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Publication numberUS3889419 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1975
Filing dateAug 29, 1973
Priority dateAug 29, 1973
Publication numberUS 3889419 A, US 3889419A, US-A-3889419, US3889419 A, US3889419A
InventorsLeroy Robert Maleck
Original AssigneeAdmiral Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Two-way opening door for household refrigerator
US 3889419 A
Abstract
A door for a refrigerator characterized by being capable of being opened in either a left-handed or a right-handed direction. The cabinet of the refrigerator has a hinge pin disposed in each corner of the opening and the door is provided with two bolt assemblies having a bolt member which is slidable into entrapping engagement with the hinge pin for the purpose of forming a hinged mounting adjacent either the left or right hand side of the door. The door is also provided with a pair of handles disposed on the right and left hand side of the door each handle engaging the bolt assemblies to shift the bolts to form the hinge assembly on the side opposite to the handle that is actuated.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Maleck 1 June 17, 1975 1 TWO-WAY OPENING DOOR FOR HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR [52] [1.5. CI. .1 49/193; 16/147; 49/382 [51] Int. Cl E05d 15/50 [58] Field 01' Search 49/193. 382; 16/147 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,550.205 Cemazar a 49/193 X 1,560.537 11/1925 Cole 49/193 X 1,933,009 10/1933 Epton et a1. 4. 16/147 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 448,347 6/1936 United Kingdom 49/193 537,775 7/1941 United Kingdom 16/147 Primary Examiner-Kenneth Downey Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John R. Bronaugh et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT A door for a refrigerator characterized by being capable of being opened in either a left-handed or a righthanded direction The cabinet of the refrigerator has a hinge pin disposed in each corner of the opening and the door is provided with two bolt assemblies having a bolt member which is slidable into entrapping engagement with the hinge pin for the purpose of forming a hinged mounting adjacent either the left or right hand side of the door. The door is also provided with a pair of handles disposed on the right and left hand side of the door each handle engaging the bolt assemblies to shift the bolts to form the hinge assembly on the side opposite to the handle that is actuated.

11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures SHEET PATENTEDJUN 1 7 1915 A llllllll I! 1 TWO-WAY OPENING DOOR FOR HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention is directed to a cabinet for a home appliance particularly for a refrigerator with a door which can be selectively opened in either of two different directions.

2. Prior Art With recent safety regulations, refrigerator doors must be built so that they can be opened from the interior. Thus, a majority of the refrigerators now being built utilize a magnetic type door seal for holding the door in the closed position. With such an arrangement, most refrigerators are delivered to the dealer with a hinge assembly which can be relocated from one side to the other side to enable providing a door that is either a right-handed opening door or a left-handed opening door.

While a person purchasing a refrigerator can obtain a door that opens in the most convenient manner for the particular space in which the refrigerator is placed, relocation of the refrigerator in the kitchen can result in the door opening in the wrong direction. Furthermore, although the direction of the opening for the door of a refrigerator can be selected to be the most desirable for most instances, there is always times in which it would be more convenient for the refrigerator door to open in the opposite direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a door for closing an opening in a cabinet of a home appliance such as a refrigerator which door can be selectively opened in either one of two directions. To accomplish this, the opening of the cabinet is provided with a first set of hinge pins along one side of the opening and a second set along the opposite side. The door is provided with means for selectively engaging either the first set or second set of hinge pins to form the hinge mounting either on a first or second side of the door so that the door may be selectively opened in either of two different directions. The door is provided with a pair of handles to provide means for shifting the engagement means into engagement with either of the first or second sets of hinge pins. Preferably, the door includes means for preventing the shifting of the engagement means when the door is moved from a closed position to prevent accidental release of the door from the hinge mountings. In the preferred embodiment, the engagement means comprises a pair of bolt assemblies comprising a bolt member mounted for sliding movement on a support member between a first position entrapping a hinge pin received in a recess on one side of the door to a second position entrapping the hinge pin received in a recess on the opposite side of the door and the means for preventing shifting being a pair of detent levers pivotably mounted on each bolt assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a generalized isometric view of a refrigerator cabinet having a door of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a bolt assembly and portion of the door of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a partial cross section with portions in elevation of the bolt assembly of the present invention engaging a hinge pin;

FIG. 4 is a cross section taken along the line lV-IV of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an end view with portions broken away for purposes of illustration of the door of the present invention in a position closing the opening;

FIG. 6 is an end view with portions broken away for the purposes of illustration of the door in an open position;

FIG. 7 is an end view with portions broken away for purposes of illustration of the door being pivotably mounted on a side opposite to the mounting illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is generalized isometric view of an end of the bolt member and the detent lever with parts removed for purposes of illustration; and

FIG. 9 is a side view of the door of the present invention with portions broken away for purposes of illustrating the linkage between the handle of the door and each of the pair of bolt assemblies.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The principles of the present invention are particularly useful in a cabinet generally indicated at 10 in FIG. I which cabinet is particularly useful for a refrigerator. The cabinet 10 has an enclosure with a rectangular opening 11 on one side thereof. To close the opening 11, a door 12 is pivotably mounted along either one side or the other side of the opening 11 for movement from a position closing the opening to a position allowing entrance to the enclosure. To hold the door in the closed position, the inner surface of the door 12 is provided with a conventional magnet seal 13 which engages the periphery of the panel in which the opening II is formed and which provides an air tight seal between the door 12 and opening 11 (FIG. 4).

As illustrated the cabinet 10 has a hinge pin 14 mounted adjacent each corner of the opening 11 and arranged in sets with a pair of the hinge pins 14 on the left hand side of the opening 11 and a second pair of hinge pins 14a on the right hand side. The door 12 is provided with means for selectively engaging either the right hand set or the left hand set to form a hinge mounting for the door on either the right hand or left hand side of the opening 11 to enable the door to open in either a right hand direction or a left hand direction. As illustrated, the door is provided with a pair of handles l5 and 15a which form means for actuating or shifting the selective engagement means so that actuation of the handle causes the engagement means to form the hinge mounting along the left hand side of the door while actuation of the handle I5 causes the engagement means to form the hinge mounting on the right hand side of the door.

Each of the hinge pins is of a conventional structure which includes a pin 17 mounted on a bracket 18 which is mounted on the cabinet 10 by appropriate fastening means such as machine screws 19 (see FIG. 3). The brackets 18a (FIG. 1) of the lower hinge pins is provided with a right angle bend to facilitate mounting onto the cabinet.

To enable the engagement means disposed in the door 12 to engage the pins 17, the door adjacent the upper and lower end wall is provided with recesses. As

illustrated in FIG. 2, a pair of recesses and 200 are provided adjacent an upper end wall 21 of the door 12 and comprises openings in the panel forming the end wall 21 which openings extend into a rear wall of the door. To increase the bearing surface of the edge of the opening, a portion of the opening in the panel forming the end wall 21 are provided with flanges 22 and 22a, respectively. The pair of recesses in the lower end wall of the door have the same structure and when the door 12 is in the closed position, each of the pins 17 are received in its respective recess. In FIG. 5, pins 17 and 170 are shown as being received in recesses 20 and 20a, respectively.

The engagement means selectively engages the pins on either the right side or left side of the opening 11 and comprises a pair of bolt assemblies with one bolt assembly being mounted on the upper end wall 21 between the recesses 20 and 20a and the other bolt assembly mounted in a similar manner on the lower end wall of the door 12.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, each bolt assembly includes a bolt member 23 slidably received in a housing which is formed by a slide member 24 and a cover member 25. The slide member 24 has an H- shaped cross section (FIG. 4) which is formed by edge flanges 26 which form a guideway for receiving the bolt member 23 and engages the cover when it is secured to the slide member 24 by appropriate fastening means. The cover 25, which has raised portion 250 at each end, is provided with a pair of projections 27 which receive threaded fasteners 28. The fasteners 28 extend through slots 30 in the bolt member 23 and are received in threaded passageways 31 of the slide member 24 to hold the cover onto the slide member 24. The bolt assembly is secured on the end wall 21 by threaded fasteners 33 which extend through countersunk openings 34 in the end wall, through opening 35 in the slide member 24, through elongated slots 36 in the bolt member 23 and are threadably received in openings 37 in the cover member 25. As illustrated, the elongated slots 30 and 36 allow the bolt member to slide in the guideway provided by the spaced side flanges 26 which also serve the purposes illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 of spacing the bolt member 23 from the end wall 21 a sufficient distance to clear the flanges 22 and 22a.

The bolt member 23 is provided with a notch or cut out portion at each end to provide an engagement surface 38 and 38a, respectively. As illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, the bolt member 23 can be moved from a first position with the surface 38 extending across the recess 20 and the surface 38a withdrawn from the recess 20a to a second position with the surface 38 withdrawn from the recess 20 and the surface 380 extending across a recess 20a. When the bolt member 23 is in the first position, the surface 38 entraps the pin 17 in recess 20 to form a hinge mounting for the door 12. In a similar manner when the bolt member 23 is shifted to the second position (FIG. 7) the surface 38a entraps pins 17a in the recess 20a to form a hinge mounting on the opposite side of the door.

Each of the bolt assemblies includes a pair of detent levers 40 and 40a which extend into the recesses 20 and 200, respectively, for engaging the pins 17 and 17a. The detent levers 40 and 40a provide means for preventing movement of the bolt member 23 when the door is moved from a position closing the opening. As illustrated, the lever 40 has a pivot pin 41 which is received in opening 42 in the slide member 24 and opening 43 in the raised portion 250 of cover member 25 to pivotably mount the detent lever 40 at the end of the housing so that it may extend into its respective recess such as 20. The portion 250 of the cover member 25 provides clearance for the detent lever 40 adjacent the bolt member 23. The lever 40 is provided with a stop member or portion 44 which is a tab or projection and a second projection or tab 45. The stop portion 44 is received in an L-shaped slot 46 of the bolt member 23 and extends into a rectangular opening 47 in the slide member 24. The second projection 45 extends out of a rectangular opening 48 to be engaged by a biasing means such as a leaf spring 49 which is mounted on the projection 27 by the fastening means 28. A detent lever 40a is of the same structure and mounted in the same manner and has a stop projection 44a received in an L- shaped slot 46a and the second projection 45a extending out of the opening 480 for engagement with the biasing means which is the spring 49a.

As best illustrated in FIG. 8, the L-shaped slot 46 has a leg portion 50 forming an abutment surface 51. When the spring 49 pivots the detent lever 40 on its pivot mounting, the stop portion 44 is moved into the leg portion 50 and is in a position for abutting against the surface 51. When the detent lever 40 is in the position illustrated in FIG. 8, the stop portion 44 prevents the bolt member 23 from being shifted in the direction of arrow 52.

To enable the shifting means comprising the handles 15 and 15a to shift both bolt members 23, each bolt member adjacent the openings 46 and 46a is provided with projections 53 and 53a, respectively, which may be a pin attached to the bolt member and which extends through an aperture or an elongated slot such as 54 (FIG. 4) provided in the cover 25. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the handles 15 and have levers 55 and 55a, respectively, which extend through an opening such as 56 in the door 12 and engage the pins 53 and 53a of each bolt assmbly. Thus each handle is provided with two levers with a lever coacting with the pin of each of the two bolt assemblies as illustrated in FIG. 9. The lever 55 and thus the handle 15 is moved to a closed position by a spring 58 which is anchored on the structure of the door 12 and attached to the lever 55.

The operation of one of the two bolt assemblies forming the engagement means is illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 and while the following description is limited to the operation of a single bolt assembly, it should be remembered that both the upper and lower bolt assemblies operate in unison during the opening and closing of the door 12. Referring to FIG. 5, grasping the handle 15a to move it from a rest position (broken line) to an outward position illustrated in bold lines causes movement of the lever 55a which is engaged with the pin 53a to shift the bolt member 23 to a first position with the engagement surface 38 entrapping pin 17 in recess 20. Since the door is still in a position closing the opening 11, pins 17 and 17a of the hinge pins engage the detent levers 40 and 40a to pivot them against their respective springs 49 and 49a. Such pivotable movement removes the stop portion 440 from leg portion 50a and thus from alignment for abutting relationship with the surface 510.

With a pull force applied to the handle 150, the door 12 will pivot on the hinge mounting adjacent the left hand side towrd an open position. As the pin 17a leaves the bottom of the recess 200, the spring 49a will pivot the detent lever 40a to a position with the stop portion 44a received in the leg portion 500 of the slot 46a and in alignment for abutting relationship with the abutting surface 51a. Thus, an inadvertent pulling on the handle will not shift the bolt member 23 to enable the engagement surface 38 to release the pin 17 and thus the door cannot be inadvertently removed from the hinge mountings. With movement of the door back to a position closing the opening, the pin 17a depresses the detent lever 40a to pivot the stop portion 44a out of the leg portion 50a of the L-shaped slot 460 and out of alignment with the abutment surface 51a.

While in a position closing the opening, the lever or handle 15 can be pulled to cause the lever 55 to engage the pin 53 and shift the bolt member 23 in the opposite direction so that the engagement surface 38a entraps the pin 17a in the recess 20a to form the hinge mounting on the right hand side of the refrigerator. When the bolt member 23 is shifted to the position illustrated in FIG. 7, the L-shaped slot 46 is shifted relative to the stop portion 44 so that the stop portion 44 can be urged into the leg portion 50 of the slot 46 by the spring 49 as the pin 17 leaves the recess 20. When the pin 17 is disengaged from the detent lever 40 (FIG. 7), the stop portion 44 is in abutting relationship with the abutment surface 51 to prevent movement of the bolt member in the left hand direction to prevent inadvertent release of the pin 170 which is forming part of the hinge mounting.

If it is desired to remove the door 12, the door must be moved to an opened position and the detent levers in the exposed recesses are manually depressed. Then the opposite handle is pulled or actuated to shift the bolt to release the bolt members 23 from engagement with the hinge pins. For example, assuming the door has been opened with the hinge mountings formed on the left hand side such as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the detent levers 40a are manually depressed so that the handle 15 can be actuated to shift the bolt towards the right to release the pins 17 and thus enable complete removal of the door.

To replace the door, one of the handles such as 15 is actuated to shift the bolt member of each bolt assembly to the right and then the door is mounted on the pins 17 which will pivot the detent levers 40 of each assembly to remove the stop portion 44 from the abutting relationship with abutment surfaces 51. Then by actuating handle 15a the bolt member 23 of each assembly is shifted to the left to form a hinge mounting on the left hand side of the door. Then the door can be moved to the closed position and opened either as a right hand opening door or a left hand opening door depending on which handle, 15 or 15a is actuated.

The bolt member 23 is preferably made of steel and the slide member 24 is preferably an aluminum extrusion. The cover member 25 which is assembled on the slide member is preferably a molded plastic member.

Although various minor modifications may be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to employ within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.

I claim:

1. In a cabinet for a home appliance having a door mounted for pivotable movement on a set of hinge pins disposed on one side of an opening, and means for holding the door in a position closing the opening, the improvement comprising a first set of hinge pins mounted on the cabinet adjacent one side of the opening, a second set of hinge pins mounted on the cabinet adjacent a second side of the opening opposite said first side, each of said sets of hinge pins includes an upper pin and a lower pin, engagement means disposed on the door for coacting with a set of hinge pins to form a hinge mounting for the door, said engagement means includes a pair of bolt members mounted for sliding movement in the door with one bolt member arranged to move from a position coacting with an upper pin the first set to a second position coacting with an upper pin of the second set and the other bolt member being movable from a position coacting with a lower pin of the first set to a position coacting with the lower pin of the second set, and means disposed on the door for selectively shifting the engagement means between the first and second sets of hinge pins by acting on both bolt members in the same direction to coact with the upper and lower pins respectively of one of the pair of sets so that the hinge mounting of the door can be shifted between the first and second side of the opening to enable the door in either of two directions.

2. In a cabinet according to claim 1, wherein said engagement means includes means for preventing shifting of the engagement means when the door is moved from a closed position.

3. In a cabinet according to claim 1, wherein the shifting means comprises a pair of handles with a handle mounted on the door adjacent each of said opposite sides thereof, each of said handles having a pair of levers extending into the door with one of the levers engaging the upper bolt member and the other lever engaging the lower bolt member.

4. In a cabinet according to claim 3, wherein said engagement means includes a recess in the door for receiving each of said hinge pins, and which includes detent means disposed in the door adjacent each end of the pair of bolt members for engaging a pin received in each of the recesses, said detent means preventing shifting of the bolt member when the detent means becomes disengaged from its respective hinge pin.

5. A cabinet for an appliance comprising an enclosure having a rectangular opening, a hinge pin mounted on said enclosure adjacent each of the corners of said opening, a rectangular door for closing said opening having a recess adjacent each corner for receiving the hinge pins when the door is in a position for closing the opening, a pair of bolt assemblies mounted in the door with one of the pairs being adjacent a first side and between a pair of said recesses adjacent said first side and the other of the pair being adjacent a second side opposite said first side and between the other pair of recesses adjacent said second side, each bolt assembly including a bolt member mounted for slidable movement on a support member between one position with the bolt withdrawn from one of said pair of recesses and extending across the other of said pair of recesses to entrap a hinge pin therein to form a hinge mounting for the door adjacent a third side of the door and a second position with the bolt withdrawn from the other recess of the pair and extending across the one recess to entrap the hinge pin therein to form a hinge mounting for the door adjacent the fourth side of the door, and means disposed on said door for shifting each bolt member of said pair of bolt assemblies between the first and second positions to enable opening a door in either of two directions by pivoting on hinge mountings adjacent either the third or fourth side of the door.

6. A cabinet according to claim 5, wherein each of the bolt assemblies include means for preventing movement of the bolt member when the door is moved from said position closing the opening.

7. A cabinet for an appliance comprising an enclo sure having a rectangular opening, a hinge pin mounted on said enclosure adjacent each of the comers of said opening, a rectangular door for closing said opening having a recess adjacent each corner for receiving the hinge pins when the door is in a position for closing the opening, a pair of bolt assemblies mounted in the door with one of the pairs being adjacent a first side and between a pair of said recesses adjacent said first side and the other of the pair being adjacent a second side opposite said first side and between the other pair of recesses adjacent said second side, each bolt assembly including a bolt member mounted for slidable movement on a support member between one position with the bolt withdrawn from one of said pair of recesses and extending across the other of said pair of recesses to entrap a hinge pin therein to form a hinge mounting for the door adjacent a third side of the door and a second position with the bolt withdrawn from the other recess of the pair and extending across the one recess to entrap the hinge pin therein to form a hinge mounting for the door adjacent the fourth side of the door, and means disposed on said door for shifting each bolt member of said pair of bolt assemblies between the first and second positions to enable opening a door in either of two directions by pivoting on hinge mountings adjacent either the third or fourth side of the door, each of the bolt assemblies having means for preventing movement of the bolt member when the door is moved from said position closing the opening, said means for preventing comprises a detent lever having a stop portion pivotably mounted adjacent each of the recesses with one end of the lever extending into the recess to be contacted by a hinge pin received therein, each of said bolt members having at least two spaced apart abutment surfaces, said abutment surfaces being arranged so that at least one of the abutment surfaces is in alignment with at least one of the stop portions when the bolt member is in either the first or second positions,

means for biasing each of the detent levers to a position with the stop member in abutting relationship with its respective abutment surfaces, said hinge pins when received in their respective recesses pivoting the levers against the biasing means to disengage all of the stop members from the abutting relationship with the abutment surfaces so that during opening of the door, the withdrawal of the two hinge pins enables the biasing means to urge a pair of detent levers to a position with the stop portion preventing movement of the bolt members to release the entrapped pin forming the hinge mounting.

8. A cabinet according to claim 7, wherein each of the abutment surfaces is an edge of an L-shaped slot provided in the bolt member and said stop portion of the lever is received in the L-shaped slot.

9. A cabinet according to claim 7, wherein the means for shifting the pair of bolt members comprises a pair of handles with one handle disposed along the third side of the door and the other handle disposed along the fourth side of the door, each of the handles having projections extending into the door and engaging a corresponding projection on the bolt member so that actuation of the handle on the third side of the door shifts the bolt members to form the hinge mountings on the fourth side of the door and actuation of the handle on the fourth side of the door shifts the bolt members to form the hinge mountings on the third side of the door.

10. A cabinet according to claim 9, wherein each of said support members is a housing receiving the bolt member, said housing having slots for the projection of the bolt members to extend therethrough.

11. A cabinet according to claim 10, wherein each of the detent levers associated with a bolt assembly is pivotably mounted in the housing thereof, wherein each of the detent levers has a second portion projecting through an opening in the housing, and wherein said biasing means is a spring mounted on the housing and engaging said second portion.

Patent Citations
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US1560537 *Dec 1, 1922Nov 10, 1925Joseph S ColeCombined latch and hinge
US1933009 *Sep 11, 1931Oct 31, 1933Epton Arthur IDoor mounting and latching means therefor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4222149 *Jul 13, 1978Sep 16, 1980Holbek Gert A EDoor hinge arrangement permitting opening of the door alternatively at either side
US4466676 *May 2, 1983Aug 21, 1984Forenade FabriksverkenArrangement for a cabinet having a door which can be swung outwards from the cabinet around either of two opposing edges
US4495673 *Sep 29, 1982Jan 29, 1985Whirlpool CorporationDouble-acting refrigerator door hinge with dual latch members
US4503582 *Sep 29, 1982Mar 12, 1985Whirlpool CorporationDouble-acting refrigerator door hinge and sliding lock-bolt
US4503583 *Sep 29, 1982Mar 12, 1985Whirlpool CorporationEnclosure with double acting hinge mechanism having overcenter latch
US4503584 *Sep 29, 1982Mar 12, 1985Whirlpool CorporationEnclosure structure with double-acting hinge mechanism having interlocking pivotal latch
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Classifications
U.S. Classification49/193, 16/232, 49/382
International ClassificationE05D15/50
Cooperative ClassificationE05Y2900/31, F25D2323/022, E05D15/505, F25D2323/024
European ClassificationE05D15/50C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 25, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: ANVIL TECHNOLOGIES LLC, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HOOVER HOLDINGS INC.;REEL/FRAME:008669/0526
Effective date: 19970718
Jul 28, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: HOOVER HOLDINGS INC., OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MAYTAG CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:008628/0670
Effective date: 19970718
Sep 5, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, A NY. BANKING CORPORATION
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RESOURCES CONSERVATION CO.;REEL/FRAME:005186/0266
Effective date: 19880101
Owner name: BURG, STANLEY, A COLLATERAL TRUSTEE
Sep 5, 1989AS06Security interest
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, A NY. BANKING CORPORATION
Owner name: BURG, STANLEY, A COLLATERAL TR
Owner name: RESOURCES CONSERVATION CO.
Effective date: 19880101
Jan 12, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: CHASE MANHATTAN BANK (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION), THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RESOURCES CONSERVATION CO., A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004666/0849
Effective date: 19861121