US 3800958 A
A bookrack comprising an open framework of metal wire elements includes spaced, parallel rails constituting an inclined floor for supporting a series of books in a position inclined from the vertical, so that their titles may be viewed easily from levels above the horizontal surface of a table top, desk, or other support on which the rack may be seated. Bookends connected by retracting springs are detachably mounted on the floor rails for slidable movement thereon longitudinally of the rack. An element constituting one longitudinal side bar of the rack frame is arranged to provide a stop engageable by books positioned between the bookends to hold the books in positions in which no part of any of the books is in contact with the horizontal surface of a support on which the rack may be seated.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Dorn [ Apr. 2, 1974 BOOKRACK 22 Filed: Aug.11,1972
 App]. No.: 279,829
 U.S.Cl 211/43, 21l/51,211/181  Int. Cl. A47f 7/14  Field of Search 211/43, 184, 40, 41, 42, 211/51,181, 52, 53, 54; 248/221  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,347,393 10/1967 Frey 211/40 2,206,133 7/1940 Stoll 211/43 2,134,606 10/1938 Hackworth 211/43 UX FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 692,401 6/1953 Great Britain 211/42 627,398 8/1949 Great Britain 211/43 Primary Examiner-Roy D. Fraiier Assistant Examiner-Thomas .l. Holko Attorney, Agent, or FirmDennison, Dennison, Townshend & Meserole  ABSTRACT A bookrack comprising an open framework of metal wire elements includes spaced, parallel rails constituting an inclined floor for supporting a series of books in a position inclined from the vertical, so that their titles may be viewed easily from levels above the horizontal surface of a table top, desk, or other support on which the rack may be seated. Bookends connected by retracting springs are detachably mounted on the floor rails for slidable movement thereon longitudinally of the rack. An element constituting one longitudinal side bar of the rack frame is arranged to provide a stop engageable by books positioned between the bookends to hold the books in positions in which no part of any of the books is in contact with the horizontal surface of a support on which the rack may be seated.
5 Claims, 7 IZrawingFigures BOOKRACK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of the present invention is the art of bookracks designed for loose seating on a flat, horizontal surface, such as a table or desk top. The invention is concerned also with the structure and arrangement of self-retracting bookends for use in such racks.
The prior art desk or table top bookracks are portable holders in which books are placed in side-by-side relation and tilted so that their titles may be read by looking downwardly from points of view above the surface on which the rack is seated. In such racks, just as in a library shelf, unless the holder is kept filled to capacity, the removal of one or more books will create gaps into which adjacent books tilt sideways in disorderly array. No provision is made for automatically shifting the remaining books laterally to close the gaps.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a bookrack intended primarily for loose seating and free movement on a desk or table top. It is a light, skeletal framework of metal wire stock providing a book supporting floor of laterally spaced parallel rails disposed in a plane common to all and which, when the rack is in service position, is inclined at an angle relative to the horizontal surface of a table, desk, or other support on which the rack is seated. Self-retracting bookends are detachably mounted on the floor rails in slidable engagement therewith for movement towards or away from each other. The bookends are connected by retracting springs which function to press the bookends tightly against the bindings of the endmost ofa series of books which may be inserted between the bookends. When a book is removed, the remaining ones are forced together under tension imparted by the retracting springs so that they are held in orderly upright position and close the gap created by withdrawal of one or more books from the rack. When a book is to be replaced in or added to the series, the bookends may be pulled apart manually to relieve their pressure and thus facilitate insertion of a book into the series held by the rack. An element of the frame at one longitudinal side of the rack provides a stop against which edges of the bindings of books positioned on the inclined floor abut to maintain the books in inclined position free of any contact with a surface on which the rack may be seated.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a rack comprising the invention;
FIG- 2 is a top plan view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the rack, with expanded bookend positions illustrated in phantom line;
FIG. 4 is an end elevation from the right of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4A is an end elevation from the left of FIG. 1 ith th bQQlSEIQPFFiQQ";
FIG. 5.is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1, but illustrating a slightly different embodiment of the inventron;
FIG. 6 is an elevation of a bookend carrying ornamentation.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The bookrack of the present inventon is a skeletal framework of light metal wire elements of a gage customarily used in the manufacture of metal wire trays, baskets, wall hanger racks and the like. As here shown, the rack is an oblong frame constituted as a single length of wire formed as a straight side bar section 10, parallel end sections 11 extending in the same direction from the side bar at a right angle and terminating in leg sections 12 tipped with plastic or rubber caps 13 to prevent scarring of a horizontal surface such as a table or desk top 14 upon which the rack is seated when in service position. The leg sections 12 are bent at an angle relative to their associated end sections 11 such that, when the rack is in service position as illustrated in FIG. 4, the legs will rise vertically from the surface 14 perpendicular thereto. At the ends of the end sections 11 remotefrom the leg sections 12 the wire of the frame is bent to provide risers 15 which merge with the ends of the side bar section 10. These risers 15 extend from their respective end sections 11 in a direction opposite to that of the legs 12 and at an angle such that, as best seen in FIG. 4, when the rack is seated in service position on the surface 14, the risers are parallel to the legs 12. When the rack is viewed in end elevation, as in FIG. 4, it becomes evident that the risers l5 and the side bar section 10 line in a common plane that is perpendicular to the plane of the surface 14, and that the legs 12 lie in a plane common thereto and parallel to the plane of the risers 15 and side bar 10.
An important feature of the invention is the structural arrangement by which the frame end sections 11 are disposed in a plane common thereto and which is inclined at an angle relative to the horizontal plane of a surface 14 on which the rack is seated when in service position. In this arrangement, each end section 11 extends froin the top of its associated leg 12 to the bottom of its associated riser 15. Each end section and its associated leg and riser lie in a plane common to the three and normal to the longitudinal axis of the rack. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated herein, the side bar 10, ends 11, legs 12, and risers 15 are integral, being formed from a single length of wire appropriately bent to provide the various structural elements heretofore described.
A salient feature of the invention is the length differential between the legs 12 and the risers 15. The length (height) of each riser is substantially one-half that of its associated leg; so that, when the rack is seated in service position on a surface 14, the side bar 10 is at a lower level than the tops of the legs 12. In addition to the connection between the end sections 11 provided by the side bar 10, the end sections are further connected by a plurality of rail bars 16 (here shown as two in FIGS. 1 and 2, and as three in FIG. 5) which extend longitudinally of the rack in laterally spaced relation parallel to each other and to the side bar 10. The ends of these rails 16 underlie the'end sections 11 and are fixedly attached thereto as by welding or other suitable means, so that they provide a skeletal floor for the seating of books 17.
The floor provided by the rails 16 is inclined in a plane that is parallel to the plane common to the end sections 1 l, but lower because of the .fact that the rails 16 are attached to the underside of the sections 1 1. The location of the rails 16 is such that the rail nearest the risers will always be spaced vertically above any surface on which the rack may be seated. The bottoms of the risers 15 will always be in contact with any such surface, so that the risers and the legs 12 provide a four point support for the rack when it is seated in service position.
In all forms of the invention, the side bar 10 constitutes a stop member against which edge portions of the bindings of books on the floor provided by the rails 16 will rest, so that no part of any book binding edge may come in contact with a surface on which the rack is seated.
In the form of rack illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the floor rails 16 carry a pair of bookends l8 freely slidable thereon. As here shown, these bookends are of inverted V-shape configuration, having the bottom ends of their diverging arms 19 constituted as hooks which open inwardly towards each other in slidable engagement over their associated rails. The wire stock from which the rails 16 and bookends 18 are made is slightly resilient so that in assembling the bookends on the rails the arms 19 may be spread apart to allow the hooks 20 to snap over the rails, or the rails 16 may themselves be slightly bowed inwardly towards each other and then released to allow the rails to snap into the open ends of the hooks. In detaching the bookends from the rails 16, the movement of either the bookend arms or the rails is in the opposite direction. The bookends are connected by retracting springs 21 attached at their ends to the bookend hooks 20, so that the bookends are selfretracting into firm contact against the endmost sides of a series of books 17 when inserted between the bookends, as shown in FIG. 1. As best seen in FIG. 2, the hooks 20 are angled to extend away from the adjacent sides of a series of books positioned between the bookends, thus providing clearance space for the insertion of a persons fingers to pull or push the bookends apart to facilitate removal or insertion ofa book. When a book is removed, the springs 21 retract to pull the bookends towards each other and press the remaining books together to fill the gap.
If desired, the bookends may be covered with a slip onornament 22 applied downwardly over the divergent arms 19 and secured thereon by attachment means 23 engageable beneath the junction of the arms 19 at the apex of the inverted V which they form.
The form of rack illustrated in FIG. 5 is of greater length than the rack of FIGS. 1 and 2 and is arranged to accommodate at least two sets of bookends so that a single rack may accommodate separate series of books of different size and weight. In order to support the incident heavier load, a support 24 similar to the end sections 11 and having a leg 25 similar to the end section legs 12 is welded to the rails 16 intermediate the end sections 11 and parallel thereto. Bookends of the type shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are mounted between the intermediate support 24 and one of the end sections 11, and bookends 26 similar to but larger than the bookends l8, and connected by pairs of retracting springs 27 are mounted on the rails 16 between the intermediate support 24 and the other end section 11 of the rack.
Optionally, books may be disposed in the rack as shown in FIG. 1, with the bottom edges of their bindings seated on the floor rails 16 and with the upright edges of the bindings abutting the side bar 10. In this position, the books are upright and tilted so that the major portion of the upright edges of their bindings overhang the side bar 10. Alternatively, they may be disposed with the bottom edges of their bindings abutting the side bar 10 and with the side edges of the bindings seated on the rails 16. This latter position is better suited to taller size books which, if in fully upright position, might easily fall backward, pivoting on the side bar 10. In either case, no part of a book binding ever rests on top of either one of the rack ends 11 or abuts either of the risers 15. The height of the risers determines the effective level of the side bar 10 and thus establishes the point at whichthe side bar holds a book in arrested position on the inclined floor provided by the rails 16. If the risers were perpendicular to the inclined plane of the floor rails 16 the lower corners of the book bindings adjacent the side bar 10 would bear against the surface 14 on which the rack maybe seated; which contingency is highly undesirable and must be avoided- I claim:
1. A bookrack comprising an oblong frame of metal wire stock including a straight, longitudinal side bar, an end section at each end thereof and extending transversely of the frame, a pair of rails disposed in laterally spaced relation in the frame parallel to each other and to the side bar, a fixed connection between each end of each rail and its adjacent end section, a riser between each end of the side bar and one end of its adjacent end section, the other end of each end section depending therefrom as a foot portion, the body of each end section extending from the top of its foot portion to the bottom of its associated riser, at least one bookend including a body-portion, leg portions, and a rail engaging hook portion on each leg comprised of a single length of inherently resilient metal wire stock, said rail engaging portions disposed at the bottom ends of said legs in the fonn of terminal hooks slidably engageable with said rails and disposed substantially perpendicular thereto, whereby when said body is raised toward a vertical position, said hooks bind on said rails to resist sliding movement thereon.
2. The device defined by claim 1 wherein spring means interconnects said bookend and said rack to urge said bookend in one direction.
3. The bookrack of claim 1 wherein a plurality of bookends are mounted on said rails.
4. The bookrack defined by claim 3 wherein at least two of said bookends are interconnected by spring means urging said bookends toward each other.
5. The device defined by claim 4 wherein said spring means interconnects the terminal hook portions of said bookends and said spring is disposed beneath said rails. =l