United States Patent 3827376

This invention comprises a shelf rack in which the shelves can be collapsed to an essentially vertical position and the end frames supporting the shelves are connected by an essentially diagonal rail whereby the racks can be nested for storage.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/177, 108/179, 211/149, 280/33.996
International Classes:
A47B31/04; A47B43/00; (IPC1-7): A47B43/00
Field of Search:
211/149,150,132,133,170,177,178,168,182 108
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3303938Garment rack1967-02-14Solomon
3272528Nestable cart1966-09-13Young et al.
2911110Knockdown display rack1959-11-03Drucker
2794555Shelf with replaceable surface1957-06-04Schild
2146932Nestable chair, armchair, and the like1939-02-14Boman
1647723Folding stand1927-11-01Casali

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Frazier, Roy D.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bosworth, Sessions & McCoy
Parent Case Data:


This application is a continuation of United States application Ser. No. 661,923 filed Aug. 21, 1967, now abandoned.
I claim

1. A nestable shelf rack comprising a pair of spaced apart, upright end frames with generally parallel horizontal bases, said bases being connected by a single horizontal brace rail connected to said bases at diagonally opposed extremities thereof, said rail being so shaped that any point on said rail proceeding from one of said bases is closer to the other of said bases than any preceding point on said rail, and at least one shelf connected to each of said end frames above said bases for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, whereby a plurality of said shelf racks can be nested relative to one another so as to require a minimum of storage space.

2. The shelf rack of claim 1 in which the rail connecting the respective bases is straight.

3. The shelf rack of claim 1 in which there are a plurality of shelves tied together in an essentially parallel relationship, said shelves being capable of pivotal movement relative to said end frames between a generally vertical position and a generally horizontal position, and means for locking said shelves in a predetermined position.


This invention comprises a shelf rack which is designed for simple storage in a minimum of space without diminishing its utility.

Shelf racks, with or without wheels, are by their nature difficult to store conveniently without removing the shelves. Even without the shelves such racks present storage problems because the usual structures of both the shelf brackets and the bases of such racks are such that a rack in storage occupies over half the space it occupies in use.

It is the principal object of this invention to provide a shelf rack which is so designed that several racks can be nested side by side in storage and thereby occupy less than half as much space in storage as in use.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shelf rack embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top section of FIG. 2 taken at the line 3--3 shown in nested relationship with similar sections of like embodiments; and

FIG. 4 is a view of a typical locking mechanism.


FIG. 1 illustrates a typical shelf rack of this invention. The shelf rack 10 comprises a pair of planar end frames 11, each composed of a horizontal base bar 12 and a vertical upright 13 attached to the center of the base bar 12 and, optionally, mounted on conventional casters 14. If desired, the vertical upright 13 can be attached off-center of the base bar 12. Also, braces may be added between the bar 12 and upright 13. The end frames 11 are preferably fabricated from square metal tubing, but they can be made from any suitable material such as metal angle or channel stock or metal pipe or tubular stock and are rigidly secured together by welding or by the use of pipe joints or other special fittings well known in the art. Equivalent structures can be made of wood or plastic.

The base bars 12 of end frames 11 are joined by a rail 15 rigidly secured to diagonally opposed ends of the bars 12, thereby holding the end frames 11 in essentially parallel relationship. The rail 15 is preferably straight to provide optimum nesting facility for adjacent shelf rack bases 16, but the rail 15 need not be straight. The rail 15 can be joined to each base bar 12, but to achieve the maximum nesting effect of the bases 16 of the racks of this invention, the rail 15 is attached to each end frame 11 at the diagonally opposed extremities of the base bars 12 or immediately adjacent thereto. It is essential that the end frames 11 are maintained essentially parallel in a vertical position and that every point on the rail 15 proceeding from the first end frame to the second end frames is closer to the second end frame.

The vertical uprights 13 of the end frames 11 are also joined by one or more shelves which are mounted by bolts, screws or the like in such a way that they can be pivoted about a horizontal axis from one position to another, usually from essentially vertical to essentially horizontal or vice versa. The pivotally-mounted shelves can be simple solid planar structures as shown or they can be designed to be readily dismantled as, for example, in the case of a simple rigid rectangular sheet supported by but not permanently affixed to a frame which extends between the uprights 13.

The shelves 17 are usually tied together by a strap 18 which keeps the shelves 17 in a parallel relationship. A latch 19 is attached to the strap 18 and/or one of the shelves 17. The shelves 17 can be locked in a horizontal position (or in any desired position) by attaching latch 19 to a stud 20 on one of the uprights 13 by hooking or fastening as with a wing nut 21. Other latching arrangements can be used. The shelves 17 need not be strapped together as shown. They can be mounted independently or joined together in any desired combination and can likewise be latched independently or in any desired combination.

In FIG. 2 the shelf rack is shown in a latched position and is also shown unlatched with the shelves 17 pivoted in a clockwise direction. The shelves can also be pivoted in a counterclockwise direction. The proximity of the shelves while unlatched to a vertical position depends on whether or not the shelves overlap when pivoted to the unlatched storage position, how close together the shelves are (if they overlap) and whether or not any strap 18 connecting the shelves 17 or latch 19 is blocked by a vertical upright 13 as the shelves are pivoted to a storage position.

In order for the racks of this invention to nest properly the shelves 17 must be able to assume an essentially vertical position. While the shelves 17 are normally maintained in an essentially parallel relationship when moved to an essentially vertical position, it is well within the skill of the art to design the shelves and mountings whereby shelves may be pivoted independently in opposite directions from a horizontal position to an essentially vertical position without interfering with each other.

The shelves 17 are usually mounted on an upright 13 midway along one shelf edge, but the mounting can be anywhere along the shelf edge as is well known in the art. If the mounting point of a shelf 17 is other than midway along one edge, the shelf will by its weight automatically assume an essentially vertical position when not held in a horizontal position by the latch 19. This feature eliminates the problem of shelves inadvertently swinging out from an essentially vertical position during handling of the rack where such swinging would interfere with the nesting of one rack against another.

In FIG. 3 the base of the embodiment in FIGS. 1 and 2, consisting of two base bars 12 joined by a rail 15 secured to diagonally opposed ends of the bars 12, is shown nested with other shelf rack bases 16 of the same general shape and dimensions.