US 2667399 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 26, 1954 A. T. SWIMMER EXTENSION LEAF FOR FURNITURE Filed Aug. 19, 1948 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.
Jan. 26, 1954 A. T. SWIMMER EXTENSION LEAF FOR FURNITURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 19, 1948 Q Q Q IN V EN TOR. Albe I b T S wim. 11291. B Y A1: '0 r Lfiy Patented Jan. 26, 1954 EXTENSION LEAF FOR FURNITURE Albert '1. Swimmer, Youngstown, Ohio, assignor to The General Fireproofing Company, Youngstown, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Application August 19, 1948, Serial No. 45,153
This invention relates to .an improvement in oflice furniture such as tables or desks and the like, and more particularly to an improved means for manipulating an extension leaf or slide which, when projected, provides the top with additional working space.
, In the case of desks, for example, it has heretofore been the general practice to make the outer face of the extension leaf flush with the outer face of the top while the pedestal portion of the desk, usually including drawers or a door, is inset from the vertical plane of the outer edge or face of the top. In this case, since the leaf projects or overhangs the pedestal, it is possible to obtain a finger-hold on the bottom outer edge of the leaf and pull it outwardly.
However, the present improvements are intended to be used in a desk where the outer face of the leaf is not only flush with the vertical outer edge or face of the desk top but also flush with the plane of the pedestal including the drawers which do not have knobs, handles, or other hardware, thereby presenting a desk top and pedestal whose vertical faces are all in the same plane. In this case, and in the absence of handles or door pulls, the drawers or doors are provided with inset or depressed finger-holds. However, since the top is made as a unitary section to be interchangeably used with diiferent types of pedestals; and the leaf operates in a pocket in the top itself and which pocket opens through the vertical face or edge of said top, and also the leaf is made in the form of a shallow box to be reversible to form a drawer, it is impractical to provide the front face or edge of the leaf with an inset finger-hold. Moreover, to use a knob or handle on the end of the leaf to pull the same outwardly would defeat the object of having no hardware whatever projecting from the vertical faces of the top or the pedestal.
Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is to provide an extension shelf whose outer edge is flush with the vertical edge of the top as well as the pedestal, and has no visible means of withdrawal or projection, but which is so constructed and arranged that while it is normally held in closed position so that its outer edge or face is flush with the vertical edge of the desk top and will not creep out, nevertheless, upon being manually pushed inwardly, it becomes spring energized so that when manual pressure is released the leaf will be automatically projected so as to jump out a sufficient distance to enable the user to grasp the leading edge for pulling it out to the extent desired. Conversely, when the leaf is pushed 'to its stored position in the pocket, it is again held against outward creeping by the mere act of manually returning the leaf to concealed position.
Another object is to provide novel structural means concealed in the pocket of the top and at the rear end of the leaf or slide to effect releasable holding and also to effect spring energization when the leaf is to be put in use.
With the above and other objects in view, which will more readily appear as the nature of the invention is better understood, the same consists in the novelty of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, hereinafter more fully described, illustrated and claimed.
A preferred and practical embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the application of the invention to a desk;
Figure .2 is a plan view of the inner end of the pocket in which the leaf or slide operates and showing the keeper means for holding the same against outward creeping as well as the spring means for outward projection;
Figure 3 is a detail vertical sectional view illustrating the rear end of the slide after it has been manually pushed inwardly to disengage the keeper means, and showing the energization of the ejector spring for ultimate projection;
Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 3 illustrating the relative position of parts after hand pressure has been released from the face of the leaf and the latter is automatically projected.
Figure 5 is a detail perspective view of the keeper bracket used at the rear end of the leaf pocket.
Similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures of the drawing.
As will be observed from the drawings, the present invention is intended to be useful in articles of furniture made of metal or wood and wherein a sliding member such as a leaf, drawer, or shelf, operates within a pocket, and there is no visible means of pulling the member out of the pocket since the exposed face of the member is devoid of any projecting finger gripping means, such as knobs, handles, or pulls as they are sometimes called.
In order to illustrate the invention, the same has been shown as being applied to a furniture top adapted for use as a table or desk. However,
it will of course be understood that it is within the scope of the invention to embody the unit of construction about to be described in multiple form such, for example, as a stack of drawers or leaves in a pedestal or a cabinet. That is to say, the invention would be the same if more than one unit herein illustrated is arranged in vertically stacked relation; and, whether the sliding member was an extension leaf or shelf, or a drawer, the cooperating parts, or actuating instrumentaiities and their coordinated relationship and operation would be identical.
Figure 1 of the drawing shows a desktop desig nated generally as T, and in this case, fabricated from metal parts. This top is preferably made as I as a unit to be used with selected types of pedestals P, the latter having drawers or the like, slidable in and out of the pedestal or, if desired, the pedestal may, in accordance with well-known practice, be a single compartment accessible through a door.
In any event, the top T constitutes a housing or casing provided with a pocket A opening at a vertical face or edge of the article of furniture and adapted to receive the member B which is slidably mounted in any suitable manner, as for example, upon the guides C, conveniently located at opposite sides of the pocket A. In the example shown, the member B is preferably in the form .of a shallow box Whose bottom B when turned upwardly provides a flat surface to sup plement the working surface D of the desk top T. By inverting the member B to bring its hollow side facing upwardly, said member may serve as a drawer. This reversible feature of the member B is pointed out at this time to explain the provision of the two-armed keeper means at the rear end of the pocket which will later be described more in detail. Whether the member B performs the function of an extension leaf or shelf, or a drawer, it has an exposed outer face B, Figure 3, which is accessible to be responsive to an inwardly directed force to move it initially back into the pocket.
The member B is of less length than the depth of the pocket A to provide for the aforesaid inward movement of the member into the pocket. When the member is not in use, it is held against outward creeping by keeper means hereafter described, but its exposed outer edge or face is accessible to the application of the aforesaid extraneous force or pressure, usually applied by a finger thumb, in order to permit the member to be first pushed into the pocket and then, upon the release of said force or pressure, to be automatically projected from the pocket by the means which will now be described.
As will be observed from Figures 2, 3 and 4, the rear end of the member B is preferably provided with a frame F of substantially U-shaped formation and including the opposite arm members i and 2 connected by the transverse end wall 3 while the opposite ends of said arms are preferably of the slightly angular formation shown to provide attaching portions 4 which may be conveniently secured to the inner end of the member B. The end wall 3 is provided with an opening 5 and the arms I and 2 are medially formed with integral inwardly extending guide forming portions 6, 6, which are struck out from said arms with their ends or related edges provided with complemental arcuate portions which together form an opening 1 in alignment with the opening 5. The openings 5 and I provide means for guiding a plunger 8, said plunger having coiled thereabout a spring 9. One end of this spring abuts against the struck inwardly portions 5, 6, while the opposite end engages an abutment I0, preferably in the form of a washer, on the plunger 8. Thus, when the member B and frame F move rearwardly and the rear end of the plunger 8 engages an abutment such as, for example, the rear wall of the pocket or its equivalent, the spring 9 will be compressed.
The frame F has mounted on the arm I thereof, as shown in Figures 2, 3 and 4, a leaf spring II. This spring is secured to the arm I by the rivet I2 and hasone'end I3 projecting into an opening I4 in the arm,I so as to prevent rotational movement about the pivot, thereby insuring the leaf spring always being in proper alignment with the plunger 8 and its complemental keeper means. The rear end of the spring I I is provided with an arcuate latch portion I5 adapted, as shown by the dotted lines in Figure 3, to engage in the complemental arcuate socket portion I6 of a keeper arm IT. The forward or leading extremity of the keeper arm H is preferably angled outwardly so as to insure free guiding of the arcuate latch portion I5 into the keeper socket I6.
The keeper arm IT, as will be seen from Figure 5, is duplicated inasmuch as a pair of keeper arms of the same descriptive characteristics are struck out from a bracket I8 whose front face may constitute a plunger abutment at the rear portion of the pocket, said bracket also having attaching portions I9 and Ell which may be secured by welding or otherwise to convenient rear wall portions of the pocket A. The purpose of providing dupli cate keeper arms. I I is to enable the member B to be inverted, that is, turned upside down, if desired, that is from obverse to reverse, to function as a drawer, and still require only one leaf spring II. The dual character of the keeper means I! therefore extends the range of utility of the member B. While, of course, two spring leaves I I each having latch portions I5 are within the scope of the invention, nevertheless, it has been found in practice that one leaf spring II is usually sufficient, and, depending on whether the member B is used as an extension leaf as shown in the draw ings, or whether it is inverted to be utilized as a drawer, the latch portion I 5 of said leaf spring I I will engage one or the other of the arcuate socket portions I6 of the keeper means.
As will be observed from Figure 2, the rear end of the member B may be provided with any suitable type of stop member designated generally as S, the same being intended to prevent the said member B from being accidentally pulled out of the pocket at the limit of its outward stroke.
The operation of the device is as follows:
Assuming that the member B is housed within the pocket A, its outer exposed face B will be accessible for manual manipulation and the latch portion I5 of the leaf spring II will be engaged with the socket I 6 of the upper keeper element I I. Thus, the member B will not, on its own initiative, creep or gravitate out of the pocket.
If it is desired to bring the member B out of the pocket, it is only necessary to exert manual pressure or force on the outer exposed face B thereof, such, for example, as indicated by the human finger :r in Figure 3. By pushing inward on the member B, it will be seen from Figure 3 that, since the inner end of the plunger 8 normally engages the related face of the body of the bracket I8, such face, in the example shown, forms and constitutes a plunger abutment in the rear portion of the pocket. Continued inward movement "unde ma ual pr ssure of the member B will cau e the arcuate latch portion IE to move out of the socket I6 rearwardly toward the bracket 48, while, at the same time, the washer- Hl on the plunger 8 compresses the spring 9. The spring 9 thus becomes energized or loaded so that when the pressure of the finger a: of Figure 3 is released, the parts will assume the position shown in Figure 4. This figure shows the member B in the act of being automatically ejected or projected from the pocket due to the force of the energized spring 9. On the outward stroke of the member B due to the propulsive force of the energized spring 9, the latch portion I5 of the leaf spring I i will slide into and out of the socket 18. Thus, on the said outward stroke, the force of the spring 9 overcomes the holding effect normally existing between latch l5 and keeper I6.
Bearing in mind that with the parts in their normal position, shown in dotted lines in Figure 3, wherein the latch portion I5 is engaged with the keeper socket IE, it will also be seen that inward thrust on the member B overcomes the holding effect of the cooperating keeper means I5, I 6, and permits the spring 9 to become energized so that when the manual force is released on the outer surface of the member B, the loaded spring will project the member B out of the pocket and, as previously explained, prevent the elements it? and I6 from performing their holding function stood that it may be easily grasped by the hand and pulled as far out of the pocket as desired. On the other hand, when it is desired to store the member B in the pocket, it is simply necessary to push it inwardly, and when the parts [5 and i6 engage they cushion the inward movement of the member B so that there is little or no resounding echo of engaging parts, and, even if the member B is pushed in with unusual force, the plunger 8 and. spring 9 will still function to cushion the blow. In that event, it has been found that except in the case of excessive or unusual force that on the rebound of the plunger 8, the members 55 and i6 will normally engage to prevent the member B from again being projected out of the pocket. In other words, the member B is normally kept or retained in the pocket except when deliberate force is applied to effect automatic ejection, as previously described.
Without further description it is believed that the features and advantages of the invention will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, and it will of course be understood that changes in the form, proportion, and other details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the appended claims.
1. An article of furniture including a pocket having a plunger abutment, an extension leaf member slidably supported in the pocket, a sub stantially U-shaped frame at the inner end of said member and having an opening in its end wall while the extremities of the arms thereof are secured to said member, guide elements struck inwardly from the opposite arm portions of said Uti frame, a plunger slidably mounted in said open-- ing in the end wall and in said guide elements,
i face of said member being adapted to disengage and as the force continues, the plunger bearing against the abutment thereby loads the spring whereby, upon release of manual force on the said member, the loaded spring will force the member out of the pocket and cause the latch portion of said spring to slide over the keeper.
2. An article of furniture including a pocket having a rear wall constituting a plunger abutment, an extension leaf member slidably supported in the pocket; a frame carried by the inner end of said member, said frame comprising a substantially U-shaped member having an opening in its end wall, guide elements struck inwardly from opposite arm portions of said frame; a plunger slidably mounted in said opening and said guide members, a normally unenergized coil spring confined between the said guide members and an abutment on the plunger, a spring leaf carried by the frame and having an arcuate latch portion, and keeper means at the rear of the pocket and including a forwardly projecting arm having a keeper socket adapted to normally receive the arcuate latch portion of said leaf spring to hold said member in the pocket, the arcuate portion of said leaf spring being adapted to be disengaged from the socket of the keeper means upon the application of initial manual inward force on said member, and as such force continues, the rear end of the plunger bearing against the rear wall of the pocket will load said coil spring so that upon the release of manual force on said member the latter will be projected out of the pocket by the loaded coil spring causing the latch portion of the leaf spring to slide over the socket portion of the keeper element.
3. The combination including, an article of furniture having a pocket including a plunger abutment, a member slidably mounted in the pocket and constructed to serve as a writing sur face in its obverse position and to serve as a drawer when in its reverse position, a plunger slidably supported at the rear of said member, a spring adapted to be compressed as the plunger engages said plunger abutment and the said member moves toward the rear of the pocket, a latch also carried by the rear of said member and disposed to one side of the longitudinal axis of said member, a bracket in the pocket inwardly of the rear end of said member, and a pair of vertically spaced keeper arms carried by the bracket, one of said arms adapted to selectively cooperate with said latch in either the obverse or reverse positions of the said member to hold the member against outward creeping.
4. An article of furniture having a pocket, 9. member mounted for movement into and from said pocket, a bracket carried by said member and extending rearwardly therefrom, a rod disposed longitudinally relative to said member and mounted in said bracket for longitudinal movement relative thereto, a keeper element and a leaf spring element one carried by said article of furniture and the other carried by said bracket and interengageable to releasably hold said member in a definite position in said pocket, a helical spring cooperable with said rod for energization by forward movement of said rod relative to said member, said rod being arranged for contact of its rear end with a portion of said article of furniture and for forward movement relative to said member to energize said helical spring upon rearward movement of said member from its said definite position, said spring being effective when energized to move said member outwardly beyond its said definite position.
ALBERT T. SWIMMER.
References Cited in the file of this patent 7 ,Number UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date Scherich June 1, 1880 Roberts Nov. 11, 1902 Myrhow Feb. 18, 1908 Long Jan. 16, 1912 Hunter Feb. 22, 1916 Johnson Feb. 7, 1933 Stanton Nov. 28, 1944 Nielsen Feb. 7, 1950