having a polygonal cross-section substantially the same as that of said upright section and a cantilevered shelf supporting member extending normally therefrom, each of said upright section and vertical portion having like axial polygonal channels formed therein and polygonal cross-section rod means telescopically received within said channels to mount said upright section and said vertical portion in end to end abutting coaxial arrangement with the exterior planar surfaces thereof being continuous thereby presenting the appearance of a unitary structure, said upright section and vertical portion being selectively joined in one of several different positions, the number of positions corresponding to the number of sides of the polygonal cross-section of said rod means, whereby said shelf unit may be selectively reoriented about the upright section of the base.
2. The display device as claimed in claim 1 in which said upright section and said vertical columnar portion terminate in ends having a rectangular cross section.
3. The display device as claimed in claim 1 in which said shelf-supporting member has upper and lower arcuate walls extending symmetrically about the perimeter thereof and including a central portion constituting said columnar portion.
4. The display device as claimed in claim 3 in which said arcuate walls are coextensive and are symmetrical about the horizontal axis of said shelf unit.
5. The display device as claimed in claim 1 in which said shelf unit comprises a ring member having upper and lower opposite surfaces and said surfaces including coextensive like wall formations, said columnar section being formed intermediate the ends of said wall formations.
6. The display device as claimed in claim 5 in which said end surfaces of said columnar portions of each shelf unit occupy parallel horizontal planes.
7. The display device as claimed in claim 5 and a thin disc and means for seating said disc upon said ring member.
8. The display device as claimed in claim 7 in which said disc is removably seated upon said ring.
9. The display device as claimed in claim 1 in which there are a plurality of shelf. units arranged one upon the other with the shelf units arranged offset one relative the other to define a stair step arrangement.
10. The display device as claimed in claim 9 in which said upright section and said vertical columnar portion terminate in ends having a square cross section.
1 l. The display device as claimed in claim 1 in which there are plural shelf units, each being capable of being disposed rotated in 90 increments about their vertical axis to define any one of plural vertical oriented arrangements yet with maintenance of a continuous exterior surface overall.
12. The display device as claimed in claim 11 in which one of said plural vertically oriented arrangements includes the shelf units arranged oriented 90 from the next lower shelf unit.
13. The display device as claimed in claim 11 in which one of said plural vertically oriented arrangements includes the shelf units arranged oriented 90 from both the next adjacent shelf units.