US3593474A - Means for subdividing an occupiable space - Google Patents

Means for subdividing an occupiable space Download PDF

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US3593474A
US3593474A US3593474DA US3593474A US 3593474 A US3593474 A US 3593474A US 3593474D A US3593474D A US 3593474DA US 3593474 A US3593474 A US 3593474A
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panel
projections
pair
edges
vertical support
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Michael M Neels
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Michael M Neels
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B44DECORATIVE ARTS
    • B44CPRODUCING DECORATIVE EFFECTS; MOSAICS; TARSIA WORK; PAPERHANGING
    • B44C3/00Processes, not specifically provided for elsewhere, for producing ornamental structures
    • B44C3/12Uniting ornamental elements to structures, e.g. mosaic plates
    • 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 modular coordination
    • E04B2/7407Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination 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 modular coordination 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
    • E04B2/7433Removable non-load-bearing partitions; Partitions with a free upper edge modular coordination 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 panels and support posts
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B9/00Screening or protective devices for wall or similar openings, with or without operating or securing mechanisms; Closures of similar construction
    • E06B9/01Grilles fixed to walls, doors, or windows; Grilles moving with doors or windows; Walls formed as grilles, e.g. claustra

Abstract

Means for dividing a room into a plurality of areas, such means comprising a series of preferably latticed panels supported by vertical support elements, preferably removably secured, extending between the ceiling and the floor, and on which elements are provided a plurality of clamping devices, serving to hold the panels fixedly in relation to the vertical support elements. The clamping devices are adjustably movable on the vertical elements. These clamping devices are designed to be tightened by a tap screw, and upon tightening, not only are thereby secured in a fixed position on their respective vertical elements, but also serve to grip the edges of decorative panel members, one or more of which extend most of the distance between a pair of vertical support elements. The decorative panel members may assume many forms but preferably are latticed with areas to receive plastic colored inserts which may be snapped into the portion of the lattice defining such areas, but are removable therefrom. Special plastic tubular fastening devices are employed to secure together in abutment the edges of a pair of panel members.

Description

United States Patent [72] Inventor Michael M. Neels 3732 Keystone Ave., Apt. 9, Los Angeles,

Calif. 90034 [211 Appl. No. 638,025

[22] Filed [45] Patented May 12, 1967 July 20, 1971 [54] MEANS FOR SUBDlVlDlNG AN OCCUPIABLE SPACE 1 Claim, 8 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl 52/239, 52/663 [5 l] Int. Cl 1204c 2/40 [50] Field of Search 52/239,

240, 243, 306, 307, 308, 387. 396, 455, 456, 475, 495, 581, 663, 507, 582, 584; 160/135, 136, 229; 211/182, 183, 184',248/221, 230, 316, 229; 85/39; 24/81 BA, 81 CC 2,962,133 11/1960 Kivettet al. 52/241 X 3,058,266 10/1962 Harvey 52/663 FOREIGN PATENTS 16,418 7/1898 Great Britain 24/81 BA Primary Examiner-Price C. Faw, Jr Anorney-Smyth, Roston and Pavitt ABSTRACT: Means for dividing a room into a plurality of areas, such means comprising a series of preferably latticed panels supported by vertical support elements, preferably removably secured, extending between the ceiling and the floor, and on which elements are provided a plurality of clamping devices, serving to hold the panels fixedly in relation to the vertical support elements. The clamping devices are adjustably movable on the vertical elements. These clamping devices are designed to be tightened by a tap screw, and upon tightening, not only are thereby secured in a fixed position on their respective vertical elements, but also serve to grip the edges of decorative panel members, one or more of which extend most of the distance between a pair of vertical support elements. The decorative panel members may assume many forms but preferably are latticed with areas to receive plastic colored inserts which may be snapped into the portion of the lattice defining such areas, but are removable therefrom. Special plastic tubular fastening devices are employed to secure together in abutment the edges of a pair of panel members.

PATENTEDJULZOWI 9 sum 1 0F 3 MIL SHEET 3 BF 3 PATENTEU JUL20 197:

m 0 M w d A x 5 2 8 4V m MEANS FOR SUBDIVIDING AN OCCUPIABLE SPACE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to means, preferably decorative, for dividing a room into a plurality of areas for occupancy by different persons at the same time, or by the same persons at different times.

It is quite common to find certain types of structures, such as office and restaurant buildings, houses or other edifices, constructed to define large areas which are then subdivided into a plurality of areas by means of partitions. The latter may extend all or part way between the ceiling and the floor of the large area being subdivided. Ordinarily these partitions are permanently installed and include some form of permanently secured vertical support elements to which the partitions are fastened by means of nails, screws, bolts or other common fastening means. Once installed, these partitions can generally only be removed by carpenters or other craftsmen at considerable expense. Moreover, where the partitions are decoratively designed to conform to thedecor of the room, they must be preselected for this purpose, and the decor may be changed only by replacement or repainting of the partitions, again at considerable expense.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides decorative partitioning means which can be readily installed or removed by the average houseowner with no permanent damage to, or

I disfiguring of, the floor, ceiling or walls ofthe room or other space in which the partitioning may be set up. The materials employed are relatively inexpensive and the coloring of the panelling may be substantially modified to match any desired dominant decor, selected for the subdivided areas. Such materials, moreover, may be molded of durable lightweight plastic and formed in unusually attractive designs to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the partitions. The system of the invention utilizes telescoping extendable tubular vertical members as supports for a plurality of preferably rectangular latticed panels disposed between each pair of tubular members. These panels are mounted on and between each pair of tubular members by means of special clamping devices. Each of the clamping devices is slideable over the tubular member and, in effect, has a pair of fingers extending radially therefrom, but which fingers, upon tightening of the clamping means upon the tubular member, close together to grip securely the edges of a panel placed between the fingers. The clamping devices are constructed so as to tighten and close the fingers upon the simple turning ofa tap screw. Pairs of panels are secured together by headed tubular plastic fastening means which are expanded radially by the insertion of studs into the unheaded end of the rivets.

A further feature of the present invention is the provision of removable colored plastic inserts in the lattieed panel members. The panel members are desirably molded in a white plastic or-plastic of some other neutral color. While there will undoubtedly be situations where the architect or owner of the structure in which dividing means, constructed in accordance with the present invention are employed, may desire to have these dividing means entirely ofa neutral color, or wholly ofa special color adapted to blend in with the decor of the room in which they are installed; I have found that it enhances the attractiveness of the dividing means ifprovision can be made for interrupting the single neutral color by at least one other more pronounced color. The difficulty with making the panel members in different colors is that it requires a retailer or distributor to stock the panels in many different colors, or forces him to guess which colors will he demanded by his customers. To avoid the necessity of manufacturing panels in many different colors and the resultant gambles which must be taken by the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer in manufacturing and stocking panels of different colors, I manufacture the panels of neutral colors, but provide small panellike inserts which may be made inexpensively in many different colors and which may be removably inserted into the neutral colored lattice panel. Since the colored inserts are relatively inexpensive-to manufacture and stock, in comparison with the expense of manufacturing and stocking the complete panel, there is much less ofa financial gamble placed upon the manufacturer, distributor and retailer in fabricating and stocking many different colors ofthc small inserts. From the standpoint of the architect or house owner, he or she may pick up a few small plastic inserts of different colors and determine which color will best blend in with the dominantcolor of the room in which the dividing means are to be installed. These inserts may then be ordered in quantity, and then simply snapped into the receptacle portions of the lattice design of each panel member.

The foregoing and other features of the present invention are described hereafter in more detail in reference to the accompanying drawings which illustrate the preferred embodiment ofthc invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view showing a complete assembly of the room-dividing means of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged detailed view, partly in section, of the panel joinder arrangement shown in the circle 2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the fastening means shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detailed view of the clamping device and the manner whereby the panel member is secured to the vertical support, as well as of the colored insert, all as shown in the circle 4 in'FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a plan view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the corner of the panel member shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a section taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 8 is a section taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION A complete assembly of the various components which together comprise the means for subdividing a room in accordance with the present invention is found illustrated in FIG. I. Two cylindrical vertical support elements 10 and 12 are wedged between the floor l4 and the ceiling I6 of a room or other space which is to be divided into a plurality of spaces for occupancy. These vertical elements are of the expanding telescoping type such as are used to support lamps or other devices, and which have been on the market for a number of years. As such per se they form no part of the present invention. The two elements 10 and 12 are arranged perpendicularly so that they are parallel to each other and, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. I, are spaced apart by a distance slightly greater than the width of two decorative members 18.

The panel members themselves may be formed in any configuration, but are preferably decorative in design and ofa latticed construction. When made in a latticed form they may readily be molded of attractive plastic material so as to be capable of manufacture at a minimum cost and in large quantities. One such design is illustrated in more detail in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6, although it will readily occur to persons skilled in the art that many different types of designs may be applied to the panel members. Conceivably, the panel members may even be relatively solid in their central portions so as to prevent a person on one side of the panels fromseeing persons or objects disposed on the other side of the panels. However, in the preferred embodiment, I would employ a latticed design which would only aesthetically break up the room space and not actually prevent a person seeing other persons or objects on the other side of the subdividing means.

Because it is desirable to mold the panels in small dimensions, as for example, 1 foot by 2 fcct,thereby to render each panel more rigid in construction, it is desirable to have a plurality of panels disposed in lateral abutment between their respective pairs of vertical support elements and 12. In FIG. 1, two panel members are thus shown joined together side by side and each of these is further connected to two other panels in endwise abutment.

In order that the panels 18 may thus be joined in lateral and endwise abutments, it is preferable that the design of each panel be such as to provide an edge 20 extending around the circumference of the panel, which edge includes segments 22, to which access may be had from the inside of the panel. These segments 22 may be drilled or otherwise pierced to provide orifices 24,'through which fastening means 26 may be inserted. The drilling of these orifices should be accomplished in such a manner that when two panels are laid side by side for their respective identical lengths or widths, the orifices of one panel will lie in register with the orifices of the other panel.

Actual joinder of two panels may be accomplished by inserting through the registering orifices my novel fastening means 26 comprised of (a) a tubular element 28 having a flange 30 on one end to form a head, and (b) a headed stud 32, having a shank 34 adapted to be force-fitted into the hollow core 36 of the tubular element 28. While the tubular element 28 and headed stud 32 may be made of many different types of materials, I prefer to make them of polyethylene-type plastic, so that at least the cylindrical wall 38 of the tubular element 28 is somewhat resilient. Thus, when the shank 34 of the headed stud 32 forced into the hollow core 36 of the tubular element 28, the cylindrical wall 38 will resiliently expand slightly to produce a tighter fit in the orifice 24. The end result of such a force fitting and joinder thereby effected is best illustrated in FIG. 2. Preferably each edge 20 of the panel members should have at least two orifices for effecting a tight junction with the abutting edge of an adjacent panel.

The groups of panel members which are joined together in the manner last described are mounted to and between the pair of vertical support elements 10 and 12 by means of clamping devices 40. Each of these clamping devices 40, the preferred form of which is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, comprises a collar portion 42 and pair of integrally molded gripping fingers 44 and 46. The annular wall comprising the collar portion 42 is interrupted at 48 at the base of each of the fingers 44 and 46. Preferably the clamping device is formed of a resilient plastic material so that, as the fingers are pulled apart from each other, the interruption 48 is widened and the area defined by the inner annular wall of the collar portion 42 may be somewhat increased. Each finger 44 arid 46 is notched at 50 and 52, respectively, to receive the edge 20 of the panel member. A screw or other threaded fastening element 54 is inserted transversely to the plane of separation of the fingers 44 and 46 in threaded orifices 56 and 58.

In use, the clamping devices 40 are slid over the tubular supporting devices 10 or I2 before the latter are expanded to extend between the floor and ceiling, the fingers 44 and 46 are separated sufficiently to receive the edge 20 ofa panel and the screw 54 is then inserted in the orifices 58 and 56 and tightened. As the tightening occurs, the diameter of the collar portion 42 is decreased to effect a gripping of the collar portion securely on the cylindrical vertical support member; and simultaneously the two fingers 44 and 46 are brought together tightly to hold in place the edge 20 of the panel member 18. Preferably at least two of these clamping devices should be provided for each panel member, although it would be possible to employ a fewer number, but with less secure holding of the entire panel assembly.

In the preferred embodiment of my invention, the panels 18 are molded in a lattice design 60 of a resilient but relatively rigid plastic material such as polystyrene, and includein their designs receptacle portions 62 into each of which may be removably but securely inserted, a panellike colored plastic insert 64. These receptacle portions 62 are formed of pairs of arcuate segments 66 and 68 which are brought together endwise to define an almost elliptical area 70. The inner edge of each areuate segment is provided with a pair of bosses 72 and tab 74, all of which are molded integrally with the'arcuate segment. The bosses of both mating arcuate segments are disposed to present small, flat surfaces 72a lying in one plane 76; and the tabs, other flat surfaces 78, lying in a parallel plane 80. The planes are spaced apart from each other by a distance equal to the thickness of the insert 64. By thus offsetting the flat surfaces of the bosses and the tabs by the thickness of the plastic inserts 70, one of the latter may be easily snapped into the area'defined by the arcuate segments 66 and 68.

The snapping-in and removal of the inserts 64 are accomplished by applying slight pressure with the fingers to the plastic arcuate segments 66 and 68, to decrease the radius of the are. It may readily be seen from FIG. 8 that as the segment 66 is pressed in the direction of the arrow, the projection of the tab 74 is displaced to permit the end of the plastic insert 64 to be snapped into or removed from the median location 82 between the planes 76 and 80.

The configuration and dimensions of the plastic insert 64 are preferably such as to enable the insert completely to fill the area defined by the joined arcuate segments 66 and 68 in an unstressed condition. These plastic inserts 64 may desirably be substantially transparent or they may be opaque, or speckled to whatever extent may be desired by the manufacturer. The material used for the molding of the inserts preferably may be clear high-impact polystyrene, but other flexible materials which can be made in decorative colors and compositions, may also be employed.

From the foregoing it may readily be seen that aesthetically pleasing room dividers employing the features of my invention may be assembled in many different arrangements and the panel members themselves may be constructed in many different designs. Coloring touches to neutrally colored lattice work may be supplied by means of the snapped-in plastic inserts. The vertical support elements may be purchased at many different types of retail hardware and lamp fixture establishmcnts,-their only requirements being that they be of sufficient height to extend between the floor and the ceiling, and that their cross-sectional diameter not exceed the internal diameter of the collar portions of the clamping devices. Because of the ease whereby two panel members may be joined together and clamped to the vertical supporting elements, the assembly may be erected by almost anyone having any degree of manipulative capability. Moreover, since the vertical support elements are removably extended to fit between the floor and the ceiling of the room, the householder or building owner may, if dissatisfied with the particular position selected for the assembly, readily move the same to a different location. Although in the drawings l have illustrated an assembly in which only two panels are joined side by side, and

three endwise, it will readily occur to those skilled in the art undesirably.

While specific devices such as the plastic fastening means, the clamping devices and latticed panels with removable inserts have been illustrated and described herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications of, and substitutions for, these specific devices, may be devised for a similar assembly and yet fall within the concept of the present invention. All such modifications and substitutions are intended by me to be comprehended within the following claims.

lclaim:

l. Means for dividing a room into a plurality of areas, said means comprising:

A. At least two vertical support elements fixedly securable with reference to the floor and ceiling of the room and laterally separated from each other by a preselected distance;

B. A plurality of expandable and contractable collars disposed about each of said elements, each said collar including a pair of fingerlike projections, each of said projections being integral with and extending radially outwardly of said collar, said pair of projections being substantially in abutment but separable from each other along a plane radiating from said collar by the application of force to effect such separation, and being retractable toward each other to effect a clamping action, the abutting sides of said projections being formed complementarily to receive the edge of a panel member; screw means disposed in, and transverse to the plane of separation of, said pair of projections, said screw means serving to contract the collar to secure it tightly to one of said elements and simultaneously to draw together the projections to grip the edge ofa panel member;

C. a plurality of decorated panel members disposed in edgewise abutment between and in a plane which substantially includes each of said two vertical support elements, said plurality of panel members being: i

i. ofa combined width less than said preselected distance between said two vertical support elements but great enough to dispose the outer nonabutting edges of said panel member within the abutting sides of the pairs of projections of said'collars disposed about each of said vertical elements;

ii. of a combined height less than the distance between said floor and ceiling; and

iii. disposed with their outer nonabutting side edges inserted between eaehpair of projections of each of said collars; whereby, upon the tightening of the screw means of said collars, the latter are fixedly secured to their respective support elements and the side edges of the plurality of the panels are securely held in relation to said elements and to the floor and ceiling of the room; and

iv. the abutting edges of each panel member comprising portions at least partially separated from the remainder of the panel member to provide access to said portions from the inner side thereof, and said abutting edge portions being orifices in register and secured together by headed tubular elements inserted into one side of and extending through the registering orifices of the abutting edge portions and secured by headed studs inserted into the unheaded ends of said tubular elements from the opposite side ofsaid orifices.

Claims (1)

1. Means for dividing a room into a plurality of areas, said means comprising: A. At least two vertical support elements fixedly securable with reference to the floor and ceiling of the room and laterally separated from each other by a preselected distance; B. A plurality of expandable and contractable collars disposed about each of said elements, each said collar including a pair of fingerlike projections, each of said projections being integral with and extending radially outwardly of said collar, said pair of projections being substantially in abutment but separable from each other along a plane radiating from said collar by the application of force to effect such separation, and being retractable toward each other to effect a clamping action, the abutting sides of said projections being formed complementarily to receive the edge of a panel member; screw means disposed in, and transverse to the plane of separation of, said pair of projections, said screw means serving to contract the collar to secure it tightly to one of said elements and simultaneously to draw together the projections to grip the edge of a panel member; C. a plurality of decorated panel members disposed in edgewise abutment between and in a plane which substantially includes each of said two vertical support elements, said plurality of panel members being: i. of a combined width less than said preselected distance between said two vertical support elements but great enough to dispose the outer nonabutting edges of said panel member within the abutting sides of the pairs of projections of said collars disposed about each of said vertical elements; ii. of a combined height less than the distance between said floor and ceiling; and iii. disposed with their outer nonabutting side edges inserted between each pair of projections of each of said collars; whereby, upon the tightening of the screw means of said collars, the latter are fiXedly secured to their respective support elements and the side edges of the plurality of the panels are securely held in relation to said elements and to the floor and ceiling of the room; and iv. the abutting edges of each panel member comprising portions at least partially separated from the remainder of the panel member to provide access to said portions from the inner side thereof, and said abutting edge portions being orifices in register and secured together by headed tubular elements inserted into one side of and extending through the registering orifices of the abutting edge portions and secured by headed studs inserted into the unheaded ends of said tubular elements from the opposite side of said orifices.
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US3875711A (en) * 1974-09-06 1975-04-08 Evan Palmer Modular display frame structure
US3906698A (en) * 1972-10-26 1975-09-23 Kunststoff Gmbh Ornamental grille
US5685112A (en) * 1994-09-29 1997-11-11 Fara; Mark C. Apparatus and method for removing structural parts of a building without contaminating adjacent areas
US20030213205A1 (en) * 2002-05-14 2003-11-20 Mauro Muller Adjustable security apparatus for protection of door and window openings
US7159475B2 (en) 2004-02-27 2007-01-09 Honeywell International, Inc. Apparatus and method of sampling semivolatile compounds
US20070113495A1 (en) * 2005-11-23 2007-05-24 Roberts John F Modular assembly system
US20070113484A1 (en) * 2005-11-23 2007-05-24 Mcgregor Jean T Modular assembly system
US20080104923A1 (en) * 2006-11-07 2008-05-08 Boxhorn George R Architectural composite panels and composite systems
US8875774B1 (en) 2012-05-09 2014-11-04 Garrett Flores Protective apparatus for windows and construction areas
US9090117B2 (en) 2011-08-31 2015-07-28 3Form, Llc Decorative panels with recessed patterns and methods of making the same with a flexible die
USD736858S1 (en) 2013-01-11 2015-08-18 Atomic Design, Inc. Panel display plate
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US10041249B1 (en) * 2015-07-31 2018-08-07 Timothy Hebert Adjustable barrier for partitioning a building space
US10226715B2 (en) 2015-10-14 2019-03-12 Atomic Design Inc. Display panel system
US10327545B2 (en) 2016-08-26 2019-06-25 Atomic Design Inc. Display support system
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Cited By (33)

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US3906698A (en) * 1972-10-26 1975-09-23 Kunststoff Gmbh Ornamental grille
US3875711A (en) * 1974-09-06 1975-04-08 Evan Palmer Modular display frame structure
US5685112A (en) * 1994-09-29 1997-11-11 Fara; Mark C. Apparatus and method for removing structural parts of a building without contaminating adjacent areas
US7441370B2 (en) 2002-05-14 2008-10-28 Ricardo Guerra Asunsolo Adjustable and modular security apparatus for protection of door and window openings
US20030213205A1 (en) * 2002-05-14 2003-11-20 Mauro Muller Adjustable security apparatus for protection of door and window openings
US20050081446A1 (en) * 2002-05-14 2005-04-21 Mauro Muller Adjustable security apparatus for protection of door and window openings
US7159475B2 (en) 2004-02-27 2007-01-09 Honeywell International, Inc. Apparatus and method of sampling semivolatile compounds
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