United States Patent 3677614

A knockdown merchandise display cabinet primarily designed for retail stores, with a primary objective of simplicity in construction and ready assembly, formed mainly of sheet metal and standard skeleton metal framework, the various parts being relatively flat to permit packing and shipping in compact, shallow packages. Roll-out shelving or drawers are supported on a horizontal frame, with anti-friction means therebetween, to permit sliding action with minimum effort. The shelf-supporting frame in turn is detachably carried by cantilever supports detachably mounted on the skeleton framework for vertically selective attachment. The shelf supporting frame has raceways for bearings under the shelves, which raceways incline downwardly and rearwardly in the back portion thereof, to induce automatic retraction of the shelving.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
A47F3/00; A47F3/06; (IPC1-7): A47B87/00; A47B88/00
Field of Search:
312/257,333,132,108 211
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3297374Merchandise display cabinet1967-01-10Radek
3243247Self-closing drawer slide1966-03-29Knape
2726905Suspension for a drawer or shelf1955-12-13Sundquist

Primary Examiner:
Gilliam, Paul R.
I claim

1. A knockdown readily assembled merchandise display cabinet comprising

2. A device as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said side members includes an exterior finished plate interconnected with the interiorly facing load-bearing plate.

3. A device as set forth in claim 2, wherein said loadbearing plates are provided with a plurality of pairs of horizontal flanges at different common levels to support a plurality of merchandise carriers for extending and retracting movements.

4. A device as set forth in claim 2, wherein the outermost rectilinear tracks adjacent to each allochirally disposed channel includes a downwardly extending vertical flange extending beyond the web of said channel to insure the smooth movement of the merchandise carrier and to avoid the wobble thereof.

5. A device as set forth in claim 2, including a yielding bumper mounted on each outermost rectilinear track for engagement with the front metallic element of said skeletal rectangular frame for limiting the forward movement of said merchandise carrier.

6. A device as set forth in claim 5, including a yielding bumper at the rear end of each roller way for cushioning the end of the retracting movement of said merchandise carrier.

My invention relates to cabinets for storage and display of merchandise in a retail establishment such as a department or drygoods store, and has to do especially with a knockdown cabinet of improved construction manufactured preferably mostly of sheet metal or the like.


My invention in a sense may be considered an improved over cabinets of the type described and claimed in my U.S. Pat No. 3,297,374, issued Jan. 10, 1967. Such cabinets are of knockdown construction, facilitating shipment and storage in a small space and capable of standardized mass production thus making possible reduced cost. Also, such goods utilize a standard supporting metal framework permitting assembly of any number of units in group arrangements, according to individual requirements.


A particular object of my invention is to produce a knockdown cabinet of the character referred to, manufactured mainly of sheet metal elements supported by generally standard metal framing. My improved cabinets have great versatility and are susceptible of various arrangements. Thus, they may be disposed against a wall, occupying a minimum of space in a room. Alternatively, they may be disposed away from a wall, with tandem cabinets extending on opposite sides of a common frame support means. Any desired number of cabinet units may be disposed in side-by-side relation, utilizing common supports, according to the needs of a particular establishment.

Another object is to provide a cabinet of the type described having a special slidable tray or shelf construction equipped with roller bearing means, and so designed in conjunction with supporting means therefor, to enable retractive movement of the shelf with a minimum of manual effort, as by a light finger touch, even when loaded with heavy merchandise. Still another object is to provide a cabinet of the type referred to wherein the major load of the shelves is carried by a simple cantilever arrangement. Still another object is to provide such an arrangement in combination with slotted posts, thus permitting vertical adjustability of the shelving.

Various other objects and advantages may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art as the description proceeds.


Referring now to the drawings illustrating certain preferred embodiments of my invention,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a merchandise cabinet constituting one embodiment of my invention, together with a fragmentary portion of an adjacent similar cabinet, with common supporting means, an upper shelf being shown moved forward from its fully retracted position;

FIG. 2 is a similar perspective view, showing the upper shelf in elevated position to reveal the underside construction thereof;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1, showing the lower shelf moved forward;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of certain portions of a shelf-supporting frame;

FIG. 5 is a front-to-rear section on an enlarged scale, partly in elevation, of a shelf and its supporting framework;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section-elevation of the front portion of the shelf supporting frame seen in FIG. 5, on a further enlarged scale;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 7--7 of FIG. 3, also greatly enlarged;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of a shelf of the cabinet seen in FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view of an end portion of a shelf-supporting frame;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary elevational view of a front corner portion of a shelf and supporting frame, as viewed from a plane along line 10--10 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of skeleton framework utilized in the support of cabinets embodying my invention;

FIG. 12 is an elevation of an assembled end portion of the framework seen in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary elevation-section taken substantially on line 13--13 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is an elevation showing a side panel and supporting framework used in connection with the framing of FIGS. 11-13;

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary perspective view on an enlarged scale of the structure in FIG. 14 with the addition of shelf-supporting frames;

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary section taken substantially along line 16--16 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is an exploded perspective view of shelves employed in my invention;

FIG. 18 is a perspective rear view of a finishing panel;

FIG. 19 is an end elevation of a shelf seen in FIG. 17, and

FIG. 20 is an exploded perspective view of a composite side panel employed as a feature of my invention;


Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, I provide a suitable skeletal supporting frame which may take a variety of forms, preferably being built of generally standard tubular bars or the like, an example of such a frame being indicated by numeral 10. Thus, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 and 11, this particular frame comprises relatively short leg members 12 attached as by welding to a horizontal beam 14 extending from front to rear. In this embodiment, a pair of cabinets C, C' are supported by the framework in back-to-back relation;

Under opposite sides of the cabinets are disposed supporting members similar and corresponding to members 12,14 (not seen), and a horizontal connecting bar 22 (FIG. 11) is attached to the beams 14 approximately midway of their length and transversely thereof. A plurality of posts 15 are carried by said horizontal members, one of said posts 15 being seen in FIG. 2 at the left end of the cabinets, a similar post being disposed at the right end thereof and a third post 15a intermediate said end posts disposed therebetween and extending down to the floor with a leg portion similar to legs 12.

All of said structural supporting members are preferably of standard square tubular material, and the vertical posts are preferably slotted for convenient vertically selective attachment of the cabinet elements embodying my invention, as hereinafter described.

For ready demountability, the vertical posts and the transverse or horizontal beam member connecting them, together with the short foot portion attached to the center post 15 a, preferably constitute a unit, being demountably attached to cross members 14, 14 by means of triangular gusset plates 23 welded to said transverse beam together with suitable screws (FIG. 11). It is not considered necessary to show or describe such details with further particularity, as they will readily be understood by those skilled in the metal working art from the description just given.

It will be seen that the skeleton frame just described may be knocked down to pack in relatively flat packages for convenient shipment.

In this embodiment a cabinet C is supported by the skeleton framework just described, consisting essentially of side members 30, 30, which may be essentially identical to each other in structure, or allochiral, a pair of shelf members S and S' and a front finishing panel P below the shelving.

Referring to FIG. 20, each of side members 30 constitutes a composite unit made up of three sheet metal panels 35, 36 and 37 attached together. Intermediate panel 36 serves as a structural member, being attached to an end post of the skeleton frame by hooks 39, 39', the latter being on a pivoted dog, said hooks engaging in slots of the post. Thus, panel 36 serves as a cantilever structural member for the support of the various elements hereinafter described.

Outside panel 35 and inside panel 37 provide an attractive finish, the exposed face of each being of a decorative character, such as wood-grained enamel or the like, and may be snapped onto panel 36 by the marginal flanges provided on said exposed panels. For added security, a flange 44 extends inwardly adjacent the lower edge of panel 36 (FIG. 20) to provide additional rigidity to the cantilever action of this panel, a nut 45 securing this flange to a leaf 46 fixed to bar 14 of the skeletal frame, as by welding. Thus, the skeletal frame is rigidly tied to the cabinet. (FIGS. 11, 14-16.)

Panel 37 may also be attached by screws as at 53, 54 to panel 36.

It will be understood that intermediate panel 36 is not exposed to view when finishing panels 35 and 37 are assembled therewith. Thus, the side walls present a neat and attractive and decorative appearance, as seen in FIGS. 1-3.

Secured to intermediate panel 36 by welding are flanges 42 and 43 (FIG. 20), both projecting inwardly substantially at right angles to the major plane of panel 36, these flanges serving for the support of shelf frames F, F'. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, upper shelf S and lower shelf S' are provided, these shelves being directly supported on frames F, F' the latter in turn being secured, as aforesaid, on flanges 42 and 43 respectively of panel 36. As seen in FIG. 20, screw holes are provided in these flanges for securing said shelf frames F and F'.

Each of said frames is a rectangular skeletal member, comprising a rear channel member 50 (FIGS. 15 and 16), a front channel member 52 and side members 55. An intermediate brace member, which may also be in the form of a channel open at the top, connects the front and back members 50 and 52 approximately midway between the side members 55. Said elements may conveniently be welded together to provide a light weight, relatively rigid frame unit. A plurality of anti-friction rollers 59 or the like may be disposed adjacent the ends and mid-portion of front bar 52.

The side bars 55 of frames F, F' (FIG. 16) include an angle portion 56, one flange of which overlies and is attached to flange 42 or 43.

It will be understood by those skilled in the art that while I have illustrated frames F, F' in a particular form, such details of construction are largely matters of choice for the metal worker that may be considerably varied without departing from the spirit of my invention, except as claimed herein.

Side members 55 of the frame also include a trackway 62 (FIGS. 7 and 15) having a channel portion at the top and bottom respectively said trackway having an opening 65 (FIG. 15) in the top portion thereof for ingress and egress of an anti-friction roller 68 carried by the shelf supported on the frame (described herebelow) to facilitate sliding movement thereof forwardly and rearwardly of the cabinet. Adjacent the forward extremity of slot 65 is a tongue or plate 66 (FIG. 6) sloping forwardly and upwardly from the bottom of trackway 62, to guide roller 68 of shelf S into and out of said trackway.

It will be noted that each trackway 55 of frames F, F' has a rearwardly and downwardly sloping portion 60 (FIGS. 4, 15), for the purpose of inducing rearward gravity sliding movement of the shelves mounted on said frames. Bumpers 85, (FIGS. 4 and 10) of resilient material are disposed at the rear extremity of said trackways 55.

Shelves S and S' (FIGS. 10, 17 and 19) are substantially similar in construction, differing only in size and proportion for convenience of assembly. Each shelf consists of a generally horizontal flat portion 67, serving as a support table for merchandise, and a back portion 69 generally normal to table member 67. Such shelves, for good metal-work practice, may comprise an ornamental facing sheet, the backboard 69 and table portion 67 being integral and of relatively light stock, with wood graining or other decorative character, if desired, and a co-extensive backing plate, also with integral back and horizontal portions, of heavier stock. This is a matter within the discretion of the skilled metal worker.

Referring to the underface of table portion 67 (FIGS. 2, 8-10), secured to said underface of the table portion is a pair of side plates 70, 70 and a middle plate 72, which may be attached by any suitable means such as screws or by welding if desired. Each of said outermost side plates has a vertical flange 75 serving as a guide in cooperation with frame F for insuring smooth movement of the shelf and avoiding wobble. Pressed out of said plates 70, 70, 72 is a downwardly extending channel portion 78 which is graduated in depth, positioned to ride on rollers 59 in the front of frames F, F' (FIGS. 2 and 8-10), the slope of said channel face increasing from front to rear of the shelf so as to induce by gravity backward sliding movement of the shelf after the shelf has been moved forwardly.

Anti-friction roller 68 is secured adjacent the rear extremities of plates 70 by suitable bracket means 81, said roller being disposable in trackway 55 of shelf supporting frame F. A resilient bumper 83 is mounted on said channel face 78 at an intermediate point along the length thereof for engagement with the shelf supporting frame when the shelf has been moved forwardly.

A suitable resilient bumper 85 is also provided at the rear extremity of each of trackways 55 for abutment against roller 68 of the shelf in the rearmost position of the shelf.

It will be obvious that a wide variety of mechanical expedients may be employed for structural support, in carrying out my invention. As an illustration, in lieu of the composite side panels 30 shown and described, I may use a simple cantilever bracket B having hooks detachably engaged in slots of a post 15 as shown in FIG. 4 for support of an upper shelf, utilizing a shelf-support frame member F as heretofore described.

It is believed that from the above description it will be apparent that I have developed a knockdown merchandise display cabinet of exceptional utility. The entire cabinet and supporting parts, when disassembled, may be packed in relatively flat cartons for convenient shipment and storage. The parts are relatively few in number and susceptible of rapid assembly and disassembly by a relatively unskilled person with a minimum of simple hand tools. In spite of the simplicity of construction, the parts cooperate to form a rigid and rugged structure capable of supporting considerable weight. Furthermore, the construction is such that, even though the shelves may be heavily loaded, they may be moved with little effort; when in their forwardmost position, the shelves will tend by gravity to slide back into their retracted positions by a light manual touch. Once started on their rearward movement, gravity will tend to complete the rearward movement of the shelves to their fully retracted position.

Finishing panel P (FIGS. 1, 2, 17, 18) may be a single piece of sheet metal bent to the desired shape, with an attractive enamel outer face such as wood graining, and provided on rear flanges 90, 90 with keyhole slots 92 or the like engaging studs 93 projecting forwardly on a vertical flange 95 formed on intermediate panel 36 (FIG. 20).

Various changes coming within the spirit of my invention may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art; hence, I do not wish to be limited to the specific embodiment shown and described or uses mentioned, but intend the same to be merely exemplary, the scope of my invention being limited only by the appended claims.