US 2493303 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 3, 1950 R. H. MCCULLOUGH OPERA CHAIR 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 13, 1945 INVENTOR. 05554; 2% McCuu. 006w,
M MM Jan. 3, 1950 R. H. M CULLOUGH OPERA CHAIR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. 05554; 1% McCz/u 006/1,
Filed Nov. 13, 1945 Airmen/5Y5.
0 ,4 f. a a
Patented Jan. 3, 1950 UN lTED STATES PATENT OFFICE OPERA CHAIR/ Russell H. McCullough, Los Angeles,. alif.
Application November-13, 1945, -Serial:N0.628,050 1 8 Claims. v (Cl. 155 -.-1)
This'invention'relates. to opera chairs and con- 1.
templates :morea specifically individual seats 1 :of
theJtype adaptedzeofor assemblyin rows for use in:
theatres: and the-like.
In 'motionarpicture"theatres it'is common ,praca ticeirtocprovideaboth "loge and 1 general admissionseatsxiwhich difier :in their location in the theatre, their size, anchlin the general comfort afforded; Intorder;toxprovideagreater comfort :in the larger loge seatsgztherlatterare more completely enclosedx l0 forward orzlower :areas oft-the theatre auditorium,
where the smaller and :more open seats are dis-z posed;wilhadequatelyicirculate air vthrough the loge section. Accordingly-it often occurs, -,espe-.-; cially: in" Warner-weather,- that. such seats :are actue ally lessrcomfortable-thanthose: availableat-thm lower :priceirof admission:
Itzis a principal objectxof the present -invention..= to :provide antopera 'echair t intended particularly for useinamotiompicture theatres but -incorporat-: ing rnovel *structural; features adapted for utility 1 irr zhospital" chairs,- automobile seata -and the like embodying-An an economical-construction,numer- OHSifEalJll-IGS contributing-to thegreatencomfort Ofiifbl'l' occupant, .andzwhi'ch I in a particular sincor-a porates: an auxiliary air circulatingsystemwherm-- by: airimay be releasedunder pressurearoundan occupantrof thG'x-Ohtil from: both theeseat and. baclcin variable volume; I
Another object of the inventionis the-.PIfOViSlOlln ofr=a tchairhavingqa pivoted back .in combination.v with a sliding seat, the back and seat being; hinge'dwtogethenandadjustable by the: occupant withfacilitm'whereby-the chair-.will-offer comforta: ableisupport to the-occupant seated in a substana:
tia'llyiuprzightnposition or' semi-reclining position More specificallyrit is an :object-ot. thetinven-ltion :to. provide :a @plurality of chairs arranged in.- rows,.- each equipped .-with' a rolled-upholstered; backandqseat into which air under pressuremay. be;=introducedfrom a conduit adapted to supply eachvofvthewchairs ofthe grow, the airlbeing, ejectedcfromeorifices. between the.rolls of theauplholstery against and around the occupant therein.
Still. another .obje ct is theapnovision ina chain otthe. character last above alluded to, of individualvalvular mechanism associated with each achair whereby the=occupant may vary the volume of aairdifected thereinto without materially aifecting; the:: velocity ;.or, quantity: of air ejected :from-a the discharge orifices of the other chairs Ofitheu: group'thereofsupplied frornthe same source;
Stillranother:objectis to provide a sectional a cushion .fdn'both'seat and back of the chair, each; cushionisection beingindividually removablelwithn facility: .toxpermit. substitution "by another rwhen'cu damaged.
Numerous other objects and salient featuresof: my invention; such for: example as. simplicity Of". construction; complete efilcacy and control :ofthe; air circulating system'throughout: the range; of: adjustment of the seat andback; ada'ptabilityn tm-variations indesign and arrangement as well as in the style ofupholstery utilized, economy of I manufacture and relatively small size of the indi--: vidual-chairs; will be apparent to those ofskill in the art -upon* an examination of the following description read in the light of'the'accompanying drawings-in which:
Fig? 1 is a front perspective view; partially 1 broken awayyof' a chair embodying my invention;
Fig. '2 is a perspective view taken from the back of -oneofthe seats showing the foot rest for theoccupant ofthe seat-directly to the rear of the oneshown;
Fig.3 is an enlarged vertical section, partially-* broken awayythrough-the end chair of a row of" chairs depicting the fan for circulating air through all of the chairs in the row;
Fig.1 4 is a transverse :vertical sectional view through "the seat structure of the chair, showing" the rollers on which the seat is movable;
Fig; 5 isa fragmentary horizontal section, illustrating thearrangementof the seat supporting elements;
Fig.g.6 isa perspective view of the back and seat, and single cushion depicting one embodiment of themeans for releasably securing the cushion sections in place;
Fi'g.' 7".is a fragmentary sectional view ofthe' backlandt armof the chair, showing in elevation' one-.of-thevpins bywhich the back is variably sup I ported-ii Referring to the drawings in detail, the numerals of which'indicate. similar parts through-- outHthe-several views, l0 designates generally thesupporting frame of each of a plurality of chairs arranged. in rows as indicated in Fig. 1. Sup porting frame ID for each chair comprises a pairofcvertically-disposed side standards II, we
being located between each pair of chairs and common to both to afford support for each thereof. An additional standard I is disposed at each end of the row to assist in supporting the end chairs. The particular form of side standards II may vary widely in specific embodiments, but is preferably of sufiicient width to assure firm support and to separate the seats (later described) of adjoining chairs, and of a height to provide a mounting for a conveniently located arm rest I3.
A pair of channels I4 are secured in horizontal position by suitable means to opposing surfaces, respectively, of the pair of standards II of each chair for the slidable support of a box-like seat frame I5. The top I6 of seat frame I is of a width to closely approximate the distance between channels I4. A series of rods I8 extend transversely under the seat frame I5 and project into slots I9 in the channels I4. Rollers 2|], journalled on the ends of rods I8, are housed within channels I4 and bear upon the bottom of the channels, respectively, to support the seat I5 as well as the back of the chair, about to be described.
The back of each chair comprises a box frame 2| of a width conforming with that of seat I5, but is preferably of greater length. The lower edge of the forward wall 22 of the frame is pivotally connected by one or more hinges indicated generally at 23 to the rearward end of the top I6 of seat frame I5, whereby the angle between the back 2| and seat I5 may be varied in accordance with the comfort requirements of the occupant. The back 2| is supported in any adjusted tilted relationship by pins 24 which are mounted in the rearward ends of arms I3 and project into slots 25 in sides 26 of back frame 2 I, so as to maintain the adjusted angle of the back while permitting the lower end of the back to follow the seat forwardly when this adjustment is desired and increase its angle of inclination in accordance with the desired adjustment effected by the'occupant. A strip 21 of fabric, leather or other flexible material is connected across the breach between the rear wall 28 and sides 26 of the back frame 2| and the bottom 29 and sides I! of the seat frame I5 to complete the enclosure of the composite frame without interfering with the pivotal relationship between the back and seat. It will be observed that the lower end of the back frame 2| and the rearward end of the seat frame I5 are open, whereby the interiors of the two frames I5 and 2| are in unrestricted communication with one another for a purpose hereinafter more fully described.
The upholstery may be of any type well known in the art but preferably comprises a plurality of elongated blocks 30 of sponge rubber, each structurally separate from one another and individually removably secured to the back and seat frames. Each block 30 is fiat on one side which normally bears against the back or seat frame to which it is attached, and its outer surface is arcuate to form with the other blocks 30 a composite billowed cushion-surface. The underside of each block 30 is provided with a pair of staples 52 arranged in spaced relation and adapted to engage, respectively, a complementary pair of transversely-aligned hooks 53, pairs of which are appropriately arranged on the back and seat. The free ends of hooks 53, mounted on the back frame 2|, are directed upwardly whereby the respective cushion blocks 30 to be associated with the back are engaged in operative position by their downward movement after first aligning staples 52 with the hooks by which respective blocks 33 are to be retained in place. Hooks 53 on the seat frame I5 are directed laterally so as to engage staples 52 of the seat cushion blocks in response to movement of the blocks longitudinally, the staples 52 on the seat cushion blocks 33 being rotated with respect to those adapted for attachment to the back.
Air is circulated beneath the seats of each row thereof through a sectional conduit 3|, the air being drawn into the conduit at one end of the row of chairs and diverted into the seat frame |5 for expulsion through orifices 32 in the seats and backs of the chairs, respectively, in a manner about to be described, or from the opposite end of conduit 3|. Each pair of standards II is accordingly formed with aligned openings into registry with which the ends, respectively, of a section 33 of conduit 3| are secured by suitable means. Each section 33 is in open communication with the like-numbered section carried below the adjoining seat, and is sealed against the re-- lease of any of the air circulated under light pressure therethrough. The openings in the supporting standards II at the end of each row in which the conduit sections 33, under the end chairs, are secured, are covered with circular plates 34 having a plurality of downwardlydirected louvers 35 therein. An electric motor 36 is supported coaxially in conduit 3| adjacent one of the louvered plates 34 by a web 31. The motor shaft 38 carries a fan 39 effective to draw air through the louvers and. induce a draft of air through the conduit.
The air flow through conduit 3| is tapped beneath each chair by a tube 4| which projects through and is secured rigidly in a hole in the upper arc of the conduit intermediate the side standards I I. The open end 42 of each tube 4| is bent within the conduit to extend toward the direction from which the air flows and the outer end extends laterally of conduit 3| directly below the seat frame I5 and in a direction parallel to that in which the latter is movable on the rollers 20. A second tube 43, one end of which is telescopically associated with tube 4|, is mounted to the undersurface of the bottom 29 of seat frame I5 by suitable means so as to move therewith, the opposite end of tube 43 being turned upwardly to project through the bottom 29 of the seat frame I5 and into the interior thereof. Air thus diverted from the conduit into the seat and back frames I5 and 2| through the tubes 4| and 43 is released through a plurality of orifices 32 arranged in rows in the top I6 of the seat frame I5 and in the forward wall 22 of the back frame 2|, the respective rows of orifices 32 being disposed between pairs of sponge rubber cushion blocks 30.
The volume of air diverted from the conduit into each chair may be controlled manually by the occupant thereof. To this end valvular mechanism for each tube assembly is provided comprising a baffle 44 pivotally connected to the lower arc of the end of tube 4| within conduit 3 I. The manually-actuated control for regulating the position of baflle 44 comprises a Bowden wire 41 which is connected to baffle 44 at a point diametrically opposed to its hinged connection with the tube 4|. Wire 41 extends through a flexible conduit 48, the wire and conduit 48 projecting through the wall of conduit 3| and thence laterally to one of standards I I and then upwardly to apointbelow the adjacent arm l3. Wire "41 pro jectsfromzzthe end' of 'th'e flexible conduit for attachmentithrough'a link 49"".to' an actuating lever 50 pivoted to'standard H as 'at 5L; It will be observed .that bypushingleverSO in a forward direction, tension'is applied to'wire 41; and the iiormally open baflle is drawn toward-its closedposition. Movement of lever.50 rearwardly is in a like'manner transmitted to bafileM 'so as to compel the latter to open to an extent corresponding to the degree of movement of the lever.
It will thus be seen that I have provided an opera chair of a type adapted for assembly in rows for use particularly in motion picture theatres and the like, each chair incorporating novel features contributing to greater comfort incident to the embodiment of an adjustable seat and back to support the occupant variably from an upright sitting position to a semi-reclining position, adjustment of each chair in this respect being effected by the occupant incident to shifting his weight upon or pressure against different elements of the chair, as will be obvious, and further of an air circulating system whereby air is ejected through or between the cushions of both back and seat to cool and ventilate the immediate area in which the occupant of the chair is accomodated the velocity and volume of air emitted being subject to positive manual regulation with facility.
While I have shown and described but one embodiment of my invention, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art to which m invention relates that numerous changes in size, design, shape and number of the parts may be made, that any conventional valvular mechanism may be substituted for baffle 44 by which the volume of air diverted from conduit 3| into the chair is regulated, and correspondingly a different mechanical or electrical control may be employed for such valve, that several rows of chairs may be supplied with air from a single fan or an external source, and the velocity of the air flow produced by the fan 39 may be variably controlled by incorporation of conventional means with which the art is familiar, all without departing from the spirit of my invention as defined in the appended claims.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a chair, a seat comprising a base frame and a plurality of separate cushions, means securing each of said cushions to said base frame forming air passages therebetween, and means carried by said base frame to eject air from said seat between said cushions through said respective air passages.
2. In a chair, a pair of standards, a seat frame, means to slidably support said seat frame between said standards, a cushion supported on said seat having air passages therethrough, a conduit below said seat, means to produce a flow of air in said conduit, and means to divert a part of the flow of air in said conduit through said air passages throughout the range of movement of said seat.
3. In a chair, a pair of standards, a seat frame, means to slidably support said seat frame between said standards, a cushion supported on said seat having air passages therethrough, a conduit below said seat, means to produce a flow of air in said conduit, means to divert a part of the flow of air in said conduit through said air passages throughout the range of movement of 6. said seat, and valve means-to vary'the quantity of air; directed through said air passages.
4. In a chair, a pair of standards, a seat frame, means toslidably support. saidseatframe between said standards, a cushion supported on saidwseat having air passages therethrough, a conduitbelow said seat, means to produce a flow of air. in'said conduit,.means to divert a part of the flowof-zair in saidconduit. through saidair passages throughout. the. range .of movement. of said seat, valve means to vary the quantity of air directed through said air passages, and a manual control associated with one of said standards to control said last-named valve means.
5. In a chair, a pair of standards, a hollow seat frame and a hollow back frame, means to support said frame for movement between said standards and relative to one another, each of said frames having an air chamber therein, means to flexibly connect said frames to one another, flexible means to communicate said chambers with one another, a plurality of cushions, means to separately attach said cushions to said frames, respectively, in spaced relation, said frames having vent openings therein between said cushions, and means to supply air under pressure to said chambers for expulsion through said vent openings between said cushions throughout the range of movement of said seat and back frames.
6. In a chair, a pair of standards, a hollow seat frame and a hollow back frame supportedbetween said standards, each of said frames forming an air chamber therein, a plurality of cushions, means to attach each of said cushions independently of one another to said frames, respec tively, in spaced relation to form air passages therebetween, said frame having vent openings therein disposed in alignment and communicating with said air passages between said cushions, respectively, and means to supply air under pressure to said chambers for expulsion through said vent openings and air passages and between said cushions.
7. In a chair, a pair of standards, a hollow seat frame and a hollow back frame supported between said standards, each of said frames forming an air chamber therein, means to communicate said chambers with one another, a plurality of cushions, means to attach each of said cushions independently of one another to said frames, respectively, in spaced relation to form air passages therebetween, said frame having vent openings therein disposed in alignment and communicating with said air passages between said cushions, respectively, and means to supply air under pressure to said chambers for expulsion through said Vent openings and air passages and between said cushions.
8. In a chair, a pair of standards, a hollow frame forming an air chamber therein, a pair of cushions, means to attach said cushions to said frame in spaced relation to form an air passage therebetween, said frame having a plurality of vent openings therein in alignment and communicating with said air passage to communicate the interior of said frame with said air passage, and means to supply air under pressure to said frame for expulsion through said vent openings and thence through said air passage.
RUSSELL H. MCCULLOUG-H.
(References on following page) REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in .the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date Merrill May 25, 1880 Fortiner Apr. 9, 1907 Cook Apr. 23, 1912 Siskin Jan. 24, 1928 Number