US 3785499 A
A display unit for tape cassettes, books and similar articles comprises a frame supporting at least one stack of article holders in the form of tray-like elements adapted to fit over opposite ends of the articles and movable between article-retaining and article release positions, and key-operated means on the frame for locking all holders in a stack in the article-retaining position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Gedye Jan. 15, 1974 DISPLAY UNITS 3,200,958 8/1965 Hudgeons et al. 211/169 x 3,464,748 9 1969 Gregory 1. 312/216  Inventor. Rodney Banfield Gedye, 100, Effra 3,644,010 2/1972 Murphy 206mm 36 Parade, London, England 3,565,260 2/1971 Stewart 211/4 2,926,788 3/1960 Jacobson 211/4  1971 3,399,781 9/1968 1 161631101611 312/135 x 21 Appl. NO.2 196,667
Primary ExaminerRamon S. Britts 30 F A P Assistant Examiner-Thomas J. Holko orelgn ppllcatlon driority Data Atmmey James E. Nolan Nov. ll, 1970 Great Britain 53,598/70 52 11.s.c1. 211/4, 211/163  ABSTRACT 511 1111. C1 E051) 73/00 A p y unit for p cassettes, books and m l  F1610 of Search 211/4, 40, 78, 131, tides comprises a frame supporting at least one Stack 211 1 1 3; 70 1 2; 20 1 3 of article holders in the form of tray-like elements 312 1 125 35 2 21 2 9 adapted to fit over opposite ends of the articles and movable between article-retaining and article release 56] References Ci positions, and key-operated means on the frame for UNn-ED STATES PATENTS locking all holders in a stack in the article-retaining 3,158,264 11/1964 Bittner 61; al 211/166 x position 3,674,156 7/1972 Krebs 211/4 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PAIENT JMM 51974 SHEE'I 1 BF 3 FIG. 7.
DISPLAY UNITS This invention relates to display units and has for its object the provision of a unit for displaying magnetic tape cassettes, books and other articles of comparable size with improved security against pilfering and with economy of space whilst ensuring easy and adequate viewing and inspection of the displayed articles.
According to the invention a display unit comprises means for supporting a series of articles in displayed positions singly or in groups, each article or group of articles being engaged by holding means movable between an article-retaining position and an articlerelease position, and common means for locking the holding means of the series in the article-retaining position.
The invention has particular application to the display of generally rectangular articles such as tape cassettes, books and the like which can be located between tray-like holders fitting over opposite ends of the articles, at least one of which is movable to hold or release an article between them, and by way of example top rail of the stand and through part of the assembly of articles and holding means,
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one of the tray elements, and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing an alternative construction. i
Referring first to FIGS. 1 4, theunit shown comprises a rectangular frame-like stand adapted to support five stacks of articles, any desired means being employed for rendering the stand self-supporting or for suspending it from a wall or other surface or structure. Each stack of articles and their holding means are mounted upon a vertical spindle 11 which is secured at its lower end in the bottom rail 10a. 'of the stand and at its upper end extends through the upper stand rail 10b which is hollow; The article holding means consist of a series of tray-like structures 12, each tray being formed integrally with a square-section hub portion 13 which engages telescopically over connecting tubes 14 of similar cross section and each formed with an integral apertured diaphragm 15 through which the spindle passes. The trays 12 alternate in the assembly with spacer tubes 16 which engage the connecting tubes 14 in a similar manner to space the trays the required vertical distance apart.
The specific form or shape of .the article carriers or trays will depend upon the shape of the articles to be displayed and the surfacesor parts of the article which a potential customer will wish to examine. The trays shown are intended for supporting magnetic tape cassettes where it is desirable to render visible the front face, the spine and the track-listing on the back adja cent the spine. Thus it will be seen that the trays each comprise four hollow arms extending tangentially from the hub 13 and adapted to receive four cassettes in successive T-formation so providing compactness with the required exposure of the cassette faces. In use, each arm, other than the lowermost arm in a stack, receives and locates the cassette positioned below it, indicated at C in FIG. 2, each arm also embodying a platform or ledge 17 to engage the underside and support a superimposed cassette. If desired, each compartment thus formed may accommodate more than one cassette.
The assembly is completed by end caps 18, 19 fitting into the hubs of the upper and lower trays, a bush 20 being interposed between the lower cap 1% and the bot tom rail 10a of the frame whilst another bush 21 rests upon the upper cap 18 and extends with the spindle into the hollow upper frame rail 10b. If desired, the bushes 20, 21 may be formed integrally with the respective end caps.
The article retaining and spacing means as above described particularly lend themselves to manufacture in plastics materials, the tray design as shown being suitable for unitary moulding. In addition, the use of transparent plastics increases visibility of the displayed articles and permits lighting to be installed in the central tube.
With the arrangement above described it will be seen that to remove a cassette the tray immediately above it together with all superimposed components are lifted sufficiently to free the wanted cassette and allow it to be withdrawn. After removal the raised parts are lowered, a replacement being previously inserted if desired. Thus, to prevent unauthorised removal of an article from the stand it is necessary to prevent any part of a stack being lifted, and a lockable control unit is provided in the top rail 10b of the stand for this purpose and which is common to the several stacks in the stand. The control unit comprises a channel-section bar 22 supported for limited longitudinal sliding movement within the rail 10b, the base web of the bar having in the region of each stack an aperture 23 of a diameter slightly larger than that of the bushes 21 such that in one limit position when apertures 23 are coaxial with stack spindls l1, upward movement of the bushes 21 is unobstructed but displacement of. the bar 22 causes it to overlap the bushes 21 and so prevent them being lifted. To actuate the bar 22 and to secure it in either of its two positions, a key-operated lock 24 is secured to the rail 10b, the rotary bolt or barrel of the lock carrying a crank 25 which engags in a vertical slot 26 formed in a web of the bar 22 such that displacement of the bar is effected by inserting a key in the lock and turning it in the appropriate direction.
In the alternative construction shown in FIG. 5, the assembly of trays and spacer elements is held in the article-retaining position by a collar 27 secured to the spindle 11 immediately abovethe upper cap 18a, the spindle being displaceable axially to permit separation of a pair of trays and removal of the stacked article. To accommodate such movement the spindle is guided at its ends in bushes secured to the horizontal rails of the stand and one of which is shownat 28, the control bar 22a in this instance having a smaller aperture 23a of a diameter just sufficient to pass the spindle when aligned therewith, the actuation of the control bar being similar to that in the embodiment above described.
The number of stacks or vertical assemblies in a stand or frame will vary depending upon the size of the unit and the control bar 22 (22a) may if desired be assembled from a number of interlocking sections, it being understood that only one lock 24 is required although separate locks for individual sections of a large unit could be provided if required. The permitted rotation of each stack around its supporting spindle ensures that all articles in a stack can be readily examined, whilst a circular array of display units or of vertical assemblies could be arranged if desired on a rotatable support.
1. A display unit comprising a support, means for providing a plurality of vertical stacks of articles comprising a plurality of vertical spindles and a series of trays spaced from each other along each spindle by separate connecting members surrounding the spindle, each tray having a hub telescoped with a connecting member surrounding the spindle, and having recesses fitting over the respective upper and lower ends of articles in the stack, means for preventing upward movement of components of the stack to prevent separation of said trays to effect release of an article comprising a locking member laterally slidable on said support between 21 first position wherein it obstructs upward movement of a component of a stack and a second position where it permits upward movement of said component of the stack, and releasable means for locking said locking member in said first position, said locking member being a horizontally slidable locking bar that is disposed in the path of upward movement of said stack component in said first position and has an aperture that aligns with said stack component in said second position to permit upward movement of said stack components.
2. The display unit defined in claim 1, wherein said spindles are axially fixed and trays and connecting members are slidable along each spindle and an element mounted on the uppermost tray is adapted to coact with said locking member.
3. The display unit defined in claim 1 wherein said trays and connecting members are movably mounted in axial arrangement on said spindles, and said spindles are vertically movable into association with said locking member.
4. A display unit as defined in claim 1, wherein a plurality of said stacks are mounted on said support under control of a common locking bar.
5. A display unit as defined in claim 4, wherein a key operated lock on said support is connected to mechanism which on operation of the lock displaces said locking bar between said positions.