An improved divider for display shelves having a plurality of spaced openings therethrough. The divider comprises a corrugated wire, or the like, which is releasably attached between shelf openings by means of novel brackets. When attached to a shelf, the wire forms a vertical divider. Each bracket comprises a flat member with a depending tab having a pair of opposed, hooked edges for engaging a shelf opening singly or together. The spacing between the hooked edges and the member preferably tapers to less than the thickness of the shelf so that the bracket is urged against the shelf when moved in a plane parallel to the shelf. Embossings are provided on the bracket to facilitate in welding the bracket to the wire.
What I claim is
1. In a shelf divider comprising a wire formed into a predetermined divider shape and a plurality of mounting brackets secured to the wire in a spaced planar relationship for releasably engaging spaced openings in a flat shelf having a predetermined thickness by elastically deforming the shaped divider wire and inserting the brackets into the spaced openings, an improved mounting bracket comprising a substantially flat member for bearing against the flat shelf, said member having an opening therethrough with an integral tab depending from an edge of said opening, and means on said tab defining two opposed hooked edges for selectively engaging a shelf adjacent a spaced opening, each of said hooked edges being spaced a distance below said member to receive the predetermined shelf thickness.
2. An improved mounting bracket for a shelf divider, as defined in claim 1, wherein the spacing between each of said hooked edges and said member tapers from greater than the predetermined shelf thickness to less than the predetermined shelf thickness whereby, when said tab is positioned in a shelf opening and the member is moved in a plane parallel to the shelf, at least one of the opposed hooked edges engages the shelf adjacent a spaced opening and urges said member against the shelf.
3. An improved mounting bracket for a shelf divider, as defined in claim 1, and including a plurality of embossings projecting above said member to facilitate in securing said bracket to the wire by welding.
4. An improved mounting bracket for a shelf divider, as defined in claim 3, wherein said member is substantially square and wherein an embossing is positioned adjacent each corner of said member, said embossings each being elongated and directed substantially toward the center of said member, whereby the wire can be selectively secured to any two adjacent embossings.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to display fixtures and, more particularly, to an improved shelf divider for use with display fixtures.
Various methods have been devised for dividing display shelves into sections, compartments and the like. Display shelves are often provided with a pattern of spaced openings for attaching shelf dividers. Typically, the openings are diamond shaped, although circular, square and rectangular shapes are also used. In the past, shelf dividers have been formed from wire and provided with mounting brackets for releasably engaging the display shelf openings.
In one prior art divider, the mounting brackets are spaced along a rigid wire. Each bracket has a depending, hooked tab for engaging one edge of a shelf opening. A spring member is provided for engaging the opposite edge of the opening to lock the bracket to the shelf. Mounting brackets of this type are strong. However, they are difficult to attach to the rigid divider wire since an accurate bracket spacing is required in order that the tabs will align with the spaced openings in the display shelf.
In another prior art divider, the divider wire is formed into a number of corrugations. Brackets are attached adjacent opposite ends of the wire with each bracket having a depending tab hooked toward the other bracket. The divider is attached to a shelf by inserting the tab on one bracket into a shelf opening, separating the two brackets by stretching the corrugated wire, inserting the tab on the second bracket into a shelf opening, and releasing the divider. The corrugations of the wire exert a sufficient spring force to urge the mounting brackets together, thus holding the hooked tabs in the shelf openings. These shelf dividers are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However, some problems occur in manufacture. Two different brackets are required for each divider: one having a left directed hooked tab for mounting at the right end of the wire and one having a right directed hooked tab for mounting at the left end of the wire. Assembly line personnel must exercise caution in mounting two different brackets on each divider and in facing the hooked tabs on the brackets in the proper direction. Furthermore, when long shelf dividers are manufactured, one or more brackets are also attached at intermediate points on the wire. At each intermediate point, it must be determined if a left or a right bracket is required. If the wrong bracket is used, the hook will not be urged into engagement with the edge of a shelf opening and the bracket will be useless. As a result of these difficulties, defective dividers are often manufactured.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the present invention, an improved bracket is provided for releasably attaching a corrugated divider wire to openings in a display shelf. The bracket generally comprises a flat member having a tab depending from adjacent its center. Opposite edges of the tab are hook shaped for either singly or in combination engaging the edges of an opening in a display shelf. Each hooked edge is preferably tapered to a spacing below the flat member of less than the thickness of the display shelf. Thus, when the tab is positioned in a shelf opening and the corrugated wire urges the mounting bracket in a direction parallel to the shelf, the flat member on the mounting bracket is wedged into contact with the shelf. Each mounting bracket preferably has a square or a rectangular shape with an embossing projecting above the flat member adjacent each corner. The embossings are elongated and are directed on diagonals so that the corrugated wire may be attached along any side between two adjacent corners. The wire is attached to the embossings by means of resistance welding.
Since the novel bracket of this invention is provided with a tab having two oppositely directed hooked edges, identical brackets may be attached to the ends of the corrugated shelf divider wire. Furthermore, the same bracket may be attached to intermediate points on the wire without alignment problems. Whether the intermediate bracket is urged towards one end or the other of the wire, one of the hooked edges on the tab will engage a shelf opening. Thus, the possibility of manufacturing defective shelf dividers through human error is eliminated.
Accordingly, it is a preferred object of the invention to provide an improved wire shelf divider.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved, universal bracket for releasably attaching wire dividers to shelves.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, with reference being made to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of two display shelf dividers according to the present invention mounted on a portion of a display shelf;
FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of an improved mounting bracket for a display shelf divider;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a mounting bracket attached to the end of a wire for a shelf divider;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional plan view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional plan view similar to FIG. 4, but showing the shelf divider wire secured along a different edge of a mounting bracket; and
FIG. 6 is an elevational view showing the attachment of a display shelf divider to spaced openings in a display shelf.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring now to FIG. 1, a corner of a display shelf 10 is shown. The display shelf 10 is provided with a plurality of spaced openings 11 for mounting shelf dividers, display racks, and the like. The openings 11 are shown as being diamond shaped, although other shapes such as squares, rectangles, and circles may also be used. A short shelf divider 12 and a longer shelf divider 13 are shown attached to the shelf 10. The dividers 12 and 13 generally comprise a wire 14 bent into a plurality of planar corrugations and having inwardly bent ends 15. The ends 15 are axially aligned with each other and with the lowermost edges of the corrugated wire 14. Each end 15 is resistance welded to the upper edge of amounting bracket 16. For additional strength, a mounting bracket 16 is also attached to a flattened portion 17 at an intermediate point on the corrugated wire 14 of the longer divider 13. The flattened wire portion 17 is aligned axially with the ends 15 of the corrugated wire 14 so that the mounting brackets 16 are aligned.
Referring now to FIGS. 2-5, the mounting brackets 16 generally comprise a flat member 20 stamped from a suitable sheet material. A plurality of embossings 21 project above the flat member 20 to facilitate in attaching the bracket 16 to the wire 14 by, for example, resistance welding. In a preferred form, the flat member 20 has a generally rectangular shape and the embossings 21 are positioned adjacent each corner 22 of the member 20. The embossings 21 are elongated and directed generally along diagonals of the member 20, thus permitting attachment of the wire 14 adjacent any edge of the member 20 between two embossings 21. Attachment between two different edges is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.
A central opening 23 is cut into the flat member 20 to define a tab 24. The tab 24 is bent downwardly to depend below the flat member 20. Opposed edges 25 on the tab 24 are formed in a generally hook shape for singly or in combination engaging the shelf openings 11. As shown in FIG. 3, an upper portion 26 of each hooked edge 25 is tapered or sloping. The sloping portion 26 preferably defines a wedge shaped area with the lower surface of the flat member 20 which tapers from a spacing greater than the thickness of the shelf 10 to a spacing less than the thickness of the shelf 10. Thus, when the mounting bracket 16 is moved in a direction parallel to the shelf 10, the flat member 20 is urged against the shelf 10.
Turning to FIG. 6, the long shelf divider 13 is shown being mounted on a display shelf 10. The shelf divider 13 is attached to the shelf 10 by either compressing or stretching the corrugated wire 14 to align the mounting brackets 16 with predetermined shelf openings 11. As shown in FIG. 6, the center and right brackets 16 are moved toward each other for insertion of the tabs 24 into shelf openings 11. The corrugated wire 14 then functions as a compressed spring to urge the center and right brackets away from each other and into engagement with the shelf 10. The wire 14 between the left and center brackets 16 is extended slightly to allow insertion of the tab 24 on the left bracket into a shelf opening 11. When the wire 14 is released, the left shelf bracket 16 is urged towards the center shelf bracket 16, with the hooked edge 25 on the bracket tab 24 engaging the shelf 10 adjacent the opening 11. Thus, critical alignment problems are eliminated by the use of novel brackets 16, each having a depending tab 24 with opposed hooked edges 25.
It will be apparent that various changes and modifications may be made in the shelf divider, and particularly in the shape of the wire for the divider, without departing from the spirit and the scope of the appended claims.