US 2980483 A
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P. C. DAVIS April 18, 1961 ADJUSTABLE SHELF STRUCTURE FOR REFRIGERATOR CABINET OR THE LIKE Filed July 51, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I22 FIG.I.
INVENTOR PEARL C.DAVIS A TORNEY April 18, 1961 P. c. DAVIS 2,980,483
ADJUSTABLE SHELF STRUCTURE FOR REFRIGERATOR CABINET OR THE LIKE Filed July 31, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I 2| 20 I8) l3 5 2| FIG 5 FIG 6 6% j 20 a lUdL I) F l jg Z ATTQRNEY ADJUSTABLE SHELF STRUCTURE FOR REFRIG- ERATOR CABINET OR THE LIKE Pearl C. Davis, Columbus, Ohio, assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, East Pittsburgh, 1%., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed July 31, 1958, Ser, No. 752,326
5 Claims. (Cl. 312-271) This invention relates to adjustable shelf structures for household cabinets and particularly to domestic refrigerator shelving. v
The size and nature of items stored in domestic refrigerators are varied and, for this reason, such cabinets are generally equipped with one or more adjustable shelves to increase the utility of the appliance. This invention concerns an improved adjustable shelf which is adapted to afford greater utility than prior shelves. A particularly meritorious feature of this improved shelf, is that it can be adjusted to a condition in which it forms a basket arrangement to provide confined storage for irregularly shaped items, such as fruits and vegetables, which are generally unstable.
Briefly, the invention contemplates the association of an articulated shelf with upper and lower rows of supports which are vertically spaced from one another on the side walls of the cabinet. The shelf comprises a plurality of rigid sections which are hingedly joined in a manner to permit the several sections to move relative one another about hinge axes disposed normal to the side walls of the cabinet. The side edges of the shelf are adapted to rest on either of the aforementioned rows of supports, so that certain sections, or portions, of the shelf can be disposed on one row of supports while another portion thereof rests on the other row of supports, andinvention will be made clear from the following detailed description in which reference is made partying drawings wherein: 1 j
Fig. l is a fragmentary front elevational View of a cabinet incorporating a shelf constructed in accordance with this invention; Fig. Zis a fragmentary isometric view-of the shelf to the accomstructureshown in Fig. 1; and
vFigs. '3 through 8 are vertical sectional views taken from the side and illustrating a few of the arrangements in which the improved shelf can be employed.
The cabinet illustrated fragmentarily in Figs. 1 and 2.
of the drawings is of the domestic refrigerator type in 2,98%,483 Patented Apr. 18', 1961 either wholly or partially, by one or the other or both of upper and lower rows of supports carried by each of the cabinet side walls 11. The upper row of supports on each side wall is made up of a plurality of horizontally spaced receptacle members 16. The row of receptacle members on one side wall is at the same elevation as the row on the other side wall. Each receptacle member 16 has a recess 17 therein that opens upwardly and toward the opposite side wall.
The lower rows of supports are provided by continuous glides 18 extending horizontally along the side walls 11. The glide 18 of one side wall is at substantially the same elevation as the glide on the other side wall. Each glide is preferably equipped with an abutment 19 at its rear end which is spaced a short distance from the cabinet rear wall 12, and with spaced abutments providing an upwardly and inwardly opening recess 20 at its front end;
The shelf 15 is constructed of a number of substantially rigid sections 21, each of which are adapted to be supported by either the receptacle members 16 or the glides 18. -These shelf sections 21 are hingedly connected in series, so that the several sections can be moved relativeone another for the express purpose of permitting one or more sections to be supported in an elevated position on the receptacle members 16 while another section or sections rest on the glides 18.
A preferred construction for the shelf 15 is illustrated in Fig. 2, although it is to be understood that the detailed structural features 'of the shelf can be altered without departing from the invention. In the preferred construction, all of the shelf sections 21 are of equal breadth and each comprises front and rear rod members 22 and 23 that are joined by spacer wires 24, welded or otherwise afiixe'd to the rod members. The shelf sections 21 are hingedly connected by links 26 adapted to receive end portions of both the front and rear rod members 22 and 23 of one shelf section and to loosely receive the end portion of the front rod member 22 of an adjoining section; The links 26 joining the several sections are of equal length, so that the hinge axes'of the sections 21 are uniformly spaced.
The front rod member 22 of each of the shelf sections 21 and the rear rod member 23 of the rearmost section 21 extend outwardly from the side edges of the shelf ingthe form of projections 27 which adapt the edges of the shelf to rest on either the glides 18 or the receptacle members 16. It will be noted that there is one of these projections 27 at the hinge axes between the several sections on each side of the shelf 15 and at the front and rear corners of the shelf. The spacing between the front three projections 27 along each side of the shelf is uniform, but the spacing between the rearmost projection 27 and the projection nearest thereto is somewhat less than the spacing between the other projections. This is the result of using extensions of the rear rod member 23 ofthe offset-by savings resulting from the simplified shelf construction.
which insulated side walls 11 and an insulated back wall 12 partially enclose a refrigerated storage chamber or vide access to the compartment 13 and the access open- Shown disposed within the compartment 13 is a conventional rigid shelf 14 and the improved articulated shelf 15 of this invention.
The articulated shelf 15 is adapted compartment 13. The cabinet is open at its front to proing is normally closed by an insulated door (not'shown),
For maximum'versatility of arrangement, certain spa:
cial relationships must be maintained between the several receptacle members 16 and the glides 18 with respect to,
the spacing between the projections 27 along the edges of the shelf 15. The receptacle members 16 are pref erabl'y spaced horizontally from one another by distances equal to the spacing between the front four projections 27 along each edge of the shelf '15. Eachreceptacle member 16;; is spaced from the receptacle member 16' assoaes f that is immediately forward thereof on its side wall 11 by a distance equal to the space between the two rearmost projections 27 on the edge of the shelf 15. In addition, the rows of receptacle members 16 are vertically displaced from the glides 18 by distances equal to the spaces between the front four projection members 27.
The versatility of the shelf structure of this invention is demonstrated in the drawings by several illustrations of various arrangements that are possible with the shelf 15. Figs. 1 and 2 illustrate a lowered full shelf arrangement in which the front three sections 2. of the shelf are disposed horizontally on the glides 18. The rear most section of the shelf 15 hangs vertically in an out of the way position adjacent the rear wall 12 of the cabinet. While not illustrated, it is believed to be apparent, particularly from Fig. 2, that the shelf 15' may also be disposed in a raised full shelf position in which the projections 27, with the exception of the rearmost projections, are disposed in the recesses 17 in the receptacle members 16.
Fig. 3 illustrates a full basket arrangement in which the front shelf section 21 is disposed in an upright position with the projections 27 at the forward edge thereof carried inthe forward receptacle members 16. The projections '27 at the rear of the front section 21 rest in the recesses 20 in the forward ends of. the glides 18. When thus disposed,'the forward shelf section 21 is effectively restrained in an upright position in which it can function as a wall of the basket. This arrangement is particularly suitable for the storage of large quantities of irregularly shaped objects, such as fruits and vegetables.
Changing the shelf 15 from one arrangement to another is not difficult. The projections 27 merely rest on the glides 18 and in the recesses 17 in the receptacle members 16 and are readily disengageable therefrom by a slight upward movement of the particular shelf section involved.
In Fig. 4. there is illustrated a one-third raised shelf and two-thirds basket arrangement. Here, the forward shelf section 21 is horizontally disposed in a raised posi-. tion on the receptacle members 16, the next shelf section 21 is disposed in an; upright position and the last two sections rest on the glides 18. This arrangement is useful in thestorage of a combination of items including tall objects, such as bottles, which would be disposed beneath the forward shelf section, 21, and irregularly shaped items, which could be disposed in the basket at the rear of the compartment 13. p a
Fig. 5 illustrates a two-thirds lowered shelf and onethird. raised shelf arrangement. It will benoted that the receptacle members 1601 are utilized in this shelf ar-' vrangement, inasmuch as the rearmost section of the shelf 15 is disposed in an upper position on the receptacles 16. a
Fig. 6 illustrates a two-thirds raised shelf-one-third basket arrangement. Fig. 7 illustrates the disposition of the shelf 15 inproviding merely a one-third basket arrangement. Fig. 8 illustrates a one-third basket-onethird raised shelf arrangement. 1
Numerous other arrangements in addition to those illustrated are possible with the shelf structure of this invention. in an effort to simplify the illustration and description of the invention, onlya few representative arrangements have been shown. It is believed, however, that these illustrations adequately bring out the fact that.
this invention provides an extremely versatile adjustable shelf which is particularly usefulin refrigerator cabinets or thelike. V Q
While the invention has been shown in but one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but a is susceptible of various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. In a cabinet having side and rear walls and an opening at the front thereof, means providing upper and lower vertically spaced,horizontal rows of supports on each of said side walls, the rows on one of said side walls being at substantially the same elevations as the respective rows on the other side wall, and a shelf adapted to rest on and span the distance between opposite supports, said shelf comprising a plurality of substantially rigid sections hingedly connected in series with the hinge axes of said sections extending normal to the side walls of said cabinet, the distance between the hinge axes of at least one intermediate shelf section being substantially equal to the vertical distance between said upper and lower rows of supports, whereby the two sections connected to said one section can be disposed on said upper and lower rows of supports, respectively.
.2. In a cabinet having side and rear walls and an opening at the front thereof, means providing upper and lower vertically spaced, horizontal rows of supports on each of said side walls, the rows on one of said side walls'being at substantially the same elevations as the respective rows on the other side wall, and a shelf adapted to rest on and span the distance between opposite supports, said shelf including at least three equi-breadth, substantially rigid sections hingedly connected in series, the hinge axes of said sections extending normal to the side walls of said cabinet and being spaced apart a distance substantially equal to the vertical distance between said upperand lower rows of supports, whereby alternative arrangements of said shelf sections are permitted in which any one of said shelf sections can be disposed in a horizontal attitude on either of said rows of supports or in a vertical attitude with respect to the rows of supports. e
3. In a cabinet having side and rear walls and an opening at the frontthereof, means providing upper and lower vertically spaced, horizontal rows of supports on each of said side walls, the rows on one of said side walls being at substantially the same elevations as the respective rows on the other side wall, and a shelf adapt ed to rest on and span the distance between opposite supports, said shelf including at least three equi-breadth, substantially rigid sections hingedly connected in series, the hinge axes of said sections extending normal to the side walls of said cabinet, said shelf having a plurality of projections disposed along the" side edges thereof and adapted to rest on said supports, there being one of said projections at least at each hinge connection and at the free corners of each outboard shelf section, the spacing between said projections along each edge of the shelf being substantially equal to the vertical distance between said upper and lower rows of supports, whereby alternative arrangements of said shelf sections are permitted in which-any one of said shelf sections can be disposed in a horizontal attitude on either of said rows of supports or in a vertical attitude with respect to the rows of supports. a
4.'In acabinet having side and rear walls and an opening at the front thereof, a pair of horizontally extending supports carried by said 'side walls, a shelf adapted to rest onand span the distance between said supports, said shelf comprising a plurality of hingedly-joined, substantially rigid sections, the hinge axes ofsaid sections extending normal to the side walls of. said cabinet, said shelf having a plurality of projectionsdisposed along the .side edgesthereof, and a plurality of receptacle members disposed on each side wall and vertically displaced from said supports by a distance equalto the spacing between at least two projections on eachside of said shelf, each of said receptacle members being adapted to removablysaid shelf comprising a plurality of hingedly-joint, sub-1 2,980,483 ,l 5 v 6 a, stantially rigid sections, the hinge axes of said sections receive a projection for providing partial supportfor said extending normal to the side walls of said cabinet, said shelf. shelf having a plurality of projections disposed along the References Cited in the file of this patent side edges thereof, there being one of said projections at each segment junction and adjacent the front and rear 5 UNiTED STATES PATENTS edges of said shelf, and a plurality of receptacle members 2,095,130 Gates Oct. 5, 1937 disposed on each side wall and vertically displaced from 2,317,232 Swedman Apr. 20, 1943 said supports by a distance equal to the spacing between 2,319,470 Nobles May 18, 1943 at least two projections on each side of said shelf, each 2,735,741 Laben Feb. 21, 1956 of said receptacle members being adapted to removably 10