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Патент USA US3033340

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May 8, 1962
e. L. FOWLES ETAL
3,033,330
PARTITION SYSTEM
Filed June 5, 1957
5 Sheets-Sheet 1
QGILBERT L. FOWLES
8| GORDON J. POLLOCK
BY
ATTORNEYS
May 8, 1952
G. L. FOWLES ETAL
3,033,330
PARTITION SYSTEM
Filed June 5, 1957
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
U
GORDON J. POLLOCK
01% 6XMJMA/
ATTORNEYS
May 8, 1962
G. |_. FowLEs ETAL
PARTITION SYSTEM
Filed June 5, 1957
3,033,330
'
5 S-heet-s-Sheet :s
INVENTORS
GILBERT L. FOWLES 8x
BgORDON J. POLLOGK
0% arm
ATTORNEYS
May 8, 1962.
G. L. FOWLES ETAL
3,033,330
PARTITION SYSTEM
Filed June 5, 1957
_
5 Sheets-Sheet 4
2
FIG. 7
INVENTOR
GILBERT L. FOWLE 8:
GORDON J. POLLOCK
B
Y
,
0%,, a {W
ATTORNEYS
May 8, 1962
3,033,330
G. L. FOWLES ETAL
PARTITION SYSTEM
Filed June 5, 1957
5 Sheets-Sheet 5
FIG. IO
28"
42
INVENTORS
GILBERT L.
.
_
_.
,
FOWLES
8|
GORDON J. POLLOCK
if
@fticc
3,033,330
Patented May 8, 1962
2
a few of the various ways in which the principle of the in
3,033,330
vention may be employed.
In said annexed drawing:
PARTITION SYSTEM
Gilbert 1L. Fowles, Avon, and Gordon 3. Pollock, Parma,
FIG. 1 is a general perspective view of two of the posts
installed in properly spaced relation to receive a wall
(Ohio, assiguors to The E. F. Hauserman Company,
Cleveland, ()hio, a corporation of Ohio
panel;
Filed June 5, 1957, Ser. No. 663,643
9 Claims. (61. 189-34)
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 wherein certain ad—
ditional elements of the wall or partition have been en
This invention relates as indicated to a novel partition
system, and more particularly to a new and improved con
gaged with such posts;
10
struction and method of assembly whereby movable parti
tions may be very quickly assembled and disassembled,
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIGS. 1 and 2 but showing
a wall panel mounted on the two posts;
PEG. 4 is an enlarged detail view of the lower end por
tion of one of such posts and of certain of the elements
moreover a?’ording a much improved appearance when
erected.
assembled therewith;
The use of movable partitions and wall panels, more 15
FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail view of the upper end por
especially steel panels, has become increasingly general
tion of such post showing the manner of assembling the
‘same with the upper elements;
not only in large commercial establishments and institu
tions such as manufacturing plants, laboratories and hos
FIG. 6 is a detail view of the upper end portion of a
pitals, but also in many of the newer and more elaborate
oi?ce buildings. There is, however, an increasing interest 20
post showing a modi?ed construction;
The practical advantages of such movable partitions
FIG. 7 is a transverse section taken on the line 7-7
on FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a top plan View of two such posts and the
have long been recognized, but there has been a certain
panels assembled thereto, the upper end portions of such
amount of resistance to their use by architects and others
posts being in section;
in the use of such movable partitions in homes.
.
concerned with the style and general decorative effect of 25
FIG. 9- is an elevational detail view with parts in sec
the buildings involved, this opposition being due largely to
tion of the lower portion of one such post showing mecha
a feeling that such partitions are not sufiiciently ?exible
in their use and arrangement to afford the architectural
and design eltects desired to complement the designs of
the modern buildings themselves. It is accordingly an
important object of our invention to provide a novel form
nism for drawing a panel into secure interlocking en—
gagement therewith;
FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 but taken at right
angles thereto; and
FIG. 11 is a transverse section taken on the line 11—11
of partition or wall panel assembly which may embody
on FIG. 10.
any combination of materials to produce the particular
Referring now more particularly to said ‘drawing and
e?ect desired ‘by the architect. Thus, panels of painted
especially FIGS. 1-3 thereof, the general manner of
35
steel, aluminum, glass, wood veneer and the like may
erecting our new panel assembly will ?rst be explained.
be superimposed or otherwise combined to produce un
The positions for the posts P are ?rst measured and laid
out on the ?oor and U-shaped metal bottom sockets B
are located at the proper intervals. Inner U-shaped mem
and conformation.
bers -C (see also FIG. 10) are ?tted within members B to
Despite the commercial success and general acceptance 40 receive the lower ends of the posts P. Shims may be in~
or" movable walls and partitions for a wide variety of
terposed between the elements B and C as required to
purposes, it has nevertheless been recognized that there are
compensate for slight irregularity of the ?oor and ensure
various substantially unavoidable mechanical di?iculties
that the lower ends of the posts are all at the same level.
likely to cause trouble when a wall or partition is to- be
A drive nail ‘1 (FIG. 10) passing through central aper
moved from one situation to another. Thus, ?oors and 45 tures in elements B and C serves to secure the same to
ceilings are seldom exactly parallel and equidistant over
gether and to the floor.
usual and artistic effects together with moldings, dividers,
posts and trim in general of contrasting or blending color
large areas, and shims and the like may be required to
Top sockets T are similarly secured to the ceiling di
compensate for such variations. The panels themselves
rectly above the bottom sockets B. Such top sockets are
have often been heavy and clumsy to handle and when
heavy sheet metal stampings of four-sided cup form and
assembled to the supporting posts may not always ?t as 50 are provided with horizontal slots 2 and 3 (FIG. 6) to
neatly as desired. It is accordingly a further object of
receive a spring clip in the manner explained below. Bot
the present invention to provide a novel wall panel and
tom socket elements B are similarly provided with three
panel assembly adapted to be installed very rapidly and
horizontal slots 4, 5 and 6 for a like purpose (FIG. 9).
easily and which when thus installed will nevertheless
Each of the posts P is formed of two metal channel
afford a very neat and ornamental appearance.
A still further object of our invention is to provide a
novel post construction adapted to support the wall panels
55 members 7 and 7’ welded together back to back as best .
shown in FIGS. 8 and 11. Each such channel member
is formed with an inner narrower channel portion 8 and
an outer wider symmetrical channel portion 9 having in
and to be installed and removed in a very simple and
expeditious manner.
turned ?ange or lip portions 16v and 11 (FIG. 11). This
Yet another object is to provide a novel method of join 60 arrangement a?ords a structure of generally rectangular
ing the wall panels to such posts whereby the vertical
edges of adjoining panels may directly abut, if desired,
over-all cross-section of the desired rigidity while at the
same time providing for the panel gripping means. The
and be held ?rmly in engagement with each other.
Other objects of the invention will appear as the de
shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 to ?t within the reltively narrow
scription proceeds.
outer channel portions are cut away at the bottom as best
65 U-shape sockets B.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related
The upper end portions such as 12 of such posts are
ends, said invention then comprises the features herein
extensibly slidably mounted on the posts so that their
?ter fully described and particularly pointed out in the
upper ends may be inserted within top sockets T either
claims, the following description and the annexed draw
before or after the lower ends of the posts are inserted
ing setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments 70 within base sockets B. In one simple form shown in
FIG. 5, ‘the upper portion of the post P and such upper
of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but
3,033,330
3
4
portion 12 may be slotted at 13 to receive a bolt to secure
cent such window and mounted in one side of slide 35 is a
the upper portion in properly extended position after
vertically extending rack 39.
The vertically extending channel members 33 and 34
reinforcing the side edges of the panels 28 are formed
with complementary cam portions 40 adapted to inter
engage with the cam portions 37 of slide members 35
forming together a downwardly extending fork ?tting
when they are relatively vertically reciprocated. The
snugly within the respective inner channel portions 8 of
panels may conveniently be mounted by ?rst hanging
the post elements 7, 7’. Only the directly opposed por
them from the lugs 25 on posts P, such lugs entering
tions of such post channel elements comprising the backs
of channel portions 8 extend upwardly above the upper 10 recesses or notches in the backs of ‘the panels. The lower
portion of the back of the panel rests against the corre
edge 16 (FIG. 6) of the post proper. The slide portions
sponding bridge member 26. Slide 35 may now con
14 and 15 are joined together and enlarged at their upper
veniently be reciprccated by means of a tool such as that
ends to ?t within the top socket T and a coil spring 17
shown in FIGS. 9, l0 and 11 comprising a manually
surrounding such slide portions 14, 15 is interposed be
operated crank 41 having a pinion 42 adapted ‘to mesh
tween the upper edge 16 of the post proper and the lower
with the teeth of rack 39. A stud 43 is adapted to pro
edge 18 of such enlarged head portion 19. It will now be
ject through a corresponding aperture in the inner web
seen that such head portion 19 may initially be inserted
portions of post P forming the opposed backs of inner
within the socket T after the latter has been preliminarily
channel portions 8 to hold the tool against vertical move
secured to the ceiling and then, through ?rst compres
sion and then extension of spring 17, the foot of the post 20 ment during its operation. A co-axial boss 44 of greater
dia-neter than stud 43 ?ts within slot 38 in slide 35 to
may be inserted in base socket B. Obviously the described
assist in positioning the tool. When crank 41 is now
arrangement permits very rapid installation and removal
operated to turn pinion 42 in a clockwise direction as
of the posts without any sacri?ce of the necessary rigidity
viewed in FIG. 10, it will obviously act to reciprocate
of the ?nished installation inasmuch as ‘the weight of the
panels will hang directly downwardly on such post P 25 slide 35 downwardly within post outer channel 7’ and
thereby ?rmly interengage the latching cam members 37
without any tendency to compress springs 17.
and 40. It is accordingly noW impossible to swing panel
Upper sheet metal channel members 20 of generally
28 outwardly on the lugs 25 from which it was initially
conventional design may be ?tted about ceiling sockets T
suspended. Moreover, such interengagement of the cam
and held in place by sheet metal spring clips 21, the ends
of which are snapped in slots 2 and 3 (FIGS. 5 and 6). 30 surfaces, when performed in each of the two posts with
which the respective vertically extending side edges of
In a similar fashion, ?oor channel members 22 likewise
the panel are interlocked, serves to tension the panel and
of generally conventional design may be ?tted between
when adjacent panels adjoin one another as shown in
adjacent base sockets B and held ?rmly down in place
FIG. 8, the outer vertical edges of adjoining panels are
by means of sheet metal spring clips 23 (FIGS. 4 and 10)
brought into close abutment without the irregular crevice
snapped into one of the slots 4, 5 and 6 of base socket B
therebetween which has often been found annoying in
and bearing down on the bottom 24 of the channel.
installations prior to our invention. Channel member 33
The posts P are provided with projecting lugs such as
and the sheet metal side edge portion 31 welded thereto
25 on which the wall panels are adapted temporarily to
may desirably de?ne angles slightly less than 90° as addi
be supported during mounting and demounting of the
tional insurance that the outer vertically extending edges
latter as explained in detail below. A trough-shaped
of adjacent panels may be brought into close uniform
bridge or brace member 26 carried by brackets such as
juxtaposition and abutment. It will be appreciated, how
27 on the lower portions of posts P extends between ad
ever, that such abutting edges may themselves be recessed
jacent posts to serve both as an additional rigidifying ele
insertion. A somewhat modi?ed form of extensible upper
portion is shown in FIG. 6 comprising two channel shaped
slide portions 14 and 15 joined at their upper ends and
ment and also as panel positioning means.
The remaining elements of the assembly may best be
described in conjunction with an explanation of the man
ner in which the wall panels 28 are mounted on the posts.
Such panels may, of course, be of a wide variety of sizes,
shapes and materials and since separate panels form oppo
site sides of each assembly, adjacent rooms may vary in
decor and the panels in one room may be changed at
will without aifecting adjacent rooms in any way. In
a preferred form illustrated in FIG. 3 and 8, the panels
28 may be of rectangular shape of relatively thin gauge
sheet metal, each panel having an inner wall portion 29
to produce a hollow double-walled panel adapted to be
?lled with insulating and ?re-resistant material 30 such
as rock Wool. The outer face of panel 28 is of greater
lateral extent than inner wall portion 29 and is provided
With vertically extending ‘inturned edge portions 31 and
32 welded to vertically extending channel members 33
and 34 respectively.
These latter channel members are
adapted to inter?t generally with outer channel portions
9 of the posts P. A channel shaped slide member 35 ?ts
within each of such outer wider channels 9 of each post
for vertical sliding movement, being retained therein by
to receive trim strips or the like as may be desired for
decorative purposes, or such decorative trim strips may
be directly inserted between and clamped by the adjoin
ing vertically extending panel edges.
The bridge members 26 as well as the upper channel
members 20 serve rigidly to space adjacent posts apart
and resist the lateral pull thereon exerted by the camming
action. Of course, when adjoining panels of a partition
are interlocked with the same post structure, the oppos
ing pulls upon the post will normally balance out. In
fact, it will be apparent that the adjoining panels are in
terlocked by the slides 35 and are thus joined directly
together, the post merely serving to provide a guideway
for slide 35 and to hold the entire assembly erect. When
it is desired to remove a Wall panel 28, the same tool 41
may be employed to reciprocate slide 35 in the other direc
tion to unlatch the panel.
It will be seen from the foregoing that we have pro~
vided a novel method of installing movable partitions and
the like whereby once the ?oor and ceiling sockets have
been properly located and adjusted, the posts may be in
65 serted in place in a very short time and any desired type of
panel mounted thereon. While the particular posts illus
Such slides 35 are
trated and described are designed for the mounting of
provided with a series of inwardly projecting latching
adjacent aligned panels, it is readily apparent that only
cam surfaces 36 and 37 on each side thereof (see also
a half post need be provided where there is to be no cor
the inturned ?anges 10 annd 11.
FIG. 4). These cam surfaces bend inwardly for most 70 responding panel on the other side (as when adjoining the
of their vertical extent as shown in FIGURE 5, with the
outer wall of the building, for example) and that modi?ed
end portions thereof curving back into the plane of the
corner posts may be provided on the same principle from
sides of the slide 35 as illustrated in FIGURE 8. A
which adjoining panels may extend at any desired angle to
vertically elongated window 38 is provided in the back
each other.
The panel sides may be of steel, wood, plywood, plastic
of the lower portion‘ of channel ‘slide member 35. 'Adjas 75
3,033,330
5
6
or glass and may be of cellular or mesh construction as
well as solid. Obviously, a panel serving as one side of
inturned vertical side edge portions, ?rst cam means on
said edge portions, and second cam means carried by said
the partition may be of quite a different type from the
panel serving as the other side, and they are independently
changeable without disturbing the other panel or the sup
post and mounted on said post for relative movement
vertically thereof to engage said ?rst cam means, the en
gaging surfaces of said ?rst and second cam means being
complementary and disposed to draw the said marginal
portions into direct closely abutting relationship and also
to draw both said side portions inwardly toward said
to enclose the posts from view, leaving only a narrow
post.
vertical line de?ning the abutting edges of adjacent panels
6. In a movable panel assembly having horizontally
(FIG. 8). If desired, a trim strip may be inserted be 10
spaced vertical posts and panels secured thereto and ex
tween such adjacent panels and clamped thereby.
porting posts. The latch mechanism interengages the
panel margin portions and the adjoining posts in a manner
A panel assembly somewhat similar in certain respects
to the present partition system is described and claimed in
tending therebetween wherein at least one post has an
application Serial No. 721,226.
least one panel has a rearwardly directed vertically ex
outwardly projecting vertically extending ?ange and at
Other modes of applying the principle of the invention 15 tending ?ange for positioning adjacent said post ?ange; the
improvements comprising means to mount said one panel
may be employed, change being made as regards the ‘de
with respect to said one post for vertical reciprocation
tails described, provided the features stated in any of the
relatively thereto, cam means on each of said post and
following claims or the equivalent of such be employed.
We therefore particularly point out and distinctly claim
panel ?anges comprising lengths thereof bent out of the
as our invention:
planes of said ?anges and toward each other to de?ne
1. A partition system comprising a series of horizon
tally spaced vertical posts, a projecting portion on each of
said posts having a camming surface, a wall panel extend
making sliding contact with each other upon such a verti
cal reciprocation of the panel and post to move said panel
ing between each adjacent pair of said posts and having
in one direction toward the cam means of said post and
complementary camming surfaces, said camming surfaces
marginal ?anges turned toward a post, said mrginal ?anges 25 simultaneously draw said panel in an angularly related
lateral direction across the post, whereby panels may be
each having a projecting portion provided with a camming
surface, said posts and said marginal ?anges being adapted
tensioned between adjacent posts.
7. The panel assembly of claim 6 wherein two panels
extend between the same adjacent posts, said panels being
30 back-to-back and each panel is secured to said adjacent
posts by separate camming means as de?ned, whereby
edge to edge in the direction of their lateral extent upon
one of said panels may be released for removal without
interengagement of said surfaces during such relative lon
affecting the other panel.
gitudinal movement of said posts and panels entirely to
8. The assembly of claim 6 wherein said cam means is
conceal said posts.
2. A partition system comprising a plurality of horizon 35 mounted on said one post for engagement with the ?ange
of said one panel ‘as de?ned at a plurality of vertically
tally spaced vertical posts, a slide member carried by each
spaced regions.
post for relative longitudinal movement therealong each
9. In a movable panel assembly having horizontally
slide member having a camming surface, a pair of wall
spaced vertical posts and panels secured thereto and ex
panels mounted back to back between adjacent posts, said
for relative movement longitudinally of the posts, the
camming surfaces of adjacent projecting post and panel
portions being complementary and disposed to abut panels
panels having inturned margin portions, a projecting por 40 tending therebetween, wherein said panels have rearward
ly directed vertically extending marginal ?anges; the im
tion on each of said inturned margin portions having a
provements comprising means to mount a panel with re
camming surface, the camming surfaces of adjacent slide
spect to a post for vertical reciprocation relatively thereto,
member and panel portions being complementary and so
vertically reciprocable latch means operative when re
shaped simultaneously to draw said panels to said posts
and to abut said panels edge to edge in the direction of 45 ciprocated in opposite directions respectively to engage
their lateral extent upon engagement during such relative
longitudinal movement between said posts and slide mem
and disengage at least one panel from at least one post,
said latch means including a slide member retained for
relative longitudinal movement by said one post and hav
bers, such camming action serving entirely to conceal said
ing an outwardly projecting vertically extending ?ange for
posts and permitting outward removal of a said panel
independently of said other panel of said pair.
50 positioning adjacent the marginal ?ange of said one panel,
cam means on each of said ?anges of said slide member
3. The partition system of claim 2 wherein said posts
and said one panel comprising lengths thereof bent out
have outwardly-projecting vertically-extending sides be
of the planes of said ?anges and toward each other for
tween which to receive said slide member and said in
most of their vertical extent with the end portions of each
turned margin portions of said panels, and said projecting
portion of each inturned panel margin portion projects 55 bent length curving ‘back into the planes of said ?anges,
thereby to de?ne complementary endwise-abutting cam
laterally of said margin portion and toward a camming
surface of a slide member to effect engagement therewith.
4. In a movable panel assembly having horizontally
ming surfaces, said camming surfaces making sliding con
tact with each other upon such vertical reciprocation of
said one panel and slide member to move said panel in one
tending therebetween; vertically reciprocable latch means 60 direction toward the cam means of said slide member and
spaced vertical posts and panels secured thereto and ex
operative when reciprocated in opposite directions respec
tively to engage and disengage said panels from adjacent
posts, said latch means including a slide member adapted
for longitudinal relative movement with respect to at least
one post and having a projecting camming portion, a pro 65
jecting portion on at least one panel extending toward the
simultaneously draw said panel in an angularly related
lateral direction across the post.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
projecting camrning portion of said slide member and
1,076,838
Okun ________________ _.. Oct. 28, 1913
having a camming surface complementary thereto to make
sliding contact therewith upon such vertical reciprocation,
and rack and pinion means supported by the post and slide 70
member operative to effect such vertical reciprocation be
tween said post and slide member and also thereby a slid
1,094,278
Van Den Plas ________ __ Apr. 21, 1914
1,506,442
1,865,868
2,128,797
2,331,752
O’Hara ______________ __ Aug. 26,
Lowy ________________ __ July 5,
Bohnsack ____________ __ Aug. 30,
Wilson ______________ __ Sept. 23,
ing contact of the complementary camming surfaces.
5. A post ‘and panel assembly comprising a vertical
2,435,286
2,673,775
Manhard ______________ .__ Feb. 3, 1948
Silverman ____________ _._ Mar. 30, 1954
post, two panels having marginal portions provided with 75
2,747,236
French ______________ __ May 29, 1956
1924
1932
1938
1941
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