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Publication numberUS2717631 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 13, 1955
Filing dateAug 23, 1954
Priority dateSep 24, 1953
Publication numberUS 2717631 A, US 2717631A, US-A-2717631, US2717631 A, US2717631A
InventorsHarold Howe
Original AssigneeHowe Folding Furniture Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding apparatus
US 2717631 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 13, 1955 E 2,717,631

FOLDING APPARATUS Original Filed Sept. 24, 1954 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. #49043 How:

Sept. 13, 1955 v H. HOWE 2,717,631

FOLDING APPARATUS Original Filed Sept. 24, 1954 THEL.

3 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TOR. mqwwza Hows ,4 FOP/V575 Sept. 13, 1955 HOWE 2,717,631

FOLDING APPARATUS Origifial Filed Sept. 24, 1954 a Sheets-Sheet 5 44 '74 5 F 1 I X 21 0 62 7 45 5 I N V EN TOR. H4204 v #0 we AV'TUFA/EYS United States Patent FOLDING APPARATUS Harold Howe, Rowayton, Conm, assignor to Howe Folding Furniture, Inc., New York, N. Y., a corporation of New York Original application September 24, 1953, Serial No. 382,060. Divided and this application August 23, 1954, Serial No. 451,534

4 Claims. (Cl. 155124) This invention relates to apparatus for transmitting folding force between a plurality of foldable means. It is disclosed herein as applied to the brace means of a folding bench. This application is a division of copending application Serial No. 382,060, filed September 24, 1953.

An object of the invention is to provide simple and efficient means of transmitting folding force from one pair of braces or links to another pair of braces or links.

Other objects of the invention will be in part obvious or in part pointed out hereinafter.

The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements, arrangements of parts, and in the several steps and relation and order of each of said steps to one or more of the others thereof, all as will be pointed out in the following description, and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the following claims.

The invention will best be understood if the following description is read in connection with the drawings, in which,

Figure l is a perspective view of a table and bench construction in which the invention is applied for folding each bench;

Figure 2 is an end elevation of the structure shown in Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a side elevational view showing an embodiment of the invention applied under a bench member for transmitting folding and unfolding force from one pair of braces to a second pair of braces;

Figure 4 is an end view of the bench structure shown in Figure 2;

Figure 5 is a side elevational detail view showing a bench and its support means and brace and linkage means;

Figure 6 is a detail view partly in cross section of part of the structure shown in Figure 3 by which remote control of one of a plurality of pairs of braces is obtained for actuating it simultaneously with another pair of braces;

Figure 7 is a detail view taken on the line 7-7 of Figure 6; and

Figure 8 is a detail view taken on the line 88 of Figure 6.

The table top shown in Figure 1 comprises the two parts 10 and 12 each pivotally supported on individual support means, indicated generally by the numerals 14 and 16 respectively. Each support means is connected to the other top part, i. e., the part other than the one to which it is directly pivoted, by one or more link members, link members 18 being shown pivotally connected at one end to support means 14 by pivot 26 (Figure 2) and at the other end by pivot 22 to hinge plate 24 extending downwardly from top part 12; and link members 26 being shown connected at one end to support means 16 by pivot 28 and at theother end connected by pivot 30 to hinge plate 32 depending from the under surface of top part 10, the hinge plates 24 and 32 being overlapped and pivotally connected by pivot means 33. Extending be- 2,717,631 Patented Sept. 13, 1955 tween the support means 14 and 16 and desirably pivoted at one end to said members 14 and 16 on said pivots 20 and 28 respectively are the links 34 and 36 which adjacent their other ends respectively are interconnected with a third link 38 by the pivots 40 and 42 respectively. The distance between pivots 40 and 42 determines the spacing between the support means 14 and 16 when the table structure is in folded position, the ends 38a and 38b of member 38 being bent first rearwardly and then outwardly, providing stops limiting the movement of the support means 14 and 16 toward one another as is illustrated in Figure 5.

Figure 2 illustrates how the top parts 10 and 12 coact with bench means movable toward and away from one another as the table is folded and unfolded, to provide back rest means for the benches. As illustrated, the bench means comprise the seat members 44 and 46, the seat member 44 having on its under surface one or more angle members 48 pivotally connected by pivot means 50 to bracket means 52 secured on the support means 14 for table top part 10. Similarly seat means 46 has on its under surface one or more angle members 54 pivotally connected by pivot means 56 to bracket means 58 secured on the support means 16 for table top part 12.

Rotatably supported on the under surface of seat member 44 in brackets 60 is the leg or support means 62 movable from unfolded position shown in Figure 4 to the folded position shown on the left hand side of Figure 2, and seat member 46 is similarly provided with support means 64 rotatably mounted in brackets 66 on the under surface of seat member 46.

interconnecting the angle means 4-8 on the bottom of seat 44 with the support means 62 are the brace members 63 and 70 which at their outer ends are respectively pivotally connected to support means 62 and to angle means 48 by pivots 72 and 74 respectively, their inner ends being interconnected by pivot 76. Similarly the angle means 54 on the bottom of seat 46 is interconnected with the support means 64 by the brace members 78 and 80, the outer ends of which are connected respectively to the support means 64 by pivot means 82 and to the angle means 54 by pivot means 84, and which are interconnected at their inner ends by the pivot 86.

The support means shown herein for the seats 44 and 46 respectively each comprise a plurality of legs each having a pair of folding braces, and means are provided whereby folding and unfolding action of one pair of brace members is communicated to another set of brace members for facilitating folding and unfolding of the support means. Since the means is the same for both seat members 44 and 46'it will suffice to describe the means employed in connection with seat member 46 which, on the right hand side of Figure 2, is shown in unfolded position coacting with folded table top part 12 which in this position constitutes a back rest for the seat 46. The remote control means for controlling one pair of braces with another is best seen in Figure 3 which shows the under side of seat 46 in its folded position, and in Figures 7 and 8.

As shown in Figure 3 the support means 64 for seat 46 comprises a U-shaped member the intermediate portion 64a of which extends through the brackets 66 and the outer portions 64b and 640 of which constitute legs. Brace member 80a is connected at its outer end to leg 6412 by pivot 82a. Brace member 780 is connected at its outer end to rod 88 which is rotatably supported in angle member 54 at point 84a, and said members are interconnected at their inner ends by the pivot member 86a. Similarly leg member 64c is connected by pivot 82b to the outer end of brace member 80b the innerend of which is connected by pivot 86]) to brace member 78b the upper end of which is connected to rod 88 which is rotat- 3 ably supported in the other angle member 54 at point 84b.

The rod 88 extends both through brace members 78a and 78b and angle members 54. In angle members 54 circular holes fit} are provided through which the rod ends extend, said circular holes providing bearings within which the connecting rod is rotatably supported. The end portions of rod 88 which extend through the brace members 78a and 78b are rectangular in cross-section and, to receive these end portions, in brace members 7 t n and 7%!) rectangular holes I: are provided adjacent their outer ends respectively. Rotary motion of connecting rod 38 is thus communicated to said links 78a and 73b respectively and when the brace means at either end of a seat member is folded or unfolded, to cause folding or unfolding of its support means, the folding or unfolding force is communicated through rod 88 to the other brace members connected to the other leg of the support means for the seat, thus causing folding of both pairs of braces simultaneously and facilitating the folding of the support means for the seat.

As illustrated in Figure 4, one brace member of each pair of braces may comprise a stop member 9 to prevent folding of the brace members except in one direction. As shown in Figure 6, a spring member 96 is provided which, when the bench is unfolded, opposes folding action, thereby preventing inadvertent folding of the seat member and its support means. Springs extend around non-circular portions of connecting rod 38, see Figure 6, between the angle members and the brace members, and press on the respective brace members adjacent their pivoted interconnection.

The bench means when folded as has been described will take substantially the position illustrated in full lines on the left hand side of Figure 2. Also in this folded position the locking spring 96 acts as a past center pressure means to prevent the legs of the bench from unfolding during handling or transportation. In this position the leg means will be projecting upwardly. For unfolding, the upwardly extending leg means may be grasped and rotated inwardly, or the seat means may be lifted and rotated outwardly, thus raising the seat means to unfolded position, after which a pull on either leg 64b or 640 will be communicated from one pair of leg braces to another by connecting rod 83, making it possible to unfold a bench assembly with a minimum of effort.

The table and bench structure shown herein has the two part function of either providing a table and seats usable for example for dining, or for work or school purposes generally, etc., or as a seat and back rest combination usable for example in lecture halls, for spectators watching an athletic event, or for any of a great variety of occasions. With both benches and top parts folded a plurality of seat and back rest means are provided back to back. With the top and one bench folded a seat and back rest is provided which may be moved against a wall, thus using a minimum of floor space when placed against a wall, for example a gymnasium wall; with one bench and the top unfolded a two-tier bleacher is provided.

These structures are readily convertible for different uses and may be easily moved. When folded they occupy a minimum of space and they are thus particularly well adapted for use in rooms which serve different purposes successively as for example in assembly halls and gymnasiums which may be used at different times for gatherings, lectures, exhibitions, sporting events, etc. The convertibility between coactive seat and back rest means and table and bench means greatly increases the utility of the structure.

It will thus be seen that there has been provided by this invention a method and apparatus in which the various objects hereinabove set forth together with many thoroughly practical advantages are successfully achieved. As various possible embodiments might be made of the mechanical features of the above invention and as the 4 art herein described might be varied in various parts, all without departing from the scope of the invention, it is to be understood that all matter hereinbefore set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What I claim is:

1. The folding bench structure which comprises a seat member, support means for the seat pivoted to the seat and movable from a position substantially at right angles to the seat to a plane substantially parallel with the seat, foldable brace means interconnecting said support means and seat member comprising two members pivotally interconnected at their inner ends, the other end of one member being pivoted to said seat and the other end of the other member being pivoted to said support means, a second pair of brace members interconnecting said seat and support means similar to said first mentioned pair of brace members, and means for communicating folding and unfolding forces from one of said pair of members to the other for folding and unfolding of said seat comprising a connecting rod having portions which are non-circular in cross section, and bracket means on the under surface of said seat having a substantially circular hole therein providing a bearing for said rod, like members of said pairs of links having noncircular holes corresponding to, and positioned to receive, said non-circular portions of said rod respectively.

2. The folding bench construction which comprises support means, support arms pivotally connected to said support means for movement from a substantially horizontal position when unfolded to a substantially vertical position when folded, a seat connected to said arms and movable with said arms, leg means pivotally connected to said seat and movable from a plane substantially at right angles to said seat to a plane substantially parallel to said seat when the seat is in folded position, a plurality of pairs of braces interconnected between said leg means and said seat, a rod having portions which are non-circular in cross-section, and bearing means for said rod on the under surface of said seat, like members of said pairs of brace members having non-circular holes corresponding to, and positioned to receive, said noncircular portions of said rod respectively.

3. In a structure comprising a second member movable relative to a first member from a plane substantially parallel to said first member to a plane substantially perpendicular to said first member, a plurality of pairs of braces interconnecting said members, a connecting rod extending between said pairs of braces and having portions which are non-circular in cross-section, bracket means on one of said members having a substantially circular hole therein providing a bearing for said rod, like members of said pairs of braces having non-circular holes corresponding to, and positioned to receive, said non-circular portions of said rod respectively.

4. In a structure comprising a second member movable relative to a first member from substantially abutting relation to said first member to a plane substantially perpendicular to said first member, a plurality of pairs of braces interconnecting said members, a connecting rod extending between said pairs of braces and having portions which are non-circular in cross-section, bracket means on one of said members having a substantially circular hole therein providing a bearing for said rod, like members of said pairs of braces having non-circular holes corresponding to, and positioned to receive, said non-circular portions of said rod respectively.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/158.4, 108/171, 108/99
International ClassificationA47B3/00, A47B3/14
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/14
European ClassificationA47B3/14