Title:
Bottle organizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bottle organizer includes a generally vertical wall, a generally horizontal floor proximate to the generally vertical wall, and a spacing member positioned along the generally vertical wall. The spacing member has a portion (which may be curved) that protrudes in a plane that is generally parallel to the horizontal floor and generally perpendicular to the vertical wall. The protruding portion is at a distance from the floor that corresponds to the height of a neck portion of a bottle standing upright on the floor. The spacing member may include alternating straight and curved portions. The vertical wall may be one of two walls, which may be generally parallel and coextensive with each other. The bottle organizer may include a generally cuboid enclosure, in which the spacing member is slidingly disposed.



Inventors:
Stamm, Brian Douglas (Seal Beach, CA, US)
Stoebner, Edward Mccarthy (Brea, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/600964
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
11/16/2006
Assignee:
B/E Aerospace, Inc. (Wellington, FL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
POOS, MADISON LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (BE Aerospace) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bottle organizer comprising: a generally vertical wall; a generally horizontal floor proximate to the generally vertical wall; and a spacing member positioned along the generally vertical wall, the spacing member comprising a portion that protrudes in a plane that is generally parallel to the horizontal floor and generally perpendicular to the vertical wall, the protruding portion being spaced at a distance from the floor.

2. The bottle organizer of claim 1 where the protruding portion is disposed at a distance from the floor that corresponds approximately to the height of a reduced diameter portion of a bottle standing upright on the floor.

3. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the spacing member comprises alternating straight and curved portions.

4. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the protruding portion is generally curved.

5. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the spacing member is generally unshaped, wherein a side of the spacing member is attached to the vertical wall.

6. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the vertical wall is a first wall, the bottle organizer further comprising a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to, and coextensive with the first wall.

7. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the vertical wall is a first wall, the bottle organizer further comprising: a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; a pair of brackets, one of which is attached to the first wall and one of which is attached to the second wall, the brackets being configured to slidingly receive the spacing member.

8. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the vertical wall is a first wall, the bottle organizer further comprising: a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; a generally horizontal floor that extends between and is joined with the first and second walls; a back wall that is generally vertical and generally perpendicular to the first and second walls, the first and second walls, the back and the floor defining an enclosure for storing bottles.

9. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein the spacing member is generally cylindrical and elongated, wherein the vertical wall is a first wall, the bottle organizer further comprising: a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; a generally horizontal floor that extends between and is joined with the first and second walls; a back wall that is generally vertical and generally perpendicular to the first and second walls, the first and second walls, wherein the spacing member runs along the first, second and back walls.

10. The bottle organizer of claim 1, wherein bottle organizer is a generally cuboid enclosure, of which the vertical wall is a part, and in which the spacing member is slidingly disposed.

11. A bottle organizer comprising: a first generally vertical wall; a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; a generally horizontal floor extending between the first and second walls and forming a junction with each of the first and second walls; and a generally u-shaped, elongated member having a first side that is attached to the first wall, and a second side that is attached to the second wall, the elongated member being oriented in a plane that is generally parallel to the floor and generally perpendicular to the first and second walls, the elongated member comprising a curved portion adapted to separate at least two vertically oriented bottles standing on the floor.

12. The bottle organizer of claim 11, further comprising a pair of supporting members that facilitate the attachment of the elongated member to the first and second walls, one of the supporting members being secured to the first wall and the other being secured to the second wall.

13. The bottle organizer of claim 11, further comprising: a first enclosure; a second enclosure disposed within the first enclosure, the second enclosure including the first and second walls and the floor.

14. The bottle organizer of claim 11, further comprising a plurality of pairs of supporting members that facilitate the attachment of the elongated member to the first and second walls, one of each pair of supporting members being secured to the first wall and the other of each pair being secured to the second wall, each pair of the plurality being disposed at a height above the floor to facilitate the storage of a different size of bottle within the elongated member.

15. The bottle organizer of claim 11, wherein the elongated member slides into a compartment defined by the first and second walls and the floor and engages the first and second walls via one of a plurality of pairs of brackets, each pair being positioned at a height that corresponds to one of a plurality of sizes of bottles.

16. A bottle organizer comprising: an elongated member that is generally cylindrical along its length and that is bent into a generally u-shaped configuration along a generally horizontal plane, the elongated member comprising a plurality of generally straight portions and a plurality of generally curved portions that alternate with one another, at least one pair of the generally curved portions protruding inwardly along the horizontal plane toward one another, the elongated member being disposed at a height spaced above the base upon which a bottle stands.

17. The bottle organizer of claim 16 where the distance between the base and the elongated-member corresponds approximately with the height of a reduced diameter portion of a gene rally vertically oriented bottle.

18. The bottle organizer of claim 17, further comprising: a first generally vertical wall; a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; and a bracket attached to the first wall and supporting a first side of the elongated member; a bracket attached to the second wall and supporting a second side of the elongated member.

19. The bottle organizer of claim 16, wherein the first side of the elongated member slides into the bracket attached to the first wall, and the second side of the elongated member slides into the bracket attached to the second wall.

20. The bottle organizer of claim 16, further comprising: a first generally vertical wall; a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; and a generally horizontal floor extending between the first and second walls and forming a junction with each of the first and second walls, wherein the bottle is one of a plurality of bottles, each of which stands vertically on the floor, wherein the generally curved portions of the elongated member provide spacing between each of the plurality of bottles.

21. The bottle organizer of claim 16, further comprising: a first generally vertical wall; a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall; a plurality of brackets attached to the first wall, one of which supports a first side of the elongated member; and a plurality of brackets attached to the second wall, one of which supports a second side of the elongated member, each of the plurality of brackets attached to the first wall corresponding to one of the plurality of brackets attached to the second wall, thereby forming a plurality of pairs of brackets, wherein each pair of brackets corresponds to the neck height of a different sized bottle than each of the other pairs of brackets.

22. The bottle organizer of claim 21, further comprising: a generally horizontal floor extending between the first and second walls and forming a junction with each of the first and second walls, wherein the generally curved portions of the elongated member provide spacing between each of a plurality of bottles that are standing on the floor in an upright position.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to bottle organizers and, more particularly, to beverage organizers that are incorporated into refrigerated compartments, such as those used on passenger aircraft.

BACKGROUND

Keeping food and beverages chilled to the proper temperature is important in any context. In certain contexts, such as where space is limited and where quick access to the chilled items is required, proper refrigeration can be a challenge. For example, in the context of a passenger aircraft, bottled beverages such as wine or Champaign are usually stored in a refrigerated compartment near the cockpit. Due to space limitations, however, the compartment tends to be very small and difficult to organize. Furthermore, due to the individual nature of drink orders flight attendants are often hard-pressed to pull bottles out and pour drinks for passengers in a timely fashion. As a result, beverage containers are sometimes quickly placed in the refrigerator, with the containers pushed against a wall of the container and the containers pushed against each other without space between. This results in non-uniform cooling of the containers, and makes it more difficult to cool the space in the refrigerator. Another problem with many refrigerated compartments is that the beverages do not cool to a uniform temperature. Thus, for example, one bottle of chardonnay might be chilled to the appropriate temperature, while an adjacent bottle may be too warm.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the foregoing, a new and improved bottle organizer is provided. In an embodiment of the invention, the bottle organizer includes a generally vertical wall, a generally horizontal floor proximate to the generally vertical wall, and a spacing member positioned along the generally vertical wall. The spacing member has a portion (which may be curved) that protrudes in a plane that is generally parallel to the horizontal floor and generally perpendicular to the vertical wall. The protruding portion may be disposed at a distance from the floor that corresponds approximately to the height of a shoulder or neck portion of a bottle standing upright on the floor, so as to stabilize and maintain the bottle in an upright and spaced position The spacing member may include alternating straight and curved portions. The vertical wall may be one of two walls, which may be generally parallel and coextensive with each other. The bottle organizer may include a generally cuboid enclosure, in which the spacing member is slidingly disposed. The invention provides for easier and more convenient placement and removal of containers within a refrigeration compartment where the bottle organizer is disposed. The invention will further promote quicker “pull down” (achieving a desired cool temperature) and more even temperature distribution within the refrigeration compartment.

In one embodiment, the spacing member is generally unshaped, and its side is attached to the vertical wall.

In another embodiment, the vertical wall is one of at least two vertical walls, and each of the two vertical walls has a bracket attached to it. The brackets are configured to slidingly receive the spacing member.

In yet another embodiment, the bottle organizer has a generally horizontal floor that extends between and is joined with first and second generally vertical walls, and a back wall that is generally vertical and generally perpendicular to the first and second walls. In this embodiment, the first and second walls, the back and the floor define an enclosure for storing bottles.

In yet another embodiment, the spacing member is generally cylindrical and elongated, and spacing member runs along first and second vertical walls and along a back wall.

In another embodiment of the invention, the bottle organizer includes a first generally vertical wall, a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall, a generally horizontal floor extending between the first and second walls and forming a junction with each of the first and second walls, and a generally unshaped, elongated member. The elongated member has a first side that is attached to the first wall, and a second side that is attached to the second wall. Furthermore, the elongated member is oriented in a plane that is generally parallel to the floor and generally perpendicular to the first and second walls. The elongated member also has a curved portion adapted to separate at least two vertically oriented bottles standing on the floor.

In another embodiment, the bottle organizer includes a pair of supporting members that facilitate the attachment of the elongated member to the first and second walls. In this embodiment, one of the supporting members is secured to the first wall and the other is secured to the second wall.

In another embodiment, the bottle organizer includes a first enclosure and a second enclosure disposed within the first enclosure. In this embodiment, the second enclosure includes the first and second walls and the floor.

In still another embodiment, the bottle organizer includes pairs of supporting members that facilitate the attachment of the elongated member to the first and second walls. In this embodiment, one of each pair of supporting members is secured to the first wall and the other of each pair is secured to the second wall. Each pair of the plurality is disposed at a height above the floor to facilitate the storage of a different size of bottle within the elongated member.

In still another embodiment, the elongated member slides into a compartment defined by the first and second walls and the floor, and engages the first and second walls via one of a plurality of pairs of brackets. In this embodiment, each pair is positioned at a height that corresponds to one of multiple sizes of bottles.

In still another embodiment of the invention, the bottle organizer includes an elongated member that is generally cylindrical along its length and that is bent into a generally u-shaped configuration along a generally horizontal plane. The elongated member has generally straight portions and generally curved portions that alternate with one another. In this embodiment, at least one pair of the generally curved portions protrude inwardly along the horizontal plane toward one another. The elongated member is disposed at a height that corresponds approximately with the height of a shoulder or neck of a bottle that is oriented in a generally vertical direction.

In another embodiment, the bottle organizer includes two generally vertical walls that are generally parallel to one another, and brackets attached to each of the walls to support two sides of the elongated member. One side of the elongated member may slide into one bracket and the other side of the elongated member may slide into the bracket attached to the one wall.

In yet another embodiment, the bottle organizer includes a first generally vertical wall, a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall, and a generally horizontal floor extending between the first and second walls and forming a junction with each of the first and second walls. In this embodiment, the generally curved portions of the elongated member provide spacing between each of multiple bottles.

In yet another embodiment, the bottle organizer includes a first generally vertical wall, a second generally vertical wall that is generally parallel to the first wall, a brackets attached to the first wall, one of which supports a side of the elongated member, and bracket attached to the second wall, one of which supports another side of the elongated member. In this embodiment, each of the brackets attached to the first wall correspond to one of the brackets attached to the second wall, thereby forming pairs of brackets. Each pair of brackets corresponds approximately to the shoulder or neck height of a different sized bottle than each of the other pairs of brackets.

In still another embodiment of the invention, the bottle organizer includes a generally horizontal floor extending between the first and second walls and forming a junction with each of the first and second walls. In this embodiment, the generally curved portions of the elongated member provide spacing between each of multiple bottles that are standing on the floor in an upright position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a bottle organizer according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a spacing member according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the bottle organizer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top-down view of the bottle organizer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of the bottle organizer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 illustrates the placement of bottles in the bottle organizer of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention is generally directed to a bottle organizer. Referring to FIGS. 1, 3-5, various embodiments of the bottle organizer will now be described. The bottle organizer, generally labeled 10, is generally cuboid in shape, and includes a first generally cuboid enclosure 12 and a second generally cuboid enclosure 14 located within the first enclosure 10. The first generally cuboid enclosure may be a variety of things, including a compartment on a passenger aircraft, or a compartment of service cart. The second enclosure 14 has first side wall 16, a second side wall 18 generally parallel to the first side wall, a floor 20 that is attached to, and extends between, the first and second side walls 16 and 18. The second enclosure 14 also has a back wall 22 that is attached to the first and second side walls 16 and 18 and to the floor 20. The back wall 22 is oriented generally perpendicular to the first and second side walls 16 and 18 as well as to the floor 20. Each of the first and second side walls 16 and 18 has a leaf portion 24 that extends beyond the plane of the back wall 22. Each leaf portion has a number of holes 26 through which screws, rivets, or other fasteners can be passed for the purpose of securing the second enclosure 14 to the inside of the first enclosure 12.

Behind the back wall 20 is refrigeration equipment (not shown), including a compressor unit, expansion valve, cooling coils, and a fan. The back wall 20 has a set 31 of vent holes that permit air that is blown by the fan to pass over the cooling coils and into the second enclosure 14. A set 28 of bars helps to prevent objects from accidentally being inserted into the set 31 of vent holes.

Each of the side walls 16 and 18 has at least one set of supporting members attached to it. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, each side wall has, attached to it, a first supporting member 30 (at or about 2 inches above the floor 20), a second supporting member 32 (at or about 4 inches above the floor 20), a third supporting member 34 (at or about 8.2 inches above the floor 20), and a fourth supporting members 36 (at or about 12.4 inches above the floor 20). Thus, there are four sets of supporting member in the illustrated embodiment. Each supporting member in the illustrated embodiment is a generally u-shaped bracket, although other types of supporting members are possible. At least one of the sets of supporting members on the side walls 16 and 18 holds a spacing member 38. The spacing member 38 may be inserted and removed by sliding it into the second enclosure using one of the sets of supporting members, starting from the end farthest from the back wall 22 and pushing it toward the back wall 22.

Referring to FIG. 2, an embodiment of the spacing member 38 will now be described. The spacing member 38 includes a cylindrical, elongated member. The elongated member is generally u-shaped and has a thickness of F. The elongated member has a first side, having a length of A, and a second side, opposite the first side, whose length is also A. Starting from the upper right and moving to the left and counterclockwise, the spacing member 38 has a short straight portion 40, followed by a quarter-circular curved portion 42, a straight segment 44, and a half-circular curved portion 46 whose radius is R. The length B includes twice the radius R, plus the length of the short straight portion 40. These basic elements are repeated until the spacing member 38 turns at or about 90 degrees at a rounded corner 48. Proximate to the rounded corner is an indentation 49 that cooperates with a protrusion in one of the supporting members to keep the supporting member 38 relatively stationary after insertion. The indent has a thickness of S. The rounded corner has length of C and a width of E. After the rounded corner 48, the cylindrical member has a long, straight portion 50, having a length of D, which ends in a second rounded corner 48, at which point the cylindrical member turns at or about 90 degrees. Following the second rounded corner, the cylindrical member has short straight portions 40, quarter-circular portions 44, and half-circular portions 46 in a repeating pattern as shown in FIG. 2.

While there are many possible sizes and configurations of the spacing unit 38, in one embodiment, A=11.56 inches, B=4.12 inches, C=0.94 inches, D=9.55 inches, E=0.66 inches, F=0.15 inches, R=0.44 inches, and S=0.125 inches.

As can be seen in FIG. 2, the spacing member 38 has several protruding portions, each of which is made up of two straight segments 44 and one half-circular curved portion 46. These protruding portions protrude into the plane of the spacing member 38 in pairs, with one of the pair being on one side of the spacing member 38 and the other of the pair being on the opposite side of the spacing member 38. Each of the protruding portions provides spacing between bottles of the bottle organizer. This is more clearly illustrated in FIG. 6, in which bottles 60 are show as being placed within the organizer 10. The bottles 60 are separated by protruding portions of the spacing member 38. Note that the spacing member is attached to the walls 16 and 18 via the first supporting members 30, and that the first supporting members are disposed at a height above the floor 20 that corresponds approximately to the height of the shoulders of the bottles 60. The bottles 60 in this example are 8 inch tall bottles. However, the bottle organizer 10 can also accommodate 10 inch tall bottles (by sliding the spacing member 38 into the second supporting members 32) and 12 inch tall bottles (by sliding the spacing member 38 into the third supporting members 34). For each size bottle, the spacing member 38 can be placed at a height that corresponds approximately to the shoulder of that size of bottle. Furthermore, multiple spacing members 38 may be put into the bottle organizer 10 so as to accommodate different sized bottles simultaneously. For example, a spacing member 38 may be inserted into each of the first, second, and third supporting members 30, 32, and 34.

Shown merely by way of example in FIG. 2 is an embodiment of the invention used with bottles having a shoulder. The invention may also be used for bottles, such as a juice bottle, that do not have a shoulder, but have a reduced diameter neck. In that case, the spacing member 38 may be disposed approximately at the height of the neck of the bottle. In either case, according to an embodiment of the invention, the spacing member may be disposed at the neck or shoulder of a bottle—the portion of the bottle having a reduced diameter with respect to the diameter of the bottle at the bottom. In addition, the invention may be practiced to retain, stabilize and space bottles, cans or cartons, such as a substantially cylindrical metal juice can or a substantially cuboid or prism shaped cardboard milk carton, that may not have a reduced diameter portion. In such a case, the spacing member 38 may be disposed at a height less than the height of the substantially cylindrical bottle or can. As should be understood by one of skill in the art, when the term “bottle” is referred to herein, it is meant to be considered broadly and may include a variety of type and shapes, such as a wine bottle, a cuboid shaped milk carton, a cylindrical shaped juice can and other shape and types of bottles.

It can be seen from the foregoing that a new and useful bottle organizer has been described. The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.