|Publication number||US3806220 A|
|Publication date||Apr 23, 1974|
|Filing date||Sep 25, 1972|
|Priority date||Sep 25, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3806220 A, US 3806220A, US-A-3806220, US3806220 A, US3806220A|
|Original Assignee||American Standard Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (16), Classifications (12)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Payne 1 1 DESK-AND COMPARTMENT  Inventor: George Payne, Bedford Hills, NY.
 Assignee: American Standard Inc., New York,
 Filed: Sept. 25, 1972  Appl. No.: 291,864
 US. Cl 312/330, 108/13, 211/126,
, 312/233  Int. Cl A47b 27/00  Field of Search 32/126, 231, 232, 233,
 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 3,152,698 10/1964 Maddox 312/350 X 1,497,005 6/1924 Wills 312/232 X 3.519.319 7/1970 Taylor.... 312/307 3,722,975 3/1973 Taylor........ 312/330 1,933,932 11/1933 Reinhard... 108/26 2136313 15 Federick 312/307 X 1 51 Apr. 23,1974
2,659,649 11/1953 Kump, Jr. 312/232 X 2,727,798 12/1955 Campo 3,701,576 10/1972 Moen 312/231 li imqr'xfizt mie rrr ems TrMs a front surface which is joined to the base surface by means of a longitudinal bulge. The unitary or integrated structure also includes ridges atop the side surface which may be slid along the rails within the groove of a desk when the tray structure is to be returned to the desk, but the tray structure is freely movable out of the groove whenever it is to be carried away and used independently of the desk. The bulge formation not only adds strength to the tray structure,
but also provides a convenient location for pens, pencils and other utensils.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 23 1914 3,806; 220
' SHEEI 3 OF 3 r l v DESK AND COMPARTMENT This invention relates generally to trays and compartments and, more particularly, to trays and compartments and like structures suitable for use with fumiture; such as desks, tables, bureaus, etc.
In connection with a desk, for example, which may be used in a kindergarden, school or other like institution, or in the home, it is desirable to have a tray or compartment which may be part of the desk and still be readily severable therefrom whenever desired so that the tray or compartment may be moved from place to place and used independently of the desk as a working surface for .doingvarious types of school work or other related activities having to do with writing letters, drawing pictures, sculpturing or the like. The ordinary drawer of a desk or other furniture is not readily and quickly severable from, or usable independently of, the desk for such purposes, and, even if it were severable, it would hardly be useful and practical as a work surface for writing letters in ink or for drawing pictures, etc. There has been little, if any, tray or compartment structure of the above type available for use as a part of a desk, and for use separately and independently of the desk of which it may sometimes be a component part.
According to the present invention, a portable tray or compartment is provided with a uniformly flat, smooth base surface so constructed that the flat, smooth base surface of the tray or compartment may be used for writing and like purposes on both sides of thebase surface, i.e., whether the tray or compartment is in its normal or upright position or in its inverted position. The tray or compartment of this invention also includes a groove or trough suitable for use in holding or retaining pen and pencils and like utensils, the groove or trough being differently oriented on the two sides of the base surface and sufficiently deep and arranged so as to retain such utensils and prevent them from being uncontrollably moved outof or displaced from the groove or trough of the tray or compartment. 7
In accordance with this invention, the tray or compartment is composed of a one-piece continuous material, such as any suitable thermoplastic material, so that the product can be quickly and easily produced in the desird shape in quantity in the factory and, having no parts, it will require absolutely no assembling of parts. The structure is truly unitary or integrated and is preferably made of a plastic substance, such as polypropelene or other thermoplastic material. Because of its material and construction and its smoothness, dust and dirt and other foreign materials, including normal pencil marks and various other stains, may be readily removed with a damp cloth and hence the structure can be maintained neat and clean. The structure is also very sturdy and virtually indestructible. The tray can be quickly moved into and along the slide rails of the groove of a desk and just as easily and quickly removed therefrom. g
It is one of the principal objects of this invention, therefore, to provide a tray or compartment which is a unitary and integrated structure, free of severable parts, neat in appearance and easily formed in the preferred shape and manufactured in quantity in the factory at low cost and embodying a sufficiently large, smooth writing or working surface, both in its upright position and its upturned position, and at the same time, the structure includes a form of trough or groove or other trench for receiving and holding pens, pencils and like utensils and materials.
It is a further object of this invention to provide such a tray or compartment equipped with protruding peripheral, appropriately shaped ribs which are also formed integrally into the unified and continuous tray or compartment structure and so arranged and organized that the protruding peripheral ribs are properly formed and hence suitable for freely gliding along, and guiding thetray or compartment into, the usual groove or along slide rails embodied in the conventional desk or other item of furniture with which the tray or compartment may be associated, whereby the tray or compartment is readily portable and usable in many places, even in places remote from the location of the desk or furniture.
Viewed otherwise, it is another object of this inven tion to provide an article of furniture, such as a desk, which may have, as one of its principal components, a tray or'compartment having a smooth writing surface and is of the type above referred to, so arranged that the tray or compartment may be readily separated from the desk structure so that the tray or compartment may be portable and be used by a child or student on the floor, or at any other place, for writing and other purposes, and, when no further use is required of the unit, the structure may be readily returned to the desk along with the papers and utensils that may have been assembled or collected on the tray or compartment.
This invention, together with its further objects and features, will be better and more clearly understood from the more detailed description and explanation hereinafter given when read in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
. FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective of one form of desk embodying the portable tray or compartment according to this invention;
FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the structure of FIG. 1, taken along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1, the tray or compartment being shown partially withdrawn from its groove;
FIG. 3 shows another cross-sectional view of the FIG. 1 structure, taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 illustrates a top plan view of the tray or compartment structure of this invention;
FIG. 5 shows a front perspective view of the tray or compartment in its upright position; and
FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of the tray or compartment shown in its inverted position.
Referring to the drawing, and more specifically to FIGS. 1 and 3 of the drawing, there is shown a form of student desk SD which is equipped with one or more trays or compartments TC, each of which may ride within an individual groove GR, usually formed on the undersurface of the desk top DT (only one tray TC and one groove GR are shown for simplicity). The desk SD may include two legs LGl and LGI, each leg including two telescoping segments for adjustability, both legs LGl and LGZ having at their bottoms respective floor rails RL! and RLZ. A stretch bar SB interconnects both legs LGl and LGZ.
FIG. 1 shows an arrangement of the desk SD with the tray TC withdrawn sufficiently, as indicated by the dotted lines, so that a student may conveniently write notes or letters while the tray is retained within and on the slide rails SL1 and SL2 within the groove GR of the desk SD. This is a novel feature in that it also gives the student ready access to the contents of the tray TC.
The tray or compartment TC, as shown separately in its upright position, for example, in FIGS. 4 and 5, embodies its base segment BS and three side segments, a left side segment LS, a right side segment RS, and a hind or rear side segment I-IS. The base segment BS, which is flat, smooth and horizontal, has appended to it a sloped segment SS. The tray or compartment TC also includes, as is shown more clearly in FIGS. 4 and 5, an elongated bulged segment BLG which separates the base segment BS from the sloped segment SS. Pens and pencils may be retained on the sloped segment SS on the forward side of the bulged segment BLG. When the tray is inverted, as shown in FIG. 6, the bulged segment appears as a groove GRV having its open end positioned downward, as shown, and pens and pencils and the like may be retained within groove GRV. The groove GRV and the bulge BLG have the same general configuration. As is more clearly shown in FIG. 2, the sloped segment SS is positioned preferably at a predetermined angle a with respect to the base BS.
As is shown by FIGS. 5 and 6, for example, the com- A partment TC also embodies a protruding angular ridge RDG as shown which, when the tray TC is in. its upright position, provides an under-surface which is flat so that the tray can be slid freely over the slide rails SL1 and SL2 mounted at the two sides of the desk SD or like item of furniture where the compartment TC can be normally stopped.
It is to be noted that the two side segments LS and RS of the compartment TC have a small angle of departure B from the vertical (see FIG. 3), the upper ends of both sides LD and RS being spaced from each other by a greater distance than the lower ends of the two sides. In one structure built according to the present invention, the angle of departure was about 5.
The tray TC, as shown in FIG. 5, may be positioned or rested upright on a floor or a table-top or other smooth, flat surface. A child or student may then write a note or letter on a paper laid on the base surface BS. In this position, pens and pencils may be laid at the intersection between the bulge BLG and inclined surface SS. FIG. 6 shows the tray TC in its inverted position where it may be retained on a floor or table-top or other smooth flat surface. In this inverted position, pens and pencils and other utensils may be laid within the groove GRV.
The curved groove GRV and bulge BLG are inversions of each other as seen particularly in FIG. 2. In a structure made in one piece of continuous plastic material, the curved surface adds considerable stiffness and strength to the overall structure of tray TC. The ridges RDG also add stiffness and strength to the structure. It will be observed that the base surface BS and the sloped surface SS meet the side walls LS and RS at rounded corners and that the base surface BS also joins the rear wall HS at a rounded corner. These rounded corners not only add strength to the structure, but they facilitate the cleaning functions.
The legs LGl and L62 and the floor rails RL] and RLZ are preferably formed of hollow metallic ovular even date, assigned to the same assignee, bearing Ser. No. 291,865 filed Sept. 25, 1972.
The ability to pull the tray TC partially out of its assigned groove GR renders the internal surfaces of the tray TC readily accessible for writing or other purposes. This is a desirable feature because the tray TC need not be totally removed from the desk structure to facilitate its use at any time.
What is claimed is:
1. A one-piece invertable and portable tray for providing a smooth writing surface both in its upright position and in its inverted position, comprising a substantially rectangular flat base segment forming a smooth writing surface, a front segment positioned forwardly of the base segment and pitched upwardly at a predetermined angle with respect to the base segment, a longitudinal bulge in the base segment formed parallel to the front segment and extending along the intersection of the base segment and the front segment and opening downwardly for receiving writing implements between the bulge and the front segment when the tray is in its upright position, two side wall segments adjacent the side edges of the base and front segments, a rear wall segment adjacent the rear of the base segment, and two substantially flat protruding ribs respectively positioned along the upper edges of the side wall segments, the two ribs supporting the tray when it is inverted and positioned on a flat surface, such as a floor, so that the inverted surface of the base segment also forms a smooth writing surface and the bulge in the base segment provides a receptacle for receiving writing implements when the tray is in its inverted position.
2. A one-piece invertable and portable tray according to claim 1 in which the two side wall segments are both pitched away from the base segment at a common predetermined angle with respect to the base segment.
3. A one-piece invertable and portable tray according to claim 1 in which the tray is formed of a continuous thermo-plastic material so as to be integral throughout the tray structure.
4. A desk or the like comprising a plurality of grooves each of which has a pair of parallel linear side rails over which a tray may be slid, a tray which is to be movable over a pair of said parallel linear side rails, said tray having a flat smooth base segment and a front segment positioned forwardly of the base segment and pitched upwardly at a predetermined angle with respect to the base segment, a longitudinal bulge in the base segment formed parallel to the front segment and extending along the intersection of the base segment and the front segment and shaped so as to open downwardly for receiving writing implements between said bulge and the front segment, two side wall segments adjacent the side peripheries of the base and front segments, a rear wall segment adjacent the periphery at the rear of the base segment, and two linear ribs respectively positioned along the upper peripheries of the two side wall segments, the two ribs supporting the tray when it is removed from its associated pair of side rails and is inverted and positioned on a flat surface, such as a floor,
the base segment forming a flat smooth surface suitable for writing purposes whether the tray is positioned upright or inverted, the tray being made of a plastic material which is formed in one piece as an integrated and unified structure.
5. A desk or the like according to claim 4 in which the tray is formed of a thermoplastic material.
6. A desk or the like according to claimS in which the tray is made in its entirety of polypropelene.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US1497005 *||Apr 10, 1922||Jun 10, 1924||Wills Reuben P||Desk|
|US1933932 *||Jun 15, 1933||Nov 7, 1933||Standard School Fixtures Compa||Student desk|
|US2565845 *||Nov 4, 1946||Aug 28, 1951||Carl Frederick||Concealed drawer for tables|
|US2659649 *||May 2, 1949||Nov 17, 1953||Kump Jr Ernest J||School desk|
|US2727798 *||Jun 30, 1953||Dec 20, 1955||Marvin H Swartz||Table with reversible center section|
|US3152698 *||Apr 18, 1963||Oct 13, 1964||Edker Pope Co||Tray rack adapter|
|US3519319 *||Nov 6, 1968||Jul 7, 1970||Rubbermaid Inc||Removable tilt-down drawer|
|US3701576 *||Dec 4, 1970||Oct 31, 1972||Moen Carl D||Lap supported work tray|
|US3722975 *||Jan 3, 1972||Mar 27, 1973||Rubbermaid Inc||Tilt-open drawer construction|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4632472 *||Nov 19, 1984||Dec 30, 1986||The Stanbel Group||Underhanging drawer system|
|US5360264 *||Feb 11, 1993||Nov 1, 1994||Crane Michael N||Versatile children's play table with toy storage|
|US5486042 *||Sep 9, 1993||Jan 23, 1996||Steelcase, Inc.||Furniture arrangement|
|US7106014 *||Apr 7, 2004||Sep 12, 2006||Krueger International, Inc.||Lectern|
|US7658442 *||Feb 13, 2006||Feb 9, 2010||Whiteside Mfg. Co.||Mobile chair with storage capabilities|
|US8667908||Apr 22, 2011||Mar 11, 2014||Steelcase Inc.||Frame type table assemblies|
|US8689705||Apr 22, 2011||Apr 8, 2014||Steelcase, Inc.||Reconfigurable table assemblies|
|US9185974||May 25, 2012||Nov 17, 2015||Steelcase Inc.||Frame type workstation configurations|
|US9210999||Apr 22, 2011||Dec 15, 2015||Steelcase Inc.||Frame type table assemblies|
|US9526335 *||Jul 27, 2015||Dec 27, 2016||Night And Day Furniture, Llc||Furniture objects including hidden containers|
|US20020047505 *||Aug 28, 2001||Apr 25, 2002||Korean Callahan||Attachable cabinet shelf|
|US20080084144 *||Oct 6, 2006||Apr 10, 2008||D Ambrosio Chris||Counter-top kitchen appliance utility apparatus and system|
|US20160037920 *||Jul 27, 2015||Feb 11, 2016||Night And Day Furniture Llc||Furniture objects including hidden containers|
|USD644455||May 3, 2010||Sep 6, 2011||Steelcase Inc.||Table|
|USD644457||May 3, 2010||Sep 6, 2011||Steelcase Inc.||Table|
|DE3805362A1 *||Feb 20, 1988||Aug 24, 1989||Tec Pool Ingenieurgesellschaft||Drawer|
|U.S. Classification||312/330.1, 211/126.15, 312/233, 108/13, D06/655.18|
|International Classification||A47B27/00, A47B88/04|
|Cooperative Classification||A47B2200/09, A47B88/0407, A47B27/00|
|European Classification||A47B88/04B, A47B27/00|