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Publication numberUS3877396 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 15, 1975
Filing dateJul 30, 1973
Priority dateJul 30, 1973
Publication numberUS 3877396 A, US 3877396A, US-A-3877396, US3877396 A, US3877396A
InventorsPatterson John L
Original AssigneeCoca Cola Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Knockdown display rack
US 3877396 A
Abstract
A knockdown display rack including a plurality of horizontal shelves, preferably of masonite; a plurality of vertical support columns, preferably of folded fibrous or plastic sheet material, each being slotted in the interior at the same heights to slidably receive and support the corresponding peripheries of the shelves; and a sleeve-like member, preferably of fibrous or plastic sheet material, slidably engaging the exteriors of the columns to enclose and restrain the columns in positions supporting the shelves. The shelves preferably have tabbed cutout areas between the uppermost and lowermost shelves to permit the display of merchandise on shelves.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Patterson [451 Apr. 15, 1975 [73] Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta,

22 Filed: July 30,1973

21 Appl. No.: 383,861

[52] US. Cl. 108/111; 248/174; 211/148 [51] Int. Cl A47b 43/02 [58] Field of Search ..108/11l,153;211/l35, 211/148; 248/174; 312/259 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,132,785 lO/1939 Hill 108/111 2,455,739 12/1948 Curtis 312/259 2,563,706 8/1951 Capron 248/174 X 2,895,696 7/1959 Mergenthaler.... 248/174 X 2,897,571 8/1959 Kupchinsky 108/111 X 2,923,997 2/1960 Emmerling..... 108/111 X 3,372,813 3/1968 lshida 211/135 3,806,124 4/1974 lppen 211/148 X Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorney, Agent, or FirmRobert A. Lester; W. Dexter Brooks; John R. Martin [57] ABSTRACT A knockdown display rack including a plurality of horizontal shelves, preferably of masonite; a plurality of vertical support columns, preferably of folded fibrous or plastic sheet material, each being slotted in the interior at the same heights to slidably receive and support the corresponding peripheries of the shelves; and a sleeve-like member, preferably of fibrous or plastic sheet material, slidably engaging the exteriors of the columns to enclose and restrain the columns in positions supporting the shelves. The shelves preferably have tabbed cutout areas between the uppermost and lowermost shelves to permit the display of merchandise on shelves.

29 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEUAPRI 51975 FIG 2 FIG 3 SHEET 1 BF 2 FIG 4 KNOCKDOWN DISPLAY RACK FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to rack assemblies and in particular to knockdown display racks.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the beverage industry and elsewhere there has long been a need for a simple economical, light-weight rack, which can be easily assembled and disassembled, suitable for displaying beverage products and other merchandise.

Most known display racks in order to provide necessary structural stability have consisted of a complex assortment of metal braces, supports and shelves interconnected by screws, bolts, pins and other mechanical fasteners. Such racks, while quite durable and effective under heavy loading, have been expensive, cumbersome and difficult to assemble and take apart. Typical examples are Evans, US. Pat. No. 3,696,763, and Muller, US. Pat. No. 2,505,299.

Other types of display racks, satisfying the cost and weight needs, have concentrated on the use of fibrous sheet products as the material of construction. For example, lshida, U.S. Pat. No. 3,372,813, discloses a rack of cardboard serving as a combined shipping and display device. To provide reasonable short-term stability, I

lshida employs a complex folded arrangement of platforms, platform supports, corner columns and means interconnecting the columns. This rack in requiring the use of fasteners, namely staples, cannot be conveniently assembled and disassembled. Moreover, the use of staples raises some question as to long-term stability or stability under heavy loading.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention seeks to overcome the prior art deficiencies by providing in one embodiment a knockdown rack assembly comprising at least one substantially-rigid shelf member adapted to be horizontally supported; a plurality of vertical support members adapted to be horizontally-spaced and disposed around the periphery of each such shelf member, each support member having a slotted portion for each such shelf member adapted to slidably receive and engage the periphery of such shelf member to horizontally support the same; and at least one sleeve-like member adapted to slidably engage said support members to enclose and restrain said support members in positions supporting said shelf members. Another embodiment of the invention is concerned with a knockdown display rack comprising a plurality of substantially-rigid, planar shelf members of substantially uniform thickness adapted to be horizontally disposed and vertically interspaced; a plurality of substantially-equal-length support columns adapted to be vertically disposed and horizontally interspaced, the interior side each of said support columns including slotted portions corresponding to the uniform thickness of said shelf members, said slotted portions adapted to slidably receive and horizontally support the corresponding peripheries of each of said shelf members; and a sleeve-like member substantially equal in length to said support columns adapted to slidably engage the exterior sides of said support columns to enclose and restrain said support columns in positions supporting said shelf members, said sleeve-like member including cutout areas between the uppermost and lowermost shelf members corresponding to the openings framed by said support columns and said shelf members.

In the interest of brevity and avoiding undue redundancy, the summary has been restricted to only the broadest aspects of the invention. For other important as well as preferred embodiments, reference is hereby made to the detailed description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other features and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following Detailed Description of various embodiments when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display rack of one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 depict various alternative embodiments of the column for use in the display rack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of a sleeve for use in the display rack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 shows the interconnection of the columns and shelves of the display rack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 portrays the relationship between the sleeve and the assemblage of the columns and shelves of the display rack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the display rack in which the upper portions of the columns'are juxtaposed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referrring to the drawings and in particular to'FlG. 1 depicting a preferred embodiment of the invention, display rack 1 includes a plurality of shelves 2 supported by four slotted corner columns 3 (longitudinally hollow as shown) which in turn are enclosed and restrained by sleeve 4-preferably of the same height as the columns. Each face of the sleeve is provided with a plurality of openings 5 each framed by adjacent columns and shelves. For convenience openings 5 are sized to leave side portions 6 extending above shelves 2 to serve as restraining borders for merchandise being displayed. To provide neatly trimmed edges and to enhance structural integrity, tabs 7 are preferably provided along the top of sleeve 4 and at the upper edges of openings 5. The tabs are folded inwardly and downwardly into the upper interiors of columns 3 and into engagement with shelves 2. Notably, due to the unique arrangement and interconnection of parts, no other components, such as traditional mechanical fasteners, are required.

Although the display rack of the invention is shown as a rectilinear structure having a single sleeve enclosing four corner columns, various other arrangements could be employed so long 'as structuralstability and integrity are maintained. For example, the shelves and corresponding sleeve could be of triangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, circular or irregular shape. The number of shelves and the spacing therof may be varied according to merchandising needs. The sleeve is most The detailed construction of the rack will be more easily understood by describing the individual elements starting with column 4. The most preferred embodiment of the column illustrated in FIG. 2 consists of a single longitudinally-folded sheet having abutting longitudinallyopen sides 9 shown here for better understanding as slightly separated. The other two sides preferably are, by a suitable means known in the art, provided with notch or slot for each shelf to be supported. Surprisingly, this embodiment required no fasterners or fastening portion since the final rack structure maintains the rectilinear integrity of the column. It is preferred, however, that sides 9 be minimally taped together to facilitate assemblying the rack.

Other embodiments of column 4 are depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4. Sheet 8 of FIG. 3 has open sides 9joined by a series of tabs 11 and corresponding slots 12. In FIG. 4 open sides 9 are connected by passing rod 16 through aligned hole of meshing tabs 13 and cutouts 14.

In all embodiments, it is preferred that slots 10 be sized to snugly receive the corresponding peripheries of the shelves. By doing so, the slotted portions and corresponding peripheries provide a continuity of force transfer, i.e., in a straight line from column to shelf to column to shelf, etc., thus insuring the greatest possible structural stability.

Preferably to yield a light-weight product the columns of the invention are formed of a foldable sheet material such as corrugated or uncorrugated paperboard, cardboard, fiberboard or plasticboard. A corrugated board is more desirable for enhancing structural rigidity. Also, a corrugated board is advantageous in conjunction with the embodiments of FIG. 4 since the fluted portion acts as a receiver for rod 16.

In the illustrated embodiments, the column has been a rectilinear, longitudinally-hollow member of a folded sheet material. However, other shapes and constructions are acceptable in accordance with the invention. If desired the columns could optionally be solid and/or exhibit various shapes triangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, circular or irregular. Instead of the described materials, metal, wood, etc., could be used. Generally such materials are less desirable due to increased weight and reduced workability.

Sleeve 4 in a preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 5 with tabs 7 in an upright folded position. Tabs 7 are most suitably provided along the bottom of each cutout area 5 and at the top of the sleeve. The latter are arranged to fold into and between the columns. Although not absolutely necessary, the tabs do improve structural stability as well as aesthetics. As previously indicated the sleeve may, in keeping with the shelves, exhibit various conforming configurations and under certain conditions may consist of more than one part. The danger of the latter is the possible loss of structural stability. Openings 5 may vary in configurations and number depending upon display needs. If sleeve 4 is constructed of a corrugated material, the fluted corrugations preferably run horizontally to insure maximum stability and strength.

Shelves 2 are considered substantially self-evident and therefore are not separately illustrated. Preferably the sleeves are fabricated of a light-weight, rigid sheet material that will stand up under normal loading. One such material is masonite. Other suitable materials, of course, may be utilized. Although shown as a rectilinear sheet, the shelves, as previously mentioned, can assume numerous other shapes and configurations. In fact the shelves need not necessarily be sheets but may have varying thickness and constructions which are compatible with the basic sleeved, slotted-column arrangement of the invention.

To assemble the components of the display rack of FIG. 1, the columns of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, for example, are folded into a closed rectangular configuration and where appropriate locked by tabs, slots, etc. and then positioned around shelves 2 as shown in FIG. 6. Most suitably two columns are placed on a horizontal surface, the shelves positioned in slots 10 and the remaining columns added. The resulting structure is rotated to the vertical position of FIG. 7 and sleeve 4 is slid down the length therof. After tabs 7 are folded inwardly and downwardly, the rack of FIG. 1 results. In a preferred variation, FIG. 7, the uppermost parts of the slotted sides of columns 3 are collapsed inwardly into juxtaposition with the remaining sides to secure appropriate tabs 7 therebetween. This embodiment has the advantage of giving the upper shelf more storage space as well as improving the stability of the rack.

If moisture conitions are anticipated, at least a bottom part of the lowest shelf, the columns or the sleeve may be fabricated of a waterproof material or supported by a waterproof member. For example, the bottoms of the columns may rest on a plastic platform enclosed by the sleeve.

In the display rack of the present invention, the inventor has offered a rack that can be easily and conveniently assembled and taken apart. The rack requires only three different structural components, namely, columns, shelves and a sleeve. No separate mechanical fasteners are necessary. By employing the preferred construction materials, the rack is light-weight, economical and as a by-product disposable, if desired. Even so, because of the particular structural arrangement, the rack is quite durable and will stand up under heavy loadings for sustained periods of time.

From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that changes in the detailed design and construction of the described display rack may occur to persons skilled in the art without parting from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description is considered to be only exemplary of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A knockdown rack assembly comprising:

a. a plurality of substantially-rigid shelf members adapted to be horizontally supported,

b. a plurality of vertical support members adapted to be horizontally spaced and disposed around the periphery of each such shelf member, each support member having a slotted portion for each such shelf member adapted to slidably receive and engage the periphery of such shelf members to horizontally support the same, each slotted portion of said support members being sized to engage the corresponding periphery of a shelf member such that, under loading of an upper shelf member, force is transmitted directly through the slotted portions of the support members and the engaged peripheries of the shelf members therebelow, and

c. a single sleeve-like member adapted to slidably engage said support members to enclose and restrain said support members in positions supporting said shelf members, said sleeve-like member having cut out areas corresponding to the openings framed by said support members and said shelf members.

2. A rack assembly according to claim 1 wherein said sleeve-like member includes tab portions adjoining said cutout areas adapted to be folded inwardly.

3. A rack assembly according to claim 2 wherein tab portions are provided in said sleeve-like member at the top thereof and at the bottom of each cutout area, said tab portions being adapted to be folded inwardly and downwardly into engagement with said shelf members.

4. A knockdown rack assembly comprising:

a. a plurality of substantially-rigid shelf members adapted to be horizontally supported,

b. a plurality of vertical support members adapted to be horizontally spaced and disposed around the periphery of each such shelf member, each support member having a slotted portion for each shelf member adapted to slidably receive and engage the periphery of such shelf members to' horizontally support the same, each slotted portion of said support members being sized to engage the corre sponding periphery of a shelf membersuch that, under loading of an upper shelf member, force is transmitted directly through the slotted portions of the support members and the engaged peripheries of the shelf members therebelow, each of said support members being a column of a longitudinallyfolded sheet having corresponding longitudinallyopen sides, and

c. at least one sleeve-like member adapted to slidably engage said support members to enclose and restrain said support members in positions supporting said shelf members.

5. A rack assembly according to claim 4 wherein said longitudinally-open sides of each said columns have interlocking tabs and slots.

6. A rack assembly according to claim 4 wherein said longitudinally-open sides of each of said columns have meshing tabs and cutouts including at least one aligned longitudinal passage receiving a connecting rod therethrough.

7. A rack assembly according to claim 4 wherein said longitudinally-open sides of each column are adapted to abut without interconnection.

8. A rack assembly according to claim 4 wherein said columns are rectilinear and each slotted portion consists of a single slot cut entirely through two adjoining sides of a column.

9. A rack assembly according to claim 8 wherein said sleeve-like member includes tab portions adjoining said cutout areas adapted to be folded inwardly.

10. A rack assembly according to claim 9 wherein the uppermost part of the slotted sides of each column is adapted to fold inwardly into juxtaposition with the remaining two sides of the column and tab portions are provided at the top of said sleeve-like member which are adapted to fold inwardly and downwardly between the juxtaposed sides of the uppermost part of each of said columns.

11. A knockdown display rack comprising:

a. a plurality of substantially-rigid, planar shelf members of substantially uniform thickness adapted to be horizontally disposed and vertically interspaced,

b. a plurality of substantially-equal-length support columns adapted to be vertically disposed and horizontally interspaced, each of said support columns including interior slotted portions corresponding to the uniform thickness of said shelf members, said slotted portions adapted to slidably receive and horizontally support the corresponding peripheries of said shelf members, and

a sleeve-like member substantially equal in length to said support columns adapted to slidably engage the exteriors of said support columns to enclose and restrain said support columns in positions supporting said shelf members, said sleeve-like member including cutout areas between the uppermost and lowermost members corresponding to the openings framed by said support columns and said shelf members.

12. A display rack according to claim 11 wherein said support columns and said sleeve-like member are fabricated from foldable fibrous or plastic sheet material.

13. A display rack according to claim 12 wherein said support columns and said sleeve-like member are fabricated from corrugated paperboard, fiberboard, cardboard or corrugated plasticboard.

, 14. A display rack according to claim 13 wherein the corrugated sleeve-like member is disigned so that the fluted corrugations run horizontally to enhance structural rigidity.

15. A display rack according to claim 12 wherein each of said support columns is formed of a longitudinally folded fibrous or plastic sheet material having corresponding longitudinally-open sides.

16. A display rack according to claim 15 wherein each of said support columns is fabricated of a corrugated plastic or paperboard and the longitudinallyopen sides have meshing tabs and cutouts receiving a connecting rod through the corrugations thereof.

17. A rack assembly according to claim 15 wherein said longitudinally-open sides of each column are adapted to abut without interconnection.

18. A display rack according to claim 17 wherein said longitudinally-open sides of each column are maintained in abutting relationship by adhesive tape.

19. A rack assembly according to claim 16 wherein said columns are rectilinear and each slotted portion consists of a single slot cut entirely through two adjoining sides of a column.

20. A rack assembly according to claim 18 wherein said sleeve-like member includes tab portions adjoining said cutout areas adapted to be folded inwardly.

21. A rack assembly according to claim 20 wherein the uppermost part of the slotted sides of each column is adapted to fold inwardly into juxtaposition with the remaining two sides of the column and tab portions are provided at the top of said sleeve-like member which are adapted to fold inwardly and downwardly between the juxtaposed sides of the uppermost part of each of said columns.

22. A display rack according to claim 11 wherein said shelf members are masonite sheets.

23. A display rack according to claim 11 wherein said shelf members, support columns and sleeve-like member are retilinear, said support columns are four support columns, and said slotted portions of said support columns are cut into the same two adjoining sides in each of said support columns.

24. A display rack according to claim 11 wherein said sleeve-like is provided with tab portions adjoining said cutout areas adapted to be folded inwardly.

25. A display rack according to claim 24 wherein tab portions are provided in said sleeve-like member at the top thereof and at the bottom of each cutout area of said tab portions, said tab portions being adapted to be folded inwardly and downwardly into engagement with said shelf members.

26. A display rack according to claim 25 wherein said supporting columns are longitudinally hollow columns and at least some of said tab portions of said sleeve-like member are adapted to fold inwardly and downwardly into the upper openings of said hollow columns.

27. A display rack according to claim 11 wherein at least a bottom part of one of said shelf members, support columns and sleeve-like members'is fabricated of or supported by a waterproof material or member.

28. A knockdown rack assembly comprising:

a. at least one substantially-rigid shelf member adapted to be horizontally supported,

b. a plurality of vertical support members adapted to be horizontally spaced and disposed around the periphery of each such shelf member, each support member having a slotted portion for each such shelf member adapted to slidably receive and engage the periphery of each such shelf member to horizontally support the same, and

c. at least one sleeve-like member adapted to slidably engage only the peripheral vertical surfaces to said support members to enclose and restrain said support members in positions supporting said shelf members.

29. A knockdown rack assembly comprising:

a. at least one substantially-rigid shelf member adapted to be horizontally supported,

b. a plurality of open-ended vertical support members adapted to be horizontally spaced and disposed around the periphery of each such shelf member, each support member having a slotted portion for each such shelf member adapted to slidably receive and engage the periphery of each such shelf member to horizontally support the same, and

c. at least one sleeve-like member adapted to slidably engage the peripheral vertical surfaces of said support members to enclose and restrain said support members in positions supporting each such shelf member, said at least one sleeve-like member including tabbed end portions adapted to fold inwardly into juxtaposition with the open ends of said vertical support members.

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Referenced by
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US3958517 *May 14, 1975May 25, 1976Jay Walter MTable
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Classifications
U.S. Classification108/183, 211/186, 248/174
International ClassificationA47B47/06, A47F5/11, A47F5/10, A47B47/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B47/06, A47F5/116
European ClassificationA47B47/06, A47F5/11B2