Title:
Installation-free death care merchandise display unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is directed towards installation free death care merchandise display units. The display unit comprises a main display made of a plurality of side wing wall panels movably connected to a wall panel. Thus, the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel maintain each other in an upright position when the display unit is in a set up, displaying state.



Inventors:
Riga, Dennis J. (New Albany, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/372720
Publication Date:
12/11/2003
Filing Date:
02/24/2003
Assignee:
RIGA DENNIS J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/149, 211/85.16
International Classes:
A47F7/30; (IPC1-7): A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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20020170868Carousel condiment organizerNovember, 2002Morgan
20040089624Horizontally oriented clotheslineMay, 2004Farley
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20070193962Support for cloths and rolled stockAugust, 2007Gill III
20070045209Stacking shelving system for utility shedMarch, 2007Richardson et al.
20060289368Hair rackDecember, 2006Abney
20060091087Footwear rackMay, 2006Belanger et al.



Primary Examiner:
TRAN, KHOA H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Frederick H. Colen (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A death care merchandise display unit comprising: a main display comprising: a plurality of side wing wall panels; a back wall panel having lateral edges movably connected by a connector to the rear edges of the wing wall panels; whereby the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel maintain each other in an upright position when the display unit is in a set up, displaying state.

2. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the side wing wall panels are moved to a first closed postion approximately parallel to the back wall panel when the display unit is not in the set up, displaying state.

3. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the side wing wall panels are stored substantially within the footprint of the back wall panel when the unit is not in the set up, displaying state.

4. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the side wing wall panels are movably attached to the back wall panel by the connection.

5. The display unit of claim 4 wherein the connection movably attaching the side wing wall panels to the back wall panel alllows a radial movement.

6. The display unit of claim 5 wherein the connection movably attaching the side wing wall panels to the back wall panel comprises a hinge.

7. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the side wing walls are approximately perpendicular to the back wall panel when the unit is in the set up, displaying state.

6. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the interior angle between the side wing walls and the back wall panel is greater than ninety degrees when the unit is in the set up, displaying state.

7. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the interior angle between the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel is approximately ninety degrees when the unit is in the set up, displaying state.

8. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the at least one of connectors connecting the back wall panel and the side wing wall panels locks upon achieving the set up, displaying state.

9. The display unit of claim 1 whereby the back wall panel further comprises a plurality of back wall panel segments movably connected together by movable back wall connectors.

10. The display unit of claim 9 whereby at least one movable back wall connector connecting at least one back wall panel segment to another back wall panel segment allows at least one back wall panel segment to move in a radial fashion.

11. The display unit of claim 10 whereby at least one movable connector connecting at least one back wall panel segment to another back wall panel segment comprises a hinged connection.

12. The display unit of claim 9 whereby at least one back wall panel segment is stored substantially behind another back wall panel segment when the unit is not in the set up, displaying state.

13. The display unit of claim 1, further comprising a cornice, the cornice attached to an upper edge of the main display.

14. The display unit of claim 13, the cornice further comprising a slotted groove on a bottom edge of the cornice adapted to fit an upper edge of the main display, thereby supporting the cornice atop the main display.

15. The display unit of claim 13, the cornice further comprising a hook for supporting the cornice in a position atop the main display.

16. The display unit of claim 13, the back wall panel further comprising a groove on the upper edge of the back wall panel, the groove adapted to fit a lower edge of the cornice, thereby supporting the cornice on top of the main display.

17. The display unit of claim 13, the side wing wall panels further comprising a groove on the upper edge of the side wing walls, the groove adapted to fit the lower edge of the cornice, thereby supporting the cornice on top of the main display.

18. The display unit of claim 13 wherein the cornice further comprises: a face plate; two wing plates movably attached to the lateral edges of the face plate, whereby the wing plates are adapted to be moved to a position substantially perpendicular to the face plate when mounted on top of the main display unit, and moved to a position approximately parallel to the face plate when in a stored position.

19. The display unit of claim 18 wherein each wing plate is attached to the face plate with a connection allowing a radial motion about an axis, the axis defined by the juncture of the face plate and the respective wing plate.

20. The display unit of claim 18 wherein the wing plates are connected to the face plate with a hinged connection.

21. The display unit of claim 18 wherein an illumination source is attached to an interior surface of the cornice.

22. The display unit of claim 1 further comprising an illumination source attached to the main display unit.

23. The display unit of claim 22 wherein the illumination source is attached to a side wing wall panel.

24. The display unit of claim 22 wherein the illumination source is attached to the back wall panel.

25. The display unit of claim 22 wherein the illumination source is attached to an upper edge of the main display unit.

26. The display unit of claim 1 wherein the unit further comprises preformed merchandise display attachments points for allowing the display of deathcare merchandise.

27. The display unit of claim 1 wherein the preformed merchandise display attachment points for allowing the display of deathcare merchandise are attached to the side wing wall panels.

28. The display unit of claim 1 wherein the preformed merchandise display attachment points for allowing the display of deathcare merchandise are attached to the back wall panel.

29. The display unit of claim 1 wherein the preformed merchandise display attachment points for allowing the display of deathcare merchandise comprise beveled cleats.

30. A method for assembling a deathware merchandise display unit, the method comprising: 1) moving a plurality of side wing wall panels movably connected to a vertical back wall panel away from the vertical wall panel, whereby the side wing wall panels and the vertical back wall panel provide upright support for the entire display unit, the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel forming walls of the display unit.

31. The method of claim 30 further comprising: 2) constructing a cornice; 3) attaching the cornice to the top of the display unit.

32. The method of claim 31, whereby the cornice comprises a connector movably connecting a head plate and two wing plates, the step of constructing the cornice further comprising: 2a) unfolding the wing plates.

33. The method of claim 32, whereby the cornice comprises a preformed attachment adapted to fit the display unit and secure the cornice to the display unit, the step of attaching the cornice further comprising: 3a) fitting the preformed attachment to the display unit.

34. The method of claim 33 whereby the attachment is a hook.

35. The method of claim 33 whereby the attachment is a groove.

36. The method of claim 30 further comprising the step of: 4) attaching display merchandise to the walls of the display unit using preformed merchandise attachment points.

37. The method of claim 30 further comprising the step of: 4) attaching display aids to the walls of the display unit using preformed merchandise attachment points.

39. The method of claim 31 further comprising the step of: 1a) moving a plurality of movably interconnected back wall panel segments away from one another to form the back wall panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to an integrated display unit for death care merchandise such as caskets, coffins, urns, burial vaults and materials for decorating or adorning the same. The display unit of the invention is particularly adapted for ease of set up, take down, and shipping. Thus, dual use areas requiring a display unit that is easy to set up and take down, such as dual use areas or trade shows ideally suit the invention. The invention achieves a further advantage in that the ease of take down and set up eliminates the need for a skilled tradesman to assemble or disassemble the display unit, thus saving cost. This leverages costs for the death care merchandiser.

[0002] Further, the invention does not require the use of skilled labor for assembly or disassembly of the display units. Thus, a death care merchandiser has a greater choice of workers to perform these functions. This enlarges the pool of workers available to the death care merchandiser to assemble and disassemble display units. Thus, the death care merchandiser can leverage unskilled, and cheaper, manpower to perform the functions of assembling and disassembling display units. Additionally, the merchandiser can save time as well as money with the invention. Because the death care merchandiser can use unskilled labor for these functions, the merchandiser can use more people from a greater sized pool of labor for the same amount of money that would have been spent for skilled workers. In using more workers, the death care merchandiser can cut the time of assembling or disassembling a number of display units. Thus, the merchandiser can leverage time, money, and space with the use of this invention.

THE PRIOR ART

[0003] Various death care display units are known in the art. The more primitive of such units consist of a display rack or support. See, for instance, U.S. Pat. No. 2,937,768 that shows a two-tiered casket display rack having a rigid C-shaped frame-like structure for the display of two caskets—one casket supported above another.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 5,405,017 shows a more contemporary casket display unit for full caskets. The display unit of the '017 patent includes a two-tiered casket display rack retractable by means of a scissors unit which, in turn, is connected to a rod. The display rack of the '017 patent is not an integral part of the casket display unit.

[0005] All these pieces of prior art require a great deal of preparation and tooling for set up and take down. Thus, they require that someone with tools and time set these display units up. The need exists therefore for a display unit which permits the exhibition of a greater volume and a greater type of death related merchandise at greater ease for the prospective seller. A need exists for a display unit allowing for easy setup and take down. This would allow multipurpose use of existing space, because the conversion could be done fast and with a great deal of ease. Further, a need exists for the easy setup and takedown display units for use at trade shows and other temporary uses. Besides being easy to setup and take down, the display unit must be easily transportable and compact. This is for easy storage and transportation.

[0006] Further, a need exists to leverage the use of non-specialized workers against the costs of skilled tradespersons to assemble and disassemble display units. A unit that is easy to assemble and disassemble creates both time and cost efficiencies.

[0007] First, if no need exists for skilled tradespersons to assemble and disassemble display units, this reduces the unit time cost for these functions. Second, if a death care merchandiser can use non-skilled labor for these tasks, more personnel can be directed at these tasks for multiple display units. Thus, a death care merchandiser can set up many display units using non-specialized labor in a shorter time compared with the use of fewer skilled tradespersons. Therefore, an installation free display unit achieves both time and cost efficiencies, which is desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The display unit includes a back wall panel and two side wing wall panels stored in a bundle when taken down from the set up, displaying mode. The walls are attached in a manner in which a worker simply moves them into the set up, displaying mode with no other tooling or assembly. Thus, the units are easily set up and taken down. No further assembly of the unit is necessary. In addition, a merchandiser can ship the entire unit in a single container, thus defraying shipping costs.

[0009] Due to the ease of take down, set up, and increased shipping efficiencies, the display unit is ideal for trade shows. It is also suitably adapted for use in a multipurpose or multi-use area where the displayer takes down and sets up frequently. In addition, the display unit is perfectly adapted to save both money and time due to its installation free characteristics.

[0010] A user can set up the display unit very easily. The display unit needs no extra tooling on set up. To set up the unit in the preferred embodiment, one stands the bundled display unit up and moves the back wall panel segments away from one another to form a back wall panel. Alternatively, the back wall panel need not be segmented, and this step may be omitted. Second, one moves side wing wall panels away from the back wall panel. The side wing wall panels and the back wall panel form a main display unit in this set up, displaying state. The back wall panel and the side wing wall panels provide support for the main display unit. Once the display unit is set into place, the entire display unit takes on a locked and stable profile.

[0011] The display unit has preformed display attachment points, or preinstalled mechanisms, for hanging merchandise display aids or merchandise via preformed display attachment points on or in the walls of the unit. Merchandise display aids include, by example, such items as shelves or hooks.

[0012] To take down the display unit, one simply reverses the above steps. The movably connected side wing wall panels nestle up with the footprint, or exposed area, of the back wall panel. In the preferred embodiment, the movably connected back wall panel segments are separated so that one back wall panel segment nestles within the footprint of the other, resulting in a compact stored area. Again, as in set up, the display unit requires no extra work in tooling for take down of the display unit.

[0013] A death care merchandise display unit that reduces the effort needed to set up the display unit and take it down again comprises two vertical side wing wall panels and a back wall panel having lateral edges secured to the rear edges of the side wing wall panels. In the preferred embodiment, the side wing wall panels are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the back wall panel when employed in the set up, displaying state.

[0014] The side wing wall panels are secured to the back wall panel via a movable connection. Preferably, this movable connection is a hinge. This allows one to move the side wing wall panels from and away the back wall panel. This also allows one to store the side wing wall panels behind the back wall panel when closed, or not in the set up, displaying state.

[0015] In the preferred embodiment, the back wall panel comprises a plurality of back wall panel segments, each connected with a movable connection. In the preferred embodiment this is a hinged connection. Thus, one can move the back wall panel segments toward a position where they form a complete back wall panel for set up. One can alternatively move the back wall panel segments away to a folded together position with their backs together.

[0016] When folded, the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel have a footprint the size of the larger of the two. Thus, when broken down for storage or transport the display unit only takes the area of the larger of the side wing wall panels or the back wall panel.

[0017] This is also the case where the back wall panel consists of back wall panel segments. In the preferred embodiment, the back wall panel comprises a plurality of back wall panel segments movably attached to one another. The back wall panel segments fold or move into one another when one takes down the display unit from the set up, displaying state. Thus, the entire display unit would take the footprint of one back wall panel segment when taken down from the set up, displaying state. Thus, one easily packages, stores, or transports the display unit of the invention.

[0018] To set the display unit up in the preferred embodiment, a worker moves the back wall panel segments from each other to form a single, unitary vertical back wall panel. In a preferred embodiment, the movable connection locks in place at the desired open position.

[0019] Next, a worker moves the side wing wall panels away from the back wall panel. Again, in a preferred embodiment, the movable connection also locks in the set up, displaying position. When in the set up, displaying position, the side wing wall panels along with the back wall panel provide upright support for the entire display unit.

[0020] Next, in the preferred embodiment, the worker then attaches a cornice to the top of the main display unit. This cornice has the same, foldable construction as the main display unit. A connector movably connects a head plate and two wing plates. The worker unfolds the wing plates, and attaches the extended cornice into preformed slots on the upper edge of the main display unit walls. Alternatively, the bottom edge of the cornice contains a preformed slot adapted to secure the cornice to the main display unit.

[0021] Next, the worker attaches display merchandise to preformed merchandise display attachment points, such as cleats or hooks, preformed in the side wing wall panels and back wall panel forming the main display unit. Or, alternatively, the walls contain preformed merchandise display attachment points, such mounts for hanging additional shelving. Thus, with no tools and a minimal amount of effort, a complete display unit is put into a set up, displaying mode.

[0022] A worker breaking down the unit simply reverses the above steps. The worker removes the hanging shelves or commercial displays from the walls of the main display unit. The worker then removes the cornice and folds the side plates of the cornice inwards to the face plate.

[0023] Next, in the preferred embodiment, the worker unlocks the movable connections connecting the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel. This allows the worker to move the side wing wall panels behind the back wall panel. Next, in the preferred embodiment, the worker unlocks the movable connection between the back wall panel segments, and moves the back wall panel segments to a position where they face each another. Again, with minimal effort, tools, and time, the worker breaks down the display unit from the set up, displaying mode.

[0024] Due to the construction, the display unit occupies a small footprint, or exposed surface area, when broken down. Thus, one can easily transport or store the display unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] FIG. 1 is angled frontal view of an embodiment of the invention.

[0026] FIG. 2 is angled frontal view of an embodiment of the invention.

[0027] FIG. 3 is angled frontal view of an embodiment of the invention emphasizing the construction during either take down or set up.

[0028] FIG. 4 is an angled frontal view of the cornice of the invention.

[0029] FIG. 5 is an angled frontal view of the cornice of the invention emphasizing the construction during either take down or set up.

[0030] FIG. 6 is a frontal view showing a mode of attachment of the cornice of the invention to the main display.

[0031] FIG. 7 is a frontal view showing a mode of attachment of the cornice of the invention to the main display.

[0032] FIG. 8 is a side view showing a mode of attachment of the cornice of the invention to the main display.

[0033] FIG. 9 is a cut away side view of the invention showing merchandise being attached to preformed merchandise attachment points.

[0034] FIG. 10 is a cut away side view of the invention showing merchandise being attached to preformed merchandise attachment points.

[0035] FIG. 11 is a side view of the cornice showing the attachment of lighting.

[0036] FIG. 11a is a side view of the cornice showing an alternative attachment of lighting to the main display unit.

[0037] FIG. 12 is an angled view of the invention showing the installation of the cornice and a merchandise display aid.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0038] The present invention provides an integrated display unit for death care related merchandise. The display units are easily set up and taken down with no added tools or effort, and no specialized skills are needed for their assembly or disassembly.

[0039] The display unit of the invention is principally used in a preview room where selection of death care related merchandise by the decedent's loved ones occurs. Further, because of the ease of setup and take-down the display unit is ideally suited for use in multiple use areas. In addition, the display unit of the invention ideally suited for use at death care merchandise exhibitions.

[0040] A back wall panel and side wing wall panels define the display unit of the invention. A moving connection, such as a hinge, connects the side wing wall panels to the back wall panel. This allows a worker to move the side wing wall panels from a stored position parallel to the back wall panel when assembled to a set up, displaying position by which the side wing wall panels and the back wall panel support the display unit.

[0041] The back wall panel may be split into a plurality of back wall panel segments via a moving connection, such as a hinge, in the same way. Thus, when one takes down the display unit, one moves the back wall panel segments from a position of being attached in a continuing, parallel fashion to a position of being stacked one after another and flush against one another together. With a hinged connection, one back wall panel segment simply swings away from the other, and ends up in a position directly behind the first back wall panel segment when taken down from the set up, displaying state. To construct the entire back wall panel, one simply moves the back wall panel segments away from one another much like one opens the cover of a book.

[0042] In the preferred embodiment the back wall panel segments and side wing wall panels have preformed merchandise attachement points, such as hooks or cleats. These can support any racks or displays on either the back wall panel or the side wing wall panels.

[0043] The design of the display unit permits a worker to assemble and disassemble it within a short time and on an “as needed” basis. When the display unit of the present invention is used in conventional death care facilities or in exhibitions, this greatly increases the efficiency with which the death care merchandiser can reorganize, setup, or deconstruct the available space. The units can be completely set up or taken down within minutes. Thus, use of the units enables creative use of the available space at a minimum of effort. The death care merchandiser can employ the invention for adding new spaces or whole rooms useful for many death care-related purposes. The death care merchandiser also leverages time and money by not needing skilled trade persons to install the dispaly units.

[0044] The display unit contains many novel features that may be used alone or in combination with each other. FIGS. 1 and 2 show embodiments of the death care merchandise display unit of the invention.

[0045] In FIG. 1, main display unit 10 comprises a solid back wall panel 20 and two side wing wall panels 30 and 40. Movable connectors conjoin side wing wall panels 30 and 40 with back wall panel 20 at the rear section of the respective side wing wall panel. The movable connectors attach side wing wall panels 30 and 40 to back wall panel 20 in a way that allows a worker to move side wing wall panelss 30 and 40 to a position where they fall essentially within the footprint of the back wall panel when one takes down the display unit from a set up, displaying position into a stored position. Thus, when one moves the side wing wall panels to a stored position, they occupy essentially the same area as the back wall panel when observed from either the front or back.

[0046] As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, in the preferred embodiment side wing wall panels 30 and 40 are attached to back wall panel 20 with a hinged or swinging connection. Other types of movable connections are known in the art, and these could also be used.

[0047] Preferably, back wall panel 20 comprises a plurality of back wall panel segments 50 and 60. FIGS. 2 and 3 show a preferred embodiment. There, a connection movably connects back wall panel segments 50 and 60 together. This connection allows radial movement along an axis defined by the meeting of side wing wall panels 30 and 40 and back wall panel 20. Preferably, this is a hinged connection.

[0048] As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a worker can move side wing wall panels 30 and 40 to a position nestling up against back wall panel 20, or back wall panel segments 50 and 60, as the case may be, when the unit is being taken down from a set up, displaying state. FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 show the side wing wall panels movably attached to back wall panel 20 by means of a connection allowing radial movement allowing side wing wall panels 30 and 40 to be swung toward and away back wall panel 20.

[0049] In the preferred embodiment, FIGS. 2 and 3 show an embodiment of the display unit. There one merely swings side wing wall panel 30 shut against back wall panel segment 50. Next one swings side wing wall panel 40 shut against back wall panel segment 60. Next one swings side wing wall panel 30—back wall panel segment 50 against side wing wall panel 40—back wall panel segment 60. Thus, the entire freestanding display unit folds up accordion-like into an easily transportable package. To set the unit back up, merely reversing the steps above produces the display unit.

[0050] In the preferred embodiment, the hinges employ a locking mechanism that engages when one swings the either the back wall panel segments out, or the side wing wall panel out into the set up, displaying state. To close the side wing wall panels, one unlocks the hinge and shuts the side wing wall panels. A similar hinge locking feature is also desired on the connection between back wall panel segments 50 and 60.

[0051] To complete the death care merchandise display unit, the display unit also has a compact foldable cornice in a preferred embodiment. FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the operation of this foldable cornice. Cornice 200 consists of a face plate 210 movably connected to wing plates 220 and 230. To set up the cornice, one radially swings out wing plates 220 and 230 from face plate 210. This radial motion is along on axis defined by the juncture of the wing plates with face plate 210. Wing plates 220 and 230, initially in a substantially parallel position to face plate 210, and face plate 210 then form the cornice. To store or take down the cornice, wing plates 220 and 230 are moved back to a position substantially parallel to face plate 210.

[0052] One connects cornice 200 to main display unit 10 in several ways. Back wall panel 20 can have preformed grooves 70 in its top edge. As illustrated in FIG. 6, these grooves 70 are adapted to fit wing plates 220 and 230, thus allowing one to attach cornice 200 to main display unit 10. Alternatively, wing plates 220 and 230 can have grooves cut into them to serve the same function.

[0053] In the preferred embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 8, metal strip 240 is attached to the top edge of wing plate 220. Metal strip 240 is formed to produce hook 250, adapted to fit the upper edge of back wall panel 20. Thus, one attaches cornice 200 to back wall panel 20 via hook 250.

[0054] The back wall panel and side wing wall panels of the display unit of the invention are typically plywood but may be fiberwood or other durable material such as a synthetic plastic material as plexiglass or Mylar. The back wall panel and side wing wall panels may be covered with a fabric-like material or have a textured surface. When so wanted, one may removably attach the fabric-like material to the panel allowing the user to select the color and texture. The side wing and back wall panels, illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, are typically 5 to 8 feet tall. In the preferred embodiment they are 7 feet tall.

[0055] FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 show side wing wall panelss 30 and 40 and back wall panel 20 containing preformed merchandise attachment points 60 for displaying deathware merchandise. In the preferred embodiment, shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, side wing wall panels 30 and 40 and back wall panel 20 have preattached cleats 100a and 100b. Detailed in FIG. 9, cleats 100a and 100b have a beveled upper surface. Merchandise displays have matching cleats 110a and 110b on their rear surface. Matching cleats 110a and 110b have a beveled lower edge, adapted for mating with attached cleats 100a and 100b. The mating grooves of attached cleats 100a and 110a and matching cleats 100b and 110b create a stable system by which a user may suspend the merchandise on the wall.

[0056] In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 10, side wing wall panels 30 and 40 and back wall panel 50 contain preformed merchandise attachment points such as pretooled attachment holes 120a, 120b, and 120c. Attachment holes are adapted to hold attachments. For example, in FIG. 10, merchandise display 150 has attachment pegs 160a, 160b, and 160c on its rear surface. Thus, merchandise display 150 could be hung on side wing wall panels 30 and 40 and back wall panel 50 by the placing attachment pegs 160a, 160b, and 160c into preformed merchandise attachment points 120a, 120b, and 120c, respectively.

[0057] Similarly, one can easily construct temporary shelving on walls 30, 40, and 50 using premade protruding or penetrating attachment points. Other known means for removably attaching objects include, e.g., peg-board type attachments, slat wall, tackable surfaces, hook-and-loop fabric (e.g., VELCRO®) attachments, magnetic attachments or other known devices for removably attaching objects to a vertical surface for display of the objects.

[0058] The cornice design can conceal an illumination source 280 from the observer. The interior of the cornice 200 conceals attached illumination source 280 within the vertical interior surfaces of wing plates 220 and 230 and face plate 210. FIG. 11 illustrates this feature. Exemplary of the illumination source are one or more track lights which one may easily manipulate such that the light is directed onto selected merchandise within the display unit. Conventional screws or nuts and bolts can secure track lights to the inside surface of wing plates 220 and 230 and face plate 210. The use of track lighting still allows one to take down and store cornice 200, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. One should note that one could use this illumination system on side wing wall panels 30 and 40, or on back wall panel 20 as well.

[0059] In an alternative embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 11a, one attaches an illumination unit 290 to wing plate 230. The illumination unit comprises clip 310 and illumination source 320 One attaches illumination unit 290 to the top surface of wing plate 230 via clip 310. One adapts clip 310 to securely hold illumination unit 290 to wing plate 230. Again one should note that one could use this method of illumination on side wing wall panels 30 and 40, or on back wall panel 20 as well.

[0060] This form of illumination would entail one more assembly step. This step is to attach the illumination unit to the appropriate spot on the appropriate assembly. To take the illumination unit off during disassembly, simply remove illumination unit 290 from the display unit. One should note that several means exist for easily attaching an illumination unit to the display unit, and this invention comprehends the use of them.

[0061] FIG. 12 illustrates a nearly complete display unit. One attaches unfolded cornice 200 to the top of main display unit 10. One then attaches merchandise display aid 300 to main display unit 10 via cleat 110.

[0062] Without the use of any other tools, one can construct the entire unit simply by moving the movable panels into the finished position. After moving the panels away from one another, one creates a free standing display unit. An optional cornice movably attached to the head of the completed unit also employs this swinging construction. With only three simple actions one can completely construct the most difficult main units. First, one swings back wall panel segment 50 along with side wing wall panel 30 away from back wall panel segment 60 and side wing wall panel 40. One then swings away back wall panel segment 60 from side wing wall panel 40 to where side wing wall panel 30 is approximately perpendicular to back wall panel segment 50, forming a stand alone display unit. One completes the display unit by swinging side wing wall panel 30 from back wall panel segment 50 to where side wing wall panel 30 is essentially perpendicular to back wall panel segment 50, forming a stand alone display unit.

[0063] One should note that the angle inherent between the back wall panel segments and the side wing wall panels need not be absolutely perpendicular, although this is the preferred embodiment. Use of angles more than ninety degrees is possible, further enhancing the visibility of the contents in the display unit. One should note that this option should employ the swinging supports described earlier.

[0064] The preferred embodiment of the death care merchandising unit of the present invention includes at least one main display unit 10 as described above, having two side wing wall panels 14 and 16, a back wall panel 12 having lateral edges secured to the rear edges of the side wing wall panels 14 and 16. One attaches side wing wall panels 14 and 16 to back wall panel 20 in a manner which one may fold or move them to a position in which they are next to back wall panel 20. In the preferred embodiment one attaches them to back wall panel 20 with a hinge.

[0065] In the preferred embodiment, the back wall panel further includes a plurality of back wall panel segments. A connector connects the back wall panel segments in a manner in which one may move them to a position where one back wall panel segment overlays the others. This creates an easily stored and shipped unit.

[0066] A finish on any or all of the surfaces of the merchandise display unit may be placed to more closely coordinate with the merchandise being displayed. For instance, where the merchandise display is of caskets or coffins, one may pigment the back and wing walls of the display unit to enhance the colors of the merchandise.

[0067] One may make various modifications in the nature, composition, operation and arrangement of the various elements, steps and procedures described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.