Title:
Support for cloths and rolled stock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided herein is a counter-mountable or floor-mountable rack upon which fabrics, dishcloths, or rolled stock, such as toilet-paper may be stowed. The rack has a base to which a vertical support is attached, in a vertical orientation. The vertical support has further attached to it a specially-oriented, multi-bent, support portion upon or from which the aforesaid articles may be stowed or hung. A support device according to the invention is especially useful as a towel rack from which a dish towel may be hung in a kitchen setting, when the device as a whole rests on a countertop.



Inventors:
Gill III, Loyed E. (Tulsa, OK, US)
Application Number:
11/355644
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K10/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Loyed E. Gill, III (1120 South Richmond Avenue, Tulsa, OK, 74112, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device useful for hanging and organizing various and sundry items which comprises: a) a substantially-flat base portion having a top surface and a bottom surface; b) a vertical support having a first end portion, a second end portion and a length dimension, said vertical support being attached to said base portion at said first end portion of said vertical support, so as to extend perpendicularly-upwards from said base portion, thus defining a vertical axis; c) a support element attached to said vertical support at a location along said length dimension which location is closer to said second end portion of said vertical support than it is to said first end portion of said vertical support, wherein said support element comprises: i) a connecting pad means at which said support element is attached to said vertical support; ii) a first angled support portion; having a first end portion and a second end portion; and iii) a second angled support portion having a first end portion and a second end portion, wherein said first angled support portion is attached at its first end portion to said connecting pad so that an angle alpha is formed between said first angled support portion and said vertical axis, when said device is viewed from the frontal perspective, and wherein said first angled support portion is attached at its first end portion to said connecting pad so that an angle delta is formed between said first angled support portion and said vertical axis, when said device is viewed from the right side perspective, and wherein the first end portion of said second angled support portion is attached to said second end portion of said first angled support portion, such that an angle beta is formed between said first angled support portion and said second angled support portion, when said device is viewed from the frontal perspective, said second angled support portion being disposed substantially parallel to said top surface of said base portion.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein the angle alpha is any angle in the range of between about 15 degrees and 75 degrees, more preferably between about 25 degrees and 65 degrees, and is most preferably about 45 degrees.

3. A device according to claim 1 wherein the angle beta is any angle in the range of between about 15 degrees and 75 degrees, more preferably between about 25 degrees and 65 degrees, and is most preferably about 45 degrees.

4. A device according to claim 1 wherein the angle delta is any angle in the range of between about 15 degrees and 75 degrees, more preferably between about 25 degrees and 65 degrees, and is most preferably about 45 degrees.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein the point at which said second end portion of said first angled support portion is connected to the first end portion of the second angled support portion is disposed at a distance from the central axis of said vertical support which is in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 times the distance between the central axis of the vertical support and the extreme right edge of the base portion, when said device is viewed from the frontal perspective.

6. A device according to claim 1 wherein the point at which said second end portion of said first angled support portion is connected to the first end portion of the second angled support portion is disposed at a distance from the central axis of said vertical support which is greater than that distance measured from the central axis of the vertical support to the extreme edge of said base portion, when said device is viewed from the frontal perspective.

7. A device according to claim 1 wherein the point at which said second end portion of said second angled support portion terminates is disposed at a distance from the central axis of said vertical support which is in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 times the distance between the central axis of the vertical support and the extreme left edge of the base portion, when said device is viewed from the frontal perspective.

8. A device according to claim 1 wherein the point at which said second end portion of said second angled support portion terminates is disposed at a distance from the central axis of said vertical support which is greater than that distance measured from the central axis of the vertical support to the left edge of said base portion, when said device is viewed from the frontal perspective.

9. The device according to claim 1 wherein said base is shaped substantially in a shape selected from the group consisting of: rectangular, circular, oval and crescent shapes.

10. A device according to claim 9, wherein said base further comprises a weight disposed within its construct.

11. A device according to claim 1, wherein said second end portion of said second angled support portion includes a terminus, having a larger cross-sectional size than other points disposed along the second angled support portion.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to stowage devices. More particularly, it relates to a device suitable for stowing cloths, towels, and rolled stock, such as paper towels and toilet paper.

BACKGROUND

Modern home settings typically have taken into account the necessity of inhabitants to use, from time to time, certain articles which lend themselves well to being stowed conveniently for use. One such article is a dish cloth, dish towel, or hand towel. It is quite common in kitchen and bathroom settings for towel racks, loops, and hooks to be seen attached to walls or the faces of cabinets. While in general at the time of their initial placement, such stowage means are positioned in what is perceived to be their most desirable locations. However, after use, or after change of occupancy or style of use of a given living space, it often occurs that what was previously an optimal location turns out to be less than optimal at a future time. In such instances where such stowage means are affixed to walls or cabinet faces, their removal predominantly leads to an unsightly area of color on the wall or cabinet beneath the mounting hardware, which is conspicuously different than the surrounding areas, which often makes occupants to make due with what is there. In addition, such stowage means, when mounted near where the body moves, such as a towel ring mounted at waist-height in a kitchen, can become quite annoying and is also a potential hazard for minor, annoying injuries, such as when one inadvertently bumps into it, which sometimes leads to the stowage means becoming detached from the surface to which it is mounted, necessitating reparative action.

Some workers have alleviated these difficulties, by mounting stowage wares in out-of-the-way places, for example, underneath a kitchen cabinet. In those cases where this is possible, it seems a suitable remedy; however, there is not always a single appropriate location. In such instances, it may be desirable to have at hand a means for stowing such items, which means is portable, yet attractive enough to match the decor of the room.

The present invention provides such a stowing means inasmuch as it is a portable stowage device useful for cloths, fabrics, and rolled stock such as paper towels and toilet paper. It is lightweight, yet versatile in regards to the number and sizes of fabrics, cloths and rolled stock it is capable of accommodating. Further advantages and features of the instant stowage device shall become apparent to one of ordinary skill after reading and understanding the contents of this specification which now follows.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a device useful for hanging and organizing various and sundry items. In one preferred embodiment it comprises a substantially-flat base portion having a top surface and a bottom surface. There is a vertical support having a first end portion, a second end portion and a length dimension. The vertical support is attached to the base portion at the first end portion of the vertical support, so as to extend perpendicularly-upwards from the base portion, thus defining a vertical axis. There is a support element attached to the vertical support at a location along its length dimension which is closer to the second end portion of the vertical support than it is to the first end portion of the vertical support.

The support element comprises a connecting pad means at which it is attached to the vertical support. There is a first angled support portion; having a first end portion and a second end portion, and a second angled support portion having a first end portion and a second end portion. The first angled support portion is preferably linear and is attached at its first end portion to the connecting pad so that an angle alpha is formed between the first angled support portion and the vertical axis, when the device is viewed from the frontal perspective, and so that an angle delta is formed between the first angled support portion and the vertical axis, when the device is viewed from the right side perspective. The first end portion of the second angled support portion is attached to the second end portion of the first angled support portion, such that an angle beta is formed between the first angled support portion and the second angled support portion, when the device is viewed from the frontal perspective. The second angled support portion is preferably linear, and is disposed substantially parallel to the top surface of the base portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the annexed drawings,

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a device according to a preferred form of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a frontal view of a device according to a preferred form of the invention;

FIG. 3 shows a right-side view of a device according to a preferred form of the invention; and

FIG. 4 shows the underside of a base portion useful in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings, and initially to FIG. 1 there is shown a perspective view of a support device 10 according to a preferred form of the invention. In this FIG. 1 there is shown a substantially flat base portion 5, having a top surface T and a bottom surface B (FIG. 2), and also a length dimension and a width dimension. There is a substantially linear vertical support 7, which has a first end portion 26 and a second end portion 28. The vertical support 7 is attached at its first end portion to the base portion, which may be by conventional fasteners, such as screws disposed from the underside of the base portion 5, dowels, or adhesives. The vertical support 7 extends upwardly from the base portion and is substantially perpendicular to the top surface of the base portion. Attached to the vertical support 7 at a location which is closer to the second end portion 28 than the first end portion 26, is a support element, upon which cloths may be hung. The support element itself comprises a connecting pad means 11, which may be affixed to the vertical support by means of fasteners disposed through holes 13a and 13b which extend through the connecting pad means. The support element also includes a first angled support portion 9, and a second angled support portion 19. In one preferred embodiment, the support element is of singular construction, and is comprised of a cast metal, such as die-cast zinc; however, the present invention is not limited in regards to materials of construction, as the use of various metals, alloys, wood, plastic, composites etc., for any element of a device according to the present invention may be comprised of any of these materials. The component parts of the support element may be distinct elements, and in alternative forms of the invention may be connected to one another by conventional means, such as welding or adhesives.

FIG. 2 shows a frontal view of a device according to one preferred form of the invention, showing the respective locations of the rectangularly-shaped base portion 5 with its top surface T and bottom surface B. The vertical support 7 is attached to the base portion 5 at its first end portion 26. The connecting pad means 11 is shown attached to a wooden vertical support 7 by means of screws disposed through the holes 13a and 13b. The first angled support portion 9 is attached to the connecting pad means 11 at its first end portion 41. The first angled support portion 9 is preferably linear and is attached to the connecting pad means 11 such that an angle alpha a is formed between the first angled support portion and the vertical axis “z” (central axis of the vertical support 7), when the device 10 is viewed from this frontal perspective. The angle alpha α may be an angle of any degree in the range of between about 15 degrees and 75 degrees, more preferably between about 25 degrees and 65 degrees, and is most preferably about 45 degrees. The second angled support portion 19 is attached at its first end portion 45 to the second end portion 43 of the first angled support portion 9, such that an angle beta β is formed between the first angled support portion 9 and the second angled support portion 19, when the device is viewed from the frontal perspective. The angle beta β may be an angle of any degree in the range of between about 15 degrees and 75 degrees, more preferably between about 25 degrees and 65 degrees, and is most preferably about 45 degrees. In a preferred embodiment, the second end portion 47 of the second angled support portion 19 is affixed with a capping end 77, which is of larger cross sectional size than the second angled support portion 19, which serves to prevent slippage of a cloth, such as, a dishcloth, over the end of the second angled support portion 19 during use of the device 10. The first angled support portion 9 may be attached to the connecting pad means 11 by means of a neck portion 75, which is simply a length of the same or different stock from which the angled portions 9, 19 are comprised, attached to the connecting pad means by conventional means. In an alternative embodiment, the first angled support portion 9 is connected directly to the connecting pad means. When a neck 75 is employed, it may for convenience sake be considered as being an integral part of the connecting pad means 11.

The first angled support portion 9 and second angled support 19 are preferably comprised of round stock, that is, they preferably have a circular cross section; however, cross-sections other than circular are within the scope of the present invention, including without limitation, materials having oval, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. cross sections.

While described herein as being substantially-rectangular in shape, the base portion 5 of a device 10 according to the invention may exist in other shapes, including without limitation, shapes selected from the group consisting of rectangular circular, oval and crescent shapes. In some embodiments, the shape of the base is unimportant to the functioning of the device, while in other embodiments, the base is shaped to correspond with existing fixture shapes, such as the shape of a sink adjacent to which the device 10 of the invention is desirably located. For example, when an oval sink is used, the contour of the base portion 5 is advantageously contoured to contain an oval shape that complements the shape of the sink.

FIG. 3 shows a right-side view of a device 10 according to a preferred form of the invention, showing the respective locations of the base portion 5 with its top surface T and bottom surface B, the vertical support 7, connecting pad means 11, first angled support portion 9, and second angled support 19. The first angled support portion 9 is attached at its first end portion 41 to the connecting pad means 11 so that an angle delta A is formed between the first angled support portion 9 and the vertical axis z, when the device 10 is viewed from the right side perspective. The angle delta A may be an angle of any degree in the range of between about 15 degrees and 75 degrees, more preferably between about 25 degrees and 65 degrees, and is most preferably about 45 degrees.

FIG. 4 shows the underside of a base portion 5 useful in a preferred embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the base portion 5 contains a hollowed out portion which exists in the form of a rectangular solid space, which is adapted to receive a weight 69 of substantially similar shape, which weight 69 may be held in place in the base by conventional means such as by fasteners or adhesives, to confer added stability to the device 10 as a whole during use.

From FIG. 2 it is seen that the point at which the first angled support portion meets the second angled support portion is disposed at a distance D from the z-axis. Preferably, this distance D is at least equal to the distance from the extreme right edge E of the base portion to the z-axis. Such a feature confers enhanced stability to the device 10 as a whole, when a towel is hung on the second angled support portion, but it also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the device as a whole. Assigning the distance from the z-axis to the extreme edge as a reference unit of 1, the distance D may be any value in the range of between about 0.5 D to about 1.5 D, and is preferably about 1.2 D. The distance which the second end portion 47 of the second angled support portion extends to the left of the opposite, extreme left edge F of the base portion 5 is within this same range of values.

In a preferred embodiment, the second angled support portion 19 is disposed at a sufficient distance from the vertical support 7 to permit a cloth disposed on the second angled support 19 to hang over a sink, i.e., a wet cloth so hung would drip its liquid in an area that is outside the perimeter of the base portion 5. In a preferred use, the cloth and amount of downward extension of the first angled support portion 9 are dimensioned such that the bottom of the towel or cloth is lower than the top edge of a sink which the device 10 is placed adjacent to.

In a preferred embodiment, the base portion 5 and vertical support 7 are each comprised of wood, and the support element comprising elements 11, 9, and 19 is comprised of metal. However, as mentioned, the materials from which the elements of the invention are comprised is not critical to the function of the device 10 as a whole, provided they are of sufficient modulus to support the items intended, which choice of materials is within the ordinary level of one skilled in this art.

Consideration must be given to the fact that although this invention has been described and disclosed in relation to certain preferred embodiments, obvious equivalent modifications and alterations thereof will become apparent to one of ordinary skill in this art upon reading and understanding this specification and the claims appended hereto. This includes subject matter defined by any combination of any one of the various claims appended hereto with any one or more of the remaining claims, including the incorporation of the features and/or limitations of any dependent claim, singly or in combination with features and/or limitations of any one or more of the other dependent claims, with features and/or limitations of any one or more of the independent claims, with the remaining dependent claims in their original text being read and applied to any independent claims so modified. This also includes combination of the features and/or limitations of one or more of the independent claims with features and/or limitations of another independent claims to arrive at a modified independent claim, with the remaining dependent claims in their original text being read and applied to any independent claim so modified. Accordingly, the presently disclosed invention is intended to cover all such modifications and alterations, and is limited only by the scope of the claims which follow.





 
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