US 3880292 A
A merchandise display for installation on building columns. The display incorporating vertical support legs at selected corners of the column, a pluraliy of display modules each positioned against one face of the column and engaged both with the support legs through hook means, and each other through hangers, and retaining straps encircling the column, support legs and display modules for holding the entire merchandise display against the column. At least one of the straps engages horizontally aligned portions of the various display modules through spacers constructed so as to specifically provide an inwardly directed retaining force thereon from the tensioned strap.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kitchen 1451 Apr. 29, 1975  MERCHANDISE DISPLAY FUR [$344,954 3/1966 Fra ncem 2] 1/] l2 INSTALLATION ON BUILDING COLUMNS 770.400 3/1957 Un1ted Kingdom 248/22]  Inventor: Harry E. Kitchen, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, Md. 20014 Primary E.\'z1minerRamon S. Britts Attorne Agent. or F [rm-Dennison, Dennison.  Filed: 1973 Townsiiend 8L Meserole [2|] Appl. No.: 375,516
[57} ABSTRACT 1521 11.5. C1 211/112; 211/50 1511 1111. C1. A47f 5/08 A PF bu'ldmg [58} Field 61 Search 211/112. 107, 106. I81. umns- The d'sPlay mwrpmtmg PP'} legs 2 55 881 2 at selected COI'HETSI the colnmn, a plurahy Of d1splay modules each pos1t1oned against one face of the col-  References Cited Emnk and engngejcl boLh wlith tEe suplpgrt legs thrgugh UNITED STATES PATENTS 00 means. an eae 0t er t roug angers, an retamlng straps enclrchng the column, support legs and Eflbcnstem 5 34; display modules for holding the entire merchandise lCS t 1 t 3.115.252 12/1963 SCHiCfll 211 55 d'splay 'l the At one of the SW 3 370 369 7 engages horizontally ahgned port1ons of the vanous /l968 Look t A 248/221 X l d l h h d 3.423.137 2/1969 Baggott 211/126 x F es F mug 9 95*" spec1fically prov1de an mwardly dn'ected retammg FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS force thereon from the tensioned strap. 535.447 2/1955 Belgium 248/221 19 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PNENTED APR 2 91975 SHEET 10F 3 l'll FIG. 8
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MERCHANDISE DISPLAY FOR INSTALLATION ON BUILDING COLUMNS The present invention generally relates to merchandise displays, and more particularly is concerned with a modular display specifically structured for installation on conventional building columns without requiring penetration or modification of the column in any manner, and at the same time producing a structurally stable unit occupying no floor space.
Of all the fixed assets held by a retail merchant, space is the most valuable and the most directly related to profitability. In most stores an increase in the amount of available merchandising space would show up directly as an increase in sales because of the increased variety of products that can be displayed. For the wholesaler or manufacturer, frequently the only way he can persuade a retailer to handle his products is to show him how to use his space more wisely to accommodate additional merchandise, or to give him specifically designed display fixtures that hold a maximum of merchandise and occupy a minimum of space.
Many stores, especially the larger ones, are on the ground floor of large buildings and must contain support columns of varying sizes. Such columns are generally regarded as obstructions to good display practice because they limit the size and shape of display fixtures that can be installed in the store. Further, they place viewing obstructions in the way of nearby displays and cause a general loss of efficiency in display space.
The invention herein is particularly directed to utilizing the columns themselves for the displaying of merchandise. More specifically, the invention provides for a unique modularly constructed merchandising display which mounts directly on columns of varying sizes so as to significantly add to the available display area and provide a positive display function to the columns rather than the non-display and obstruction forming character of store columns as is now more conventionally the case.
In converting columns to effective display areas, as a practical matter, many problems are encountered. For example, since most retail store space is rented, it would be undesirable to drill holes, use nails or screws or make any other damaging changes to a column, or for that matter, to the floor or ceiling adjacent thereto. Further, if possible, little or no floor space should be taken. Also, since there is a wide variety of shapes and sizes of columns, short walls, and the like, an effective merchandising display to be associated therewith must be adaptable to enable a maximum utilization of the area. Finally, if the merchandise display is to be used by a wholesalers or manufacturers salesman as a commercial means or as a means for getting the goods into the store, it would be highly desirable that the display device be light in weight, compactly packaged, and capable of being simply assembled and installed without requiring any specific skills. In conjunction therewith, the display must, of course, be structurally sound, safe and economical.
The invention herein incorporates all of the desired features being, at one time, lightweight, easily assembled, structurally secure when installed, and adaptable, through a modular design, to a variety of different sized columns without requiring any penetration or further modification of the column and without requiring the use of any floor space.
Other objects and advantages of the merchandising display of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the merchandise display of the instant invention installed in operative position on a column;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the merchandise display as mounted, the column being shown in section;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 55 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view detailing many of the individual components utilized in the merchandise display;
FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of the supporting force applying relationship of the strap to the display modules of the merchandising display; and
FIG. 8 is a schematic illustration of the geometry of the strap and the force components exerted by the strap.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral I0 is used to designate one type of merchandise display constructed in accordance with the instant invention. The display 10 includes a series of display modules 12 positioned against one face of a conventional building support column I4 and mounted thereon by means of support legs 16 and tensioned securing straps 18.
Each of the display modules 12 consists of a series of vertically aligned receptacles 20 interconnected by vertically extending back members 22.
The display modules 12 have been illustrated as incorporating four receptacles 20. However, the number of receptacles and their respective shape and size can vary depending on the particular installation, the merchandise to be displayed therein, etc.
Each of the receptacles 20, attention being particularly directed to FIG. 6, is formed of rigid metal wires or rods appropriately bent and welded to provide a proper receptacle for the particular merchandise involved. As illustrated, each of the receptacles 20 includes a tray-like lower portion 24 defined by a series of laterally spaced front to rear extending rods 26 having upturned front end portions 28 interconnected by a front cross bar or rod 30, and upturned back end portions 32 interconnected by a transverse rear rod 34. A pair of side braces 36 may be provided between the up turned front and rear portions of the two endmost bottom rods 26.
The upturned front portions of the two endmost bottom rods 26 continue upwardly, as at 38, to the full height of the receptacles and then extend rearwardly, as at 40, terminating in a transverse back bar 42 in vertically spaced aligned relation over the lower back rod 34. The front upright portions 38 are interconnected, below the upper ends thereof, by an upper transverse front rod 44. The front to rear bottom rods 26 are further interconnected and rigidified by a pair of transversely extending spaced bottom rods 46. As previously indicated, the various rods and rod portions are bent and welded into a substantially rigid merchandise confining unit.
A plurality of such receptacles 20 are welded to the back members 22, which comprise a pair of laterally spaced rigid rods, to define a display module. It will be noted that the rods 22 actually engage the transverse back rods 44 and 42 in inwardly spaced relation to the lateral sides of the receptacles 20.
Each of the support legs 16, one such leg 16 encasing each of the four corners of the column 14, is in the nature of an angle bar or ell. The support legs 16, thus formed. fully protect all of the corners of the column [4 against the compressive forces of the tensioned straps 18 and additionally provide a hanger type support for the display modules as shall be detailed presently. Each of the support legs 16 is preferably formed of separable upper and lower sections for ease of packaging. As a simplified assembly means, the lower section will have an upwardly projecting right angle plate 48 affixed to the outer face of the upper end thereof so as to, with the upper end of the lower section, form a seat for the lower end of the upper section, both of which are in turn strap clamped against the column 14 as will be best noted in FIG. 1, the angle plate 48 being of sufficient height so as to fully stabilize the upper leg section.
At the upper end of each of the support legs 16, on each of the right angularly related faces thereof, is an upwardly directed hook 50. The provision of hooks on both faces of each of the support legs 16 adapts the leg for the accommodation of display modules on either one or both adjoining faces of the column 14. This top hook 50 receives the top cross back rod 42 of the up permost receptacle 20 of the adjacent display module 12. A similar hook 52 can be provided at an intermediate portion of each leg face for the reception of a second cross back rod of one of the lower receptacles 20. Note, for example, FIG. I wherein the lower hook 52 receives the lower back cross rod 34 of the lowermost receptacle 20 of the edge module 12.
As will be appreciated, only the two edge modules 12 are suspended from the support leg hooks 50. The intermediate display modules 12 are suspended from the edge display modules 12 by a series of elongated hangers 56 as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings. Each of the hangers 56 includes reversely bent hook defining opposite ends which respectively engage over the front to rear upper rod or rod portion 40 of an outer module I2 and under the edgemost front to rear tray forming rod 26 of the corresponding receptacle 20 of the next innermost module 12. Two such hangers 56 will normally be provided between each pair of laterally adjacent receptacles 20 with the arrangement of hangers 56 possibly being best appreciated from FIG. 1. Also, note FIG. 4 in particular for the specific relationship of the hangers between adjacent receptacles.
The outwardly cantilevering nature of the receptacles 20, as well as the hanger supported relationship of the intermediate display modules 12 gives rise to a substantial tendency for the merchandise display to tend to fall or move outwardly away from the column face. In order to avoid this and properly retain the entire merchandise display 10 tightly against the column 14, the straps l8, and in particular an uppermost strap immediately underlying the upper row of receptacles are utilized.
In order to translate the tension of the uppermost strap 18 into an inwardly directed force applied directly on the receptacles 20 of the upper row, and
hence the upper portions of each of the display modules 12, a series of strap spacers are utilized. Four such spacers 58, 60, 62 and 64 have been illustrated, the number of different spacers utilized depending upon the number of modules required. Each of the spacers 58-64, preferably formed of a single length of bent wire, includes a pair of coextensive lengths bent to form inner and outer hook portions. The inner hook portion of each spacer, as will be best appreciated from FIGS. 3 and 5, is specifically configured so as to receive and snugly seat the strap 18. The outer hook portions of the spacer 58 are relatively small reversely curved portions which engage over the outermost bottom cross rod 46 of the receptacle 20, also noting FIG. 5, with the horizontal portions of the spacer 58 lying against the bottoms of both transverse bottom rods 46. The remaining spacers 60, 62, and 64 include progressively shorter horizontal portions and terminate in relatively enlarged upstanding hook portions, the upper terminal ends of which engage over the front transverse rod 30, this being best illustrated in FIG. 3. The horizontal portions of these spacers seat against the undersurface of the outer transverse base rod 46 for a further stabiliza tion thereof. As illustrated with spacers 62 and 64, it is contemplated that the shorter spacers, those normally associated with the central display modules 12, are to have the portions defining the strap receiving hook section directly adjacent each other so as to provide a more concentrated force receiving area.
As will be best appreciated from FIG. 2 and the schematic illustration of FIG. 7, the arrangement of the spacers is such so as to progressively increase the distance outward from the column face of the strap receiving inner hook portion of the spacers from the two leg-hooked side sections 12 to the central or innermost section or sections. Thus, the strap 18 follows a generally arcuate path beneath the upper transverse row of receptacles 20 and through the associated spacers. However, it should be appreciated, and it is extremely significant, that the length and placement of the spacers, and hence the positioning of the inner strap receiving hook portions thereof, is such so as to result in a slight although specific angular change in direction of the strap 18 as it passes therethrough. In this manner, there is insured an inwardly directed force component which translates the tension of the strap I8 into an effective load perpendicular to the column face for the positive retention of the display modules thereagainst. Through relatively straightforward mathematical computations, the specific lengths and placement of the various spacers can be calculated, which will insure that, for an anticipated load. a sufficient and uniform perpendicular force component will be achieved at each spacer with minimum strap tension. In effecting this, as previously mentioned, the length and placement of the spacers are such as to effect a slight change in direction of the strap as it passes thereover along the generally arcuate path illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 7 in particular whereby a direct positive load transfer is effected at each spacer. The load transfer is uniform with minimum strap tension when the difference between sines of angles 0,, and (h FIG. 8 is equal to the ratio between perpendicular force N and strap tension T.
In installing the merchandise display I0, the support legs are positioned at each of the comers of the column, the lower ends of the legs resting on the floor. Retaining straps 18 are then applied about the lower and middle portions of the column and column engaged legs 16. The two side display modules 12 are then hung on the two support legs which border the particular face of the column to receive the merchandise display, after which the intermediate display modules 12 are suspended on the leg hooked edge sections by means of the hangers 56 engaged between laterally adjacent receptacles. Next, the appropriate spacers are mounted on the upper horizontal row of receptacles and the upper strap 18 applied and tensioned. It should be appreciated that the straps 18 can be made of any appropriate material with the tensioning thereof effected by conventional means depending on the strap material. For example, buckles, sliding clasps, or the like can be used. Also, steel strapping, requiring a specific tensioning tool and clamps or metal joiners may also be used.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a highly unique merchandise display has been defined. This display is particularly and specifically adapted for mounting on the face or faces of a column so as to effect a utilization of what has heretofore been considered unusable space as an effective display area for merchandise. The mounting of the merchandise displays on the column is achieved with damaging or in any manner affecting the column itself. That is, no modification of the column is required, nor are any screws, nails, or the like, driven into the column or attached thereto. On the contrary, the display arrangement is effected through the utilization of column edge reinforcing angles which are tension strapped to the column and, in conjunction with the strapping itself, support the display modules. While the spacers have been set forth as being used solely with the upper row of receptacles, additional spacers and associated spacer engaged strapping can be used on other horizontal rows of receptacles should such be desired. However, it is emphasized that an arrangement as illustrated in FIG. 1 is more than adequate to fully, safely and securely support a full display of books and the like.
As will be appreciated, appropriate modifications can be made in the receptacle configurations for the accommodation of different types of merchandise, such as but not limited to shelves trays, penetrating hooks and the like, the illustrated receptacles being particularly adapted for books.
A preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated, however modifications may be made without departure from the spirit of the invention within the scope of the following claims.
1. A merchandise display in combination with a column of polygonal cross-section defining planar faces with opposed corner forming edges, a plurality of display modules arranged across a face of the column between the opposed vertical edges thereof, each module including a plurality of merchandise receiving receptacles, the receptacles of the respective modules being horizontally aligned in vertically spaced rows, a tension-able strap encircling said column immediately below the upper row of receptacles, each of the receptacles in the upper row having a spacer affixed thereto, each spacer including a strap receiving seat therein receiving the tensioned strap therethrough, said strap receiving seats of the spacers being spaced outward from the display receiving face of the column whereby the column encircling strap, between the opposed vertical edges of the column face receiving the display, assumes a generally arcuate configuration, said spacers being of a length relative to each other so as to effect an angular change in direction of the strap as it passes through the strap receiving seats, the strap receiving seats of the spacers being positioned progressively greater distances outward from the column face from the display modules at the opposed vertical edges of the column to the module of modules at the center thereof.
2. The dislay of claim 1 wherein each spacer is affixed to the corresponding receptacle by hook means defined on the spacer and engaged with a portion of the receptacle.
3. The display of claim 1 including leg means positionable against the column, means retaining said leg means against the column without penetration of the column, and hook means on said leg means engaged by selected ones of said display modules.
4. The display of claim 3 including hangers engaged between horizontally aligned receptacles of laterally adjacent display modules for the support of each inward module on the next outward module.
5. The display of claim 3 wherein said leg means comprises at least one corner embracing angle bar per column corner.
6. The display of claim 3 wherein the means retaining said leg means comprise additional straps tensioned about the column and leg means below the first mentioned strap.
7. The display of claim 1 including vertically elongated angle bar legs embracing the column corners at the opposed vertical edges on the face thereof receiving the display, and hook means on the legs engaging and supporting the display modules at the opposed vertical edges of the column.
8. The display of claim 7 including hangers engaged between horizontally aligned receptacles of laterally adjacent display modules for the support of each inward module on the next outward module.
9. The display of claim 1 wherein the strap provides uniform force with minimum tension by having an angular change in direction such that the difference between sines of the angles subtended by the strap and the face of the column is approximately equal at more than one spacer.
10. A merchandise display for installation on a building column, a plurality of display modules including back portions positionable adjacent a column, each module including a plurality of merchandise receiving receptacles projecting forwardly from the corresponding back portion, the receptacles of the respective modules being horizontally alignable in vertically spaced rows, a tensionable strap for encircling the display modules and column immediately below one horizontal row of receptacles, each of the receptacles in the one row having a spacer affixed thereto, each spacer including a strap receiving seat therein for the reception of the tensionable strap therethrough, the strap receiving seats of the spacer being positioned progressively greater distances outward from the back portions of the display modules from the receptacles at the opposite ends of said one row to the receptacle or receptacles at the center thereof to effect an angular change in direction of the strap as it passes through the strap receiving seats.
11. The display of claims 10 including vertically elongated leg means positionable against a column, means for retaining the leg means against the column without penetration of the column, hook means on said leg means engageable by selected ones of said display modules, and hangers releasably engageable between horizontally aligned receptacles of laterally adjacent display modules for support of each inward module on the next outward module.
12. The display of claim 11 wherein each of said hangers comprises an elongated rod having oppositely bent hook ends for engagement over one receptacle and under an adjacent receptacle.
13. The display of claim wherein each spacer is affixed to the corresponding receptacle by hook means defined on the spacer and engaged with a portion of the receptacle, the corresponding strap receiving seat being orientated immediately below the receptacle.
[4. A merchandise display for installation on building columns and the like comprising vertically elongated support leg means positionable against a building column, at least one display module, said display module including a merchandise receiving receptacle having a back portion and a front portion, support means for engaging the receptacle back portion with said leg means with the front portion projecting forwardly therefrom, a a strap receiving seat on said receptacle forward of the back portion, and a strap engageable within said seat and tensionable about said leg means and a column to effect a tension induced inward retaining force on the receptacle and leg means against the column.
15. The display of claim 14 wherein the strap receiving seat is orientated below said receptacle and vertically spaced from the support means.
16. The display of claim 15 wherein said strap receiving seat has a hook portion integrally formed therewith and releasably engageable with the front portion of the receptacle for a mounting of the strap receiving seat thereon.
17. A merchandise display in combination with a column having a planar face with opposed edges, said display including a plurality of merchandise receiving receptacles aligned in a horizontal row across said face, each receptacle having a strap receiving seat thereon, a tensioned strap engaged in said seats and encircling the column, each seat, inward from the receptacles at the opposite ends of the row, being at a progressively greater distance outward from the column face and effecting an angular change in direction of the strap as it passes thereover to define a generally arcuate configuration.
l8. ln a merchandise display, multiple laterally positionable display modules, each of, said display modules including a series of vertically spaced and aligned merchandise receiving receptacles, and a mounting strap receiving spacer associated with at least one receptacle, said spacer including a strap receiving seat and hook means for engagement of the spacer with the receptacle, and elongated hangers engageable between receptacles on laterally adjacent modules, each hanger having receptacle engaging ends.
19. A method of mounting a merchandise display on a building column comprising the steps of providing a building column orientating a plurality of merchandise receiving receptacles in a horizontal row about a por tion of the column, providing a strap seat on each receptacle with the seat on each receptacle inward from the opposed ends of the row being a progressively greater distance from the column, engaging a strap in said seats, and tensioning the strap about the column to clamp the receptacles thereto.