US 3339994 A
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Sept 5, 19,67 w. E. REDDIG 'ETAL 3,339,994
VARIABLE CAPACITY FOOD COMPARTMENT Filed Jan. 20, 1966 cub Y PN w44. w www. W MMMWW /RM ,.4 ,.D .ma mw LH u y w Y .d IWI." n n I A United States Patent O 3,339,994 VARIABLE CAPACITY FOOD COMPARTMENT William E. Reddig, Birmingham, and Harold H. Smith,
Detroit, Mich., assignors to American Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Maryland Filed Jan. 20, 1966, Ser. No. 521,979 1 Claim. (Cl. S12-301) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A variable capacity food compartment slidably supported to the underside of a slidable shelf. The compartment is formed with opposed side walls, a rear wall, an open front closed by a hinged door, a slidable tray as a bottom wall and the shelf as the top wall. The tray is vertically adjustable to different levels to increase or decrease the volume of the compartment.
This invention relates to refrigerator cabinets, and more particularly to a new and improved variable capacity food compartment for use therein.
In the past many types of removable crispers, drawers, compartments and the like, have been provided wit-h a xed volume for storage of food. It is an object of the present invention to form this type of storage which can be increased or decreased at will to provide more volume or less for the storage of food, such as meat, fruit or vegetables.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved sli-dable and adjustable food storage compartment supported upon a shelf member and having a tray serving as the bottom portion of the compartment and being capable of being raised or lowered to increase or decrease the food capacity of the compartment.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and -improved slidable and adjustable storage compartment that has its cover formed by a portion of the shelf member supporting same.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved slidlable and adjustable storage compartment having a frontal opening closed by `a hinged door member thereon that can be lowered to enclose the front opening of the compartment to form a closure therefor. i
The above and other objects ofthe invention will appear more fully from the following more detailed description, and from the drawing, wherein:
FIGURE l is a front elevational View of a refrigerator having the lower door thereof partly broken away lto show the adjustable compartment installed therein.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a refrigerator shelf member showing the solid top portion of the compartment and the compartment per se in withdrawn open position below said shelf member.
FIGURE 3 is a vertical section of the device taken from FIGURE 1 and enlarged.
FIGURE 4 is a section taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.
Referring to the drawing, a refrigerator is shown with the provision compartment door broken away to show the provision space and the several shelves 11 provided therein.
The shelves 11 are made with a chrome plated wire rod frame 12 and smaller wire rod cross pieces, as is commonly known.
On one of the shelves 11 is provided the variable capacity compartment member 13 of this invention; its purpose being to serve as a crisper drawer for fruits and 3,339,994 Patented Sept. 5, 1967 vegetables, for dairy products, meats, or whatever the housewife desires.
The compartment member 13 includes side walls 14 and 15 with a connecting back wall 16 therebetween. As removed from the shelf, it has no top or bottom. It does however include a door member 26 hingedly connected to the side walls near their upper front corners. It als-o makes use of a deep dish tray member 24 as a bottom closure. The tray has a peripheral flange 25 that is engaged in receptive grooves 18 formed on the inner sides of the respective side walls 14 and 14 of the compartment Imember and is thereby slidable in and out of the compartment providing part.
On closer inspection, it will be noted that several grooves 18, at different heights, are provided in the opposite side walls 14 and 1S. This enables the tray 24 to be supported at ydifferent levels and accordingly makes the compartment space thereover of variable capacity.
The compartment member 13 is made slidable on the shelf 11 by means of channel members 19 which are secured to the underside of the shelf and are open towards each other. They are receptive of outwardly disposed flanges 20 formed from the side walls 14 and 15.
The channel members 19 also serve as a support for a cover member 22 over the compartment space. Since they are secured to the shelf below the frame, the cover member is received in the plane of the shelf itself.
Although not necessary, it will be appreciated that the cover 22 and closure door 26 may be plastic and transparent to enable seeing into the compartment space.
The cover -door is sufficient to close the front opening ybetween side walls 14 and 15 when the tray is at its lowermost position and otherwise to close the front of the -tray itself behind it.
While the invention has been described in its preferred form, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
An adjustable compartment for use in a refrigerator comprising in combination, .a refrigerator shelf, a bottomless compartment member slidably mounted 0n said shelf and therebelow, a tray member adapted to provide a slidable bottom closure for said compartment yat different selectedlevels, said bottomless compartment having an open front and opposed grooves formed in the side walls to slidably receive and support said tray member at selected heights therewithin, a door member hinged to said bottomles compartment member to close said open front, and means cooperatively provided on said refrigerator shelf to form a top for said compartment member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,065,116 12/ 1936 Constantine et al. 312-246 X 2,114,878 4/1938 Harbison 312,-345 X 2,140,611 12/1938 Smith et al. 312-246 X 2,266,617 12/1941 Steenstrup et al. 312-246 2,281,690 5/ 1942 Hedlund B12-246 2,520,133 8/1950 Donovan 312-301 2,801,146 7/1957 Mikulas 312-301 3,087,764 4/ 1963 Schless 312-345 X DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.
JAMES T. MOCALL, Examiner.