US 2775996 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 1, 1957 D. T. MILLAR` 2,775,996
SLEEPING CHAIR-UNIT Filed Sept. 16, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 F/o. f.
DDV/D 7: M/LL/e IN VEN TOR.
mmm/41 'Inlay' Jan l, 1957 D. T. MILLAR SLEEPING CHAIR-UNIT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 16, 1952 DHV/D 71 M/LL/Q INVENTOR United States Patent() v SLEEPING cHAiR-UNIT David Tulledge Millar, Los Angeles, Calif.
Application September 16, 1952, Serial No. 309,840
5 Claims. (Cl. 155-7) This invention relates to chairs such as used in busses, Pullman coaches, and the like, that are capable of functioning as upright chairs in which the occupant can sit, andwhich are also capable of being transformed into a secondfposition on which the occupantcan recline.
. As usually constructed the chairs of this type are located in arow, one behind the other extending in a frontland-rear direction, and if and when the chairs are disposed intheir reclining position the seats ofthe chairs are all at the same level; and although they are sometimes constructed so that it is possible for the lower limbs of the AOccupant of a rear chair to extend partially under the seat of the next chair in advance, nevertheless, hisknees must be left in a slightly bent condition. In other words, with Such chairs as'now usually constructed, it is not possible for the occupants of the chairs to be supported in a prone 'or sleeping position, such as when the entire body of the occupant is disposed substantially at the same level.
It is one of the objects of this invention to provide means for accomplishing this desirable effect, that is, to enable thechair occupants to be supported prone as in a bed.
i g Another object of the invention is to provide a unit con- Vabling two tandem disposed chairs normally in an lup.-
right seating position, to be quickly transformed into two chairs with their seats and backs disposed in a reclining position, and disposed or related in such a way that the leg portion of the body of the occupant of the rear chair canextend-to considerable distance forwardly, and with ample clearance, under the forward chair. y
Another object of the invention is to provide two suchchairscomposing such a unit, when operating yas berths, with simple means for including a seat extension located forwardly of the seat of each chair to afford support' for the feet and extremities of the lower limbs.
The invention also resides in the co-ordinated means employed as laccessories or attachments to the chairsto venable them to be quickly altered from their normal uprightposition "to a disposition of their elements that enables them to` accommodate occupants in a sleeping ,position.
Further objects of the invention will be evident from a careful reading of the following specication, and a study A ofthe accompanying drawing.
The )invention consists in the novel parts and combination ofipartsto bey described hereinafter, all of which cooperate to produce a novel and eicient sleeping chair In the drawing: Figure `1 is a vertical section taken in the plane of the --line12'2iof"Figure 3, but insteadof showing the chairs 2,775,996 Patented Jan. 1, 1957 ICC in the relation they have in Figure 2, it shows them in the upright position in which they are illustrated in Figure l. This view also shows a portion of a third chair ahead of the forward chair in Figure 2.
Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure 1, but shows the chairs with their elements disposed in the relation they have when they are adapted to support the occupants in a sleeping position.
Figure 3 is a plan of the two chairs of the unit when extended as indicated in Figure 2, however, the ends of this view being broken away.
Figure 4 is a vertical cross-section taken in the plane of the broken line 4--4 of Figure 1, to illustrate further details of the preferred features of construction of the forward chair.
Figure 5 is a fragmentary View, and is a horizontal section taken in the plane of the line 5-5 of Figure 1 to illustrate details of the locking mechanism and its controlling means that may be employed for releasably supporting the forward portion of the rear chairs seat.
Figure 6 is a vertical section and is a fragmentary view taken on the broken line 6 6 of Figure 1 on the rear chair, and illustrating the details of the parts included in the releasing means for the back of the rear chair.
Figure 7 is a fragmentary view and is a section taken in the same plane as Figure 6, but is upon a slightly larger scale. It passes through the bolt housing employed where a twin-bolt construction is used on the intermediate or common wall between two front-and-rear rows of seats.
Figure 8 is a fragmentary view taken about on the line 8--8 of Figure 2 illustrating details of means that may be employed for supporting the forward portion of the seat extension for the forward chair when it is in the reclining position.
In practicing the invention I prefer to provide a chairunit composed of two chairs 1 and 2 that are disposed in tandem relation. They are constructed so that normally they are set up as regular chairs, but so that they can readily4 be altered or adjusted into a set-up in which they are disposed in a substantially horizontal position, which position, for convenience, may be called their reclining position.
While most of the features of construction that enable the chairs to assume their two operating positions are not identical, they are correlated so as to enable the two reclining positions for the chairs to co-operate in such a way that the lower limbs of the person lying on the rear seat will project to a considerable distance under the forward chair.
The forward chair 1 includes a seat 3 and a back 4 which are preferably articulated together by means of a pivotal or hinge, joint 5. The seat 3 is preferably secured in a xed position by any suitable means, as a plurality of fastenings three in number. As indicated in Figure 1, these may be in the form of small bolts 6 (see Figure 4). These bolts are applied through the outer wall 7 of a bolt housing 8 which is set in the bottom and side edge of the seat at each side and extending along back so as to carry all the bolts 6. These bolt housings are sufliciently wide horizontally to provide clearance to enable the bolts to be passed up into the space within the housings and pushed outwardly through openings such as the openings 9 (see Figure 4) with their threaded ends received in threaded sockets such as the socket 10.
In the chair position or setup indicated in Figure l, the back 4 may be held in the usual upright, but slightly inclined position by means of a releasable bolt 11 such as indicated in Figure 6. This bolt 11 is a singletype bolt which is used When the bolt is mounted in an outside box-form wall 12, and corresponds in construction to one half of the twin-type bolt construction that is used in an intermediate or common box-form wall between two tandem chairs located alongside each other, as indicated in Figure 3. The bolt 11 is spring-pressed in locking position, that is, toward the wall 12 at the back, to maintain it in an opening or socket provided for it. This bolt has an enlarged head in a-bolt housing 14 through which its tip 15 projects. This tip lies within the path of a conical head 16 on an operating stem having a knob 17 for pulling it.
A coil spring 18 holds the conical head 16 with the large diameter of the cone opposite the tip of the bolt 11. When it is desired to release the holt 11 this is accomplished by pulling up on the knob 17, whereupon a spring under the head of the bolt 11 will withdraw the bolt from the socket 11. A spring such as this is illustrated in Figure 7, and will be further described in connection with the twin-bolt device shown in Figure 7. This twin-bolt construction has two bolts 11a and 11b which project in opposite directions from the opposite sides of the intermediate wall 13 (see Figures 6 and 7) so that their tips can engage in sockets in the sides of two backs 4 of two forward chairs disposed alongside of each other.
Figure 7 shows the large bolt heads 19 with anges against which coil springs 20 thrust to hold the bolts normally engaging their sockets. This is their position when the chair backs 4 and 4a are in their upright position. After releasing the side bolts 11 and 11a the back 4 can be dropped back to the depressed position as indicated in Figure 2. Suitable means is provided for supporting the back in such position which, if desired, may be slightly inclined as shown. In the present instance this means includes two links 21 which normally hang pendant from their supporting bolts 22 respectively (see Figure l). The lower end of each of these links 21 carries a threaded bolt 23 adapted to fit into a threaded socket 24 in the side of back 4.
Beneath the seat 3 (see Figure l) there is a foot member or extension seat 25, which is preferably supported near the underside of the seat 3. This part is provided with means to facilitate its being lifted, and set up in a forwardly disposed position in front of the seat 3 as indicated in Figure 2. Any suitable means may be provided for this purpose, and in the present instance such means includes two guide-channels or slots 26 on the inner faces of the side-walls of the chair (see Figure 4), in which two rollers 27 run respectively, said rollers being carried on the ends of long pins 28 carried on brackets 29.
These slots 26 have upwardly turned extensions 30 at their forward ends that terminate in rearwardly and downward extensions in the form of hook shaped sockets 31.
In transferring the seat extensions from the position shown in Figure l to that shown in Figure 2 it is merely necessary to seize a small handle 32, and pull the seat extension forward. When doing so its rear end is supported in the slots 26; and when the rollers 27 arrive at the extensions 39, the seat extension 25 should be lifted and pushed slightly toward the seat 3 so that the rollers can then drop down into the sockets 31. This will support the rear end of the seat extension 25. Any suitable means may be provided for supporting the forward end of the extension 25.
In the present instance this is accomplished by utilizing two links 33 (see Figure 2), that are normally pendant from pins 34 like the pins 22 that support the rear links 21 already described. The lower end of each link 33 carries a screw 35 the end of which is threaded to be received in a threaded socket 36 in the adjacent side of the scat extension 25 (see Figure 8).
Figure 4 shows one of the links 33 at rest and indi- Cates how it hangs in a slot 37 in the forward face 3S of an outside wall 12; and also indicates the presence of a pocket 39 that is formed in the forward face of this wall in which the screw 35 and its knurled head 35a is carried.
Figure 4 also illustrates means mounted in the forward end of the seat extension 25 for yieldingly supporting it stowed away under the seat 3 when not in use. For this purpose the upper portion of each bracket 29 is formed into a spring housing 40 that is welded into a channel 41 countersunk into each edge of the extension 25. A coil spring 42 in the spring housing presses the bolt 43 outward so that its rounded nose 44 ts into a shallow curved socket 45, from which it will release itself automatically when the foot extension is drawn out by pulling on the handle 32 as described above.
Referring to the features of construction that enable the upright rear chair to be transformed into a depressed berth it should be understood that the back 4a and the seat 3a of the rear chair are articulated by a joint 5a, and these parts are similar to the corresponding parts in the forward seat, in fact these parts can be identical, fundamentally. But, in accordance with my invention I provide means of some kind to enable the seat 3a to be moved down to a depressed position, and provide means to allow the back 4a to be swung down also on its joint 5a to a depressed position. Any suitable means may be employed for this purpose, but in the present instance (referring particularly to Figure 6) I provide the intermediate side walls'12 and 13 of the rear chair on their inner faces with guide means, for example, comprising guide grooves or slots such as the slot 46 illustrated in Figures 1 and 2. Each of these slots has its rear end formed with a substantially horizontal extension 47, and the body of the slot is inclined downwardly toward the front and has its forward end rounded below, as shown most clearly in Figure l, to form a socket 47a.
The rear end of the seat 3a is provided with two outwardly projecting pins or rollers 48 that are received in the guide slots 46, respectively and these rollers are mounted on stub-shafts 49 respectively, mounted in bearings 50 that are secured in angle form housings 51 that are countersunk into the bottom of the seat 3a at each side where they are received in recesses 52.
The back 4a is normally held in its upright position by two bolts, one the bolt 11 shown at the left of Figure 6 that forms part of a releasable detent that can be released by pulling up on the knob 17. When this movement occurs a coil spring similar to the springs 20 shown in Figure 7, will withdraw the bolt 11 from its socket in the side or left edge of the back 4a as shown in Figure 6.
The bolt 11b for locking the other side of the back 4a is in line with the bolt 11 and has the same fundamental construction except that it is part of a twin-bolt device such as illustrated in Figure 7 that carries an operating knob 53 for pulling up a cone 54 similar to the cone 16 (already described) and normally held down by a coil spring 55 on the stem 56 that carries the knob 53` and the cone 54. The widest part of this cone engages the rear ends of the bolts 11a and 11b and as soon as the knob 53 is pulled up the bolts 11a and 11b will be withdrawn by their springs 20.
The forward end of the seat 3a is supported in its normal position (Figure 1) by two bolts 57, see Figure 5 (which by the way is a section looking upward from the section line 5 5 shown in Figure l). These two bolts are mounted opposite to each other in bolt housings 58, the ends of which are normally held in their sockets 59 in the side walls 12 and 13 by coil springs 60. While they could be withdrawn separately by pulling upon the stem 61 integral with each holt that projects through the rear end of head 62 of each housing 58, I prefer to provide means for withdrawing these two bolts simultaneously. The two bolt housings 58 are attachedl to the side wall of a large rectangular recess 6,3 that extends throughout substantially the entire width of the seat,l and in the middle portion of this recess I provide two flexible cables 64 carried in sheaths or ilexible hose 65. The ends of the two sheaths are supported in hangersw66 attached tothe upper wall `67 ofthe recess 63, 'and the two flexible shafts or cables are attached at their inner ends to a cross-head 68, the middle portion of which is attached to a long threaded bolt 69 which may carry a lock-nut, if desired, as indicated; and the outer end of this `bolt carries a knob 70 operating as a handle for pulling the exible cables 64.
In order to support the back 4a in its depressed position I employ a pair of links71whicl1 are normallyv` dis posed in a vertical position pendant from their supporting bolts 72. They are normally housed in recess inthe rear faces of the side walls, similar to the recess 37 at the forward faces of the side walls of the forward chair. They have threaded bolts 73 at their lower ends to be `re`- ceived in corresponding threaded sockets 74 at elevated points on the chair back.
In order to support the forward ends of the limbs of the occupant of-the rear chair when berthed below the forward chair, I prefer to provide a cushion or thick pad 75 that may lie on the oor 76 directly in front of the seat 3a. As this pad 75 is not in the way of any moving part it can be left in the place it should occupy. So, if desired, it can be secured there.
It is obvious that in practicing my invention, two tandem arranged chairs can be employed, the rear one of which is capable of being transformed into a berth by any means whatever which may not necessarily be identical or even resemble the means I prefer to employ for effecting this transformation for the rear seat into a low level berth. Likewise the forward chair can be provided with any other kind of means for transforming it into a high-level berth.
With two chairs so constructed either one or both of them can be provided with rollers, carried on the side walls of the chairs and guided on the chair frame or oar floor for enabling them to be shifted into the relation shown in Figure 2. It would, of course, be necessary to provide means for holding the two chairs tixedly in their positions to which they have been moved on their rollers and guides.
In such a case it would be desirable to have the side walls of the forward chair connected to each other by a cross bar A for the forward chair to connect its side walls, thereby enabling the side walls and the bar A to operate as a unitary carriage; a similar bar B will be used for connecting the side walls of the rear chair. In order to enable these bars to operate without interfering with any other moving parts of the chairs I prefer to have the bar A locked toward the front and the bar B located toward the rear of Atheir corresponding chairs.
The practice of this invention enables a greater number of chairs to be installed in busses and in the coaches of trains on :a given floor length, by reason of the fact that the overall length of each pair of tandem chairs is considerably reduced. The achievement of this result is one of the objects of my invention.
Many other embodiments of the invention may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention.
I claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A chair-unit comprising a forwardly disposed chair :and an adjacent rearwardly disposed chair, said chairs facing in the same direction, said rear chair including a seat and a back articulated to the rear portion of the seat, means for normally holding the seat and the back in 'a normal relation for supporting ones body in a sitting position, side walls for the rear chair between which its seat and back are mounted, means including guides on the inner faces of the side walls, and means projecting from the side edges of the seat received in said guides for effecting the guiding of the said seat forwardly and ndownwardly into a horizontal depressed position, directly and flatly resting upon and supported by, the oor, means for supporting the forward edgehof the back at substantiallythe same level as the depressed seat, thereby enabling the same to support the body in a reclining position with the lower limbs lying in a horizontal position under the seat of the forward chair. j
2; A chair unitv according to claim l, including means located forward of the seat for supporting the feet and lower portions of the legs at substantially the level of the upper face of the depressed seat.
3. A chairunit comprising a forwardly disposed chair and an adjacent rearwardly disposed chair in alignment therewith, said forward chair including a seat and a back articulated together, means for normally holding the seat and the black in a relation to function as an upright chair, said chair having side walls between which its seat and back are mounted, a seat extension with means for nofrmally supporting 'the same under the seat, guiding means on the inner faces of the sid'e walls for effecting the guiding of the seat extension forwardly and upwardly and including sockets located at about the level of the seat, means projecting from the side edges of the seat extension adjacent the rear edge to travel along said guiding means and finally entering said sockets to support the rear edge of the seat extension in a raised position at about the level of the seat and forward of the same, means including links pivotally supported on the said cha'ir sides and pivotally attached to the chair back for supporting said back in a let down position substantially horizontally in line with the horizontal plane in which said seat is located, a pair of tension links pivotally supported respectively on the sides of the forward chair above the level of the seat extension with means at their free ends for connecting the same to the forward portion of the seat extension at the sides thereof and .co-operating with the seat and lowered back to enable the occupant of the forward chair to lie extended in a substantially horizontal position, said rear chair having a seat and a back articulated thereto, and having means for effecting the guiding of the seat on the rear chair forwardly and downwardly into a depressed horizontal position resting on, and supported by, lthe floor, said rear chair also having means for holding the back thereof in a depressed position so that the seat and the back of the rear chair are disposed at substantially the same level, and so that the lower llimbs of an occupant reclining on Ithe seat and back of the rear chair will lie under the seat of the forward chair and occupy a portion of the space which the said seat extension occupied when the forward chair was set up to function as an upright chair.
4. In a two-chair unit, the combination o-f a forward chair and a rear chair behind the first chair and facing in the same direction, said forward chair having boxform sides with a fixed seat between the same and supported thereby, box-form sides for the rear chair, a back for the first chair jointed to the rear portion of the fixed seat, hand operated means on the sides of the forward chair for holding its back in an inclined substantially upright position,.and in a lowered position at substantially the level of the fixed seat, a seat-'extension supported removably immediately under the fixed seat, guide means on the inner faces of the sides of the forward chair and cooperating means for the same carried by the seat extension functioning with the guide means for enabling the seat 'extension to be pulled forwardly, raised, and supported in a fixed position at the level of the fixed seat, said rear chair having a rear seat normally in an eleva-ted position between its box-form sides, hand-controlled means including movable pins carried adjacent the forward edge of the rear seat for supporting the same on the said rear chair s'ides, the rear portion of the said rear seat having laterally projecting pins, and the adjacent faces of the rear chair sides having guide ways thereon for said last named pins, said guide ways being elevated at their rear ends and cooperating with the said pins at that point to support the rear seat normally in said elevated position, said grooves having their forward ends located at a depressed low level to enable the rear seat, when the removable pins have been released, to descend substantially to the oor level below the rst position of the seat extension, under Ithe xed seat and bodily forward of the -forward chair; and a pad located between the sides of the forward chair and supported at substantially the same level of the depressed rear seat, and operating to support the lower limbs of an occupant of the rear cha'ir reclining therein; and means carried by the rear portion of the sides of the rear chair for supporting the rear and upper end portion of the rear chair back in a depressed position.
5. A two-chair unit according to claim 4, in which the said pad is maintained located 'in a position such that its rear edge will be abuitted against by the forward edge of the seat of the rear chair when the same is in its depressed position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Child Feb. 1, Peck Dec. 1, Goelet Dec. 14, Sands July 19, Healy Nov. 7, Repsdorph et al. Ian. 5, Garnett Nov. 27, Fleming Apr. 8, Hamilonof Aug. 6, McMahon Mar. 30, Maurer July 22, Jergenson Aug. 26,
FOREIGN PATENTS France Oct. 17, Great Britain Oct. 20,