US 3863873 A
A self supporting device for use on a horizontal surface or to be clipped on a shelf, comprising a substantially Z-shaped member including a clip formed out of the lower end of the member and a slot at the upper portion to be engaged by the article to be held. The clip is for attachment to a shelf such as found in a medicine cabinet, whereby the device is adapted to support an object by the configuration of the slot in the upper arm and allows for the article to be easily removed and replaced.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Cushing [451 Feb. 4, 1975 SUPPORTING DEVICE  Inventor: Paul Richard Cushing, Box 68,
Stony Brook, NY. 11790  Filed: July 23, 1973  Appl. No.: 381,803
 US. Cl. 248/110, 248/126, 248/226 E  Int. Cl. Fl6m 13/00  Field of Search 248/37.3, 37.6, 108, 109,
248/110, 113, 126, 152, 174, 226 E, DIG. 6; 403/2; 211/65; 285/3, 4; 220/38  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,258,884 3/1918 Fife 285/4 1,886,752 11/1932 Stansberry 248/126 UX 1,998,232 4/1935 Gould 248/108 2,126,114 8/1938 Jett 248/DIG. 6 2,616,647 ll/l952 Murchison 248/110 2,917,182 12/1959 Browne 211/65 3,021,637 2/1962 Huffman 248/126 UX 3,367,610 2/1968 Lindquist 248/110 3,531,073 9/1970 Cortina 248/113 3,602,530 8/1971 Elwart 285/4 3,615,046 10/1971 Bashara 248/126 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 80,375 6/1952 Norway 243/126 Primary Examiner-William H. Schultz Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdith Grill  ABSTRACT A self supporting device for use on a horizontal surface or to be clipped on a shelf, comprising a substantially Z-shaped member including a clip formed out of the lower end of the member and a slot at the upper portion to be engaged by the article to be held. The clip is for attachment to a shelf such as found in a medicine cabinet, whereby the device is adapted to support an object by the configuration of the slot in the upper arm and allows for the article to be easily removed and replaced.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures SUPPORTING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a supporting device that can be placed on a horizontal surface or easily and quickly attached to a shelf without further means for attachment, or without damage to the shelf. The device is capable of holding various objects such as tools, toothbrushes, razors, and guns which can be displayed in such a position as to be easily seen and quickly removed. The device can be used in pairs as bookends.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Various types of supporting devices have been used in the past which are confined to being placed on a horizontal surface or to being clipped to a shelf, or fastened thereto by screws, nails, or like fasteners, some of which permanently mar.
Prior supporting devices that are designed to be clipped to a shelf is seen in U.S. Pat. No. 2,472,058. That particular invention is directed to holding long narrow objects that will fit in curved hooks as toothbrushes and various tubes.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,883,062 is adapted for use if clipped to a shelf or attached to a vertical surface by a suction cup.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,486,630 is designed to support various objects if supported itself by a shaving cream can and, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,960,237; 2,919,813; 1,998,232; and 2,382,894 are designed to support certain specific impliments.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,291,877 may be used to support items on a flat horizontal surface.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention accomplishes its desired objects by utilizing a base which is formed on one end to provide a clip for securing the device to a shelf and is also suitable for supporting the device'and whatever it is holding on a flat horizontal surface.
Engagement by the article to be supported is facilitated by a slot in the upper arm of the device that is especially designed to enable the object that is to be supported, to fit into the upper arm of the device. The interconnecting section of the device connects the base to the upper arm of the holder and is angled, with respect to vertical, whereby enabling the article that is being supported to be held in a position where it does not extend beyond the front edge of the base of the device.
It is therefore, the main object of the invention to provide a supporting device for accommodating various differently shaped objects. Further it is another object to provide a device that is constructed in one piece making it economical to manufacture and simple and refined in its appearance.
These objects and other features of the invention, which will become apparent as the following description proceeds, are attained by this supporting device, preferred embodiments of which are shown in the accompanying drawing, by way of example only, wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention shown engaged with a shelf in a cabinet, with parts of the cabinet broken away to show the invention; illustrating a safety razor in broken lines;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the device shown standing on a flat horizontal surface;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view looking in the direction of line 3-3 in FIG. 2 showing a modified form of the upper portion of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the upper portion of the invention showing another modified form of the upper portion; I
FIG. 5 is a partial side elevational view of the upper portion of the invention showing another modified form of the upper portion.
FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of another em bodiment of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION With continuing reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals designate similar parts throughout the various views, reference numeral 12 is used to generally designate a supporting device constructed in accordance with the concepts of this invention and which is self-supporting on any flat horizontal surface 14 and is self-securable to a projecting surface, such as the shelf 16. The supporting device 12 is especially adapted for holding toilet accessories and can be placed on a flat surface 14, such as a sink counter top, or it can be clipped to a shelf 16 in a medicine cabinet 40, as shown in FIG. 1.
The device 12 is extremely useful for displaying an article that is for use or sale, and then using the same holder functionally as supporting means once sold.
The supporting device 12 can be adapted to support or display a safety razor 20 as shown in FIG. 1 a toothbrush 22 as shown in FIG. 4, or various other articles, not shown, such as tools, guns, or kitchen utensils and can be clipped onto a shelf to support books placed next to it.
The supporting device 12 is of one piece construction of plastic or metal that can be easily and inexpensively manufactured by injection molding, heat bending, or an extrusion process.
The supporting device 12 includes an upper horizontal arm 24, that can have various shaped slots 26, 28, 30 formed therein. The slots 26, 28, 30 are formed to conform to the contours of the object to be supported. Slot 26, which has a square frontal portion one side of which opens on the front edge of arm 24 and has a frontwardly diverging triangular rear section, is especially formed to be engaged by a safety razor 20. Slots 30 are rectangularly formed with one of the shorter sides opening onto the front edge of arm 24 to facilitate the engagement of a toothbrush 22. Slot 28 is rectangular with one of the shorter sides opening onto the front edge of arm 24. The slot 28 has tabs 38 with a weakened section 32 so they may be broken off by hand and thereby enlarge the width of slot 28 if desired.
At the rear of arm 24 is a downwardly and forwardly extending interconnecting member 32. The interconnecting member 32, is at an angle to the vertical allowing objects, such as a safety razor 20 or a toothbrush 22, to hang from arm 24 and not interfere with the supporting of such objects. The interconnecting member 32 at its bottom is connected to a clip 18.
The clip 18 is comprised of a flat portion 34, the bottom of which can engage the top projecting element such as the shelf 16 shown in a medicine cabinet 40. At
the front of the flat portion 34 is an arcuate section of the clip 18 that arcs upwardly and forwardly from the flat portion 34 and then downwardly and inwardly where it connects to the front of the horizontal base 36. The arcuate convex section of the clip 18 enables the flat portion 34 to act resiliently and thereby the bottom of the flat portion 34 and the top of the base 36 can clampingly engage a projecting element 16 and become self attaching. The arcuate section of the clip means 18 provides the flexible action needed between the base 36 and the flat portion 34.
The base 36 is planar and extends backwardly from the clip 18. The base 36 acts either as a complementary section to the flat portion 34 when clamping onto a projecting element 16 or as an engaging surface to a horizontal surface 16, such as a counter top. The base 36 enables the supporting device 12 to be selfsupporting on a horizontal surface 14 when holding an object, such as a safety razor or a toothbrush.
A form of the invention employing a slot or opening 30 closed at the front of the arm 24, if desired, is shown in FIG. 6.
The overall size of the supporting device depends on the particular object that is desired to be supported. The interconnecting member 32 is elongated if tall objects are to be supported. The base 36 extends so that it reaches backward of the center of gravity of the object that is being supported, as it is held by the arm 24 in the slot 26, 28, or 30. The slots 26, 28, 30 are of various shapes and sizes to engage an unlimited number of objects. A slot 28 could be provided with break away tabs 38 having weakened break points 32 so that enlargement of the slot is possible by hand.
As shown in FIG. 5, the front of arm 24 could be provided with a lip 25 being arcuate and extending upwardly and outwardly from the supporting device 12 to adapt the arm 24 to support a wide variety of objects.
In FIG. 6 there is shown a form of the invention in which arm 24 is provided with a closed opening 30.
A latitude of modification and change is intended in the foregoing disclosure, and in some instances, some features of the present invention may be employed without a corresponding use of other features.
1. A unitary supporting device comprising a substantially Z-shaped member including an upper horizontal arm having a slot therein, a horizontal base, and a downwardly and forwardly extending interconnecting member extending between and connecting said arm and said base, said base including clip means integrally and resiliently interconnecting said base and said interconnecting member at the front of said base for engagement with a horizontal projecting element with said element being received and resiliently clamped between said base and said clip means, said clip means being arcuate and curving downwardly and inwardly over the top of said base.
2. A supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said slot opens into the front edge of said arms.
3. A supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said arm has a plurality of slots opening into the front edge thereof.
4. A supporting device according to claim I, wherein said arm is provided with tabs on at least one side of said slot, said tabs having a weakened break point so said tabs can be broken off to enlarge said slot.
5. A supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said arm is provided with a lip, said lip being arcuate and entending outwardly and upwardly from the front