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Publication numberUS3141207 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date21 Jul 1964
Filing date2 Apr 1962
Priority date2 Apr 1962
Publication numberUS 3141207 A, US 3141207A, US-A-3141207, US3141207 A, US3141207A
InventorsKahler Marvin D
Original AssigneeKahler Marvin D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Movable wall system
US 3141207 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 21, 1964 M. D. KAHLER 3,141,207

MOVABLE WALL SYSTEM Filed April 2, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

MAkV/N 0. KAHL 5E.

A 7' TORNIE YS' July 21, 1964 M. D. KAHLER 3,141,207

MOVABLE WALL SYSTEM Filed April 2, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR,

MARVIN 0: mm 5g A TTORNE Y.$

United States Patent Ofiice $141267 Patented July 21, 1964 3,141,207 MQVABLE WALL SYSTEM Marvin I). Kahler, 1933 Long Lake Shore Drive, Orchard Lake, Mich. Filed Apr. 2, 1962, Ser. No. 134,407 13 Claims. (Cl. 20-19) This invention relates to building equipment and, in particular, to movable wall systems for buildings.

One object of this invention is to provide a movable wall system whereby a room of a building may be quickly and easily subdivided by partitions composed of partition panels which can be transferred from a storage location to any selected one of a series of arrangements of partitions determined by a network of ceiling tracks upon which the partition panels are rolled and from which they are suspended.

Another object is to provide a movable wall system of the foregoing character wherein the partition panels are transported between the storage and the use locations by panel carriers including carriages which constitute intermediate vehicles for such transportation.

Another object is to provide a movable wall system of the foregoing character wherein the partition panels are of a variety of forms and materials, including doors, windows, ventilating louvers and other adaptations to different specific conditions and situations, and formed of opaque, transparent or translucent materials.

Another object is to provide a movable wall system of the foregoing character wherein the bottom portions of the partition panels optionally contain expansible base shoes adapted to be raised and lowered to fill the gap otherwise occurring between the panel and the floor as well as to hold the panel firmly in position and prevent it from sliding or swinging.

Another object is to provide a movable wall system of the foregoing character wherein automatic locking and aligning means is provided for automatically preventing transfer of a panel between a ceiling track and its respective carriage until the track and carriage are precisely aligned with one another.

Another object is to provide a movable wall system of the foregoing character wherein a modified paneltransporting vehicle carries the panels from a storage location to the room where they are to be used wihtout the necessity of providing ceiling tracks or rails between the storage area and the room to be partitioned.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description of the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic top plan view of a movable wall structure system according to one form of the invention, with the ceiling tracks shown in dotted lines and with the panels shown in solid lines adjacent their storage location and in dotted lines ready for transfer to certain of the ceiling tracks;

FIGURE 2 is a front elevation, partly in section, taken along the line 2-2 in FIGURE 1, showing a ceiling-track-supported panel transfer carriage;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevation of a floor-supported panel transfer truck dispensing with the ceiling transfer tracks of FIGURES 1 and 2;

FIGURE 4 is a right-handed end elevation of the panel transfer truck shown in FIGURE 3, disposed in alignment with a room partition ceiling track, with one of the panels transferred thereto;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevation of the upper portion of the ceiling-mounted carriage of FIGURES l and 2, showing details of the construction thereof;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevation of one of the partition panels of FIGURE 5, after its transfer to a ceiling track in the partitioned room;

FIGURE 7 is a right-hand side elevation of the construction shown in FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of the upper portion of a panel transfer carriage and its supporting rail, together with an automatic alignment lock for preventing transfer of the panel except when in alignment with the room ceiling track;

FIGURE 9 is a cross-section taken along line 99 in FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 10 is a top plan view of the automatic alignment lock shown in FIGURE 8, with the trolley mechanism omitted;

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical crosssection of an expansible panel base shoe for filling the gap between the bottom of a panel and the floor, taken along the line ll111 in FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 12 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal section through the panel base shoe of FIGURE 11, taken along the line 1212 therein;

FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary vertical cross-section of a modification of the expansible panel floor shoe of FIGURE 11 equipped with a positive locking connection with the floor; and

FIGURE 14 is an enlarged fragmentary horizontal section through the junction between panels in FIGURE 1, showing the tongue-and-groove connection.

Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGURES 1 and 2 show a movable partition or wall system, generally designated 20, according to one form of the invention, as consisting generally of a stationary panel storage rack 22, a pair of laterally-spaced parallel panel transfer or distribution carriages 24 interconnected by the cross rails 64 described below (FIGURE 5) to form a panel carrier, generally designated 25. The latter carries multiple movable partition panels 26, one vertical edge of which may be tongued (FIGURE 14) and the opposite edge groove for inteifitting. The panels 26 may be solid, transparent or translucent or equipped with ventilation louvers as at 27 or screening as at 29, or glass as at 31 or may constitute a door as at 33 (FIGURE 2). The door 33 may likewise be solid or transparent or translucent or possess ventilation louvers or screening, as in the case of the partition panels 26. The panel carrier 25 with its twin carriages 24 travels upon ceding-mounted tracks 28 mounted on a ceiling portion 3%), into alignment with room subdividing ceiling partition tracks 32 and 34 mounted on a room ceiling portion 36 within a room or other area 38 to be subdivided by the partition panels 26.

The room partition tracks 32 and 34 cross one another at right angles with narrow gaps at their intersections, similar to the gaps in crossing railroad tracks and disposed in a ceiling track network or grid, generally designated 40. The room ceiling portion 36 is preferably disposed on a level below the transfer ceiling portion 30 with a step 42 therebetween (FIGURE 2) in order to bring the panels 26 on their carriage 24 into alignment on the same horizontal level with the room partition ceiling tracks 32 and 34. The panel storage rack 22 contains similar stationary ceiling-mounted storage tracks 35 from which the panels 26 are suspended when not in use, aligned with the tracks of the panel carriage 25, as described below. Each carriage 24 has three longitudinally-spaced trolley hangers 44, each consisting of a pair of spaced parallel metal side plates 46 between which extend axle bolts 48. Mounted upon the axle bolts 48 are trolley wheels 50 traveling upon the lower flanges 52 of the transfer or distribution tracks 28, the upper flanges 54 of which are secured, as by suitable brackets described below, to the storage and transfer area ceiling 30 and depend therefrom. The side plates 46 of each hanger 44 are bolted or otherwise secured to a beam, 56 which is drilled vertically to receive the shanks of bolts 58, the heads of which rest upon the upper side of the beam 56. Supported by the bolts 58 is a panel carrier 60 which is slotted as at 62 in spaced parallel locations to receive carriage panel tracks 64 having webs 66 provided with upper, intermedate and lower flanges 68, 70 and 72 respectively. The panel tracks 64 are thus of a cross-section which might be described as a double-I-section, with an upper I-section superimposed upon a lower I-section. The upper I-section containing the flanges 68 and 70 fits into the slots 66, whereas the lower I-section with the lower flange 72 serves to rollably support the panels 26. Two of the panel carriages travel side by side in spaced parallel relationship upon the parallel ceiling-mounted rails 28 (FIGURE 1), and are interconnected by the tracks 64 to form the panel carrier 25 (FIGURE 2).

Each panel 26, as its name suggests, includes a partition member 74 (FIGURE to the upper edge of which is secured a trolley unit 76 and to the lower edge an expansible base shoe unit 78. shown in more detail in FIGURES and 11, is adapted to be raised or lowered at the will of the operator in the manner explained below, in order to fill the gap between the partition member 74 and the floor while the room 38 is partitioned off yet to be raised in order not to interfere with transport while the panel 26 is being moved from place to place.

The swiveling action provided by the pivot bolts 58 enables the panel carrier 25 more easily to traverse the turns or bends 102 (FIGURE 1) in the transfer or distribution tracks 28. Each panel 26 is provided with at least three of the trolley units 76 for maintaining the panel 26 in a level position and to facilitate transfer from track to track. The trolley units 76 are secured at spaced locations along the upper edge portion 80 of each partition member 74. Each trolley unit 76 consists of a channelshaped base 82 (FIGURE 5) secured to the upper edge 80 of the partition member 84, as by having indenting flanges 84 entering corresponding grooves 86 on opposite sides of the upper edge portion 80 of the partition member 74. The base 82 on its upper side has a web portion 88 carrying a swivel bolt 90 which also passes through the web portion 92 of a U-shaped or channel-shaped trolley wheel mount 84, the side plates or flanges 96 of which are bored to receive axle bolts 98 upon which trolley wheels 100 are rotatably mounted. The trolley wheels 100 (FIG- URE 5) rest upon and roll along the lower flanges 72 of the carriage tracks 64.

The panel storage tracks 35 and the room ceiling tracks 32 and 34 are supported in any suitable manner, such as by angle brackets 104 (FIGURES 6 and 7) bolted or otherwise secured to the ceiling beams 106 and either depending from or flush with the room ceiling 36, as desired. In FIGURES 6 and 7, the movable partition panel 26 is shown in the position it occupies immediately after being transferred to the ceiling partition track, here one of the tracks 34, from the carriage track 64. The tracks 32 and 34 of the grid or network 40 within the room 38 are of similar construction to the carriage tracks 64 (FIG- The base shoe unit 78,

URE 5) and are similarly mounted in T-slots in the ceil: ing brackets 104 and held in position by holddown screws 110.

The modified panel transfer vehicles, generally designated 111, shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, is for the purpose of transferring panels 26 from a storage location to the edge of the room area 38 without the necessity of providing overhead transfer or distribution tracks 102, as in FIGURES l and 2. Instead, the panel transfer vehicle 111 rolls along the floor F on rubber-tired wheels 112 rotatably mounted on axles 113 placed at the four lower bent corners 114 of the uprights 115 of a vehicle frame or chassis 116. The uprights 115 are interconnected at their upper ends by longitudinal members 117 and transverse members 118. A short track section or sections 119 is secured to and depends from the cross members 118 of the frame 116 in a manner similar to the distribution track or tracks 28 of FIGURES l and 2. In the panel transfer or distribution vehicle 111, however, the track section or sections 119 move with the vehicle 111 rather than being stationarily mounted on the ceiling 30 as in FIGURE 2. The remainder of the construction is similar to that shown in FIGURE 5 and employs the same panel transfer carriages 24, carriage tracks 64, trolley units 76 and partition members 74 of the panels 26. The transfer operation, as described below, is also similar, taking into account the fact that the vehicle 111 rolls along the fioor F instead of using the ceiling-mounted distribution track 28.

The carriage safety locking and alignment device, generally designated 120, shown in FIGURES 8, 9 and 10, is for the purpose of automatically insuring that the panel transfer carriages 24 of the panel carrier 25 will automatically be aligned with the tracks 32 or 34 to which their panel units 26 are to be transferred, so as to remove the danger of accident caused by inadvertently rolling a panel 26 off its respective carriage track 64 without such alignment having been achieved. For this purpose, there is mounted on one end of each carriage track 64 a pivot bracket 122 (FIGURE 8) carrying a horizontal pivot pin or axle 124 passing through spaced parallel ears 126 (FIGURE 10) extending downwardly from the intermediate portion of a forked locking and aligning lever or Y- lever 12S. Extending rearwardly from the ears 126 is a forked portion 130 consisting of twin laterally-spaced arms 132 terminating in downwardly-bent locking ends or bolts 134 (FIGURE 8). The locking ends 134 normally enter locking notches or keepers 136 in the upper edges of the side plates or flanges 96 of the channel-shaped trolley Wheel carriers 94 of the trolley units 76.

Projecting forwardly from the ears 122 of the forked lever 128 is a single upwardly-bent arm 138 upon which a roller 140 of ferrous metal, such as iron or steel, is totatably mounted. Cooperating with the roller 140 is a magnetic stop, generally designated 142, in the form of a block of permanently magnetic material, such as the magnetic material known commercially as Alnico from its composition as an alloy of aluminum, nickel and cobalt. The bottom portion of the magnetic stop 142 contains a T-slot 144 which loosely and slidably engages the upper portion of the ceiling-mounted partition panel track 32 or 34, as the case may be, the T-slot 144 receiving the upper flange 68 and adjacent portion of the web 66 thereof. As explained more fully below in connection with the operation of the invention, the stop block 142 is made slidable in this manner so that it may be moved along the track 34 away from the end thereof and out of the path of travel of the roller 140 so as to remove it from magnetically influencing the latter when the track 32 or 34 is not, for the moment, to be provided with panels 26. This arrangecent makes it possible to bypass certain of the tracks 32 or 34 automatically and to intercept other tracks, as desired. The upper portion of each stop block 142 contains a V-groove 146 into which the roller 140 rolls downward when attracted by the magnetic stop 142, so as to swing the Y-lever 128 around its pivot pin 124 and 'raise the bent locking arms 134 out of their respective locking notches or keepers 136. The trolley units 7 6 are then free to be rolled off their respective carriage tracks 64, so as to transfer the panel 26 to the selected track, such as the track 34 shown in FIGURES 8, 9, and 10.

The expansible base shoe unit 78 (FIGURES 11 and 12) which is attached to the lower edge of each partition member 74 of each panel 26 includes a box channel casing, generally designated 150, having inturned upper edges 152 engaging the correspondingly-grooved lower end portion of each partition member 74. Interconnecting the side plates 154 are spaced parallel webs 156 which define a guide passageway or guideway 158 of rectangular crosssection in which two slide blocks 160 reciprocate in opposite directions (only one of these slide blocks being shown in FIGURES l1 and 12). Each of the two slide blocks 16% has a horizontaly-directed threaded bore 162 of oppositely-directed threading, one having a right-hand thread and the other having a left-hand thread. The oppositelythreaded bores 162 are threadedly engaged by the correspondingly oppositely-threaded end portions 164 of a screw shaft 166 having squared ends 165 for the application of a socket wrench (not shown). The central portion 168 of the screw shaft 166 remains unthreaded and smooth, so that it is rotatably supported in the smooth bore 170 in one or more bearing blocks 172 mounted within the central portion of the passageway 158.

The lower web 156 of the casing 159 is provided with an elongated central slot 174. Bolted or otherwise secured as at 176 to the lower side of each slide block 160 is the horizontal upper arm 178 of a bent member 180 having an inclined slotted lower arm 182 with its lower ends 134 curved to encircle and receive the opposite ends of an axle 186. Rotatably mounted on the axle 186 is a grooved roller 188. The bent members 181) which face in opposite directions (one only being shown in FIGURE 12) engage the inclined rib portions 199 of a double-ended track 192. having two oppositely-inclined end portions 194 interconnected by a central horizontal portion 196 (FIGURE 12) and bolted or otherwise secured to a channel member 198.

The channel member 198 has side plates 200 which telescope with and slidably engage the side plates 154 of the box channel casing 156 so as to move upward or downward relatively thereto. The side plates 200 are interconnected by a base plate 202 having a dovetail groove 204 therein. Received within the dovetail groove 204 is a correspondingly-shaped dovetail rib 206 (FIGURE 11) on the upper edge of a contact plate or bar 268 preferably made of rubber or other yieldable material which has high frictional engagement with the floor F without marring it. The channel member 138, contact plate 260 and doubleended track 192 colectively form the major portion of a vertically-movable expansible sill, generally designated 210.

The expansible sill 211? is mounted upon bolts 212 secured to the lower web 156 and passed through a suitably drilled plate 214 bolted to the rail 192 and extend downwardly therefrom (FIGURE 12). Coiled around the lower portion of each bolt 212 with its upper end engaging the plate 214 is a helical compression spring 216, the lower end of which engages a washer 218 held in place by a cotter pin 220 inserted through the transverselydrilled lower end of the bolt 212. In this manner, the expansible sill 210 is constantly urged upward into the recess 222 formed in the lower portion of the box channel casing 159. Enlarged holes in the members 196 and 198 loosely receiving the bolts 212 enable rocking of the base shoe 78 to adapt it to uneven or slanting floors. In the modification shown in FIGURE 13, spaced tapered pins 236 are mounted in the base plate 202 and extend downwardly through the contact plate 208 into correspondinglylocated sockets 232 in socket plates 234 recessed into the fioor F and bolted or otherwise secured in place. This construction positively prevents shifting of the panels 26.

In the operation of the invention, let it be assumed that the panel transfer carriages 24 of the panel carrier 25 have been loaded with panels 26 from the panel storage rack 22 by rolling each panel off its respective suspension rail in the rack 22 to a corresponding suspension track 64 in the carriages 24. The operator then rolls the paired carriages 24 of the panel carrier 25 carrying their panels 26 along the distribution or transfer tracks 102 until he arrives opposite the first partition track 32 or 34 along which the partition panels 26 are to be arranged edge to edge to form a wall. It will be understood that at this time the base shoes 78 of the panels 26 have been retracted so that a sufficient vertical clearance space separates them from the floor F.

If using the modified carrier 111, the operator loads the track sections 119 in the manner described for the transfer carriages 24 and then rolls it along the floor F on its ground wheels 112 until it arrives opposite the track 32 or 34 to be equipped with panels 26.

Having aligned the carrier track 64 or 119 with the ceiling track 32 or 34, he then rolls the panel 26 therefrom onto the selected ceiling track 32 or 34, moving the paired carriages 24 of the panel carrier 25 or vehicle 111 with the selected ceiling track 32 or 34 in turn as each panel 26 is transferred thereto. In this manner, a step-by-step operation is carried out until the selected ceiling track 32 or 34 has been filled to the desired extent with panels 26 arranged vertically edge-to-edge. The operator then fills the remaining tracks 32 or 34 selected for reception of panels 26 according to the partitioning arrangement desired. These may include one or more door panels 33, or louver panels 27, screen panels 29 or glass panels 31, in any sequence desired.

After the operator has slid each panel, of whatever nature, into its proper position, he applies a socket wrench (not shown) to either squared end of the screw shaft 166 (FIGURE 12) to rotate the latter and consequently cause the threaded slide blocks 160 to move inwardly toward one another and toward the bearing block 172. As this occurs, the consequent inward travel of the bent members causes their grooved rollers 188 to climb the inclined ribs 199 of the tracks 194, pushing them downward and consequently pushing the expansible sill 210 downward into engagement with the floor F, at the same time compressing the springs 216. This action frictionally anchors each panel 26 in succession betwen the ceiling 36 and floor F, rendering immobile and preventing sliding or swinging thereof.

When the operator has transferred and anchored all of the panels 26 in this manner to form the desired parti tioning arrangement in the room 33, he returns the carriage 24 or vehicle 111 to the storage area adjacent the storage racks 2. It will be understood, of course, that it may be necessary to make several trips: of the panel transfer carriage 24- or vehicle 111 if many panels 26 are required to complete the partitioning arrangement, because of the lack of capacity of the carriage 24 or vehicle 111 to carry a sufficient number of the panels 26 in one load.

If the carriage 24 or vehicle 111 is equipped with the safety aligning and locking device 120 of FIGURES 8 and 9, alignment and locking are automatically carried out. As each carriage track 64 arrives opposite the selected room ceiling track 32 or 34 (FIGURES 8 and 9), the magnetic stop 142 of which has, been pushed forward into the path of travel of the roller 140, the latter is pulled downward by magnetic attraction between it and the magnetic stop 142 and rolls downward into the V-groove 146 (FIGURE 9). This action swings the Y-lever 128 clockwise around its pivot pin 124 (FIGURE 8), lifting the locking ends or bolts 134 out of their respective locking notches or keepers 136. This action releases the particular trolley unit 76 of the thereby aligned panel 26, permitting the panel 26 to be rolled off the carriage track 64 onto the selected room ceiling track 32 or 34.

To remove the panels 26 from their respective room ceiling tracks 32 or 34, the above-described procedure is reversed. The operator releases each expansible sill 210 of each base shoe 78 in succession by applying a socket wrench to the exposed squared end 165 of its particular screw shaft 166, moving the threaded slide blocks 160 outward away from one another and consequently causing the bent members 180 and their rollers 188 to move outward and downward along the inclined track portions 190 (FIGURE 12). As this occurs, the previouslycompressed springs 216 act against the plates 214 to push the expansible sills 210 upward into the recess 222 in the bottom of the box channel casing 150, releasing the sill 210 from engagement with the floor F. Each panel 26 may then be rolled onto the receiving track 64 of the panel transfer carriage 24, or the receiving track 119 of the panel transfer vehicle 111 and these, when fully loaded, return with their loads to the storage area 22 where their panels 26 are unloaded onto the storage rack 22. In so dismantling the partition arrangement, the automatic aligning and locking devices 120 come into action in the manner previously described to prevent transfer of any panel 26 until proper alignment has been achieved.

It will be understood that a similar locking device 120 to that shown in FIGURE 8 is used between the storage tracks 35 and the rails 64 of the panel carrier 25 so as to prevent panels 26 from rolling off the storage tracks 35 except when the panel carrier 25 is aligned therewith. It will also be understood that suitable latches (not shown) are mounted at the ends of the ceiling tracks 32 and 34 for the similar purpose of preventing the panels 26 from rolling off these tracks after the panel carrier 25 has been withdrawn.

What I claim is:

1. A movable partition system for transfer between a storage area and a room area of a building with a floor and a ceiling, said system comprising a plurality of partition panel suspension room-subdividing tracks secured to and depending from the room area ceiling in laterally-spaced relationship,

a partition panel transporter mounted for travel between the storage area and the room area,

said transporter having thereon a multiplicity of partition panel transfer tracks secured in depending relationship thereto at approximately the same horizontal level as said partition panel suspension room-subdividing tracks for alignment therewith, and a multiplicity of partition panels suspended from and movably mounted on said transfer tracks for interchange to and from said room-subdividing tracks.

2. A movable partition system, according to claim 1, wherein said system also includes a partition panel storage rack adapted to be mounted in the storage area.

3. A movable partition system, according to claim 2, wherein said storage rack includes a multiplicity of partition panel storage overhead tracks depending from said storage rack and disposed at approximately the same horizontal level as said transfer tracks for alignment therewith.

4. A movable partition system, according to claim 1, wherein a panel distribution trackway is secured to and depends from the storage area ceiling and extends to the room area, and wherein said transporter comprises a panel carrier suspended from said distribution trackway in traveling relationship therealong.

5. A movable partition system, according to claim 4, wherein said system also includes a partition panel storage rack adapted to be mounted in the storage area and having a multiplicity of partition panel storage tracks disposed at approximately the same horizontal level as 8 said transfer tracks of said panel carrier for alignment therewith and transfer of panels between said storage tracks and said transfer tracks.

6. A movable partition system, according to claim 1, wherein each of said panels has a trolley device secured to the top thereof in suspending relationship therewith and in suspended relationship to said partition panel suspension tracks.

7. A movable partition system, according to claim 6, wherein said trolley device includes supporting wheel mounting means secured to the top of each panel and a plurality of supporting wheels rotatably mounted in said wheel-mounting means in rolling supported engagement with said partition panel suspension tracks.

8. A movable partition system, according to claim 4, wherein said distribution trackway includes a plurality of tracks disposed in laterally-spaced parallel relationship, and wherein said panel carrier includes a carriage mounted on each distribution track for travel therealong, said carriages being disposed in laterally-spaced parallel relationship, said transfer tracks being disposed transversely to said carriages in interconnecting relationship therewith.

9. A movable partition system, according to claim 8, wherein each of said panels has a trolley device secured to the top thereof in suspending relationship therewith and in suspended relationship to its respective transfer track.

10. A movable partition system, according to claim 1, wherein there is provided a locking alignment device including a lock keeper mounted on the end portion of one of said tracks, and a locking member movably mounted on the end portion of the other cooperating track alignable therewith, said locking member having a panelengaging and keeper-engaging portions alternately engageable with said panel and keeper, and means responsive to the moving of said locking member into alignment with said keeper for disengaging said locking member from locking engagement with said panel and engaging said locking member in locking aligning relationship with said keeper.

11. A movable partition system, according to claim 10, wherein said keeper is movably mounted on its respective track for motion into and out of the path of travel of said locking member in response to the travel of said panel transporter.

12. A movable partition system, according to claim 1, wherein each panel includes a vertically expansible base closure yieldingly and rockably secured to the lower end portion thereof for tilting motion lengthwise thereof and also includes means for simultaneously raising and lowering the opposite ends of said closure out of and into selfaligning engagement with the floor.

13. A movable partition system for transfer between a storage area and a room area of a building with a floor and a ceiling, said system comprising a plurality of partition panel suspension room-subdividing tracks secured to and depending from the room area ceiling in laterally-spaced relationship,

a partition panel transporter mounted for travel between the storage area and the room area,

said transporter having thereon a multiplicity of partition panel transfer tracks secured in depending relationship thereto at approximately the same horizontal level as said partition panel suspension room-subdividing tracks for alignment therewith,

a multiplicity of partition panels suspended from and movably mounted on said transfer tracks,

and a locking alignment device including a lock keeper mounted on the end portion of one of said tracks,

a locking member movably mounted on the end portion of the other cooperating track alignable therewith,

9 said locking member having panel-engaging and keeper-engaging portions alternately engageable with said panel and keeper, and means responsive to the moving of said locking member into alignment with said keeper for disengaging said locking member from locking engagement with said panel and engaging said locking member in locking aligning relationship with said keeper,

said keeper being movably mounted on its respective track for motion into and out of the path of travel of said locking member in response to the travel of said panel transporter, said locking member including a keeper-engaging portion of magnetically-attached material,

and said keeper including a magnet disposed in magnetically-attracting relationship to said keeper-engaging portion,

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Emerson Apr. 12, King Mar. 14, Kunkel Dec. 22, Fletcher May 9, Tellefson July 31,

FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Apr. 14, France Oct. 25,

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/64, 49/125
International ClassificationE04B2/82, E04B2/74
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2002/7468, E04B2/827
European ClassificationE04B2/82D