Title:
Angled rack for supporting footwear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An angled rack for supporting footwear includes a plurality of angled brackets securable with conventional fasteners to a vertical wall or door. Each of the angled brackets define a plurality of apertures therethrough which cooperate and support a corresponding plurality of elongated cylindrical rods. The rods pass through the apertures formed in the brackets to provide a supporting platform or footwear or the like. The angled disposition of the brackets and the resulting angled disposition of cylindrical rods provides a convenient stable surface for footwear to rest upon.



Inventors:
Haberman, David (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/313478
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
12/19/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/193, 211/90.01
International Classes:
A47F7/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROY A. EKSTRAND (ANAHEIM, CA, US)
Claims:
That which is claimed is:

1. An angled rack for supporting footwear, said rack comprising: a plurality of brackets each having a bracket portion defining a plurality of rod apertures therethrough and a mounting flange for supporting said bracket at an upwardly directed angle when said mounting flange is placed against a vertical surface; means for securing said mounting flanges against a vertical surface in a spaced-apart line; and a plurality of elongated rods received within said rod apertures spanning the distance between said brackets.

2. The rack set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for securing includes at least one aperture defined in said mounting flanges and a plurality of fasteners passing through said apertures in said flanges engaging a vertical surface.

3. The rack set forth in claim 2 wherein said brackets each further include a plurality of fastener apertures extending into each of said rod apertures and a plurality of fasteners passing through said fastener apertures to engage said rods therein.

4. The rack set forth in claim 3 wherein said plurality of brackets includes three brackets arranged to provide opposed end brackets and a center bracket therebetween.

5. The rack set forth in claim 4 wherein said rod apertures are generally circular in cross-section and wherein said rods are generally cylindrical.

6. The rack set forth in claim 5 wherein each of said rods is tubular and each defines opposed end portions each end portion including an end cap.

7. An angled rack for supporting footwear, said rack comprising: a pair of end brackets each having a mounting flange and means for attaching said flange to a vertical surface in a spaced relationship, each bracket further defining an upwardly angled member having a plurality of rod apertures therethrough; and a center bracket substantially identical to said end brackets positioned between said end brackets and having said rods passing therethrough.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to apparatus for organizing storage within closet spaces or the like and particularly to apparatus utilized in storing and supporting footwear such as shoes or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Through the years a need has arisen for apparatus and systems which facilitate orderly storage of clothing articles and accessories within closet areas or the like. Not surprisingly, this need has prompted practitioners in the related arts to create a variety of storage and organizing apparatus for use in such areas. In a related art, practitioners have also provided apparatus for displaying clothing articles and accessories which tends to be vary similar in many instances to the closet organizing apparatus.

Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks arising in the organization and storage of such clothing and accessory articles is found in association with footwear such as shoes, boots and slippers. All too often, even the most organized closets simply provides for the arrangement of footwear upon the closet floor space. Typically, the floor space utilized is designated about the periphery of the floor space adjacent the defining walls.

Practitioners in the art quickly realize that some type of convenient footwear storage beyond simple floor storage was needed. As practitioners in the related arts endeavored to provide improved apparatus for storing footwear, a virtually endless variety of devices were put forth by practitioners. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,276,141 issued to Atkinson sets forth a SHOE RACK which provides an illustration of early attempts to create suitable apparatus for storing footwear. The shoe rack described therein utilizes a metal frame having a pair of supporting end portions coupled to a quartet of telescoping transverse elements. The telescoping transverse elements are arranged in angled pairs to provide support for a plurality of shoes or the like.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,172,816 issued to Kline et al. sets forth a SHOE RACK which is modular in structure and consists of a pair of rod extending between and supported by a pair of side frames. The side frames are generally rectangular in configuration and are identical in construction. Each side frame includes a groove arrangement and mating tongue arrangement such that the side frames may be stacked upon each other in a stable manner. Each side frame further includes a receiving hole at each end thereof sized to receive the rods. An additional pair of rods may be inserted into the receiving holes and a third side frame connected to the free end of theses additional rods to provide modular expansion of the shoe rack.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,617,959 issued to Klein et al. sets forth a SHOE RACK having a pair of side frames configured to define a substantially rectangular shape. Each side frame includes a plurality of V-Shaped support members containing two intersecting support bars. Each support bar within a support member includes a recess at its base to receive one support rod and a recess on the opposite end of each support member to receive a second support bar. The second support bar is moved between the recess pair in the upper support members to the recess pair of the lower support members depending upon the alignment of the shoe rack horizontally or vertically.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,547 issued to Rice sets forth a CLOTHING ACCESSORIES STORAGE RACK having a rotatable upper and lower support and a plurality of vertically extending support members. Each support member further supports a plurality of shoe receivers which are arranged in pairs and which are generally upwardly tapered. A plurality of shoes or other similar footwear may be placed upon the tapered shoe receivers to support the shoes upon the storage rack.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,958,695 issued to Allsop et al. sets forth a SHOE MERCHANISING AND HANDLING APPARATUS having a rotatable rack supporting a plurality of radially extending supports connected thereto. The plurality of radially extending supports are capable of receiving and supporting a corresponding plurality of shoes, boots or the like.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,918,670 issued to Doherty sets forth a HANGER ASSEMBLY suitable for mounting on a door or similar structure. The hanger assembly includes a pair of vertically oriented spaced-apart support members and a plurality of transversely extending support rods. The support rods form a ladder-like structure upon which a plurality of shoe receiving brackets defining generally upwardly tapered spaced-apart wire frames are supported.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,888,353 issued to Leifheit sets forth a STAND FOR STORAGE OF SHOES having a pair of generally flat parallel ridged end supports and telescopic cross ties extending therebetween. The end supports are configured to nest vertically with other end supports to provide a stacked array of the stand structures.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,152,313 issued to Klein et al. sets forth a CLOTHES HANGER WITH SLIDING HOOKS suitable for mounting upon a door or similar structure. The hanger includes a pair of end brackets configured to hang from the upper edge of a door which are arranged in a spaced-apart manner. A plurality of rods extend between the spaced brackets and in turn support a plurality of hooks which are movable upon the rods to adjust the position thereof.

While the foregoing described prior art devices have to some extent improved the art and have in some instances enjoyed commercial success, there remains nonetheless a continuing need in the art for ever more improved, effective and efficient storage apparatus for supporting footwear.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved supporting apparatus for footwear. It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide an improved supporting apparatus for footwear which is flexible in its utilization and is expandable in the number of shoes accommodated by the apparatus. In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an angled rack for supporting footwear, the rack comprising: a plurality of brackets each having a bracket portion defining a plurality of rod apertures therethrough and a mounting flange for supporting the bracket at an upwardly directed angle when the mounting flange is placed against a vertical surface; means for securing the mounting flanges against a vertical surface in a spaced-apart line; and a plurality of elongated rods received within the rod apertures spanning the distance between the brackets. The invention further provides an angled rack for supporting footwear, the rack comprising: a pair of end brackets each having a mounting flange and means for attaching the flange to a vertical surface in a spaced relationship, each bracket further defining an upwardly angled member having a plurality of rod apertures therethrough; and a center bracket substantially identical to the end brackets positioned between the end brackets and having the rods passing therethrough.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of the present invention, which are believed to be novel, are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in the several figures of which like reference numerals identify like elements and in which:

FIG. 1 sets forth a top view of the present invention angled rack for supporting footwear secured to a typical surface and supporting a plurality of typical footwear articles which are shown in phantom line depiction;

FIG. 2 sets forth a front view of the present invention angled rack for supporting footwear secured to a typical support surface;

FIG. 3 sets forth a section view of the present invention angled rack for supporting footwear taken along section lines 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 sets forth a partial perspective assembly view of one end of the present invention angled rack for supporting footwear showing assembly of the transverse rods to the angle bracket;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 sets forth a top view of an angled shoe rack for supporting footwear constructed in accordance with the present invention and generally referenced by numeral 10. Rack 10 is shown secured to a typical support surface which may for example, be a wall surface or alternatively a convenient surface such as a door or the like. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that virtually any supporting surface may be utilized for mounting the present invention angled rack for supporting footwear. It will also be noted that rack 10 is shown in FIG. 1 supporting a plurality of footwear articles which are shown in phantom line depiction in a typical use of the present invention angled rack. It will also be apparent to those skilled in the art from examination of FIGS. 1 and 2 that a plurality of angled racks identical to angled rock 10 may be arranged in a vertical orientation upon surface 20 to provide successive racks in a spaced-apart vertical arrangement for storing and supporting a further plurality of footwear articles without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

More specifically, rack 10 includes a trio of angled brackets 11, 12 and 13 in which brackets 11 and 13 comprise end brackets while bracket 12 comprises a center bracket. Brackets 11, 12 and 13 define respective mounting flanges 14, 15 and 16 which are joined to the remainders of brackets 11, 12 and 13 and which are secured to a supporting surface 20 by a plurality of angulated exposed fasteners 17, 18 and 19. Rack 10 further includes a plurality of elongated generally cylindrical rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 which are received within apertures formed within brackets 11, 12 and 13 in the manner set forth below in FIGS. 3 and 4. Rod 21 defines opposed ends 25 and 26 which are received within brackets 11 and 12 and a center portion which passes through aperture 40 formed in center bracket 12. Similarly, rod 22 defines end portions 30 and 31 received within brackets 11 and 13 as well a center portion which passes through aperture 41 formed in center bracket 12. Further rod 23 defines end portions 32 and 33 which are received within brackets 11 and 13 and a center portion which passes through aperture 42 formed in center bracket 12. Finally, rod 24 defines ends 34 and 35 which are received within brackets 11 and 13 and a center portion which passes through an aperture 43 formed in center bracket 12.

It will be noted that in the typical use of the present invention angled rack, the shoes shown in phantom line depiction rests upon rods 21 through 24 and are maintained in position due to the angle formed between the plane of rods 21 through 24 within respect to support surface 20. Similarly, it will be noted in the phantom line depiction of the footwear shown in FIG. 1 that the footwear rests generally upon rods 21 through 24 and is maintained in position in part due to the touching of surface 20 by the forward portion of each footwear article. Thus, it will be apparent that no attachment or securing mechanism is required to maintain the footwear articles in position upon rack 10.

For purposes of easy attachment and as is better seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 below, mounting flanges 14, 15 and 16 of brackets 11, 12 and 13 define angled portions which receive corresponding fasteners 17, 18 and 19 (better seen in FIG. 3) to aide in the ready attachment of rack 10 to supporting surface 20. In the preferred fabrication of the present invention, the length or rods 21 through 24 is selected to provide a center to center line distance between brackets 11 and 12 and between brackets 12 and 13 which corresponds to the center line spacing between supporting wall studs in a standard construction environment (16 inches on center). It will be apparent to those skilled in the art however, to suit different environments such as door of narrower width or other restriction, rods 21 through 24 may be suitably shortened and the spacing between brackets 11, 12 and 13 may be suitably adjusted without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIG. 2 sets forth a front view of angled rack 10 secured to surface 20 in the manner described above in FIG. 1. Rack 10 is shown empty in FIG. 2. However it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the above illustration of phantom line depiction of footwear articles shown in FIG. 1 applies equally well to the structure shown in FIG. 2.

More specifically, rack 10 includes a trio of angled brackets 11, 12 and 13 in which brackets 11 and 13 comprise end brackets while bracket 12 comprises a center bracket. Brackets 11, 12 and 13 define respective mounting flanges 14, 15 and 16 which are joined to the remainders of brackets 11, 12 and 13 and which are secured to a supporting surface 20 by a plurality of angulated exposed fasteners 17, 18 and 19. Rack 10 further includes a plurality of elongated generally cylindrical rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 which are received within apertures formed within brackets 11, 12 and 13 in the manner set forth below in FIGS. 3 and 4. Rod 21 defines opposed ends 25 and 26 which are received within brackets 11 and 12 and a center portion which passes through aperture 40 formed in center bracket 12. Similarly, rod 22 defines end portions 30 and 31 received within brackets 11 and 13 as well a center portion which passes through aperture 41 formed in center bracket 12. Further rod 23 defines end portions 32 and 33 which are received within brackets 11 and 13 and a center portion which passes through aperture 42 formed in center bracket 12. Finally, rod 24 defines ends 34 and 35 which are received within brackets 11 and 13 and a center portion which passes through an aperture 43 formed in center bracket 12.

A plurality of fasteners 50, 51 and 52 are secured to mounting flanges 14, 15 and 16 of brackets 11, 12 and 13 respectively to further secure flanges 14, 15 and 16 to supporting surface 20. Since brackets 11, 12 and 13 are angled upwardly away from the portions of flanges 14, 15 and 16 receiving fasteners 50, 51 and 52, the angled disposition of fasteners set forth above for fasteners 17, 18 and 19 on the upper side of flanges 14, 15 and 16 is not required. Accordingly, fasteners 50, 51 and 52 may be simply driven into surface 20 in a straight line alignment.

FIG. 2 also shows a plurality of fasteners on the undersides of brackets 11, 12 and 13 which are utilized to secure the positions of rods 21 through 24 within the brackets. Accordingly, a plurality of fasteners 53, 54, 55 and 56 are driven through bracket 11 and engage the end portions of rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 respectively. Similarly, a plurality of fasteners 57, 58, 59 and 60 are driven through the underside of bracket 15 to engage rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 respectively. Finally, a plurality of fasteners 61, 62, 63 and 64 are driven through the underside of bracket 13 and engage rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 respectively. In the preferred fabrication of the present invention and as is better seen in FIG. 4, brackets 11, 12 and 13 define pluralities of apertures on the undersides thereof which are suitably spaced to receive the fasteners which engage rods 21, 22, 23 and 24.

FIG. 3 sets forth a section view of angled rack 10 taken along section lines 3-3 in FIG. 1. For purposes of illustration, a conventional shoe is shown supported upon angled rack 10 in a typical utilization of the present invention angled rack. FIG. 3 shows center bracket 12 secured to a support surface 20 by a pair of fasteners 51 and 18. As described above, bracket 12 includes a mounting flange 15 which supports the remainder of bracket 12 in an angular relationship with the supporting surface 20. As is also described above, fastener 51 may be driven straight into surface 20 while the upper portion of bracket 12 includes an angled surface 28 through which fastener 18 may be driven at an angle for easy attachment in view of the angled disposition of bracket 12. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that brackets 11 and 13 (seen in FIGS. 1 and 2) are identical to bracket 12 and are thus identically secured to supporting surface 20.

Bracket 12 defines a plurality of apertures 40, 41, 42 and 43 through which rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 respectively pass. A plurality of fasteners 57, 58, 59 and 60 are driven upwardly through the underside of bracket 12 and into rods 21 through 24 respectively. Thus, the attachment of fasteners 57 through 60 secures the centered positions of rods 21 through 24 within bracket 12.

With temporary return to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that fasteners 53 through 56 within bracket 11 and fasteners 61 through 64 within bracket 13 perform similar attachment function and secure the end portions of rods 21 through 24 in a similar attachment to that shown for bracket 12 in FIG. 3.

Returning to FIG. 3, it will be noted that the illustrative shoe resting upon the upper portion of angled rack 10 is easily retained in its position thereon by the angled disposition of rack 10 with respect to supporting surface 20. In this manner, no further attachment is required to maintain the footwear articles resting upon angled rack 10.

FIG. 4 sets forth a partial perspective assembly view of the present invention angled rack for supporting footwear. The attachment of the end portions of rods 21 through 24 within the end brackets. In the particular portion shown in FIG. 4, bracket 11 is shown having ends 25, 30, 32 and 34 being received within and assembled to bracket 11. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the identical structure and assembly exists between bracket 13 and end portions 26, 31, 33 and 35 of rods 21, 22, 23 and 24 (bracket 13 and ends 26, 31, 33 and 35 shown in FIG. 1). Thus, the descriptions of assembly and structure set forth in FIG. 4 for bracket 11 will be understood to be applied equally well and be equally descriptive of the assembly and structure relating to bracket 13 (seen in FIG. 1). As described above, bracket 11 includes a mounting flange 14 which supports the remainder of bracket 11 in an upwardly angled relationship to the supporting surface such as surface 20 shown in FIG. 3. Bracket 11 includes a plurality of apertures 70, 71, 72 and 73 which receive end portions 25, 30, 32 and 34 in the manner indicated above in FIG. 1. Bracket 11 further defines a plurality of apertures 75, 76, 77 and 78 which receive a corresponding plurality of fasteners 53, 54, 55 and 56. Rods 21 through 24 are positioned such that the end portions thereof are received within apertures 70, 71, 72 and 73 such that end portions 25, 30, 32 and 34 do not extend significantly beyond the outer face of bracket 11. Fasteners 53 through 56 secure the end portions of rods 21 through 24 respectively. To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the present invention angled rack, end portions 25, 30, 32 and 34 receive respective end caps 80, 81, 82 and 83. Caps 80 through 83 are substantially non-functional apart from improving the aesthetic appeal of the present invention angled rack.

Bracket 11 further defines an angled portion 66 having an angled aperture 67 defined therein. Flange 14 further defines an aperture 68. Fasteners 17 and 50 (seen in FIGS. 1 and 2) are driven through apertures 67 and 68 respectively to secure flange 14 against the selected mounting surface such as surface 20 set forth above. As mentioned above, the structure of bracket 11 and brackets 12 and 13 is substantially identical. As is also described above, the structure and assembly relationship between bracket 11 and rods 21 through 24 is substantially identical to the structure and assembly relationship between bracket 13 and rods 21 through 24 (bracket 13 seen in FIG. 1).

What has been shown in an angled rack for supporting footwear which provides simple fabrication and light-weight construction while simultaneously providing substantial support for a number of footwear articles in convenient locations within an area such as a closet or the like. The angled rack shown and described may be fabricated entirely from molded or extruded plastic components and is extremely light-weight and strong. In addition, the present invention angled rack may be readily disassembled and moved to other locations within the area and thereafter reassembled and reattached for further use. As is also mentioned, a plurality of angled racks may be utilized in a vertical generally parallel stacked arrangement to further utilize a convenient support surface such as a closet wall or door or the like.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. Therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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