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Publication numberUS2492107 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1949
Filing dateJan 22, 1947
Priority dateJan 22, 1947
Publication numberUS 2492107 A, US 2492107A, US-A-2492107, US2492107 A, US2492107A
InventorsHoven Alfred C, Orton Merritt K
Original AssigneeAmerican Seating Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retracting type theater chair
US 2492107 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 20, 1949 I M. K. ORTON ET AL 2,492,107

RETRACTING TYPE THEATER CHAIR Filed Jan. 22, 1947 5 Shee ts-Sheet l INVENTORS Jlerr if n QAlfred CJYoa- INVENTOR ATTORNEY v 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan 22, 1947 [km.20,1949 M.K.ORTON ETAL 2A82J07 RETRACTING TYPE THEATER CHAIR Filed Jan. 22, 1947 s Shets-Sheet5 INVENTORS )[erriii K. Orion @Zllfred C.}Ior7en BY C] ATTORN EY chair I UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE RETRACTINGTYPE THEATER CHAIR Merritt K. Ortonland Alfred C. Hoven, Grand Rapids, Mich., assignors to American Seating Company, Grand ltapids, Mich., a corporation of New Jersey l Application January 22, 1947, Serial No. 723,572

i The present inventionwrelates to chairs :and

l more particularly tochairs of the retractingtype adapted for installation in theaters, auditoriums andfl'the like. l 1 I The primary objects ofthe invention are to provide an improved chair of the retractingtype wherein the chair occupant may move the seat and back assembly rearwardly in order to permit others topass in front of him without his having toriseirom his-seat; toprovide sucha having a self-folding seat which, vwhen lthe chair is in its forward or unretracted position, automatically tilts upwardly thus to increase the space in front ofthe chair when it is unoccupied and to facilitate ingress and egress of theater patronsbetween the rows of chairs in a theater, and which upward tilting of the unoccupied seat also facilitates sweeping underthe 1 \chair ;.,,to

provide a retracting: chair in which the seat and hack assembly, when unoccupied, is normally in a forward or unretracted position thus to increase the space to the rear of the chair for the, added comfort of thehoccupant of a chair, in the rear thereof; to provide a retractingchair which, in normal use, is not retractable unlessoccupied; to provide sucha retractingchair which, when unoccupied, normally assumes a position in which the seat andback assembly are forwardlymoved and in which the seat is upwardly tilted, whereby a plurality of such chairs installed inrowsin a theaterpresents a uniform and attractive appearance; and in ,generalrto provide such a, retracting chair which is quiet and efflcientin operation and reasonablyeconomical in manufacture. T H

Illustrative embodiments of the invention ,are

shown inthe accompanying drawings, wherein:

:Figure l is a front elevational view of .a theater chair of the retracting type installed .between spaced uprights or standards; T Figure 2 is a sectional view of thesametaken on line 2-2 of Figure Land showingthe chair in a forwardly extended or unretracted position ofoccupancy; a, a r

Figure 3 is a View. similar to Figure 2 and showing the chairin. a retracted position of occumn z r Figure 4 is an enlarged, fragmentarysectional view of certain parts-as seenin Figure 2;

, Figure 5 13a fragmentaryview partly in front elevation and partly insection taken on line F of Fleur; T i

1 1 Figure 6 isayi ffimentary viewpartly in elevang sectiontaken on line -6 of 11 Claims. (01. 155-116) Figure 7 is a view of the chair similar to Figures 2 and 3 and showing the chair in a forward or unretracted position with the seat thereof in the upwardly tilted position which it assumes when unoccupied; and i Figure 8 is a 'view similar to Figure? and showing a slightly modified construction. T

Figure 9 is a section taken on line 99 of Figure 5.

Referring now in detail to these drawings, the retracting chair there shown generally comprises a chair seat I0 and a chair back ll mountedfor retracting and returning movement upon a frame which comprises spaced, upright, chair-supporting standards 12 which may be secured to the floor by any conventional means (not shown). As shown the only rigid connection between the standards is the floor upon which they are installed, but if desired the standards may be connected by a suitable cross-tie beneath the seat. As herein used, the word frame is intended to include either spaced standards as shown, or a unitary structure adapted to support the parts hereinafter described.

Side supports i3 are secured to the inner faces of the standards l2 as by bolts [4 which pass through aligned apertures in each side support 13, the adjacent standard I2, and the side support I3 of the adjacent chair, and which bolts are provided with nuts l5 for securing these parts in assembly. The upper ends of the side sup ports 13 are turned inwardly, upwardly and then outwardly to form enclosed ways It which are slightly inclined from the horizontal in a forwardly-downwardly direction.

Carriers H are provided at the opposite sides of the chair and are mounted thereon for forward and rearward movements, each carrier being provided at its lower rearward corner with a roller I8 turnably mounted thereon by means of a bracket l9 secured as by welding to the inner face of the carrier. The rollers I8 bear in the ways of the side supports l3, and the forward and rearward movements of the carriers are limited by contact of the brackets IS with stops 20 and 2| secured by any suitable means such as the screws 22, 23 in the front and rear ends respectively of the ways I6.

Supporting links 24 have their lower ends pivotally connected at 25 to the lower front comers of the side supports respectively, and have their upper ends pivotally connectedat 26 to forwardly extending arms 21 on the carriers l1 respectively. The chair back "is rigidly secured to and between the carriers ill asrbymeans of screws 28.

The chair seat It is mounted on the carriers I! pivotally about a horizontal axis by means of spindles 29 (see Figure 5) each of which has a head SE? seated in a recess Si in the adjacent carrier H, a flattened portion 3&0, which is keyed in an opening Ella in the carrier l7, and a shank 32 upon which is turnably mounted a sleeve fixedly mounted in the adjacent side wall 5% of the sheet-metal seat foundation 35 means of annular brackets 36 and 3? secured to the side wall 34 as by welding. A helical spring 33 circumscribes the inner end of each spindles shank 32 and has one end thereof secured to the inner end of the shank 32 and the other end thereof secured to the adjacent annular bracket This spring 38 normally urges the seat toward its upwardly tilted or raised position of nonuse shown in Figure 7.

It will be seen that the seat It, back H, and carriers ll constitute a seat and back assembly which is mounted for movements to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, and it will also be seen that as the assembly is moved rearwardly the front supporting links will effect a turning movement of the carriers i'i about the axis of the rollers 58, thus causing th back I! to assume a near-vertical position in the retracted position of the chair.

When the chair seat ii) is lowered to its position of occupancy, it is supported forwardly of the seats pivotal connections on the seat carriers I! by means of lateral projections or spindles 39 (see Figure 6) on the opposite sides of the seat foundation 35 which are provided with rollers 49 movable in forwardly-rearwardly extending ways 4! in the supporting links 24. When the chair is occupied, the rollers bear freely along the ways durin retracting and returning movements of the chair.

The upper end of each supporting link 24 has an inner plate portion 42 which is secured to the link at three places, viz. above the pivotal connection of the link to the adjacent carrier, at the welded-together complementary embossings 43 and 44 on the link proper and the plate portion 42 respectively, and at the welded connection between the link proper and the plates lower flange 45 (see Figures 4 and 6). It will be seen that the inner plate 42 thus forms an integral part of the adjacent link 25 and a forwardly rearwardly extending opening :36 in the plate permits forward-rearward movement of the adjacent spindle 35 which extends through said opening. This plate 42 with its opening confines the adjacent roller so to its way ill in any forwardly-rearwardly moved position of the seat except the forwardmost position thereof, wherein an arcuate slot 4! in the plate accommodates the projection or spindle iii? during upward and downward tilting movement of the seat. Upward tilting movement of the seat is limited by contact of the projection or spindle as with the upper end of the slot 41.

The supporting links 2 3 are preferably connected by a strut 58 here shown as of tubular metal, in order to give the structure additional rigidity.

From the foregoing description it will be seen that when the chair is in its normal forward position of occupancy shown in Figure it may be moved freely rearwardly to its retracted position shown in Figure 3, at the will of the occupant. However when the chair is in its forward position shown in Figure 2 and the occupant rises therefrom to leave the chair unoccupied, the seat is automatically upwardly tilted by springs 38 to its position of non-use shown in Figure 7, in which position the projections 39 are confined within the slots ll and are thus not free to move rearwardly relative to the links 24. This arrangement provides a latching means whereby the chair is latched in its forward or unretracted position when unoccupied, said latching means being rendered ineffective when the seat is again lowered in response to the weight of another occupant thus to permit retracting movement of the chair.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in Figures 1 through '7, it is conceivable though unlikely that a theater patron might leave his chair unoccupied in a retracted position. This situation would not detract from the utility of the present invention because the amount of space for passage in front of the retracted chair (Figure 3) is substantially the same as that in front of the forwardly positioned chair with raised seat (Figure 7). Furthermore if the chair occupant in the rear of the unoccupied, retracted chair should desire more space in front of him, it would be easy and obvious for him to push the chair in front of him forwardly whereupon said chair would assume its preferred unoccupied position shown in Figure 7. However if it is desired that all of the chairs in a theater present a uniform appearance when unoccupied, the structure may be modified as illustrated in Figure 8 by the inclusion of springs for normally urging the chair to its forwardmost position. Such a spring is designated 53 in Figure 8 and it is shown connected to the adjacent seat carrier Il and front supporting link 24 and is thus well suited to this purpose.

The various sheet metal parts of the structure may desirably be strengthened by suitable embossings, as shown.

While but two specific embodiments of the invention have been herein shown and described, it will be understood that these embodiments might be further modified or altered without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the following claims.

We claim:

1. In a chair, a supporting frame, a seat and back assembly mounted on said frame for movement to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, said seat independently of the back being movable about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, latching means for positively securing said seat and back assembly against rearward movement when said assembly is in its forward position and the seat is in its upwardly tilted position, and said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of an occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to permit retracting movement of the seat and back assembly.

2. In a chair, a supporting frame, a seat and back assembly mounted on said frame for movement to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, said seat independently of the back being movable about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, latching means for positively securing said seat and back assembly against rearward movement when said assembly is in its forward position and the seat is in its upwardly tilted position, said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to permit retracting movement of the seat and back assembly, and spring ammo? means normallyiurging theseat toward its upwardly tilted position. n i i 3. In achair, a, supporting frame,ta seat and back assembly mounted on said frame for movement to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, said seat independently of the back being movable about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, latching means for positively securing said seat and back assembly against rearwardamovement when said assembly is in its forward position and the seat is in its upwardly tilted position, said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of an occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to permit retracting movement of the seat and back assembly, spring means normally urging the seat and back assembly toward its forward position, and other spring means normally urging the seat toward its upwarldly tilted position. I I I I 4. In a chair, a supporting frame, apainof spaced supporting links each having its lower end pivotally connected to said frame, a pairfofcarriers each pivotally connected at its forward end to the upper end of a supporting link, means on the frame for movably supporting the rearward ends of said carriers, a back mounted on the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, means for limiting the movement of the carriers to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, latching means associated with the seat and with a link for positively securing the seat against rearward movement when said seat is in its forward and upwardly tilted position; and said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of an occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to permit retracting movement of the seat.

5. In a chair, a supporting frame, a pair of spaced supporting links each having its lower end pivotally connected to said frame, a pair of carriers each pivotally connected at its forward end to the upper end of a supporting link, means on the frame for movably supporting the rearward ends of said carriers, means for limiting the movement of the carriers to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, a back mounted on the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, means for supporting the seat forwardly of its pivotal mounting on the carriers when the seat is in its lowered position comprising forwardly-rearwardly extending ways on the links and lateral projections on the seat movable in said ways.

6. In a chair, a supporting frame, a, pair of spaced supporting links each having its lower end pivotally connected to said frame, a pair of carriers each pivotally connected at its forward end to the upper end of a supporting link, mean-s on the frame for movably supporting the rearward ends of said carriers, means for limiting the movement of the carriers to forwardly extended and rearwardly retracted positions, a back mounted on the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of Occupancy, spring means for normally urging the seat toward its upwardly tilted position of non-use, means for supporting: the :1 seat; forwardly of its pivotal mounting on the carriers when the seat is in its lowered position comprising forwardly-rearwardly extending enclosed ways on the links and lateral projections on the seat movable in said ways and confined therein in any forwardly-rearwardly moved position of the seat except said seat's for: wardmost position, said links having arcuate slots therein extending upwardly from the forward ends of the ways and adapted to accommodate said lateral projections during the seats pivotal movement when in its forwardmost position.

1 7. In a chair, a supporting frame having forwardly-rearwardly extending ways at opposite sides thereof, carriers having their rearward ends bearing in said ways respectively for forward and rearward, movements, supporting links having their lower ends pivotally connected to the frame and their upper ends pivotally connected to the forward ends of said carriers respectively, a back mountedon the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers, latching means mounted on the seat and on said links for positively securing the, seat against rearward movement whensaid seat isin its forward position and unoccupied, said latching means being rendered ineffective by the weight of an occupant of the chair, thus to permit retracting movement of the seat.

8. In a chair, a supporting frame having forwardly-rearwardly extending ways at opposite sides thereof, carriers having rollers at their rearward ends bearing in said ways respectively for forward and rearward movements, supportin links having their lower ends pivotally connected to the frame and their upper ends pivotally connected to the forward ends of said carriers respectively, a back mounted on the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers, latching means mounted on the seat and on said links for positively securing the seat against rearward movement when said seat is in its forward position and unoccupied, said latching means being rendered ineffective by the Weight of an occupant of the chair, thus to permit retracting movement of the seat.

9. In a chair, a supporting frame having forwardly-rearwardly extending ways at opposite sides thereof, carriers having their rearward ends bearing in said ways respectively for forward and rearward movements, supporting links having their lower ends pivotally connected to the frame and their upper ends pivotally connected to the forward ends of said carriers respectively, a back mounted on the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, latching means mounted on the seat and on the links for positively securing the seat against rearward movement when said seat is in its forward and upwardly tilted position, and said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of an occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to prevent rearward movement of the seat.

10. In a chair, a supporting frame having forwardly-rearwardly extending ways at opposite sides thereof, carriers having their rearward ends bearing in said ways respectively for forward and rearward movements, supporting links having their lower ends pivotally connected to the frame and their upper ends pivotally connected to the forward ends of said carriers respectively, a back mounted on the carriers, a, seat mounted on the carriers for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a, lowered position of occupancy, latching means mounted on the seat and on the links for positively securing the seat against rearward movement when said seat is in its forward and upwardly tilted position, said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of an occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to prevent rearward movement of the seat, and spring means normally urging the seat toward its upwardly tilted position.

11. In a chair, a supporting frame having forwardly-rearwardly extending ways at opposite sides thereof, carriers having their rearward ends bearing in said ways respectively for forward and rearward movements, supporting links having their lower ends pivotally connected to the frame and their upper ends pivotally connected to the forward ends of said carriers respectively, a back mounted on the carriers, a seat mounted on the carriers for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis to an upwardly tilted position of non-use and to a lowered position of occupancy, latching means mounted on the seat and on the links for positively securing the seat against rearward movement when said seat is in its forward and upwardly tilted position, said latching means being rendered ineffective when the weight of an occupant lowers the seat from an upwardly tilted position, thus to prevent rearward movement of the seat, spring means normally urging the seat toward its forwardmost position, and other spring means normally urging the seat toward its upwardly tilted position.

MERRITT K. ORTON.

ALFRED C. HOVEN.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 329,929 Eaton Oct. 27, 1885 1,802,606 Krause Apr. 28, 1931 1,887,240 Hanson Nov. 8, 1932 1,911,127 Wasserberg May 23, 1933 2,257,583 Wood Sept. 30, 1941 2,346,269 Travers Apr. 11, 1944

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US329929 *May 25, 1885Nov 10, 1885 Amandus metzgeb
US1802606 *Dec 31, 1928Apr 28, 1931Max KrauseChair
US1887240 *Feb 19, 1930Nov 8, 1932American Seating CoTheater chair
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2803290 *Nov 18, 1952Aug 20, 1957Gen Motors CorpSeat mechanism
US4072342 *Apr 20, 1976Feb 7, 1978Pontiac Furniture Industries, Inc.Recliner chair
US6817668May 16, 2003Nov 16, 2004Steelcase Development CorporationSeating unit with variable back stop and seat bias
US6905171Feb 28, 2003Jun 14, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationSeating unit including novel back construction
US6991291Feb 1, 2005Jan 31, 2006Steelcase Development CorporationBack construction for seating unit having spring bias
US7040709Feb 1, 2005May 9, 2006Steelcase Development CorporationBack construction for seating unit having inverted U-shaped frame
US7114777Sep 21, 2004Oct 3, 2006Steelcase Development CorporationChair having reclineable back and movable seat
US7131700Feb 1, 2005Nov 7, 2006Steelcase Development CorporationBack construction for seating unit
US7237841Feb 1, 2005Jul 3, 2007Steelcase Development CorporationBack construction with flexible lumbar
US7427105Sep 18, 2006Sep 23, 2008Steelcase Inc.Back construction for seating unit
US7458637Jun 10, 2004Dec 2, 2008Steelcase Inc.Back construction with flexible lumbar
US7523988 *Aug 19, 2004Apr 28, 2009Milsco Manufacturing Company, A Unit Of Jason IncorporatedSeat, suspension, bolster and shell
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/332, 297/342
International ClassificationA47C7/58, A47C7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/58
European ClassificationA47C7/58