Title:
Mounting back with positioning feature
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mounting back is provided for mounting a display hanger to a vertical support having a plurality of spaced apertures, such as pegboard. The mounting back generally comprises a main body, a first prong, and a positioning member. The first prong is connected to the main body and projects rearwardly therefrom. The first prong has a general L-shape and is positioned to extend through an aperture in the vertical support for attaching the mounting back thereto. The positioning member is connected to the main body and extends rearwardly relative to the rear surface. The positioning member is positioned to extend into an aperture for preventing inadvertent removal of the first prong, and hence the mounting back, from the vertical support.



Inventors:
Valiulis, Stanley C. (Rockford, IL, US)
Zadak, Craig (Roscoe, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/172871
Publication Date:
12/18/2003
Filing Date:
06/17/2002
Assignee:
Southern Imperial, Inc. (Rockford, IL, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/225.21
International Classes:
A47F5/08; F16M13/02; (IPC1-7): A47K1/00; E04G3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LE, TAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG VOIT & MAYER, LTD (6815 WEAVER ROAD, ROCKFORD, IL, 61114-8018, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A mounting back for mounting a display hanger to a vertical support having a plurality of spaced apertures, the mounting back comprising: a main body having a front surface for attaching the display hanger to the mounting back and a rear surface opposite the front surface, the front surface facing forwardly and the rear surface facing rearwardly; a first prong connected to the main body and projecting rearwardly therefrom, the first prong having a general L-shape and positioned to extend through an aperture in the vertical support for attaching the mounting back to the vertical support; and a positioning member connected to the main body and extending rearwardly relative to the rear surface, the positioning member positioned to extend only partially into an aperture for preventing inadvertent removal of the first prong from the vertical support.

2. The mounting back of claim 1, wherein the positioning member extends rearwardly a distance less than the distance the first prong projects rearwardly.

3. The mounting back of claim 1, wherein the positioning member extends rearwardly a distance less than a thickness of the vertical support.

4. The mounting back of claim 3, wherein the positioning member extends rearwardly a distance less than 25% of the thickness of the vertical support.

5. The mounting back of claim 1, wherein the positioning member has a shape matching the shape of the aperture.

6. The mounting back of claim 1, wherein the positioning member is a tab formed on the rear surface of the main body.

7. The mounting back of claim 6, wherein the tab is stamped from the main body to extend rearwardly therefrom.

8. The mounting back of claim 1, wherein the positioning member is a prong extending generally parallel to the main body, the prong including a knob extending rearwardly from the prong, the knob positioned to extend into the aperture.

9. The mounting back of claim 8, wherein the prong is deflectable.

10. The mounting back of claim 8, wherein the prong is relatively rigid and integrally formed from the main body.

11. The mounting back of claim 1, wherein the L-shaped first prong includes a first portion extending rearwardly and a second portion extending transversely to the first portion, the second portion for engaging a rear surface of the vertical support.

12. The mounting back of claim 11, wherein the second portion extends downwardly from the first portion.

13. The mounting back of claim 11, wherein the second portion extends horizontally from the first portion.

14. The mounting back of claim 1, further comprising a second prong connected to the main body and projecting rearwardly therefrom, the second prong having a general L-shape and positioned to extend through an aperture in the vertical support, wherein the first and second prongs are horizontally spaced and the positioning member is spaced vertically below one of the first and second prongs.

15. The mounting back of claim 1, further comprising a second prong connected to the main body and projecting rearwardly therefrom, the second prong having a general L-shape and positioned to extend through an aperture in the vertical support, wherein the first and second prongs are vertically spaced and the positioning member is horizontally spaced from one of the first and second prongs.

16. A mounting back for mounting a display hanger to a vertical support having a plurality of spaced apertures, the mounting back comprising: a plate having a front surface for attaching the display hanger to the mounting back and a rear surface opposite the front surface, the front surface facing forwardly and the rear surface facing rearwardly; a first prong and a second prong connected to the plate and projecting rearwardly therefrom; the first and second prongs having an L-shape defined by a first portion extending rearwardly and a second portion extending transversely to the first portion; the second portions having a height less than or equal to a diameter of the apertures so that the mounting back may be moved horizontally to push the first and second prongs through the apertures, and then moved in a plane parallel to pegboard so that the second portions engage a rear surface of the vertical support; and a positioning member rigidly connected to the main body and extending rearwardly relative to the rear surface, the positioning member positioned to press against the vertical support and cause the vertical support to deflect when the second portions have passed through the apertures, the positioning member positioned to engage an aperture when the second portions have engaged the rear surface of the vertical support.

17. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein the first portions extend rearwardly a distance less than or about equal to a thickness of the vertical support.

18. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein the second portions extend downwardly from the first portions.

19. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein the second portions extend horizontally from the first portions.

20. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein the positioning member is a tab formed on the rear surface of the main body.

21. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein the positioning member is a prong aligned with the main body, the prong including a knob extending rearwardly from the prong, the knob positioned to extend into the aperture.

22. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein the positioning member extends rearwardly a distance less than the distance the first portions extend rearwardly.

23. The mounting back of claim 16, wherein less than 50% of the length of the aperture is taken up by the positioning member when extending therein.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to hanger assemblies for perforated vertical supports, and more particularly relates to mounting backs for such hanger assemblies.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a hanger assembly for supporting articles on a vertical support such as a perforated panel of the type commonly referred to as a “pegboard.” Such an assembly includes a hanger or hook adapted to project outwardly from the vertical support and adapted to hold merchandise. In most hanger assemblies, the hook is adapted to be releasably attached to the panel by a mounting bracket having a pair of horizontally spaced fingers or pegs which extend through holes in the pegboard. The pegs are typically L-shaped, and extend inwardly and upwardly such that the hanger assembly must be tilted upwardly to insert the pegs into the holes. Once the upturned portion of the pegs are inserted into the holes, the assembly may be rotated downwardly so that the hook projects outwardly from the vertical support.

[0003] These hanger assemblies can often be difficult to install immediately below other product display devices such as shelves, crossbars, wire bins and baskets, or even other hanger assemblies. These other devices can obstruct the hanger assembly, obstruct vision during installation, or otherwise make mounting the hanger difficult. Since the mounting backs must be tipped upwardly and since hooks are relatively long, significant space is required above the assembly to mount the assembly to a vertical support. In order to overcome such drawbacks, a unique hanger assembly has been disclosed in co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/153,125, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Among other things, such a mounting back includes L-shaped pegs having short downturned portions which allow the back to be inserted directly horizontally into the vertical support without any tipping. The present invention relates to further improvements to this type of hanger assembly and mounting back.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] One embodiment of the invention provides a mounting back for mounting a display hanger to a vertical support having a plurality of spaced apertures, such as pegboard. The mounting back generally comprises a main body having a front surface for attaching the display hanger to the mounting back and a rear surface opposite the front surface, the front surface facing forwardly and the rear surface facing rearwardly. A first prong is connected to the main body and projects rearwardly therefrom. The first prong has a general L-shape and is positioned to extend through an aperture in the vertical support for attaching the mounting back thereto. A positioning member is connected to the main body and extends rearwardly relative to the rear surface. The positioning member is positioned to extend only partially into an aperture for preventing inadvertent removal of the first prong from the vertical support.

[0005] According to more detailed aspects of this embodiment, the positioning member extends rearwardly a short distance. For example, that distance is preferably less than the distance the first prong projects rearwardly. Likewise, the distance is preferably less than a thickness of the vertical support. Most preferably, the distance less than 25% of the thickness of the vertical support. Ideally, the positioning member has a shape matching the shape of the aperture to provide secure engagement.

[0006] In one version of the embodiment, the positioning member is a tab formed on the rear surface of the main body, and preferably the tab is stamped from the main body to extend rearwardly therefrom. In another version, the positioning member is a prong extending generally parallel to the main body, the prong including a knob extending rearwardly from the prong and positioned to extend into the aperture. The mounting back may also include additional L-shaped prongs connected to the main body and projecting rearwardly therefrom for mounting the back to the vertical support. When a second prong is employed, the first and second prongs may be horizontally spaced and the positioning member will be spaced vertically below one of the first and second prongs. Alternately, the first and second prongs may be vertically spaced and the positioning member will be horizontally spaced from one of the first and second prongs.

[0007] Another embodiment of the invention also provides a mounting back for mounting a display hanger to a vertical support having a plurality of spaced apertures. The mounting back generally comprises a plate having a front surface for attaching the display hanger to the mounting back and a rear surface opposite the front surface, the front surface facing forwardly and the rear surface facing rearwardly. A first prong and a second prong are connected to the plate and project rearwardly therefrom. The first and second prongs have an L-shape defined by a first portion extending rearwardly and a second portion extending transversely to the first portion. The second portions have a height less than or equal to a diameter of the apertures so that the mounting back may be moved horizontally to push the first and second prongs through the apertures. Then the mounting back is moved in a plane parallel to pegboard so that the second portions engage a rear surface of the vertical support. A positioning member is rigidly connected to the main body and extends rearwardly relative to the rear surface. The positioning member is positioned to press against the vertical support and cause the vertical support to deflect when the second portions have passed through the apertures. Further, the positioning member is positioned to engage an aperture when the second portions have engaged the rear surface of the vertical support.

[0008] According to more detailed aspects of this embodiment, the first portions extend rearwardly a distance less than or about equal to a thickness of the vertical support. Preferably, the positioning member extends rearwardly a distance less than the distance the first portions extend rearwardly. Similarly, it is preferably to have less than 50% of the length of the aperture is taken up by the positioning member when extending therein. In one version the second portions extend downwardly from the first portions, and in another version the second portions extend horizontally from the first portions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view, taken from the front and right, of one embodiment of the mounting back constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the back shown in FIG. 1, taken from the rear and left of the back;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a side view, taken from the left, of the back shown in FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a front view of the back shown in FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the back as shown in FIG. 1, showing the back attached to a pegboard;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the back, taken along the line 6-6 as shown in FIG. 5;

[0015] FIG. 7 is a perspective view, taken from the front and right, of another embodiment of the mounting back constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 8 is another perspective view of the back shown in FIG. 7, taken from the rear and left of the back;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a side view, taken from the left, of the back shown in FIG. 7;

[0018] FIG. 10 is a front view of the back shown in FIG. 7;

[0019] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the back as shown in FIG. 7, showing the back attached to a pegboard;

[0020] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the back, taken along the line 12-12 as shown in FIG. 11;

[0021] FIG. 13 is a perspective view, taken from the front and right, of yet another embodiment of the mounting back constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0022] FIG. 14 is another perspective view of the back shown in FIG. 13, taken from the rear and left of the back;

[0023] FIG. 15 is a side view, taken from the left, of the back shown in FIG. 13;

[0024] FIG. 16 is a front view of the back shown in FIG. 13;

[0025] FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the back as shown in FIG. 13, showing the back attached to a pegboard;

[0026] FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of the back, taken along the line 18-18 as shown in FIG. 17;

[0027] FIG. 19. is a perspective view, taken from the front and right, of still another embodiment of the mounting back constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0028] FIG. 20 is another perspective view of the back shown in FIG. 19, taken from the rear and left of the back;

[0029] FIG. 21 is a front view of the back shown in FIG. 19;

[0030] FIG. 22 is a bottom view of the back shown in FIG. 19;

[0031] FIG. 23 is a perspective view of the back as shown in FIG. 19, showing the back attached to a pegboard; and

[0032] FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional view of the back, taken along the line 24-24 as shown in FIG. 23.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0033] Turning now to the drawings, a first embodiment of the present invention is depicted in FIGS. 1-6. This embodiment of the invention takes the form of a mounting bracket 20 generally comprising a main body or plate 40 and a plurality of mounting fingers or prongs 60. In the illustrated embodiment, three prongs 60 are connected to the plate; two prongs being laterally spaced apart and the third prong being vertically spaced from one of the first two. Preferably, the laterally spaced prongs 60 are connected to the plate adjacent an upper edge thereof, while the vertically spaced prong 60 is connected to the plate adjacent a lower edge thereof. Generally, the bracket is stamped formed from sheet metal, and hence it is preferable to integrally form the prongs with the plate.

[0034] The plate 40 is generally rectangular, and is about 1 to 2 inches wide, by 1 to 1½ inches tall. This width allows multiple display hooks to be mounted side-by-side on the bracket 20. As will be recognized by those skilled in the art, a bracket simply having a single prong 60 is also envisioned for mounting a single display hook. Similarly, any number of prongs may be employed, such as two laterally spaced prongs along a top edge of the plate or two horizontally space prongs along a side edge of the plate. The plate 40 generally includes a front surface 41 (FIG. 1) and a rear surface 42 (FIG. 2). The plate 40, and particularly the front surface 41 is constructed to attach a display hook (not shown) thereto. In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1-6, a pair of vertically spaced and laterally extending bosses 48 are formed into the plate 40 for attaching a display hook, typically by welding.

[0035] Each prong 60 generally comprises a first portion 61 and a second portion 62. The first portion 61 is connected to the plate 40 and extends rearwardly therefrom, while the second portion 62 extends transversely relative to the first portion 61. In the illustrated embodiment, the second portions 62 extend downwardly from the first portions 61. The inner surfaces of the first portion 61 and the second portion 62, as well as the rear surface 42 of the plate 40, generally define an interior chamber 63 (FIG. 3) that is sized to receive a vertical support. More particularly, the first portion 61 is sized to be less than or equal to a thickness of the vertical support, such that the prongs 60 firmly engage the vertical support and attach the mounting bracket 20 thereto. Furthermore, the second portion 62 of each prong 60 is sized to be less than or equal to the diameter of a hole in the vertical support. With this construction, the pegs 60 may be directly inserted horizontally through the apertures found in the vertical support (see FIGS. 5 and 6).

[0036] Pegboard is typically made of a wood or paper-based particleboard which will vary with manufacturer. The thickness of pegboard usually varies from 0.20 inches to 0.30 inches, but typically has a thickness of about 0.230-0.235 inches. Accordingly, the horizontal dimension of the interior chambers 63 has been closely toleranced to between approximately 0.230 and 0.235 inches to closely conform to such pegboard. It will be recognized that the close tolerancing of the prongs 60 and particularly the horizontal dimension of the chambers 63, allows the mounting bracket 20 to be firmly engaged to the vertical support 10 by virtue of its dimensioning. In fact, the vertical support 10 may be compressed slightly when the mounting brackets 20 are attached thereto.

[0037] It will be recognized that the above-described structure of the mounting back 20 provides secure attachment to a vertical support such as pegboard. However, additional means for preventing inadvertent removal of the back from the pegboard may occasionally be desired. For example, particular products may result in more forceful jostling of the product support hook. Accordingly, a positioning member 80 has also been provided for preventing any inadvertent removal of the back and hence hanger assembly. In the illustrated embodiment, the positioning member 80 takes the form a tab 82 projecting from the rear surface 42 of the plate 40. Preferably, the tab 82 is stamp formed from the plate 40 itself, leaving an indentation 84 in the front surface 41 of the plate. The tab 82 preferably takes the shape of the apertures in the vertical support, which in the illustrated embodiment is circular. The tab 82 is positioned to engage a fourth aperture in the support, the fourth aperture corresponding with the 3 other apertures engaged by the 3 prongs 60. the tab 32 is shown in the lower left corner of the bracket 20, although it clearly can be located on the right, or in any of the corners of the bracket.

[0038] FIGS. 5 and 6 depict the mounting back 20 attached to a pegboard 15 having regularly spaced apertures 17. The rear surface 42 is adapted to lie flush with the front surface of the pegboard 15, while the prongs 60 and their chambers closely receive the thickness of the pegboard. The positioning member 80, and more particularly the tab 82, extends rearwardly from the rear surface 42 only a short distance. Accordingly the tab 82 projects only partially into the aperture 17. Preferably, the tab extends rearwardly less than 50% of the thickness of the vertical support (and the first portion 61 of the prongs 60), and most preferably less than 25%. In the illustrated embodiment, the tab 82 extends rearwardly only 0.05 inches or less.

[0039] It will be recognized that the positioning member 80 is not aligned with an aperture when the second portions 62 of the tabs 60 are aligned with the apertures, i.e. when they are passed or pushed through those apertures. That is, the positioning member 80 engages the front surface of the vertical support before the second portions 62 are passed completely through the apertures. Thus to mount the back 20, the vertical support deflects, and in the case of pegboard (or the like) compresses, such that the second portions 62 may be passed completely through the apertures. Then, the back 20 is moved in a plane parallel to the vertical support whereby the second portions 62 engage a rear surface of the vertical support 15, and the chambers 63 receive the vertical support therein. When the second portions 62 engage the vertical support 15, the positioning member 80 is aligned with the aperture 17 and engages the interior of the same, as shown in FIG. 6. The vertical support 15 returns to its original configuration, and the positioning member 80 prevents inadvertent removal of the back 20. When removal is desired, sufficient force is applied to the back 20 to again cause the vertical support to deflect or compress, allowing the prongs 60 to be removed from the apertures by reversing the steps described above.

[0040] A second embodiment of the present invention has been depicted in FIGS. 7-12. This embodiment is similar to the first embodiment in all respects, except that a different positioning member 180 has been provided. The positioning member 180 generally comprises a prong 181 extending generally parallel to the main body or plate 140, i.e. it is aligned with the plate 140. The prong 181 includes a bend defining an indentation 184 on the prong's front surface and a knob 182 on the prong's rear surface. As best seen in the side view of FIG. 9, the knob 182 projects rearwardly relative to the rear surface 142 of the plate 140, similarly to the tab 82 of the first embodiment.

[0041] The prong 181 is integrally formed with the main body 140, which is preferably a relatively rigid material such a zinc-plated steel having a thickness of around 0.06 inches. The term “rigid” or “relatively rigid” as used herein means that the prong is rigid relative to the vertical support, which preferably is a particle-type pegboard. That is, when the mounting back 120 is mounted to the vertical support 115 (FIGS. 11-12) the prong 181 and knob 182 do not deflect, but are sufficiently rigid to cause the vertical support 115 to deflect or compress, as in the prior embodiment. Accordingly, the mounting back 120 is attached to the vertical support 115 in the same manner as described above with regard to the first embodiment. Nonetheless, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the prong 181 could be formed a less-rigid material such that the prong deflects when the back 120 is attached to a vertical support. Similarly, the prong can be positioned in any of the corners.

[0042] A third embodiment of the present invention has been depicted in FIGS. 13-18. This embodiment of the mounting back 220 is very similar to the mounting back of the first embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1-6, except that the prongs 260 are oriented differently. More specifically, the back 220 is a side-insert back, and the prongs 260 are horizontally or laterally oriented. Each prong 260 includes a first portion 261 connected to the plate 240 and extending rearwardly therefrom, as in the first embodiment. However, the thickness of the first portions 261 are vertically aligned, and the second portions 262 extend horizontally relative to the first portions 261. The second portions 262 are still transverse to the first portions 261.

[0043] Accordingly, it will be recognized that when the back 220 is mounted to the vertical support 215, as shown in FIGS. 17-18, it is moved horizontally or laterally once the second portions 262 have passed through their respective apertures. When the second portions 262 have engaged a rear surface of the pegboard 215, the positioning member 280 engages an aperture 217 to prevent inadvertent removal of the back 220. It can be seen that the positioning member 280 is a dimple or tab 282 similar to the tab 82 of the first embodiment. The tab 282 is positioned relative to all the other prongs 260 so that it initially engages the front surface of the pegboard 215, and then engages an aperture 217 only when the back 220 is fully mounted and the chambers 263 have fully received the vertical support 215.

[0044] A fourth embodiment of the present invention has been depicted in FIGS. 19-24. This embodiment of the mounting back 320 is very similar to the side-insert mounting back of the third embodiment depicted in FIGS. 13-18, except that the positioning member 380 is different. More specifically, the positioning member 380 is similar to the positioning member 180 in the second embodiment, namely it comprises a prong 381 extending parallel to the main body 340 and is aligned therewith. However, the prong 381 extends generally horizontally, unlike the vertically extending prong 181. It will thus be recognized that it makes no difference how the positioning prong 181, 381 is oriented. What is important is that the prong 381 includes a knob 382 projecting rearwardly relative to the plate 340 for engaging an aperture 317 when the back 320 is fully mounted to the vertical support 315.

[0045] All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

[0046] The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

[0047] Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.