US3037593A - Partition construction - Google Patents

Partition construction Download PDF

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US3037593A
US3037593A US822800A US82280059A US3037593A US 3037593 A US3037593 A US 3037593A US 822800 A US822800 A US 822800A US 82280059 A US82280059 A US 82280059A US 3037593 A US3037593 A US 3037593A
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partition
post
posts
sections
male
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Clifford L Webster
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B2/00Walls, e.g. partitions, for buildings; Wall construction with regard to insulation; Connections specially adapted to walls
    • E04B2/74Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge
    • E04B2/7407Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge assembled using frames with infill panels or coverings only; made-up of panels and a support structure incorporating posts
    • E04B2/7416Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge assembled using frames with infill panels or coverings only; made-up of panels and a support structure incorporating posts with free upper edge, e.g. for use as office space dividers
    • E04B2/7422Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge assembled using frames with infill panels or coverings only; made-up of panels and a support structure incorporating posts with free upper edge, e.g. for use as office space dividers with separate framed panels without intermediary support posts
    • E04B2/7425Details of connection of panels
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B2/00Walls, e.g. partitions, for buildings; Wall construction with regard to insulation; Connections specially adapted to walls
    • E04B2/74Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge
    • E04B2/76Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge with framework or posts of metal
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16BDEVICES FOR FASTENING OR SECURING CONSTRUCTIONAL ELEMENTS OR MACHINE PARTS TOGETHER, e.g. NAILS, BOLTS, CIRCLIPS, CLAMPS, CLIPS OR WEDGES; JOINTS OR JOINTING
    • F16B2200/00Constructional details of connections not covered for in other groups of this subclass
    • F16B2200/30Dovetail-like connections

Definitions

  • partition structures have been known which were designed for particular purposes and which were generally unsuitable for use in applications other than that for which they were specifically designed.
  • partition structures normally encountered to divide large areas of floor space into smaller segregated areas for use as individual oifices have generally been constructed by employing wooden studding subsequently sheathed in a finished facing material which generally required painting or other type of treatment in order to present an acceptable appearance.
  • metal types of partitions have been employed which nevertheless require on-the-spot assembly with bolts and screws and other types of fasteners. Partitions of the foregoing types are relatively expensive in that they involve heavy labor costs in order to effect installation.
  • partitions of the foregoing types require a similar length of time for removal in the event that the partitions are to be used at a different location, and, in the case of sheathed wooden studding, removal of the partition generally involves its destruction or at least sufficiently impairs its appearance that it cannot be reused as a partition. Accordingly, it is a primary object of my invention to provide a partition construction which is attractive in appearance, durable and rugged in use, and which may be set up and dismantled repeatedly as desired for use in differing locations without in any way impairing the appearance or useful service life of the partitions.
  • Another object of my invention is to provide a novel partition construction which may be installed in a very small fraction of the time required for the installation of generally known types of partitions, whereby the cost of installation may be drastically reduced by eliminating practically all of the labor costs normally involved.
  • Yet another object of my invention is to provide a novel partition construction which is readily removable for installation in a different location and which leaves the previously partitioned area in substantially the same condition as it was prior to the installation of the partitions.
  • an object of the invention is the provision of a novel partition construction made up of wholly prefabricated sections capable of being simply interlocked with identical companion sections to form a complete partition system of a desired configuration.
  • a further object of the invention is the provision of sectional partition construction wherein the sections thereof each includes spaced vertical posts constructed and arranged so as to interlock with the like posts of companion sections in a desired straightW-ay and/or rightangular relationship therewith, or with a dead-end or finish end post, depending on a particular partitioning need.
  • Yet another object of the invention is the provision of a sectional partition system wherein the sections thereof each includes spaced vertical posts of open-sided, channel or U-section and interlocking means substantially contained within the channel space, and wherein upon interlocking of the partition sections the interlocked posts muates atent O 3,037,593 Patented June 5, 1962 2 tually complement each other in forming a fully closed, substantially square-sectioned post.
  • Still another object of the invention is the provision of a sectional partition system as last stated, in conjunction with means to convert any desired one of the section posts into a dead-end post of closed, substantially square section as aforesaid.
  • Another object of my invention is to provide a novel type of partition construction of such flexibility that it may be optionally used in a wide variety of applications, such as for oflice partitions, home room dividers, swimming pool enclosures, porch railings, yard privacy enclosures, and in fact many other types of applications which are too numerous to here mention.
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical partition section grossly illustrating some of the main constructional aspects.
  • FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of a typical partition section illustrating in detail the configurations of the component parts normally comprising a partition section.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the male and female connector elements which are utilized to assemble separate partition sections to each other to form a completed partition assembly.
  • FIG. 4 is a front elevation of a partition section which is partly broken away so that certain aspects of the partition may be enlarged for clarity of showing.
  • FIG. 5 is a left-end elevation of the partition section of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 6 is a right-end elevation of the partition section of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 7 is a plan view of the partition section of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view with parts broken away taken along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view with parts broken away taken along the lines 9-9 of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 9A is a sectional view similar to FIG. 9 but illustrating a slightly modified form of partition construction.
  • FIG. 10 is a jump section taken along the lines Ill-10 of FIG. 8.
  • FIG. 11 is a front elevation of the mating ends of two partition sections and illustrating the method of interlocking one section to another.
  • FIG. 12 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of two partition sections which are joined in the same plane.
  • FIG. 13 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of three panels joined to form two walls at right angles.
  • FIG. 14 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of four panels joined in a cross-wall configuration.
  • FIG. 15 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of two panels joined at a right angle.
  • FIG. 16 is an enlarged plan detail showing an end post of a panel section completed as a dead-end post.
  • the partition section illustrated includes as main elements thereof a pair of vertical end post members 20 joined together by top and bottom horizontally extending mullions 30 and a center mullion 36.
  • Each of the vertical posts 20 is seated in a foot member, the left-hand foot being a female foot 65 and the right-hand foot being a male foot 75.
  • Firmly secured between a pair of adjacent mullions and the vertical end posts are top and bottom panels 52 and 53 respectively.
  • the partition section as illustrated is secured together by screws (not visible) to form a prefabricated partition section which is ready for assembly with other partition sections to form a completed installation.
  • the partition sections are secured together by male and female post connectors which are not seen in FIG. 1 but which clearly appear in FIGS. 2, 3 and other figures to be subsequently described.
  • the vertical posts 20 each has sidewardly (outwardly) opening U-section modified in that its front and back parallel walls 24 are joined by a right-angular inner sidewall 27 having formed therein a central channel 21 which opens inwardly, thus to confront the similar channel of the other end post.
  • said end posts are actually vertical halfposts and are converted to full or whole posts having closed, approximately square section only when assembled with similar but oppositely opening or facing halfend posts of adjacent partition sections, or are dead-ended as will be explained hereinafter.
  • the aforesaid central channel 21 of a post 20 is composed of a pair of parallel side walls 26 which are also substantially parallel to the front and back outside walls 24, and a wall 25 which is perpendicular to and joins the walls 26.
  • a pair of lips 22, and extending from and beyond one of the lips 22 is a joint cover and assembly guide 23.
  • close adjacent the interior right angles formed by the post walls 26 and 27 and lying substantially along the length of the wall 27 are longitudinally extending open-sided bores 28 of such inside diameter that self-tapping screws may cut their own threads as they advance along the length of the bore when initially screwed thereinto.
  • Such screws may be for example the screws 72 which secure the feet 65 and 75 to the bottom of the vertical posts 20, as for example in the manner best seen in FIG. 10.
  • the mullions 30 are essentially channel structures formed by the mullion flanges 32 and the mullion main body 34 to form a channel 33.
  • Running the length of the mullions are a pair of longitudinally extending open-sided bores 35 adapted to receive self-threading screws as in the case of the bores 28 of the vertical posts 20.
  • the screws 62 which secure the male and female post connectors 45 and 55 to the end posts 20, are the screws which are threaded into these bores, as may be best seen in the views of FIGS. 8, 9 and 10.
  • the center mullion 36 differs from the top and bottom mullions 30 in that it is formed with two channels 37 and 38 presenting in opposite directions, the bottom channel 37 facing downward and the top channel 38 facing upward.
  • top, bottom and center mullions from channel bars having identical section.
  • FIG. 9A wherein it will be seen that the top and bottom mullions 30a and the center mullion 36a are formed from channel bars of identical double-channel section, although only the center mullion 36a utilizes both channels.
  • This figure also suggests the sealing of the top and bottom edge of the panels 52, 54 in the channels of the mullions as by means of plastic i.e. vinyl, expansion seals which further prevent rattling, etc. of the panels.
  • a continuous cap strip 38x secured to the top side of the mullion as shown may be employed.
  • the mullions and post connecters are simultaneously secured to the posts in the following fashion.
  • screw holes 29 are drilled through the walls 27 of the vertical posts 20 so that the screws 62 may pass therethrough.
  • the position of these screw holes is best seen in the showings of FIGS. 8 and 10, FIG. 8 showing the lateral positioning of the screw holes relative to the post bores 28 and the mullions, and FIG. 10, showing the position of the screws 62 relative to the mullion bores 35.
  • the bottom mullion 30 is seated against the end post 20 with the mullion end face 31 in flush engagement with the walls 27 of the vertical post 20 and with the mullion bores 35 in alignment with the previously mentioned holes 29 drilled through the wall 27 of the vertical posts.
  • a male connector member is then positioned against the rear wall 25 of the channel 21 with the holes 61 also in alignment with the holes 29 drilled through the walls 27 of the posts 20.
  • the screws 62 are then passed through the aligned holes 61 and 29 and into the bores 35 in the bottom mullion 30.
  • a female connector 45 is secured in the same fashion to the left-hand vertical post 20 by the screws 62 which pass through the holes 61 of the connector 45, through the holes 29 in the walls 27 of the vertical post 20 and into the bores 35 of the bottom mullion 30.
  • the corrugated bottom panel 53 may be now inserted from the top with the left and right ends disposed within the post channels 21 until the bottom edge of the panel seats within the channel 33 of the bottom mullion 30.
  • the center mullion 36 may now be secured in place by positioning it with its end faces in flush engagement with the walls 27 of the vertical posts 20 just as in the case of the bottom mullion 30, and with the top edge of the panel 53 being disposed within the bottom channel 37 of the center mullion 36 so that the top and bottom edges of the panel 53 are firmly seated between the center and bottom mullions 36 and 30 respectively.
  • the center pair of male and female connectors 55 and 45 are now secured to the posts 20, and the latter secured to the center mullion longitudinal bores 39.
  • the top panel 52 may be now positioned in exactly the same manner as was the bottom panel 53, and the top mullion 30 may be placed in position in the same manner as was the center mullion 36 and bottom mullion 30.
  • the top mullion 30, the vertical posts 21 and the top set of male and female connectors 55 and 45 are now secured together by the screws 62 in the manner already described in connection with the bottom and center mullions.
  • the female foot 65 has a main floor engaging part 66, floor engaging extensions 67, a post retaining rim 68 within which the bottom of post 20 is adapted to snugly fit, and a pair of chamfers.
  • the male foot 75 includes parts similar to those just mentioned in connection with the. female foot 65 with the exception that the floor engaging extensions 67 of the latter are replaced by a pairof overlying extensions 77. As clearly seen in FIGS. 5,,
  • the bottom of the vertical posts 20 seat down upon the main floor engaging parts 66 and 76 of the feet 65 and 75, with the latter being secured to the posts 20 by the screws 72 which project upward through for example the holes 81 in the foot 75 and into the longitudinally extending bores 28 in the post 20.
  • the joint cover and assembly guide 23 which extends longitudinally on the post 20 fits within the chamfers 69 and 79 on the post retaining rims of the feet 65 and 75.
  • one spline 40 is associated with each of the end posts 20 and is of substantially U-shaped configuration with one arm of the U being perpendicular to the base, and the other arm of the U belng inclined at an angle to the base so that the sides of the U are non-parallel.
  • the showing of FIG. 8 illustrates the position assumed by the spline 40 when it has been assembled into the partition section.
  • the spline wall 41 lies adjacent one wall 26 of the channel 21 in the vertical post 20, while the spline wall 42 presents toward the end faces of the horizontally extending mullions, and the ridged spline wall 43 clamps the edges of the panel 52 against the opposite wall 26 of the channel 21 in the vertical posts 20. It is thus clear that the top panel 52, and of course also the bottom panel 53, is securely clamped along its sides and is prevented from rattling in those instances where installation of partitions is made in locations which may be subject to vibration, as for example where heavy machinery is being operated.
  • the spline may be inserted at the top into the vertical post channel 21 as shown in FIG. 8, and forced downward into the channel 21 by exerting pressure on the upper end of the spline 40.
  • the posts 20, the splines 40, and the mullions 30 and 36 may be extruded aluminum sections; the male and female post connectors 55 and 45, and the feet 75 and 65 may be die cast aluminum; and the corrugated panels 52 and 53 may be formed of fiber glass.
  • My invention of course is not limited to the use of the foregoing materials since the aluminum parts could as readily be made of steel or high strength plastic or other suitable sub-stances, while the panels 52 and 53 need not be fabricated either in a corrugated shape or of fiber glass, but could be instead formed of a substance of a thickness just suitable for passing between the flanges of the mullions, in which case the splines 40 may be dispensed with.
  • the lower corrugated panel 53 illustrated in FIG. 2 has been replaced by a solid plane surface panel 54.
  • the panel 54 is seen to just fit between the flanges 32 of the bottom mullion 30 and it is also apparent that the inside distance between the flanges 32 corresponds to the width of the channel 21 in the vertical post.
  • only a short spline 40 is required to clamp the upper corrugated panel 52 securely within the channel 21 of the post 20, the lower panel 54 requiring no spline since it fits snugly within the channel 21.
  • FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 illustrate more clearly than FIG. 1 the general appearance of a two panel partition section, the relative dimensions of the vertical posts and mullions bearing only an arbitrary rela tion to the illustrated sizes of the panels 52 and 54 as indicated by the fragmentation lines present in these four figures.
  • the partition sections may be fabricated in a variety of vertical-to-horizontal dimension-ratios depending upon the particular purpose for which the sections are intended or to provide varying artistic effects.
  • the illustrations show partition sections formed with two panels, these sections may be formed with merely a single panel, or, on the other hand, with a plurality of panels in excess of two, again depending upon the particular use and visual effect desired.
  • the male post connector 55 includes a base or rear wall 56 which is connected to a tongue part or member 63 extending transversely across the channel of the male post with which it is associated and having a front surface 57, a rear surface 58, and a pair of side-edge surfaces 59, such connection being eifected by a neck 60.
  • the side surfaces 59 taper inwardly as they progress from top to bottom of the connector, so that a section taken through the side surfaces 59 in a plane parallel to the rear wall 56 is shaped as an isosceles trapezoid.
  • the plane of the front surface 57 is substantially parallel to the plane of the rear'wall 56, whereas the plane of the rear surface 58 diverges from the plane of the rear wall 56 from top to bottom of the trapezoidal part 63, this geometry being most clearly seen in the showing of FIG. 10.
  • the tongue member 57 is shaped and functions as a two-way wedge.
  • the female post connector 45 is similarly formed with a base or rear wall 46, and front and side walls 48 and 47 respectively, which conjointly form a male connector receiving socket opening 49 adapted to receive the trapezoidal part 63 of the male connector 55.
  • a slot 58 in the front wall 48 accommodates the neck 60 of the male connector 55 when the two connectors are operatively engaged.
  • the interior geometry of the socket opening 49 of the female connector 45 is also best seen in the showing of FIG. 10. Further to the aforesaid neck 60 of the male connector 55, the depth thereof, i.e.
  • the amount that it projects the double-wedge tongue 57 from the connector base 56 is predetermined in relation to the depth of the channel defined by the end post mounting said male connector and is such as to space the tongue a fixed distance forwardly from said bottom wall in the direction of the open side of the end post channel. More particularly, and as is clearly shown in FIG. 12, this fixed distance is that required to secure the edges of the corresponding side walls of two confronting half end-posts of adjacent partition sections being assembled to one another in tight engagement when the tongue (or tongues) of the male connector carried by one of said posts is fully seated in the socket (or sockets) of the opposite female connector of the other end post being so assembled.
  • the tapering side surfaces 59 of the trapezoidal part 63 of the male connector 55 will engage the complementally shaped inside surfaces of the side walls 47 of the female connector 45, and together with the closely fitting neck 60 and slot 50 will laterally center the two connectors so that there is no tendency toward sideways shifting motion of one relative to the other.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates the manner of interlocking a pair of adjacent partition sections
  • the left-hand end of the right-hand partition section is fitted with female post connectors 45 and a female foot 65
  • the proximate right-hand end of the left-hand partition section is fitted with male connectors 55 and a male foot 75
  • the partition sections are shown with their vertical posts 20 engaged just prior to mating of the male and female connectors.
  • the easy and proper alignment of the vertical posts 20 is effected by the joint cover and assembly guides 23 which form a part of the posts 28 as shown and described in connection with FIG. 2.
  • partition sections can be effected in a matter of seconds and that areas may be completely partitioned ofi in an extremely short time.
  • these partitions are'substantially selfsupporting, particularly when one or more right-angled partition walls are joined, if desired an assembled partition may be permanently secured in position by means of the screws 82 through the feet 65 and 75 in the manner previously described.
  • extensive partitioning can be accomplished in a relatively short time by completely unskilled labor and involving only the optional use of a screwdriver for securing the foot screws 82.
  • FIG. 12 shows a sectional plan view of a pair of parti tions interlocked in the manner seen in FIG.
  • FIG. 13 shows the structure of FIG. 12 to which has been added a perpendicularly extending partition section having special vertical posts 85.
  • the vertical posts 85 differ from the already described vertical posts 20 in two particulars. Firstly, the side walls 86 of the vertical posts 85 are of extended depth (as viewed in crosssection) as compared to the side wall 24 of the halfpost 20, so as to have approximately the same depth as that of a composite post 2020, and secondly, the side walls 86 each terminates in a joint cover 87 whereas in the vertical posts 20 only one of the side walls 24 included a joint cover 23 at its outer end.
  • a female connector (or a plurality of such connectors extending the length of the post) is screwed to the composite post 2020 by means of the short screws 73, and the male connectors afiixed to the vertical posts 85 in the conventional fashion are engageable therewith to interlock the perpendicularly extending partition section in the now well-known manner.
  • the joint cover 23 on the composite post 2020 must of course be cut away in the region where the female connector 45 is to be mounted so that the latter will lie flush against the composite post.
  • FIG. 14 involves merely a repetition of the process of constructing the structure of FIG. 13 from that of FIG. 12. That is, an additional partition section which includes a vertical post section 85 is secured to the remaining free side of the composite post 2ti-20 in the manner already described in connection with FIG. 13.
  • FIG. 15 illustrates the construction of a right-angle or two-way partition corner and involves the use of a partition dead-end or finish post 90 shown in FIG. 16 which will be described first.
  • the finish post is designed primarily to complete a partition-section post 20 which forms an exposed dead end of a partition installation. Accordingly, its side walls have depth corresponding to the depth of the side walls of a post 20 and its bottom wall, which forms the vertical end wall of the partition, is externally planar and carries on its inner side female connectors 91 corresponding exactly to the aforesaid female connectors 45.
  • the finish post 90 when assembled with and interlocked to an end (illustratively, the right-hand end) post 20 of a partition section, the finish post 90 converts same to a fully closed-square sectioned post. Also to be observed is that the side walls of the finish post terminate in joint covers 92 comparing to the aforesaid joint covers 23 of the posts 20.
  • FIG. 15 intersection or corner such employs a partition section terminating in a open-sided post 20, a dead end or finish post according to FIG. 16 assembled to and interlocked therewith, and a partition section terminating in a deeper post 86 similar to the intersecting partition according to FIG. 13 interlocked therewith by mating of its male connectors 55 with female connectors 45, which latter are screwed jointly to the coplanar outer side of said post 20 and finish post 90 as by short screws 73a corresponding to the screws 73 of the FIGS. 13 and 14 intersections.
  • the joint cover 92 on the side of the composite post 2ll-9ll to which the intersecting partition fastens must of course be cut away in the region where the female connector(s) 45 are mounted so that the latter will be flush against the coplanar outer sides thereof.
  • a prefabricated partition section for assembly to like prefrabricated sections comprising, in combination, a pair of horizontally spaced, upright end posts, at least one panel extending between and being secured at its side edges to the inner sides of said posts, said posts having U-section and being disposed so that the channels defined by the bottom and side walls thereof open to the outer sides of the posts, at least one male connector element and means affixing the latter to the bottom wall of one of said posts, at least one female connector element and means atfixing the latter to the bottom wall of the other of said posts, said connector elements being contained substantially within the respective channels of the posts and operative through the channel openings thereof, said male connector element including a tongue fixedly secured to the bottom wall of said one post and extending transversely of the channel thereof and having downwardly tapered wedge shape in both front and side elevation, said female connector element comprising an upwardly-opening, socket-forming means fixedly secured to the bottom wall of the other post and defining a socket opening shaped complementally to said tongue, and said tongue being
  • a partition construction comprising a plurality of individual prefabricated partition sections assembled to one another, each of said sections comprising two horizontally spaced upright end posts and a panel extending therebetween and secured at its side edges thereto, said end posts having U-section and being disposed so that the channels defined by the bottom and spaced side wall thereof open to the outer sides of the end posts, at least one male connector element and means afiixing same to the bottom wall of each of the alternate end posts of the sections, at least one female connector element and means aflixing same to the bottom wall of each of the intermediate end posts of the sections, the connector elements being contained substantially within the channels of their end posts and operative through the channel openings, the end posts and connector elements of adjacent partition sections thus confronting one another, said male connector elements each including a tongue fixedly secured to the bottom wall of an alternate end post and extending transversely of the channel thereof and having downwardly tapering wedge shape in both front and side elevation, the female connector elements each comprising upwardly-opening socket-forming means fixedly secured to the bottom wall of its intermediate
  • a partition construction comprising a plurality of individual prefabricated partition sections assembled to one another, each of said sections comprising two horizontally spaced upright end posts and a panel extending therebetween and secured at its side edges thereto, said end posts having U-section and being disposed so that the channels defined by the bottom and spaced side wall there- I of open to the outer sides of the end posts, at least one male connector element and means affixing same to the bottom wall of each of the alternate end posts of the sections, at least one female connector element and means afiixing same to the bottom wall of each of the intermediate end posts of the sections, the connector elements being contained substantially Within the channels of their end posts and operative through the channel openings, the end posts and connector elements of adjacent partition sections, thus confronting one another, said male connector elements each including a tongue fixedly secured to the bottom wall of an alternate end post and extending transversely of the channel thereof and having downwardly tapering Wedge shape in both front and side elevation, the female connector elements each comprising upwardlyopening socket-forming means fixedly secured to the bottom

Description

C. L. WEBSTER PARTITION CONSTRUCTION June 5, 1962 Filed June 25. 1959 Arm/MEX June 5, 1962 Filed June 25. 1959 c. WEBSTER 3,037,593
PARTITION CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 2e JEBE'NE i E BY/W June .5, 1962 c. 1.. WEBSTER PARTITION CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed June 25. 1959 INVENTOR.
CMFFORD L- WEBS R 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed June 25, 1959 INVENTOR.
CLIFFOKD L WEBST M ATTO/F/VEK 3,037,593 PARTITION CONSTRUCTION Clifford L. Webster, Narberth, Pa. (713 Haverford Road, Bryn Mawr, Pa.) Filed June 25, 1959, Ser. No. 822,800 3 Claims. (Cl. 189-34) This invention relates to partition construction, and more particularly to partition constructions of the type formed of prefabricated partition sections adapted for rapid installation to create a variety of different types of space dividers, the present application for patent thereon being a continuation-in-part of my earlier filed application Serial No. 764,959, filed October 2, 1958, now abandoned.
In the past, partition structures have been known which were designed for particular purposes and which were generally unsuitable for use in applications other than that for which they were specifically designed. For example, partition structures normally encountered to divide large areas of floor space into smaller segregated areas for use as individual oifices, have generally been constructed by employing wooden studding subsequently sheathed in a finished facing material which generally required painting or other type of treatment in order to present an acceptable appearance. In other instances, metal types of partitions have been employed which nevertheless require on-the-spot assembly with bolts and screws and other types of fasteners. Partitions of the foregoing types are relatively expensive in that they involve heavy labor costs in order to effect installation. Moreover, most partitions of the foregoing types require a similar length of time for removal in the event that the partitions are to be used at a different location, and, in the case of sheathed wooden studding, removal of the partition generally involves its destruction or at least sufficiently impairs its appearance that it cannot be reused as a partition. Accordingly, it is a primary object of my invention to provide a partition construction which is attractive in appearance, durable and rugged in use, and which may be set up and dismantled repeatedly as desired for use in differing locations without in any way impairing the appearance or useful service life of the partitions.
Another object of my invention is to provide a novel partition construction which may be installed in a very small fraction of the time required for the installation of generally known types of partitions, whereby the cost of installation may be drastically reduced by eliminating practically all of the labor costs normally involved.
Yet another object of my invention is to provide a novel partition construction which is readily removable for installation in a different location and which leaves the previously partitioned area in substantially the same condition as it was prior to the installation of the partitions.
More particularly, an object of the invention is the provision of a novel partition construction made up of wholly prefabricated sections capable of being simply interlocked with identical companion sections to form a complete partition system of a desired configuration.
A further object of the invention is the provision of sectional partition construction wherein the sections thereof each includes spaced vertical posts constructed and arranged so as to interlock with the like posts of companion sections in a desired straightW-ay and/or rightangular relationship therewith, or with a dead-end or finish end post, depending on a particular partitioning need.
Yet another object of the invention is the provision of a sectional partition system wherein the sections thereof each includes spaced vertical posts of open-sided, channel or U-section and interlocking means substantially contained within the channel space, and wherein upon interlocking of the partition sections the interlocked posts muates atent O 3,037,593 Patented June 5, 1962 2 tually complement each other in forming a fully closed, substantially square-sectioned post.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of a sectional partition system as last stated, in conjunction with means to convert any desired one of the section posts into a dead-end post of closed, substantially square section as aforesaid.
Another object of my invention is to provide a novel type of partition construction of such flexibility that it may be optionally used in a wide variety of applications, such as for oflice partitions, home room dividers, swimming pool enclosures, porch railings, yard privacy enclosures, and in fact many other types of applications which are too numerous to here mention.
The foregoing and other objects of my invention will become clear from a reading of the following specification when taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical partition section grossly illustrating some of the main constructional aspects.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of a typical partition section illustrating in detail the configurations of the component parts normally comprising a partition section.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the male and female connector elements which are utilized to assemble separate partition sections to each other to form a completed partition assembly.
FIG. 4 is a front elevation of a partition section which is partly broken away so that certain aspects of the partition may be enlarged for clarity of showing.
FIG. 5 is a left-end elevation of the partition section of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a right-end elevation of the partition section of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the partition section of FIG. 4.
FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view with parts broken away taken along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view with parts broken away taken along the lines 9-9 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 9A is a sectional view similar to FIG. 9 but illustrating a slightly modified form of partition construction.
FIG. 10 is a jump section taken along the lines Ill-10 of FIG. 8.
FIG. 11 is a front elevation of the mating ends of two partition sections and illustrating the method of interlocking one section to another.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of two partition sections which are joined in the same plane.
FIG. 13 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of three panels joined to form two walls at right angles.
FIG. 14 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of four panels joined in a cross-wall configuration.
FIG. 15 is an enlarged plan detail showing the ends of two panels joined at a right angle.
FIG. 16 is an enlarged plan detail showing an end post of a panel section completed as a dead-end post.
In the several figures like elements are denoted by like reference numerals.
Turning now to an examination of FIG. 1, it will be seen that the partition section illustrated includes as main elements thereof a pair of vertical end post members 20 joined together by top and bottom horizontally extending mullions 30 and a center mullion 36. Each of the vertical posts 20 is seated in a foot member, the left-hand foot being a female foot 65 and the right-hand foot being a male foot 75. Firmly secured between a pair of adjacent mullions and the vertical end posts are top and bottom panels 52 and 53 respectively. The partition section as illustrated is secured together by screws (not visible) to form a prefabricated partition section which is ready for assembly with other partition sections to form a completed installation. The partition sections are secured together by male and female post connectors which are not seen in FIG. 1 but which clearly appear in FIGS. 2, 3 and other figures to be subsequently described.
Turning now to the exploded view of FIG. 2 it will be seen that the vertical posts 20 each has sidewardly (outwardly) opening U-section modified in that its front and back parallel walls 24 are joined by a right-angular inner sidewall 27 having formed therein a central channel 21 which opens inwardly, thus to confront the similar channel of the other end post. By dimensioning the front and back walls 24 of said end posts to a depth corresponding substantially to half that called for in a finally assembled partition post, said end posts are actually vertical halfposts and are converted to full or whole posts having closed, approximately square section only when assembled with similar but oppositely opening or facing halfend posts of adjacent partition sections, or are dead-ended as will be explained hereinafter. The aforesaid central channel 21 of a post 20 is composed of a pair of parallel side walls 26 which are also substantially parallel to the front and back outside walls 24, and a wall 25 which is perpendicular to and joins the walls 26. Turned inward from the outer end of the walls 24 are a pair of lips 22, and extending from and beyond one of the lips 22 is a joint cover and assembly guide 23. Close adjacent the interior right angles formed by the post walls 26 and 27 and lying substantially along the length of the wall 27 are longitudinally extending open-sided bores 28 of such inside diameter that self-tapping screws may cut their own threads as they advance along the length of the bore when initially screwed thereinto. Such screws may be for example the screws 72 which secure the feet 65 and 75 to the bottom of the vertical posts 20, as for example in the manner best seen in FIG. 10.
Running transversely to the vertical posts 20 are the horizontal top and bottom mullions 30 and the center mullion 36. The mullions 30 are essentially channel structures formed by the mullion flanges 32 and the mullion main body 34 to form a channel 33. Running the length of the mullions are a pair of longitudinally extending open-sided bores 35 adapted to receive self-threading screws as in the case of the bores 28 of the vertical posts 20. In this case, the screws 62, which secure the male and female post connectors 45 and 55 to the end posts 20, are the screws which are threaded into these bores, as may be best seen in the views of FIGS. 8, 9 and 10. The center mullion 36 differs from the top and bottom mullions 30 in that it is formed with two channels 37 and 38 presenting in opposite directions, the bottom channel 37 facing downward and the top channel 38 facing upward.
It is also possible, as well as advisable from the standpoint of economical construction, to fabricate the top, bottom and center mullions from channel bars having identical section. Such is shown in FIG. 9A, wherein it will be seen that the top and bottom mullions 30a and the center mullion 36a are formed from channel bars of identical double-channel section, although only the center mullion 36a utilizes both channels. This figure also suggests the sealing of the top and bottom edge of the panels 52, 54 in the channels of the mullions as by means of plastic i.e. vinyl, expansion seals which further prevent rattling, etc. of the panels. To provide the top mullion 30a with a finished appearance and to close off the open upper channel thereof, a continuous cap strip 38x secured to the top side of the mullion as shown may be employed.
In assembling a partition section, the mullions and post connecters are simultaneously secured to the posts in the following fashion. First, screw holes 29 are drilled through the walls 27 of the vertical posts 20 so that the screws 62 may pass therethrough. The position of these screw holes is best seen in the showings of FIGS. 8 and 10, FIG. 8 showing the lateral positioning of the screw holes relative to the post bores 28 and the mullions, and FIG. 10, showing the position of the screws 62 relative to the mullion bores 35. In assembling a partition, the bottom mullion 30 is seated against the end post 20 with the mullion end face 31 in flush engagement with the walls 27 of the vertical post 20 and with the mullion bores 35 in alignment with the previously mentioned holes 29 drilled through the wall 27 of the vertical posts. A male connector member is then positioned against the rear wall 25 of the channel 21 with the holes 61 also in alignment with the holes 29 drilled through the walls 27 of the posts 20. The screws 62 are then passed through the aligned holes 61 and 29 and into the bores 35 in the bottom mullion 30. Similarly, a female connector 45 is secured in the same fashion to the left-hand vertical post 20 by the screws 62 which pass through the holes 61 of the connector 45, through the holes 29 in the walls 27 of the vertical post 20 and into the bores 35 of the bottom mullion 30.
The corrugated bottom panel 53 may be now inserted from the top with the left and right ends disposed within the post channels 21 until the bottom edge of the panel seats within the channel 33 of the bottom mullion 30. The center mullion 36 may now be secured in place by positioning it with its end faces in flush engagement with the walls 27 of the vertical posts 20 just as in the case of the bottom mullion 30, and with the top edge of the panel 53 being disposed within the bottom channel 37 of the center mullion 36 so that the top and bottom edges of the panel 53 are firmly seated between the center and bottom mullions 36 and 30 respectively. The center pair of male and female connectors 55 and 45 are now secured to the posts 20, and the latter secured to the center mullion longitudinal bores 39. The top panel 52 may be now positioned in exactly the same manner as was the bottom panel 53, and the top mullion 30 may be placed in position in the same manner as was the center mullion 36 and bottom mullion 30. The top mullion 30, the vertical posts 21 and the top set of male and female connectors 55 and 45 are now secured together by the screws 62 in the manner already described in connection with the bottom and center mullions.
Connectible to the bottom of the left-hand post 20 is a female foot 65, and Connectible to the right-hand post 20 is a male foot 75. These feet 65 and are designated as female and male respectively because they are. each associated with a vertical post which carries female or male connectors 45 or 55. The female foot 65 hasa main floor engaging part 66, floor engaging extensions 67, a post retaining rim 68 within which the bottom of post 20 is adapted to snugly fit, and a pair of chamfers.
69 on the rim 68. The male foot 75 includes parts similar to those just mentioned in connection with the. female foot 65 with the exception that the floor engaging extensions 67 of the latter are replaced by a pairof overlying extensions 77. As clearly seen in FIGS. 5,,
6, 8 and 10 the bottom of the vertical posts 20 seat down upon the main floor engaging parts 66 and 76 of the feet 65 and 75, with the latter being secured to the posts 20 by the screws 72 which project upward through for example the holes 81 in the foot 75 and into the longitudinally extending bores 28 in the post 20. As most clearly seen in FIG. 8, the joint cover and assembly guide 23 which extends longitudinally on the post 20 fits within the chamfers 69 and 79 on the post retaining rims of the feet 65 and 75.
In order to prevent rattling of the corrugated panels 52 and 53 in the completed partition section, it has been found advantageous to employ a pair of splines 40. As may be clearly seen in FIG. 2, one spline 40 is associated with each of the end posts 20 and is of substantially U-shaped configuration with one arm of the U being perpendicular to the base, and the other arm of the U belng inclined at an angle to the base so that the sides of the U are non-parallel. The showing of FIG. 8 illustrates the position assumed by the spline 40 when it has been assembled into the partition section. The spline wall 41 lies adjacent one wall 26 of the channel 21 in the vertical post 20, while the spline wall 42 presents toward the end faces of the horizontally extending mullions, and the ridged spline wall 43 clamps the edges of the panel 52 against the opposite wall 26 of the channel 21 in the vertical posts 20. It is thus clear that the top panel 52, and of course also the bottom panel 53, is securely clamped along its sides and is prevented from rattling in those instances where installation of partitions is made in locations which may be subject to vibration, as for example where heavy machinery is being operated.
In assembling the partition section, the spline may be inserted at the top into the vertical post channel 21 as shown in FIG. 8, and forced downward into the channel 21 by exerting pressure on the upper end of the spline 40. Typically, the posts 20, the splines 40, and the mullions 30 and 36, may be extruded aluminum sections; the male and female post connectors 55 and 45, and the feet 75 and 65 may be die cast aluminum; and the corrugated panels 52 and 53 may be formed of fiber glass. My invention of course is not limited to the use of the foregoing materials since the aluminum parts could as readily be made of steel or high strength plastic or other suitable sub-stances, while the panels 52 and 53 need not be fabricated either in a corrugated shape or of fiber glass, but could be instead formed of a substance of a thickness just suitable for passing between the flanges of the mullions, in which case the splines 40 may be dispensed with.
As illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 11 and as most clearly seen in FIG. 9, the lower corrugated panel 53 illustrated in FIG. 2 has been replaced by a solid plane surface panel 54. In FIG. 9 the panel 54 is seen to just fit between the flanges 32 of the bottom mullion 30 and it is also apparent that the inside distance between the flanges 32 corresponds to the width of the channel 21 in the vertical post. As also best seen from FIG. 9, only a short spline 40 is required to clamp the upper corrugated panel 52 securely within the channel 21 of the post 20, the lower panel 54 requiring no spline since it fits snugly within the channel 21.
The showings of FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 illustrate more clearly than FIG. 1 the general appearance of a two panel partition section, the relative dimensions of the vertical posts and mullions bearing only an arbitrary rela tion to the illustrated sizes of the panels 52 and 54 as indicated by the fragmentation lines present in these four figures. In this regard, it will of course be understood that the partition sections may be fabricated in a variety of vertical-to-horizontal dimension-ratios depending upon the particular purpose for which the sections are intended or to provide varying artistic effects. Similarly, although the illustrations show partition sections formed with two panels, these sections may be formed with merely a single panel, or, on the other hand, with a plurality of panels in excess of two, again depending upon the particular use and visual effect desired.
Turning now to FIGS. 3 and which illustrate most clearly the male and female post connectors 55 and 45, of which one type will be arranged on alternate end posts and the other type on intermediate end posts of a partition construction, it is seen that the male post connector 55 includes a base or rear wall 56 which is connected to a tongue part or member 63 extending transversely across the channel of the male post with which it is associated and having a front surface 57, a rear surface 58, and a pair of side-edge surfaces 59, such connection being eifected by a neck 60. The side surfaces 59 taper inwardly as they progress from top to bottom of the connector, so that a section taken through the side surfaces 59 in a plane parallel to the rear wall 56 is shaped as an isosceles trapezoid. The plane of the front surface 57 is substantially parallel to the plane of the rear'wall 56, whereas the plane of the rear surface 58 diverges from the plane of the rear wall 56 from top to bottom of the trapezoidal part 63, this geometry being most clearly seen in the showing of FIG. 10. Thus, the tongue member 57 is shaped and functions as a two-way wedge. The female post connector 45 is similarly formed with a base or rear wall 46, and front and side walls 48 and 47 respectively, which conjointly form a male connector receiving socket opening 49 adapted to receive the trapezoidal part 63 of the male connector 55. A slot 58 in the front wall 48 accommodates the neck 60 of the male connector 55 when the two connectors are operatively engaged. The interior geometry of the socket opening 49 of the female connector 45 is also best seen in the showing of FIG. 10. Further to the aforesaid neck 60 of the male connector 55, the depth thereof, i.e. the amount that it projects the double-wedge tongue 57 from the connector base 56, is predetermined in relation to the depth of the channel defined by the end post mounting said male connector and is such as to space the tongue a fixed distance forwardly from said bottom wall in the direction of the open side of the end post channel. More particularly, and as is clearly shown in FIG. 12, this fixed distance is that required to secure the edges of the corresponding side walls of two confronting half end-posts of adjacent partition sections being assembled to one another in tight engagement when the tongue (or tongues) of the male connector carried by one of said posts is fully seated in the socket (or sockets) of the opposite female connector of the other end post being so assembled.
From the showing of FIGS. 3 and 10 it will be appreciated that when the trapezoidal part 63 of the male connector 55 is inserted from above into the aperture .49 of the female connector 45, the rear surface 58 of the trapezoidal part 63 will engage the inside surface of the front wall 48 of the female connector "45, and as the male connector moves down into the female connector the neck 60 will fit into the slot 50 and the two connectors will be drawn toward each other by virtue of the tapered surface 58 of the male connector and the complementally tapered inside surface of the front wall 48 of the female connector. Similarly, the tapering side surfaces 59 of the trapezoidal part 63 of the male connector 55 will engage the complementally shaped inside surfaces of the side walls 47 of the female connector 45, and together with the closely fitting neck 60 and slot 50 will laterally center the two connectors so that there is no tendency toward sideways shifting motion of one relative to the other.
Turning now to FIG. 11 which illustrates the manner of interlocking a pair of adjacent partition sections, it is seen that the left-hand end of the right-hand partition section is fitted with female post connectors 45 and a female foot 65, whereas the proximate right-hand end of the left-hand partition section is fitted with male connectors 55 and a male foot 75, and that the partition sections are shown with their vertical posts 20 engaged just prior to mating of the male and female connectors. The easy and proper alignment of the vertical posts 20 is effected by the joint cover and assembly guides 23 which form a part of the posts 28 as shown and described in connection with FIG. 2. These assembly guides 23 provide vertical nesting alignment of the posts 20 so that the male connector elements 55 are all readily simultaneously engageable with the female connectors 55 as the left-hand partition section is dropped downward. At the same time, the overlying extensions 77 of the male foot 75 seat down upon the floor engaging extensions 67 of the female foot 65. The interlocked partition sections may be now easily secured to the floor by means of screws 82 which pass through the holes 70 and in the feet 65 and 75 and into the floor. The screws 82 and the holes 70 and 80 are clearly detailed in the exploded view of FIG. 2.
Thus, it can be seen that the joining of partition sections can be effected in a matter of seconds and that areas may be completely partitioned ofi in an extremely short time. Although these partitions are'substantially selfsupporting, particularly when one or more right-angled partition walls are joined, if desired an assembled partition may be permanently secured in position by means of the screws 82 through the feet 65 and 75 in the manner previously described. As is now evident, extensive partitioning can be accomplished in a relatively short time by completely unskilled labor and involving only the optional use of a screwdriver for securing the foot screws 82.
FIGS. 12, 13, 14 and illustrate respectively the joining of partition sections to form a straight-run partition wall, a straight run of wall with a right-angled partition (sometimes referred to as a 3-way intersection), two intersecting straight runs of walls (sometimes referred to as a 4-Way intersection), and a simple right-angle corner (also called a 2-way intersection). In particular, FIG. 12 shows a sectional plan view of a pair of parti tions interlocked in the manner seen in FIG. 11, and clearly illustrates the interlocking male and female post connectors 55 and 45, the manner in which the interlocked posts, or more properly half-posts 20--20 of channel section mutually complement each other in forming a fully closed, substantially square-sectioned partition post, and the overlap of the joint covers 23 to provide a smooth finished appearance to the composite post -20.
FIG. 13 shows the structure of FIG. 12 to which has been added a perpendicularly extending partition section having special vertical posts 85. The vertical posts 85 differ from the already described vertical posts 20 in two particulars. Firstly, the side walls 86 of the vertical posts 85 are of extended depth (as viewed in crosssection) as compared to the side wall 24 of the halfpost 20, so as to have approximately the same depth as that of a composite post 2020, and secondly, the side walls 86 each terminates in a joint cover 87 whereas in the vertical posts 20 only one of the side walls 24 included a joint cover 23 at its outer end. In assembly, a female connector (or a plurality of such connectors extending the length of the post) is screwed to the composite post 2020 by means of the short screws 73, and the male connectors afiixed to the vertical posts 85 in the conventional fashion are engageable therewith to interlock the perpendicularly extending partition section in the now well-known manner. The joint cover 23 on the composite post 2020 must of course be cut away in the region where the female connector 45 is to be mounted so that the latter will lie flush against the composite post.
The structure of FIG. 14 involves merely a repetition of the process of constructing the structure of FIG. 13 from that of FIG. 12. That is, an additional partition section which includes a vertical post section 85 is secured to the remaining free side of the composite post 2ti-20 in the manner already described in connection with FIG. 13.
FIG. 15 illustrates the construction of a right-angle or two-way partition corner and involves the use of a partition dead-end or finish post 90 shown in FIG. 16 which will be described first. As seen in this figure, the finish post is designed primarily to complete a partition-section post 20 which forms an exposed dead end of a partition installation. Accordingly, its side walls have depth corresponding to the depth of the side walls of a post 20 and its bottom wall, which forms the vertical end wall of the partition, is externally planar and carries on its inner side female connectors 91 corresponding exactly to the aforesaid female connectors 45. Thus, when assembled with and interlocked to an end (illustratively, the right-hand end) post 20 of a partition section, the finish post 90 converts same to a fully closed-square sectioned post. Also to be observed is that the side walls of the finish post terminate in joint covers 92 comparing to the aforesaid joint covers 23 of the posts 20.
Reverting to the FIG. 15 intersection or corner, such employs a partition section terminating in a open-sided post 20, a dead end or finish post according to FIG. 16 assembled to and interlocked therewith, and a partition section terminating in a deeper post 86 similar to the intersecting partition according to FIG. 13 interlocked therewith by mating of its male connectors 55 with female connectors 45, which latter are screwed jointly to the coplanar outer side of said post 20 and finish post 90 as by short screws 73a corresponding to the screws 73 of the FIGS. 13 and 14 intersections. The joint cover 92 on the side of the composite post 2ll-9ll to which the intersecting partition fastens must of course be cut away in the region where the female connector(s) 45 are mounted so that the latter will be flush against the coplanar outer sides thereof.
Although my invention has been described in connection with particularly illustrated embodiments thereof, it is understood that various changes and modifications may be made from time to time by those persons normally skilled in the art without departing from the essential spirit or scope thereof, and accordingly it is intended to claim the same broadly as well as specifically as indicated by the appended claims.
I claim:
1. In partition construction, a prefabricated partition section for assembly to like prefrabricated sections comprising, in combination, a pair of horizontally spaced, upright end posts, at least one panel extending between and being secured at its side edges to the inner sides of said posts, said posts having U-section and being disposed so that the channels defined by the bottom and side walls thereof open to the outer sides of the posts, at least one male connector element and means affixing the latter to the bottom wall of one of said posts, at least one female connector element and means atfixing the latter to the bottom wall of the other of said posts, said connector elements being contained substantially within the respective channels of the posts and operative through the channel openings thereof, said male connector element including a tongue fixedly secured to the bottom wall of said one post and extending transversely of the channel thereof and having downwardly tapered wedge shape in both front and side elevation, said female connector element comprising an upwardly-opening, socket-forming means fixedly secured to the bottom wall of the other post and defining a socket opening shaped complementally to said tongue, and said tongue being spaced from the bottom wall of said one post a predetermined distance in relation to the depth of the channel defined by said end post whereby said partition section may be assembled to like sections having their male and female fastener elements arranged alternately to those of said section solely by bringing said sections into post-edge abutting colinear relationship in which the end posts of adjacent sections and said male and female connector elements confront and are disposed relatively one above the other and thereupon mating said connector elements, said panel being seated along its top and bottom edges in mullions extending between said posts, and said connector-element affixing means also securing said mullions to the posts.
2. A partition construction comprising a plurality of individual prefabricated partition sections assembled to one another, each of said sections comprising two horizontally spaced upright end posts and a panel extending therebetween and secured at its side edges thereto, said end posts having U-section and being disposed so that the channels defined by the bottom and spaced side wall thereof open to the outer sides of the end posts, at least one male connector element and means afiixing same to the bottom wall of each of the alternate end posts of the sections, at least one female connector element and means aflixing same to the bottom wall of each of the intermediate end posts of the sections, the connector elements being contained substantially within the channels of their end posts and operative through the channel openings, the end posts and connector elements of adjacent partition sections thus confronting one another, said male connector elements each including a tongue fixedly secured to the bottom wall of an alternate end post and extending transversely of the channel thereof and having downwardly tapering wedge shape in both front and side elevation, the female connector elements each comprising upwardly-opening socket-forming means fixedly secured to the bottom wall of its intermediate end post and defining a socket opening shaped complementally to the tongue of said male connector element, whereby said tongues and sockets are capable of being mated solely by relatively downward movement of said tongues into the sockets, said tongues and socket-forming means being positioned at predetermined fixed locations within the channels of their respective end posts such that when the confronting end posts of adjacent sections are brought together and given limited relative vertical movement the tongues and sockets of their confronting male and female connectors mate as aforesaid and in mating secure said confronting end posts together in fully assembled and mutually complementing relationship, the assembled end posts of adjacent partition sections being supported on feet each comprising complemental half-sections meeting along adjacent edges, each half-section including a floor-engaging base part having on its upper face a U-shaped rim defining an open-sided recess which opens through its meeting edge and has width and depth corresponding substantially to the external width and depth dimensions of an end-post section whereby said rim is adapted to snugly receive its lower end of an end post, said half-sections each further including extensions which project beyond their meeting edges, said extensions of the half-sections being arranged to mutually interfit with one another responsive to said half-sections being bnought together into complementing relationship.
3. A partition construction comprising a plurality of individual prefabricated partition sections assembled to one another, each of said sections comprising two horizontally spaced upright end posts and a panel extending therebetween and secured at its side edges thereto, said end posts having U-section and being disposed so that the channels defined by the bottom and spaced side wall there- I of open to the outer sides of the end posts, at least one male connector element and means affixing same to the bottom wall of each of the alternate end posts of the sections, at least one female connector element and means afiixing same to the bottom wall of each of the intermediate end posts of the sections, the connector elements being contained substantially Within the channels of their end posts and operative through the channel openings, the end posts and connector elements of adjacent partition sections, thus confronting one another, said male connector elements each including a tongue fixedly secured to the bottom wall of an alternate end post and extending transversely of the channel thereof and having downwardly tapering Wedge shape in both front and side elevation, the female connector elements each comprising upwardlyopening socket-forming means fixedly secured to the bottom wall of its intermediate end post and defining a sock at opening shaped complementally to the tongue of said male connector element, whereby said tongues and sockets are capable of being mated solely by relatively downward movement of said tongues into the sockets, said tongues and socket-forming means being positioned at predetermined fixed locations within the channels of their respective end posts such that when the confronting end posts of adjacent sections are brought together and given limited relative vertical movement the tongues and sockets of their confronting male and female connectors mate as aforesaid and in mating secure said confronting end posts together in fully assembled and mutually complementing relationship, at least one horizontal mullion extending between the end posts of the individual partition sections adjacent an edge of the panel thereof, said means for aflixing the male and female connector elements to their respective end posts of a section also securing the ends of the 'section mullion to said end posts.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 397,767 Wells Feb. 12, 1889 1,883,871 Bohnsack Oct. 25, 1932 2,061,702 Goddard et a1 Nov. 24, 1936 2,764,107 Niswonger et al. Sept. 25, 1956 2,915,151 Kekenak Dec. 1, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 721,190 Great Britain Dec. 29, 1954 756,449 Great Britain Sept. 5, 1956
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