US 3434249 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 25, 1969 R. w. RICHEY 3,434,249
MOBILE WALL UNIT Filed Aug. 28, 1967 Sheet INVENTOR. E550 W. E/CHEY (A 20 THEE$CAR0TH5Q5 MMA rm fiA/EYS March 25, 1969 R. w. RlCHEY MOBILE WALL UNIT RY M a Z w m m 0 E 2W... 4 -7 W M k w m m m l D L y m a E i P m 4 ML 4 0 0 3 e J Am a a W W /M a0 a? 01 7% I' w 1 Z4 M 33 i m a 8 L. H 4 u Ma a w a HLEA TTOENE Y5 March 25, 1969 w RlCHEY 3,434,249
MOBILE WALL UNIT Filed Aug. 28, 1967 Sheet 3 of 4 INVENTOR 550 14 E/cHEY BY CA E0 THEE$ C4190 awe-2.5
h 1.5 A TTOE'NEKS March 25, 1969 R. w. RICHEY MOBILE WALL UNIT Filed Aug. 28, 1967 Sheet 4 of4 BY CA 20 THEE$ (keen/ms l-llsArrokueYs United States Patent US. Cl. 52-1 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A mobile Wall unit supported for movement along a stationary floor space of a dwelling or other building capable of being positioned selectively in different positions on the floor space and permit articles carried on the mobile wall unit to be readily accessible in any of a multitude of positions in the building. Flexible coupling connections from a stationary member of the building are made to the mobile wall unit to permit movement of the latter relative to the former and provide a means of utility supply to the articles carried on the mobile wall unit.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to static structures such as buildings wherein a major section or barrier within the building is mounted for in-situ repositioning, that is, the major section is rearrangeable. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the major section of the barrier is rearrangeable by being rotatable from a vertical axis to selectively reposition the section from one area of the building to another.
Description of the prior art In general, the major sections and barriers mounted for repositioning in static structures such as buildings may be referred to as mobile wall units, in many cases, which are rotatable on a central axis such as shown in Granek 2,823,425 (52-65) and Schneider 2,815,539 (52-65), all consisting of major wall units capable of being repositioned to divide a large area or room in a building into a network of smaller room areas such as shown in Kahler 3,141,207 (52-64) and in Dadras 3,055,- 061 (52-64).
One of the greatest diificulties in providing movable wall units or mobile wall units of the two types explained above or in a dwelling or other building is the ability to also provide proper utility connections between the movable unit and a stationary wall section or other unit upon which the mobile wall unit depends or is guided along. In this connection, it will be noted in the latter two references above identified that utility connections are not made relative to the movable wall sections but rather are provided on the track and ductwork on which the movable units are suspended or otherwise guided in the areas to be partitioned into smaller rooms.
As shown in Schneider, provisions are made for utility connections to the mobile kitchen unit as shown in the reference. However, in this particular case, the utility connections must consist of swivel joints and be exactly positioned on the central vertical axis of the mobile kitchen unit. The disadvantages of such swivel joints, in supplying the necessary utility to the mobile unit, is that the swivel joints become worn through frequent use and it is quite difiicult to maintain a hermetically sealed coupling in the case of gas and water. Also, such mobile units must frequently be checked in order to determine if the electrical utility line has been twisted to a dangerous extent, which would be caused by movement of the mobile unit continually in one direction. i
Thus, it is one of the principal objects of the present invention to eliminate the employment of swivel joints in the necessary plumbing connections to the mobile wall unit which connections in the past have provided many problems in proper functioning after continuous use.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION The principal object of the present invention is the provision of a mobile wall unit especially adapted for construction in the home which permits the home owner to conveniently reposition kitchen appliances in the kitchen storing cabinets from one location to another be conveniently used in another location in the home or more preferably for use outside of the home such as on a patio area. Thus, the purpose of the present invention is to create a mobile wall unit that will permit the moving of conventional domestic appliances together with the kitchen storing cabinents from one location to another in the interior of a home or to an exterior area such as the porch or patio.
The need for outside appliances or grills is eliminated since the complete line of conventional domestic appliances in the kitchen of a home may be readily transferred to the outside patio from which complete service of the appliances may be had. In recent years, it has been a practice for home owners to purchase expensive outdoor cooking equipment such as gas outdoor grills. The present invention permits the use of conventional indoor appliances to be conveniently placed exteriorly of the home eliminating the need for purchasing the additional appliances for outdoor use. The outdoor appliances now on the market must be of a different construction to withstand the normal outside environmental elements. Thus, another advantage of the present invention is the elimination of the need of such outdoor appliances since the mobile wall unit of the present invention may readily be repositioned from the patio or other exterior area of the home into the interior or kitchen area of the home such as in the case of approaching foul weather. In this way, the conventional domestic appliances may readily be used outside the home but at the same time be protected from becoming damaged from outside environmental elements, which elements conventional domestic appliances could not readily withstand for any length of time.
The mobile wall unit comprising this invention can take any convenient form. Thus, it may be a straight supporting wall structure or may take the shape or form of an L or right angle structure or U shape. The use of the L-shaped mobile wall unit is preferred, since the larger wall extent of the unit may be utilized as an outside-inside wall of the home and be readily extended outwardly to the porch or patio area. The smaller wall section of the L-shaped mobile wall unit will only partitionally close the space in which the larger wall section occupies in its normally closed position providing suflicient space for entrance from the patio or porch area from the interior of the home. A drop screen or other such structure may be provided in the space between the stationary wall section of the home and the small wall section of the mobile wall unit to prevent insects from entering into the interior of the home.
The mobile wall unit just explained, may be hinged to a stationary wall section of the home at the exterior joint where the large wall section and the small wall section of the L-shaped mobile wall unit meet to form a right angle unit.
The double weather stripping and sealing may be provided where the mobile wall unit is part of an outside Wall.
The mobile wall unit may be selectively positioned from the interior of the home to the exterior thereof through the operation of a wall switch and may be provided with a safety device to eliminate the running over or possible injury of any obstacle in the path of its movement.
An advantage of the present invention is that standard conventional domestic appliances may be utilized and thus eliminating the need of special appliances to be carried by the mobile wall unit or the need for special double face cabinets or appliances which has been recently contemplated by well-known domestic appliance manufacturers.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of plumbing, wiring, telephone and other utility connections which are service free and devoid of the disadvantages found in the mobile wall units of the prior art.
Other objects and advantages appear hereinafter in the following description and claims.
The accompanying drawings show for the purpose of exemplification, without limiting the invention or claims thereto, certain practical embodiments illustrating the principles of this invention wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view depicting the interior of a kitchen area with a connecting patio area.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the mobile wall unit extended from its normal position in the kitchen area.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the patio area of FIG. 1 showing the mobile wall unit in its full extended position for convenient use on the patio area.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the frame of an L-shaped mobile wall unit part of which represents the skeleton of a portion of an exterior wall of the home or building.
FIG. 5 is a detailed perspective view of the positioning of the service and utility connections from a stationary wall section to the mobile wall unit.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view, from a patio area, of a straight mobile wall unit which represents a portion of the exterior wall of the home or building and may be rotatably swung therefrom.
FIG. 7 is an electrical diagram of the circuit operating the mobile wall unit comprising this invention.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing the completed wall structure of FIG. 4 extended outwardly over a patio area.
Referring to FIGS. 1 through 3, there is shown a kitchen area 1 of a typical home or other dwelling in which there is installed a mobile unit 2. As shown in FIG. 2, the mobile wall unit 2 consists of a straight wall section 3 which is supported on a base 4. The wall section 3 may be made from wood materials, such as two-by-fours, comprising upright members 5 connected to the beam members 6.
The base frame member 4 is preferably made of steel consisting of angle irons welded together at the four corners. The wall section 3 is secured to the rear portion 7 of the base member 4 in order to provide sufiicient room for domestic appliances to be positioned on the base member 4.
As shown in FIG. 1, these domestic appliances are positioned on the base member 4 and comprise the refrigerator 8, stove 10 with ventilator hood 11, sink 12 and dishwasher unit 13. The base of these domestic appliances is positioned on the angle iron frame or base member 4 so that the upright frame of the angle iron base encompasses the bottoms of each of the appliances. Thus the appliances are prevented from being readily moved from or off of the base member 4.
The kitchen cabinet units 14 are each secured to the wall section 3 of the mobile wall unit 2 by the customary means such as lag screws.
As noted in FIG. 2, the recess area 15 is provided in the wall 16 of the kitchen area 1 in order to house the wall section 3 of the mobile wall unit 2. The other wall 17 of the kitchen area 1 is provided with the swinging patio doors 18, which swing outwardly onto the patio area 20 as shown in FIG. 3.
The mobile wall unit is hinged to the stationary kitchen walls 16 and 17 at 21, which is where the two kitchen walls 16 and 17 meet. The mobile wall unit is supported on rollers (not shown) for relative movement along the kitchen floor 22. The mobile wall unit may be pulled from its position within its wall recess 15 to the position shown in FIG. 3, wherein the mobile wall unit 2 has been placed at the kitchen entrance to the patio and the patio doors 18 opened. It is preferable, however, that the mobile wall unit 2 be driven by power means such as an electrical motor which may be geared down to permit the wall unit to be slowly moved in its rotatable movement about the corner 21. An operator of the mobile wall unit 2 may supervise the operation of the movement of the mobile wall unit by the power means while operating the power means switch 23 which is conveniently placed out of the path of the mobile wall unit on the kitchen wall 17.
The mobile wall unit 2, shown in FIGS. 1 through 3, need not be brought out to its full position into the patio area, as shown in FIG. 3, in order to provide sufi'lcient passage for people to communicate between the patio area 20 and the interior of the dwelling.
A preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 4, wherein the mobile wall unit 24 has the form of an L or right angle wall sections 25 and 26 and, as shown in FIG. 5, is hinged to the stationary and exterior wall section 27 of the dwelling or building at the corner 28 where the wall sections 25 and 26 meet by the hinges 30.
The base member 31 of the mobile wall unit 24 is also in the form of an L and consists of the angle iron members 32 which are secured together by the brace members 33 to form the base member frame. Thus, the base member 31 is made up of two sections, frame section 34 and frame section 35.
In order to permit the mobile wall unit 24 to be rotatable along the floor area, Wheel means are provided on each of the frame sections 34 and 35 substantially near the ends of these sections and, as shown in FIG. 4, the caster wheels 36 are positioned in the wheel supports 37 near the end portion of each of the frame sections 34 and 35. The Wheel supports 37 not only support the caster wheels 36 to permit the mobile wall unit 24 to be positioned off of the floor for relative movement therealong, but also provide additional bracing for the base member 31. The frame sections 34 and 35 are welded together at 38. Frame section 34 supports the wall section 25 whereas the frame section 35 supports the wall section 26.
Motor means 40 is provided to drive the mobile wall unit 24 and consists of the capacitor single phase AC motor 41 secured to the motor base 39 which in turn is secured to the angle irons 32 of the frame section 35 and thus acts as additional bracing for the brace member 31. The motor 41 is rotatably connected to the gear head reducer 42 which in turn is rotatably connected to drive the large wheel 43. The large wheel 43 is provided with a tread 44 which may be made of neoprene in order to prevent marring of the kitchen flooring. As would be noted from viewing FIG. 4, the wall section 26 consists of the upright members 45 which are secured to the horizontal beam members 46. A large open area 47 is provided in the upper center portion of the wall section 26 which represents a window opening through the wall section. In this connection, wall section 26 is intended to be a portion of an outside wall of the home or dwelling and it should be noted that wall section 26 is the longer of the two wall sections 25 and 26.
The power means 40, in the particular case as shown in FIG. 4, is positioned below the window opening 47 and thus under normal circumstances will be housed in the cabinetry below the kitchen sink and thus hidden from view.
The wall section 26 may be strengthened by the position of the diagonal brace member 48.
Wall section of the mobile wall unit 24 is of a shorter length than Wall section 26 and also consists of the upright members 45 secured to the horizontal beam members 46 and ma be provided with the diagonal brace member 48 to give added strength to the wall section.
It will be noted from FIG. 4, that the power means together with the drive wheel 43 are positioned diagonally relative to the angle irons 32 of the frame section 35. Since the pivotal point of the mobile wall unit 24 is the corner 26 which represents a vertical axis, the drive wheel 43 must be driven along the circumference of a circle, the center of which is the vertical axis of the corner 28. In FIG. 4, the circular path in which the drive wheel 33 will take about the corner or vertical axis of the corner 28 is shown in dotted representation at 50.
The AC motor 41 in practice may consist of a 60 cycle, /3 horse power reversible motor with a capacity of 1726 rpm. The gear head reducer 42 reduces the rpm. input of the motor 41 in order that the mobile wall unit 24 be driven at a slower desirable speed in its travel across the floor space. The preferred input-output reduction of the reducer 42 is in a range between 12 to 15 to l. The drive wheel 43 is therefore preferably driven at approximately 15 r.p.m. which has been found to be a desirable movement of the mobile wall unit while carrying conventional domestic appliances. The reducer 42, in reducing the rpm. output of the motor 41, also supplies to the drive wheel 43, 6,000 inch-pounds output torque which is sufficient for the motor 41 to drive the weight imposed upon mobile wall unit 24 as shown in FIG. 4 together with the added weight of the wall cabinetry and domestic appliances.
As shown in FIG. 5, the flexible tubing 51 is received from the stationary wall section 27 as well as the flexible tubing 52. The flexible tubing 51 represents the cold water line whereas the flexible tubing 52 represents the hot water line which are both fed through the corner 28 through openings provided in upright frame members of the wall section 26 so that their ends 53 may be connected for utility service such as to a sink or dishwasher. The drain pipe 54 is in the form of a copper pipe with an elbow member 55. The elbow member 55 is secured to the flexible drain tubing 56 which is shown in FIG. 4 to be in its flexed position between the stationary wall section 27 and the mobile wall unit 24.
The wire line 57 is the AC suppl line which is a flexible wire of the type that may be flexed indefinitely without breaking as provided for in the provisions of the Underwriters Code. The line connection 58 represents the same type of wire but, in this particular case, is for phone connection to permit the installation of a telephone on the mobile wall unit 24.
Thus, the flexible utility and service connections 51, 52, 56, 57 and 58 are all the flexing type and may be flexed indefinitely without breaking or otherwise cracking and thus eliminate the possibility of the need of replacement or frequent repairs found on swivel connections used in connection with service or utility connections to a mobile wall section.
The mobile wall unit structure 24, shown in FIG. 4, is the preferred embodiment comprising this invention since the major' domestic appliances may be positioned on the wall section 26 which will, upon operation of the power means 40, rotatably extend out into the patio area 20 where the applicances may be readily used and employed from the patio as shown in FIG. 8. At the same time, the wall section 25 of the mobile wall unit 24 would be positioned in the area in which the wall section 27 occupies when the kitchen area is sealed off from the patio area by the same. However, since wall section 25 is shorter in length than wall section 26, sufiicient passage 80 will be provided for persons to enter the kitchen area 1 from the patio 20 or vice versa. With the mobile wall unit 24 positioned out on the patio area 20, the passage provided b the smaller wall section 25 may be covered by a drop screen or a sliding screen 81 housed within the adjacent stationary outside wall section 29 to prevent the entrance of flies and other insects into the interior of the kitchen 1 and other parts of the home.
In FIG. 6, there is shown a patio area 20 adjacent to the exterior wall 60 of the home or building. The mobile wall unit 61 provided with a window opening 62 in the single wall section 63, which is similar in construction to the wall section previously explained. The mobile wall unit 61 is provided with the outdoor siding 64. Although not shown, insulation is readily provided in the wall section 63 since the mobile wall unit 61 is part of the outside wall 60.
The mobile wall unit 61 is provided with a base member 65 to support the domestic appliances. The base member 65 is similar in construction to the base members of the previously explained mobile wall units comprising this invention. The caster wheels 66 of the mobile wall unit 61 support the same for rotatable movement to extend out into the patio area 20 to the dotted position shown in FIG. 6 for easy accessibility to the domestic appliances.
Since the wall section 63 of the mobile wall unit 61 is a portion of an outside wall of the dwelling, seal means 67 are provided along the edges 68 and 70 of the wall section 63. The seal means '67 consists of adjacently aligned neoprene sweeper molds 71 which seal against the sprung brass or copper stripping 72. Thus, the brass stripping 72 may be positioned along the sides 73 and 74 of the mobile wall unit 61 opening provided in the outside wall 60. The stripping 72 is also provided along the lintel 75 of the mobile wall unit opening in order to permit sealing of the adjacently aligned neoprene sweeper molds with the stripping 72.
The bottom outside edge of the base member 65 of the mobile wall unit -61 may be provided with a ground sweeper to permit sealing of the same against stripping provided along the ground level of the outside wall 60 to prevent any possibility of the development of a draft from underneath the mobile wall unit.
As mentioned, the AC reversible motor 41 may be operated by wall switches such as shown at 23. Also a safety shut off switch may be employed in connection with the power means 40 which operates on the plunger principle wherein if the mobile wall unit in its movement across the floor area strikes or comes in contact with an object in its path, the plunger type safety switch will shut the motor 41 off in order to prevent damage or injury to the article obstructing the path of the mobile wall unit as well as protecting the power means of the mobile wall unit.
The wall switch 23 may be of the toggle type spring biased normally in an open position and operable in two directions in order to reverse the direction of the current to the reversible motor 41 and thus reverse the direction of movement of the mobile wall unit. The limits of maximum path of movement of the mobile wall unit are confined by limit switches, one positioned in the patio area 20 and one in the kitchen area 1 at the normal closed position of the mobile wall unit. The mobile wall unit 24 in FIG. 4 is capable of being rotated through an arc angle of and may be provided with one limit switch at the base of the stationary wall section 29 at 76 and a second limit switch on the patio area 20 at a position shown at 77 in FIG. 6. Thus, the limit switches 76 and 77 prevent the mobile wall unit from progressing beyond the fully closed position of the unit as well as the fully opened and extended position of the unit even though the operating switch 23 may still be held or placed in its actuating position.
A plunger type door stop may be utilized to hold the mobile wall unit from movement after having been selectively positioned either on the patio area 20 or returned to its closed position in the kitchen area 1. In this connection, the door stop prevents the mobile wall unit from being opened from the outside when the unit is in its closed position and the stop is placed in its holding position.
Although the foregoing description is directed to the utility of a mobile wall unit in a domestic dwelling, such as ones home or apartment, it should be fully understood that the concept as disclosed and claimed can be readily utilized in a commercial or industrial type dwelling and not necessarily to render mobility to articles such as appliances.
In FIG. 7, there is shown the simple circuit to operate the mobile wall unit. The AC source supplies the motor 41 through the switch 23, which is shown here as a double pole-double throw reversing switch.
The opposite pole positions of the switch 23 are connected by lines 80 and 81, respectively. Line 80 is connected to line 82 to the pressure safety switch 85 and which is connected to motor 41 by line 86. Line 81 is connected to motor 41 by line 84.
Limit switch L5,, is connected in line 81 and limit switch LS is connected in line 80.
Limit switch LS or 76 and limit switch LS or 77 are installed at the maximum points of movement of the mobile wall unit in the closed position in the kitchen area 1 and out on the patio area 20, respectively.
The switch 23 may also be of the toggle type, normally spring biased to maintain it in its open position until actuated.
Assuming that, for example, the mobile wall unit is to be moved out onto the patio area 20, the switch 23 is placed in position 23a operating the motor 41 until contact of the patio limit switch 77, which opens the circuit supply line 80, bringing the mobile wall unit to a stop. The unit will not continue to travel after the operation of the limit switch 77, in view of large r.p.m. re duction brought about by the reducer 42 between the motor 41 and the drive wheel 43.
Pressure safety switch 85 will interrupt the motor circuit upon the mobile wall unit coming in contact with an obstacle in its path of movement and sufliciently resisting further movement of the unit.
In order to bring the mobile wall unit back into the kitchen area 1, the switch 23 is placed in switch position 23b.
1. In a mobile wall unit, a ridged base frame for supporting household appliances and cabinetry, wheel means supporting at least the outer end of said wall unit, hinge means supporting the other end of said wall unit to a stationary wall section for mobility thereabout, flexible electrical utility supply connections leading from said stationary wall section into said other end, motorized means to drive said wall unit about said hinge means to selectively position said wall unit within a predetermined area of movement, said flexible connections resiliently flexing in response to the selected movement of said wall unit.
2. The mobile wall unit of claim 1 characterized in that said stationary wall section is an outside wall section, said ridged base frame is in the form of an L, the larger wall of which forms an outside wall portion in said outside wall section, seal means around the extremities of said mobile wall unit larger wall to seal the same with said first mentioned outside wall section to prevent weather penetration and maintain the temperature differential on either side of the same.
3. The mobile wall unit of claim 1 characterized by circuit means to operate said motorized means, said motorized means including a reversibly operated motor, said circuit means comprising a power source connected by supply lines across said reversible motor, a reversing current switch to reverse the current supply to said motor through said supply lines, limit switches connected in each of said lines to open said circuit means when independently actuated and a safety switch in one of said lines to open said circuit means when the mobile wall unit, while in movement, is confronted by an obstacle in its path of movement.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 828,481 8/1906 James 52-32 X 854,171 5/1907 Merrill 5232 1,508,227 9/1924 Jaray 52-65 2,200,934 5/1940 Platt 5232 JOHN E. MURTAGH, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.