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Publication numberUS3805962 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 23, 1974
Filing dateJun 19, 1972
Priority dateJun 19, 1972
Publication numberUS 3805962 A, US 3805962A, US-A-3805962, US3805962 A, US3805962A
InventorsBendiksen A
Original AssigneeBendiksen A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Arrangement in combined display and sales racks
US 3805962 A
Abstract
In a combined display and sales rack, the arrangement comprising a number of shelf units each including a stationary lower shelf and a movable upper shelf, between which articles for exhibition and sale may be disposed in a non-withdrawable condition, and from which the articles may be taken out in a released condition, a release mechanism with an operating means, and a signal means adapted to deliver one or more acoustic or optical signals when the release mechanism is operated.
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United States Patent [191 Bendiksen 1 Apr. 23, 1974 ARRANGEMENT IN COMBINED DISPLAY AND SALES RACKS [76] Inventor: Arne Bendiksen, Osterrdalsgaten 1,

Oslo 6, Norway 221 Filed: June 19, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 264,284

968,253 8/1910 Moses 312/10 2,600,298 6/1952 Jarrett 211/41 2,626,388 l/l953 Needlman..... 340/280 X 3,516,719 6/1970 Weisblat 211/4 X Primary Examiner-Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner--Thomas J. Holko Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Eric l-l. Waters 5 7 ABSTRACT ln a combined display and sales rack, the arrangement comprising a number of shelf units each including a stationary lower shelf and a movable upper shelf, between which articles for exhibition and sale may be disposed in a non-withdrawable condition, and from which the articles may be taken out in a released condition, a release mechanism with an operating means, and a signal means adapted to deliver one or more acoustic or optical signals when the release mechanism is operated.

5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,583,568 6/1971 Crosslen 211/163 X 3,478,893 1l/1969 Crosslen 21 i/169 X 3,570,676 3/1971 Crosslen 211/169 X 380,473 4/1888 Austin 211/4 X 2,644,421 7/1953 Arceo 116/100 ARRANGEMENT IN COMBINED DISPLAY AND SALES RACKS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to combined display and sales racks, and. more particularly to an arrangement in such a rack or case having horizontal shelves for the reception of articles for exhibition and sale, such as boxes containing music cassettes or similar articles.

In connection with exhibition and sale of articles there is a constantly growing need to secure the commodities against theft. In the case of a combined display and sales rack which is intended for self-service, there is a need for a safety device to protect against theft of the displayed articles. This safety device should be of such a type that it makes it easy for the sales personnel to keep an eye with the display and sales rack when necessary, at the same time as the potential customers should have the opportunity to examine or look at the individual exposed articles.

In the prior art there is disclosed a variety of sales cases or racks. US. patents of interest in this field are 1 105 504,1 208 007, 1562 589, 2 474157 and 2 708 747. None of these patents does, however, disclose a display and sales rack along the lines of the idea of the present invention.

- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide a display and sales rack including an arrangement of shelf units in which articles may be disposed for exhibition and retained in a non-withdrawable condition, and from which the articles may be released for removal, the release operation being indicated by one or more acoustic or optical signals from a signal means.

Another object of the invention is to provide an arrangement of the above-mentioned type in which individual articles in the non-withdrawable condition may be mutually displaced in the longitudinal direction of the shelves, in order to make behind-lying articles visible.

A further object of the invention is to provide a display and sales rack including the above mentioned arrangement, and which may be locked in order to make release and removal of the articles impossible, but such that the exibited articles are still visible, and may be touched and mutually displaced in the longitudinal direction of the shelves.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a display and sales rack of the type mentioned, which has a simple and reliable construction to avoid large costs and to cause a minimum of repairs.

For the achievement of the above-mentioned objects there is provided a display and sales rack with an arrangement which, according to the invention comprises a number of shelf units each including a stationary lower shelf and a movable upper shelf, between which the articles may be disposed and retained in a nonwithdrawable condition, and from which the articles may be released for removal from the shelves, an article release mechanism being connected to each of the movable shelves for lifting and lowering thereof, an operating means for operating the release mechanism, and a signal means adapted to deliver one or more acoustic or optical signals when the release mechanism is operated.

Further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of a preferred embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combined display and sales rack in which the arrangement according to the invention is embodied;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partially sectioned front (or rear) view of the upper part of the display rack of FIG. 1, showing details of the arrangement according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the release mechanism of FIG. 2; and,

FIG. 4 is an enlarged section through a shelf unit taken along the line IV IV of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION In FIG. 1 a combined display and sales rack l is shown to comprise a pair of side walls 2, 3, an upper part 4 accommodating operating, article release and signal means according to the invention, and a number of shelf units each including a lower shelf 5 and an upper shelf 6. The lower shelves 5 are stationary fixed to the side walls 2, 3, and the upper shelves are movable and may be lifted up and lowered as described later. Further in the embodiment of FIG. 1 the actual signal means is shown as a box 7 which is secured to the wall 2 at the upper part of the case or rack 1. At the upper right part of the rack is also shown a protruding handle 8, constituting a manual operating means which is to be depressed when it is desired to lift the upper shelves 6 for release and removal of an article from the corresponding lower shelf 5.

It appears from FIG. 1 that the upper surfaces of the lower shelves 5 are provided with recesses in the form of a number of juxtaposed slots extending in the longitudinal direction of the shelves. In the lower surfaces of the upper shelves 6 there are arranged corresponding slots (see FIG. 4). This embodiment is especially suited for exhibition of boxes for music cassettes of the type containing audio tape with recorded music, and which are to be played on conventional cassette tape recorders. These music cassette boxes have standarized size and dimensions, and may be disposed in the corresponding slots of the upper and lower shelves, so that the boxes are in a non-withdrawable condition when the upper shelves are in their lower position. The distance between the corresponding slots in the shelves is such that the boxes are not fixed or clamped when in their non-withdrawable condition. Assuming that the adjacent slots in a shelf unit are filled with a plurality of boxes, and provided that in each slot there remains a free or unoccupied length which is at least equal to the length of a box, the boxes in adjacent slots may thus be mutually displaced in the longitudinal direction of the shelves, in order to make behind-lying boxes visible for a viewer or a customer. This is very advantageous in such an arrangement, as it is desirable for a customer to have the opportunity to look at all the individual boxes which contain cassettes with different music, i.e. different melodies by different artists. When a customer has made up his mind as to which cassette he wishes to buy, he may release the cassettes by depressing the handle 8 with one hand, and take out the eassette box in question with his other hand. As the cassettes are released, this situation is announced by one or more signals from the signal means 7, for instance at the beginning and the end of the operation, such as described later. Thus the sales personnel is made aware of the fact that the exhibition and sales rack is opened, and may pay the necessary attention to the device. Further operational details of the device will be described later.

It also appears from FIG. 1 that the case or rack has essentially equal front and rear sides. The device may accordingly be utilized for exhibition towards both sides of the rack. This is of interest when the rack is detached and may be viewed and approached from either side. In this case the recesses at one side of the shelves may be filled with articles with their front surfaces facing the corresponding side of the case or rack, while the remaining recesses at the other side of the shelves may be filled with articles of which the front surfaces are facing this side of the rack.

The detailed construction of the preferred embodiment of the invention will be described in the following with reference to FIGS. 2 4.

In FIG. 2 is shown a front view of the upper part of the display and sales rack of FIG. 1. In FIG. 2 a cover plate (shown as 9 in FIG. 1) for the upper part 4 is removed, and the side wall 2 is partially's'ectioned to show the construction of the article release and operating means. Between the side walls 2, 3 are arranged a number of shelves, of which there is shown an upper covering shelf 10, a shelf 11 fixed to the side walls and constituting the support for the release mechanism, a shelf also stationary fixed to the side walls, and two movable shelves 6. The inner surfaces of the side walls 2, 3 are each provided with a central, vertically extending slot 12 (also indicated in FIG. 1) for the reception of a pair of frame elements 13 for interconnection of the movable shelves 6 and for vertical guiding of these shelves when they are lifted and lowered by means of the release and operating means. The frame elements 13 may for instance be made of sufficiently rigid iron wire. The'shelves 6 are connected to the frame elements 13 by means of channel-formed, horizontally disposed profile elements 14, into which the shelves 6 are inserted. The profile elements 14 are rigidly fixed to the respective frame element 13 at properly spaced intervals, for instance by welding.

The release mechanism as shown in FIG. 2 and also in a top view in FIG. 3, is essentially comprising a pair of pivotally interconnected rods 15 and 16 which are in turn pivotally supported by a pair of holders 17, 18, respectively, each of which being arranged at an intermediate point of the corresponding rod. The holders are mounted on a base plate 19 which is fixed to the shelf 11, for instance by means of screws. The pivotal connection between the rods and the holders is achieved by means of pins 20 and 21 extending through clearance holes in the rods and being fixed to the respective holders. The pivotal inter-connection between the rods consists of another pin 22 which is secured to the rod 15 and is extending through a longitudinally extending slot 23 (indicated in FIG. 2) in the rod 16. This slot is provided in order to allow turning movement of the rods about the respective pins 20 and 21 when the lever device is operated.

The ends of the rods 15 and 16 adjacent to the respective side walls 2 and 3 of the display rack, are as shown in FIG. 2, connected to the upper ends of the frame elements 13. In the embodiment shown, these ends are bent inwardly from the side walls and passed through holes in connector pieces at the ends of the rods. These connector pieces may be integral with the rods or may, as best shown in FIG. 3, be separate pieces 24, 25 connected to the rods by means of screws or rivets.

The end of the rod 15 which is remote from the side wall 2, is extended through a vertical slot (indicated with dashed lines in FIG. 2) in the side wall 3. This end thus constitutes the handle 8 for manual operation of the release mechanism.

In order to bring the lever device 15, 16 back to the initial position after having been operated by depression of the handle 8, a return spring may for instance be arranged close to the pivotal inter-connection of the rods. As shown in FIG. 2 this spring means may be a tension spring 26 connected between a hole in the rod 15 and a hook in the cover shelf 10. Alternatively it may be a compression spring mounted at a suitable location, for instance between the base plate 19 and the rods at the pivoted interconnection.

The signal means for generation of one or more acoustic or optical signals when the release mechanism is operated for lifting and lowering of the movable shelves 6, is shown as a box 7 which is mounted on the outside surface of the wall 2. This signal means is preferably electrically driven, and many different types of signal means may be used. In the preferred embodiment of the invention it is a sound source of the commercially available gong type which produces an audible signal or tone when it is connected, and another audible signal or tone of lower frequency when the signal means is disconnected. The signal means may also be a light source, and the signals may be effective during all the time when the article release means is actuated, i. e., not only at the beginning and the end of the operation. The light signals may also be utilized for the illumination of advertising copies and the like.

The signal means is initiated when supplied by electric current from a battery source (not shown), and for closing and interrupting the electric circuit from the source to the signal means there is arranged a microswitch 27 which is actuated when the release mechanism is operated. Thus, when the handle 8 is depressed, the opposite end of the rod 15 moves upwardly to actuate the switch 27 so that the electric circuit to the signal means is closed. When the rod 15 is thereafter returned to its initial position, the switch is deactuated, so that the electric circuit is opened and the current is interrupted. The arrangement of the microswitch and the electric circuit with signal means, switch and battery, is of conventional design and obivous to experts, and is therefore not shown in detail in the drawings.

There is also provided means for locking of the combined display and sales rack, so that operation of the relase mechanism is prevented. In FIG. 2 this locking means is shown as a box 28 and when the rack is locked by means of a key (not shown), the handle 8 is prevented from downward movement. Thus the movable upper shelves 6 may not be lifted, and the articles are thus retained in the shelves in a non-withdrawable condition.

In FIG. 2 an article 29 with suitable form is shown in a position in a shelf unit 5, 6. In the situation shown, with lowered upper shelves 6, the article is prevented from removal from the shelves, but it may well be displaced in the longitudinal direction of the shelves, as it is not fixedly clamped in the slots according to this embodiment.

As previously mentioned, the shelves 5, 6 are provided with longitudinally extending slots. In FIG. 4 is shown an example of the cross section of the shelves 5 and 6, the section being taken along the line IV IV in FIG. 2. As shown, the upper surface of the stationary shelf 5 is provided with four slots 30 separated by intermediate ribs 31. The lower surface of the movable shelf 6 lying above the shelf 5, is provided with four corresponding slots 32 with intermediate ribs 33. This shelf unit thus accommodates four rows of articles (one article 29 being shown), for instance music cassette boxes, the dimensions of the slots and the distance between the shelves 5 and 6 being such that the articles fit into corresponding slots.

In FIG. 4 is also shown the vertical slot 12 in the wall 3, and the frame element 13 with horizontal profile elements 14 into which the shelves 6 are inserted. Further it appears that the shelves 5 are provided with depending side flanges 34, covering the space between the shelves 5 and 6. These flanges may also act as a guiding means for the shelves 6, in addition to the frame elements 13 in the slots 12.

It will be appreciated that the number of slots in the shelves may be varied. Further the shelves may be provided with recesses other than longitudinally extending slots, for instance with holes of suitable form and size, or other types of recesses adapted to the type of article which is to be exibited. The requirement is that the recesses must be made with suitable depth and form, so that the exhibited articles may only be taken out of the rack when the upper shelves are lifted by operation of the release mechanism.

The release mechanism does not necessarily need to be manually operated, such as by depression of the handle 8. Thus the operation may for instance be effected by electric of hydraulic means. For this purpose there may be arranged a coin box on the rack, whereby the operating means is activated when a suitable amount of money is put on the coin box.

In the following an operational cycle of the device will be described.

As the handle 8 is depressed, for instance by a customer, the frame means 13, 14 and consequently the shelves 6 are lifted. When the shelves are sufiiciently lifted, the desired article may be lifted up, its lower edge may be pulled out and released from the lower shelf, and the article thus removed from the shelves. (The insertion of articles into the shelves is effected in the reverse order). At the same time as the shelves 6 are lifted, the end of the rod 15 actuates the switch 27 so that the signal means is supplied with current. If this is a sound source of the type previously mentioned, a light tone is generated. In this way the sales personnel is made aware of the fact that the rack is about to be opened for self-service, and the necessary attention may be paid to the rack.

As soon as the handle 8 is released the release mechanism is returned to its initial position because of the action of the spring 26. Thus the upper shelves 6 are re turned to the normal closed position of the rack. With the return of the release mechanism the switch 27 is deactuated and the supply of current to the signal means is interrupted. In the case of the above-mentioned sound source, this will then produce a relatively dark tone which is an indication for the sales personnel that the rack is closed again, and that supervision is no longer necessary.

The device according to the invention constitute a simple and thus relatively cheap construction, and it is also effective in that it is surveyable and easy to operate. The rack is open only as long as the handle is depressed. This implies that a person who wishes to take out an article from the shelves, has only one hand free, as the handle must be held down with the other hand. This feature constitutes an additional security against theft.

What I claim is:

l. A display and sales rack comprising a pair of side walls; a plurality of shelf units arranged between said pair of side walls for receiving articles for exhibit and sale, each shelf unit including a stationary lower shelf and a movable upper shelf between which said articles may be placed and retained in a non-withdrawable condition and further be released for removal from the shelves, the upper shelves being movable between a lower and an upper position, opposite surfaces of the shelves having a plurality of longitudinal, juxtaposed slots for relative displacement of articles placed in adjacent slots; article release means for lifting and lowering of the movable shelves; and signal means for delivering an observable signal upon actuation of said release means.

2. A display and slaes rack as defined in claim 1, wherein said article release means comprises a guiding frame displaceably arranged in the side walls of said rack, said movable shelves being fixed to said guiding frame; and operating lever means connected to said guiding frame.

3. A display and sales rack as defined in claim 2, wherein said article release means comprises further a pair of pivotally inter-connected rods, one end of each rod being connected to said guiding frame and the other end of one of the rods being extended through one of the side walls for constituting an operating handle, and a holder arranged at an intermediate point on the rod for pivotally supporting each rod.

4. A display and sales rack as defined in claim 1 including a switch operated by said article release means upon lifting and lowering of the movable shelves for actuating said signal means.

5. A display and sales rack as defined in claim 4,

wherein said signal means comprises an electrical gong.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification211/4, 211/40, 312/216
International ClassificationA47F7/024, A47F7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47F7/0246
European ClassificationA47F7/024C