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US1704061A - Self-serving store - Google Patents

Self-serving store Download PDF


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US1704061A US512530A US51253021A US1704061A US 1704061 A US1704061 A US 1704061A US 512530 A US512530 A US 512530A US 51253021 A US51253021 A US 51253021A US 1704061 A US1704061 A US 1704061A
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Saunders Clarence
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    • E04H3/00Buildings or groups of buildings for public or similar purposes; Institutions, e.g. infirmaries, prisons
    • E04H3/02Hotels; Motels; Coffee houses; Restaurants; Shops; Department stores
    • E04H3/04Restaurants or shops having arrangements for self-service


March 5, 1929. c. SAUNDERS SELF SERVING STORE Filed Nov. 5. 1921 M- Clarence Saunders w \L I II I nNl J m mm 1 MN I.) F RA mN Wm QM m\ an ww ||I| Mn MN I Hm Yr \m I YN Patented Mar. 5, 1929.




Application filed November 3, 1921.

.5 convenient in certain respects by the use of the improved structures hereinafter described. In general the store is of the type shown in my Patents No. 1242,872, granted October 9, 1917, No. 1,357,521, granted No- 10 vember 2, 1920 and my application No.

503,180, filed September 26, 1921.

Stores of the type disclosed in the patents referred to are intended for the distribution particularly of groceries and analogous goods. It has been my intention however, to utilize the structures therein shown, or .others embodying similar principles for stores of the type popularly known as and cent stores as disclosed in my application above referred to. The structure of said application is adapted primarily for comparatively small stores while that of the present application is intended primarily for larger stores though not necessarily limited thereto. The

' employment of a price tagging means such as shownin my Patent No. 1,242,872 of October 9, 1917 (indicated in Figure 3) is also contemplated in this type of store.

It is an object of my invention to provide a store of the self-serving type in which there shall be provision for inspectors or supervisors whomay observe the conduct of customers at close range and afford assistance in the selection of goods or information relative to the location of particular articles, etc.

A further object of my invention isto provide a store the main sales section of which forms a tortuous pathway for customers, but in which provision is made at the front and rear of said se ction'for the sale of goods requiring personal service.

Referring to the accompanying drawings which are made a part hereof and on which similar reference characters indicate similar parts,

Figure 1 is device, and

Figure 2 is a diagrammatic section thereof.

Figure 3 is a fragmentary view illustrating the price tagging means.

In the drawings reference character A indicates the lobby at the front of a store of the type referred to,e B the main sales section and C the section in rear of section B a ground plan of my improved Serial No. 512,530.

in which there may be storage rooms, toilet rooms and the like. 4

The lobby is provided with a counter 10 of ordinary type and shelving or cases 11 in rear thereof intended to provide a space for the sale of candy and confections to be served by one or more clerks. In similar manner at the opposite side of the lobby a counter 12 and merchandise containers 13 are intended to provide a section for the sale of music, a piano being provided at 14.

.The lobby is separated from the remainder of the store by a series of devices including a pair of basket racks 15 and 16, a double entrance turnstile structure comprising two turnstiles 17, 17, a double exit turnstile structure comprising turnstiles 18, 18, a long basket rack 19 extending nearly across the store and a fence or partition at 20 extending lengthwise of the storefrom the double exit turnstile to the long basket rack.

At the rear of the closure formed by the parts above enumerated there is a main sales section the principal features of which are the same as those shown in my patents. This section includes oppositely facing longitudinal rows of display cabinets as in my application No. 503,180, the individual merchandise containers being preferably of the sametype as therein shown. As here shown three such double rows are provided at 21,- 22 and 23 and a line of inwardly facing merchandise containers is also provided at each side of the store at 24 and 25. The intermediate rows are herein shown as composed in each instance of a double row of oppositely facing merchandise containers separated by a walkway as in my prior application. If desired such Walkway may be omitted in one or more instances according to the arrangement of the store and the degree to which the services of inspectors or supervisors are required in the particular instance. Preferably also there is but a single entrance at 26 and 27 to each of the walkways in the rows at 21 and 23, while row 22 is shown as having front and rear entrances 28 and 29 as well as side entrances 30 and 31. The nature and position of the entrances may be varied to suit particular circumstances.

Contacting with the rear end of the rearmost cabinets in row 22 are display cases 32 and 33, preferably low and fiat-topped, which may be used for the sale of jewelry and the like or for the sale of ribbons and other materials requiring personal service, as for measurement and cutting up or similar operations. 7 In place of these cases there may be cabinets similar to those in the longitudinal rows. At the rear of cases 32 and 33 are additional cabinets 34 and 35 for goods of similar character.

The space in the main section, as heretofore explained constitutes a tortuous pathway between the longitudinal rows of merchandise containers as in my previous constructions. At the end of the pathway there isa pair of checking and settlement counters 36 and 37. )ither or both of these counters may be used as needed and a barrier is placed across the unused branch of the pathway to restrain customers from passing in the wrong direction. A basket rack 38 is located at the end of settlement counter 37 for the convenience of the clerk stationed therein.

It will be seen that customers may pass through either turnstile 17 and supply themselves with baskets from the rack immediately adjacent thereto. This permits more speedy entrance of customers which is very desirable in a store of the present character where it is intended that articles running in price below 5 cents to perhaps cents should be on sale. A customer may glance along the row of containers at 24 as he enters the store and seeing nothing in which he is interested, will naturally enter through the righthand turnst-ile and will pass along the row of containers at 21. In his passage through the tortuous pathway he may avail himself of the presence of inspectors in the walkways to inquire as to the location of particular goods or other matters and when he reaches the checking and settlement desks he may pass about either one if both are in use, as they will be at busy times, and out through the corresponding turnstile of the double exit structure. The inspectors in the walkways will observe and regulate the conduct of customers, will afford-information to them, and

will see that the containers are kept properly supplied and the goods therein kept in their proper compartments and in orderly array. One or more of these inspectors may have supervision over the store and over the activities of the clerks at the separate front and rear display cases and may work at the second settlement counter at intervals when a single counter proves insufficient. The clerks at the checking and settlement counters as well as those at the counters in the lobby and at the rear of main section B normally stand in position to observe the aisles in the main section and may to some extent take part in the work of the inspectors. During dull seasons the inspectors may be dispensed with entirely, their duties being performed by the other employes.

It will be evident that the devices above described may be varied without departing from the spirit of my invention or the scope of the appended claim. In the claim I have used the term turnstile as a convenient expression intended to cover any form of unidirectional gate or door, and the term display unit to indicate cabinets, shelving or any equivalent device adapted to perform the functions of the devices illustrated.

Having thus fully described my said invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:

A self-service store comprising a lobby, a rear service section, a sales section, a partition between the lobby and the sales section, a partition between said sales section and said rear service section, and a plurality of display units for merchandise extending lengthwise of the store and forming a circuitous pathway for customers, certain of said units being arranged back to back in adjacent rows and separated only by a Walk-way and having shelves on both sides, substantially as set forth.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand at Memphis, Tennessee, this 18 day of October, A. I). nineteen hundred and twenty-one.


US512530A 1921-11-03 1921-11-03 Self-serving store Expired - Lifetime US1704061A (en)

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