Title:
Pin storage and display apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pin storage and display apparatus is disclosed having a hanging assembly with a mounting panel constructed to permit a pin post to be inserted therein and retained solely by friction. The hanging assembly includes storage support rods. A container housing is also disclosed having rails spaced to permit the storage support rods to engage therewith and support the hanging assembly in a hanged position within the container housing. The hanging assembly may include a support rod component and a display panel component removably secured to each other.



Inventors:
Pantelis, John Nicholas (Oldsmar, FL, US)
Pantelis, Kathryn Demas (Oldsmar, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/517912
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DESAI, KAUSHIKKUMAR A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOK ALEX LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for storing pins, comprising: (a) a container housing having rails extending from a first side of said container housing to a second side of said container housing; (b) a hanging assembly having a mounting panel constructed of a material permitting a post of a pin to be inserted therein and retained only by friction between said post and said mounting panel; and (c) said hanging assembly further having a storage support rod that may permit said hanging assembly to be hanged on said rails of said container housing when said hanging assembly is positioned within said container housing.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said mounting panel is constructed from cork.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said mounting panel is constructed from polystyrene.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said hanging assembly further includes another storage support rod extending generally parallel to said storage support rod.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said mounting panel is enclosed within a frame.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a storage support rod frame defining a surface area permitting identification of pin category information.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the housing container is constructed from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, polyurethane, metal, and wood.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the thickness of the mounting panel is approximately one inch.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising wheels mounted to said container housing and a handle mounted to said container housing.

10. An apparatus for storing pins, comprising: (a) a container housing having rails extending from a first side of said container housing to a second side of said container housing; (b) a hanging assembly having a storage support rod component and a display panel component removably secured to the storage support rod component; (c) said display panel component having a mounting panel portion permitting a pin to be secured thereto for storage within said container housing; and (d) said storage support rod component having a support rod that may permit said hanging assembly to be hanged on said rails of said container housing when said hanging assembly is positioned within said container housing.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said display panel component is removably secured to said storage support rod component by a tongue and groove connection.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said storage support rod component includes a frame defining a tongue portion of said tongue and groove connection.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein said display panel component includes a frame surrounding the mounting panel and defining a groove portion of said tongue and groove connection.

14. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said mounting panel is constructed of a material permitting a post of said pin to be inserted therein and retained only by friction between said post and said mounting panel.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the thickness of the mounting panel is approximately one inch.

16. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said storage support rod component includes a frame defining a surface area permitting identification of pin category information.

17. An apparatus for displaying pins, comprising: (a) a hanging assembly having a mounting panel constructed of a material permitting a post of a pin to be inserted therein and retained only by friction between said post and said mounting panel; and (b) said hanging assembly having a storage support rod having hooks at opposite ends thereof that permit said hanging assembly to be hanged on rails of a container housing having a hanging file folder type construction.

18. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein said hanging assembly includes a storage support rod component and a display panel component removably secured to said storage support rod component.

19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein said display panel component is removably secured to said storage support rod component by a tongue and groove connection.

20. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein the thickness of the mounting panel is approximately one inch.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an apparatus for storage and display of personal items and more particularly an apparatus for storage and display of pins, including decorative lapel pins, specialized collector pins and the like.

Lapel pin collecting has become a popular hobby over recent years. Pin collection enthusiasts are akin to baseball card collectors. Pin collectors buy, store, trade, and sell collector pins. There are pin collection trade show exhibitions where collector pins are proudly displayed and traded or sold by collector pin owners. Many pins are manufactured especially for enthusiasts and special and limited edition pins are now available. A pin enthusiast may own dozens of collectible pins.

Although the hobby of pin collecting has grown, the means of storing pins remains rudimentary. Example apparatus for storage and display of collector pins are notebook three-ring binders, over-the-shoulder carrying bags with three-ring binders, and backpacks with extendable pin display sheets. Other similar apparatus exist.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,261,529, Holland discloses a storage apparatus for earrings that includes multiple panels of a plastic net layer lined with a fabric backing. As disclosed by Holland, to secure a post-type earring to a panel, the post of the earring must be inserted through the mesh and then the friction nut of the earring must be secured to the post on the opposite side of the panel. This process can be cumbersome and time consuming, especially when securing a large number of post-type jewelry to a large number of panels within a storage apparatus. In addition, the apparatus disclosed by Holland uses panels that are fixedly secured to the support rods. With this construction, display of the earrings takes up a relatively large amount of unused space when panels are placed side-by-side due to the overhang of the support rods and, in addition, the display is generally not aesthetically pleasing.

In view of the foregoing, there is an unresolved need for an improved pin storage and display apparatus.

There is an unresolved need for such an apparatus that permits pins to be secured for storage and display relatively quickly and easily.

There is also an unresolved need for such an apparatus that permits storage and display panels to be removably secured to storage support rods such that the panels are secured to the storage support rods when it is desired to secure them within the storage housing and the panels are removed from the storage support rods when it is desired to display them for sale and the like.

The present invention fulfills the above-referenced unresolved needs in the prior art. These and other benefits of the preferred forms of the invention will become apparent from the following description. It will be understood, however, that an apparatus could still appropriate the invention claimed herein without accomplishing each and every one of these benefits, including those gleaned from the following description. The appended claims, not the benefits, define the subject matter of this invention. Any and all benefits are derived from the preferred forms of the invention, not necessarily the invention in general.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A pin storage and display apparatus includes a housing container and a hanging assembly having a storage support rod component and a display panel component removably secured thereto. The display panel component may be slidably secured to the storage support rod component by, for example, a tongue and groove connection. The housing container resembles a hanging file drawer or cabinet and has support rails extending generally from one end to an opposite end. The storage support rod component includes storage support rods having hooks on opposite ends of the rods. The display panel component includes a mounting panel portion preferably surrounded by a frame portion. The mounting panel portion permits the posts of lapel and collector pins to be inserted therein and retained only by friction between the mounting panel and the pin post. The mounting panel portion may be constructed from cork, polystyrene or a similar material into which the posts may penetrate and be retained only by friction between the posts and the mounting panel. When the display panel component is connected to the support rod component and inside the container the end hooks of the storage support rods rest on the support rails within the housing container. Several hanging assemblies may be placed inside the housing container at one time for storage and/or transport of pins. The hanging assemblies can be easily removed from the housing container and the display panel component of each may be removed from its respective storage support rod component to permit display of the pins mounted on their display panels. The housing container may take a variety of forms and may be made out of a variety of materials including plastic, polyurethane, metal, or wood. The storage support rod component preferably includes a frame portion having a surface defining an upper surface when the hanging assembly is positioned within the housing container. This upper surface is preferably sufficiently large enough to permit written or coded pin category identification, classification, or labeling bearing such information to be put thereon. The housing container may preferably include a telescoping handle and wheels similar to portable rolling luggage in order to improve the portability of the pin storage and display apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed description, reference will frequently made to the following figures, in which like reference numerals refer to like components, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a pin storage and display apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the hanging assembly shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the hanging assembly shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates pin storage and display apparatus designated 10 including a container housing 12 and a hanging assembly 14. Container housing 12 may be shaped in a variety of forms and may be constructed from a variety of materials including plastic, polyurethane, metal, or wood. Container housing 12 has a pair of support rails 16 extending from front to rear walls thereof. The support rails 16 permit one or more hanging assemblies 14 to be hanged within the container housing 12. In particular, the support rails 16 are mounted parallel to each other in a pre-specified spatial relation at an upper end of the container housing 12 at a height enabling the proper suspension of a hanging assembly 14. For illustrative purposes and simplicity, only one hanging assembly 16 is shown in FIG. 1; however, it will be understood that more than one hanging assembly may be supported within the container housing.

The container housing 12 further includes wheels 18 mounted on opposite side walls thereof and a telescoping handle 20 mounted on the container housing rear wall to permit storage and display apparatus 10 to be transported easily. The container housing 12 preferably further includes a lid (not shown) that may be applied and secured to the top rim thereof to enclose the interior of the container housing and protect the stored pins from the environment.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the hanging assembly 14 includes a storage support rod component 22 and a display panel component 24. The storage support rod component 22 is removably connected to display panel component 24, as best illustrated by FIG. 3. In the illustrated embodiment, storage support rod component 22 and display panel component 24 include a laterally extending tongue and groove connection 26, whereby the two components may be slidably securable to and removable from each other.

The storage support rod component 22 includes a frame portion 28 defining the tongue portion of tongue and groove connection 26 and securing two support rods 30 that are spaced apart from each other and extend laterally in a generally parallel relationship with respect to each other. While two support rods 30 are shown, it will be understood that only one support rod 30 is required, provided it has enough structural rigidity and integrity to support the hanging assembly, and more than two support rods can be used, if necessary. The frame portion 28 encapsulates the support rods 30 and includes an upper surface 32 relative to the position of storage support rod component when it is positioned within container housing 12. Upon this upper surface may be inscribed indicia related to an identification of the pins stored in association with the hanging assembly. Alternatively, a label bearing such indicia may be adhered to upper surface 32.

Support rods 30 include hook portions 34 on opposite ends thereof. The hook portions 34 are positioned over support rails 16 when the hanging assembly 14 is positioned within container housing 12.

Display panel component 24 includes a frame 36 extending about the perimeter thereof and defining the groove portion of tongue and groove connection 26. Frame 36 surrounds a mounting panel 38 made from a material suitable for permitting the posts of pins 40 to be inserted therein and retained only by friction between the posts and the mounting panel. Frames 28 and 36 may be constructed of wood, although many other materials may be used such as plastic, polyurethane, or metal.

The thickness of mounting panel 38 is preferably greater than the length of pin post, preferably approximately one inch thick to be sufficiently thick and yet maximize pin storage capacity for pin storage and display apparatus 10. Mounting panel 38 may be constructed from cork, polystyrene or a similar material into which the posts may penetrate and be retained only by friction between the posts and the mounting panel.

When the display panel component 24 is connected to the storage support rod component 22 and mounted inside the container housing 12, the end hooks 34 of the support rods 30 rest on the support rails 16 within the container housing. Several hanging assemblies 14 may be placed inside the container housing 12 at one time for storage and/or transport of pins 40. The hanging assemblies 14 can be easily removed from the container housing 12 and the display panel component 24 of each may be removed from its respective storage support rod component 22 by sliding those components from each other to permit display of the pins 40 mounted on the mounting panels 38. The display panel components 24 may then be positioned side-by-side or as otherwise desired to permit display of the pins at a trade show exhibition or the like. The pins 40 may be removed and reinserted into the mounting panels 38, as desired. Backings for the posts of pins 40 may be stored in a bag, container or similar storage device.

In a preferred embodiment, the hanging assemblies are sized in accordance with standard hanging file dimensions. It will be understood, however, that the present invention is not limited by such dimensions.

In another embodiment, the mounting panel may be constructed from materials that do not permit a pin to be retained only by friction between the post of such pin and the mounting panel. In such embodiments, the pin storage and display apparatus will still have the benefit of the removable pin display panel.

While this invention has been described with reference to certain illustrative embodiments, it will be understood that this description shall not be construed in a limiting sense. Rather, various changes and modifications can be made to the illustrative embodiments without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims. Furthermore, it will be appreciated that any such changes and modifications will be recognized by those skilled in the art as an equivalent to one or more elements of the following claims, and shall be covered by such claims to the fullest extent permitted by law.