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Publication numberUS1488888 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 1, 1924
Filing dateNov 10, 1922
Publication numberUS 1488888 A, US 1488888A, US-A-1488888, US1488888 A, US1488888A
InventorsPat eeney P. Lewensghet
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1488888 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

8 8 8, 8 8 4, l Nw Hm cOUDE Nmo. ENT* WH. Emw LLN .Hmm .Ml .l HWF \T April l, 1924.

l; Armen/Er Patented Apr. l, 1924.

Pi'lhiht'll FFCE..



Application vfiled November 10, 1922. Serial No. 599,977.

To all w/zont 'it' may concern:

lie it known that l, HENRY F. LnwnN- sont?, citizen of the Unit-ed States, and resident of the city of New York, in the county of New York and State of New York, have invented' certain new and useful improvements in Theater-Lighting Devices, oi which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to theater lighting and is especially applicable lto systems and devices tor lighting aisles and seat spaces in theaters. y

@ne of the objects 0i this invention is the provision ot simple, compact means, so positioned with relation to the seat as to be ordinarily unnoticed, for automatically lifting a seat into a substantially upright position whensaid seat is unoccupied and for so indicating unoccupied seats that an empty seat may be readily located from a considerable distance by an observer though the house be in darkness.

A still further object contemplated by this invention is the disposition of seat and aisle lights in such a manner as to prevent panic due to darkness in case of accidental cutting oii of the current from the remaining lamps of the house.

For the attainment of the aforesaid and other objects which will appear as the description progresses, l employ the devices, arrangements, and combinations oi parts shown in the preferred forms in the accompanying drawings, in which,

Fig. 1 is a front elevation of part of-a row of theater chairs showing my improved device in position thereon. Fig. 2 is a wiring diagram of one of the possible circuits to the various seat and aisle lights. Fig. 3 is a side elevation of a chair with my improved device in position thereon. Fig. et is a vertical section of the chair arm showing the preferred means for casting the illuminated aisle letter on the iioor. Fig. 5 is a vertical section of the automatic seat lighting device and seat lifter. Fig. 6 is a vertical section of the same on line 6-6 of Fig. 5. Fig. 7 is a plan view of a lens which may be used in the illumination of aisle designating character.

ln the illustrated practical embodiment of my invention, I preferl to provide means arranged on the exit lighting circuit and positioned under each seat for lighting up part of the floor area when the seat is raised or unoccupied. This arrangement is advantage particularly in n'iotic-n picture theaters. Panic has been occasioned in such theaters by reason of the tact that the picture machine voperator in emergencies, such as in case o't Ytir-eend in the excitement incident thereto, sometimes unthinkingly opens the master lighting switch to cut ofi the power from his machine quickly, whereby the entire house is thrown into darkness. The exit lighting system is however, usually connected on a different circuit from the remaining lights of the house, and is therefore unail'ected b the throwing out of the master switch. Jy arranging my iinproved seat and aisle lighting system on the exit lighting circuit, sufficient light is always provided for the orderly exit of the audience in emergencies, even though th rest of the lighting system is out of operation.

Referring to the wiring diagram, (Fig. 2), the source of current 10 suppliespowerto the conductors 11 and preferably to the exit lights, not shown. The aisle light 12 receives its current through the conductor 13 suitably connected as in parallel to the conductors 11 whereby said light 12 is always lighted when the exit lamps 4are lighted. Each of the theater chairs 1Q is supplied with lamp 14 arranged in a suitable casingr as 16, said lamp 14- being preferably connected in parallel with the conductors 11.

VA switch 17, controlled by the raising and lowering of the chair seat 18, is interposed in the line to said lamp, as will be more fully dfscribed hereinafter. It will be noted that the light from the 'lamps 12 and 14- is out of the line of vision to the stage, and is so directed that only predetermined .portions of the floor ot the theater are illuminated, and that the stage and house lighting eil'ects are therefore in no manner interfered with. The'lamp 14 is preferably arrangedin the hollenr arm 19 of the chair 15, and is positioned above a lens 20. aid lens has the opaque aisle character 9.1 preferably painted or otherwise formed thereon, Fig.l 7, and is preferably obliquely arranged sothat the light from the lamp 12 is cast in the aisle alongside of the end seat of therow in theinanner indicated in Fig. 1. The opaque letter et the lens serves to cut oil' the light from a portion of the illurninated part ot the floor so that the charactor appears on the tloor of the aisle as a dark surtace in the midst ot a lighted area 22.

Referring now to the means for casting a light underneath the seat, the casing 16 carries the lamp socket 23, in which the lamp 24 is mounted. Said lamp 24 is preterably ot an extremely low candle power, whereby the light trom said lamp stands out principally because of the contrast with the sin rounding (lari-:ness ot the floor and the consumption of current is minimized. A suitable cover as 25 tor said casing 16 is provided with a suitable opening as 26 preterably near the lower end thereof, through which opening the lighttrom the lamp 24 is cast on the floor. A similar opening 2T may be made near the bottom edge ot the other side ot the casing' 16, for allowing the light from the lamp 24 to be directed on to the tloor underneath the seat. The metal ot the cover 25 and ot that part of the casing 16 immediately above the openings 26 and 27 respectively, is pressed outwardly a suticient distance so that the light from the lamp 24 may' pass through said openings on to the door, the curvature of the pressed out portion being such as to direct said light on to the l'ioor adjacent to said casing 16. Suitable wires as 28. 29, are connected to the socket 23 and lead to the hinge jaws SO ot the knite switch 17. Said knife switch is secured as by means ot its base 31, to the upper side of the casing 16, as by means ot any suitable fastening such as the bolt 82. The switch cross bar 33 is connected to the knife blades 34 of the switch and has a suitable opening near the middle thereof, through which the bent end 54 ot the rod is passed. At the upper end of said rod 35, is a suitable roller 36, adapted to engage the under side ot the chair seat 18, a suitable plate as 37 being secured to the under side ot said seat to minimize the friction ot the roller thereon. Said rod 35 is suitably 'supported for vertical reciprocation as by means ot the tube V38 suitably mounted in the casing 16 as by means oit the nut 39. A collar as 40 near theupper end ot the rod 35 serves to limit the upward motion ot said rod when said collar comes in contact with the bushing 41 securedilrthe upper end of' said tube 38. For urging saidV rod 35 into its uppermost position, a compression spring 42 is inserted coaxially with said rod in said tube 38 between said collar 40 and the nut 39.

It will be seen that when the seat 18 is lowered into position tor occupancy, the rod 35, through the roller 36, is forced downwardly, whereby the bentt end 54 thereof carries the cross bar 33-ot thel switch 17 downwardly, thereby openingl said switch andfcuttingA off; thev current .fr-emi the.-y lamp 24. When the seated person rises, the compression spring 42 raises the rod 85, whereby the seat is lifted, and more room for passage in the row is provided, the spring at the same time causing the bent end 54 ot the rod to raise the cross bar 33 of the switch and to light the lamp 24. Wires 43 are connected to the split switch jaws 44 and obtain power from a suitable source et current as 10. Said wires preferably pass out ot the side of the casing 16 and are enclosed in a suitable tube Said tube 45 is joined to the tube 46 in the usual manner. The tube 46 carries in turn the wires or conductors 11 near the lower rear part o't the chair and is preferably arranged just .in tront of the usual foot rest, whereby said tube 46 and the wires carried therein are protected from the feet ot the occupants ot the chairs immediately behind.

The lamps 24 and 12, by being arranged on the exit lighting circuit are inoperative unless the theater is in use and need no an tention. Said lamps by throul'ing their light on the floor are out of the line or" vision and ldo not tend to distract the attention of the audience, while at the same time they give sutiicient light at all times with a minimum consumption et cu "rent, to allow the orderly movement of the audience in emergencies, as in case of fire. The lamps are preferably ot about one candle power, and while inexpensive to operate, give sutlicient-l light, by con trast with the surrounding darkness, to enable an observer to discover empty seats and aisle characters quickly and at a considerable distance.

It will be understood that various changes may be made in the device illustrated without departing -from the spirit ot my invention, such changes including for `instance the l substitution of means other than the spring shown tor raising thel rod 35, changing the arrangement and connections of the switch 17 and of the lamps, changing the wiring of the various parts, and changing lshe position and means ot' application ot the character on the lens.

I claim:

1. ln a seat litter and lighting device. a casing having an opening'near the bottom thereof. means adapted to automatically raise a seat projecting part way through said casing, and means in said casing operatively connected to said seat raisingmeans for illuminating through said opening a portion of the floor underneath said seat in the raised position of said seat and for automatically cutting off the illumination on the lowering of said seat.

2. In combination with av chair having a movable seat, means adapted to engage the underside of said seat for urging Ysaid seat into f its raised position, a lamp, a switch mechanically connected` to the seat engaging means for illuminating saidv lamp when said seat is unoccupied, apertured means for enclosing said lamp and said switch, and means integral with and arranged above the aperture of said enclosing means for directing the light from said lamp down-- wardly.

3. ln a theater seat lifter and lighting de vice, a casing having an opening near the bottom thereof, an electric lamp in said casing arranged t0 throw light through said opening, means for automatically raising said seat when unoccupied, passing through said casing Jfor controlling the flow of current to said lamp, and a switch in said casing operated by said seat raising means and arranged in the circuit to said lamp.

4. In a theater seat lifter and lighting device, a easing having an opening therein, a spring pressed rod, projecting through said casing and adapted to engage said seat, a switch in said casing operatively connected to said rod, and a lamp in said casing controlled by said switch and arranged to cast the light therefrom through said opening.

5. In a theater seat lifter and lighting device, means for engaging a seat, a switch operatively connected to said seat engaging means, an electric lamp connected to said switch and means allowing light to pass therethrough and directing said light toward the door for partially enclosing said switch and said lamp.

6. ln a theater seat lifter and lighting?, device, means for engaging a seat, an electric lamp arranged to illuminate a portion of the loor near said seat, a switch operatively connected to said seat engaging means for cutting off the current to said lamp when.

said seat is occupied, and a casing adapted to allow some of the light from said lamp to pass therethrough and to direct said light toward the l'loor, enclosing said lamp and said switch.

7. In a theater seat lifter and lighting device, a casing having an opening therein, a rod projecting through said casing and adapted to engage said seat for urging said seat into the raised position thereof, a knife switch member secured inside of said casing and connected to the lower end of saidA rod, a second knife switch member secured to said easing and adapted to be engaged by said iirst mentioned knife switch member on the raising ot said seat, and a lamp inside of said casing controlled by said switch and arranged to illuminate through said opening a ilioig'tion of the door ot the theater.

8, ln a seat litter and lighting device, means controllable by said seat for illuminating a portion of the i'locr near said seat when said seat is unoccupied comprising means for engaging the under side of said seat, a lamp, means for urging said seat into the raised position thereof, and

-means operatively connected to said seat engaging means for cutting eti the current from said lamp when said seat is lowered and for allowing current to pass to said lamp when said seat is raised, and apertured means for substantially enclosing said seat engaging means, said lamp and the current controlling means, and 'for directing the light from said lamp through the aperture thereof and on to said floor portion.

9. ln a theater seat lifter and lighting device, means adapted to urge a theater seat into its raised position when unoccupied comprising a plunger rod, a roller at the upper end ci said rod arranged to engage the unser side oi" said seat, means for urging said rod toward its uppermost position and a tube substantially enclosing said rod and said last mentioned means, and a lighting unit connected to the exit lighting circuit adapted to east light on the Hoor near said seat controlled by said rod, comprising a casing into which the lower end of said rod is inserted, said casing being adapted to rest on the floor near said seat and having openings near the bottom thereof, a stationary knife switch member secured to said casing, a moveable knife switch member operatively connected to the lower end of said rod, and arranged to close said switch when said rod is in its uppermost position, and a lamp in said casing` arranged to cast light through the opening in said casing.

Signed at New York, in the county of N. Y. and State of hl. Y., this L1ith day or" Nov., 1922.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2572521 *Aug 4, 1948Oct 23, 1951Thomas Rogers JohnSeat
US2602492 *Mar 25, 1946Jul 8, 1952Fowler Jefferson DElectrically coin-operated chair
US2635681 *Mar 16, 1950Apr 21, 1953American Seating CoSeat and aisle lighting
US3099398 *Oct 28, 1960Jul 30, 1963Croteau LionelCombination tool box and stand
US6145996 *Mar 6, 1998Nov 14, 2000Shimada Enterprises, Inc.Theater lighting system
US6213622Jan 22, 1999Apr 10, 2001Shimada Enterprises, Inc.Step lighting for theaters and the like
WO2005056385A2 *Oct 13, 2004Jun 23, 2005Boeing CoApparatus and method for projecting identifying information onto seats
U.S. Classification297/217.6, 362/802, 362/131
International ClassificationA47C7/72, F21V33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/725, F21V33/00, Y10S362/802
European ClassificationF21V33/00, A47C7/72B