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Publication numberUS2824597 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 25, 1958
Filing dateMar 1, 1954
Priority dateMar 1, 1954
Publication numberUS 2824597 A, US 2824597A, US-A-2824597, US2824597 A, US2824597A
InventorsLerman Monroe Arnold
Original AssigneeLerman Monroe Arnold
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wheel chair width control
US 2824597 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 25, 1958 M. A. LERMAN 2,824,597

WHEEL CHAIR WIDTH CONTROL Filed March 1, 1954 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR 30 Jim/P05 40mm MIA 14A! ATTORNEY M. A. LERMAN WHEEL CHAIR WIDTH CONTROL Feb. 25, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 1', 1954 INVENTOR //404/FOE 2%?040 445F444 ATTORNEY United States Patent WHEEL CHAIR WIDTH CONTROL Monroe Arnold Lerman, Sunnyside, N. Y.

Application March 1, 1954, Serial No. 413,055

2 Claims. (Cl. 155-30) The present invention relates, to the art of collapsible wheel chairs and particularly concerns a novel means for controlling the width of such chairs.

' -A particular difiiculty confronting the user of a wheel chair of collapsible type is that the width of such a chair is often too great to allow the chair to be driven or ridden through narrow doorways, passageways, and the like. It is often very necessary that a wheel chair occupied by a rider be narrowed in width while the rider is in the the chair and without interfering with the forward movement of the chair. The present invention is directed to solving these difficulties. A device is provided which may be installed in a collapsible wheel chair which device may be readily operated while a rider is in the chair to narrow the chair to a predetermined width. The device can be operated by either the rider of the chair or some person in attendance.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a device for controlling the width of a wheel chair.

It is a further object to provide a chair width controlling device which can be installed in a wheel chair without changing any existing structure thereof.

It is a further object to provide a wheel chair width control device which can be operated while the chair is occupied by a rider thereof, without interfering with forward movement of the chair.

Another important object of the invention is the provision of a width control chair of the character described which includes a motor drive for propelling or driving the chair. This feature of the invention may also be applied to collapsible wheel chairs without the width control herein described and claimed. An important aspect of the'motor drive herein described is the braking feature which is incorporated therein and more particu larly. in its speed reduction gear train. There is no brake in this mechanism in the usual sense of the word. Instead, a braking effect is produced in the gear train when the circuit to the electric motor which drives the same is tion that what is provided herein is simply a conventional D; C. motor used for engine starting purposes in motor vehicles and included is the speed reducing gear train of such motors.

. Another feature of the invention is the'provision of a storage battery on the wheel chair to power the motor and an'electric charging device for recharging the battery. The charging device is also mounted on the wheel chair and it may beplugged into a conventional outlet orreceptacle in orderto charge the battery.

:- Qtherand :further objects and advantages of the inice vention will become readily apparent from the following description taken together with the drawing, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a wheel chair in which has been mounted a device embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of certain operative members of the device of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a view similar to that of Fig. 1, but showing the electric motor drive which powers the chair.

Fig. 4 is a back view of the chair, showing it in partly folded condition.

Fig. 5 is a partly sectional fragmentary view showing the motor drive mechanism herein described for driving the wheel chair.

Fig. 6 is a circuit diagram thereof.

In Fig. 1 is shown a wheel chair having a collapsible seat 10 and back 11. A pair of seat supporting frame members 12, 12 are pivotally joined to the upper ends of scissor frame members 14, 14' which are joined to the side frame members 13, 13. Frame members 13, 13' are supported in turn by the wheels 16, 17 of the chair. To reduce the width of the chair it is necessary that either one of the frame members 12, 12' be moved upwardly with respect to frame members 13, 13' to close the frame members 14, 14' in scissor-like fashion. The device embodying the invention provides a convenient and efficient means for accomplishing this movement even while the chair is occupied by a rider, and it may be operated by the rider or an attendant as desired.

The device includes a handle 18 which has a rearwardly bent portion or arm 19 terminating in a generally U-shaped section 20. The handle pivots at a point located near the apex of the U-shaped section on a bolt 25. Bolt 25 passes through an aperture 31 in the U- shaped section of the handle and through the arms 26 of bracket 27 as shown best in Fig. 2. Bracket 27 is secured to the chair frame member 13 by clamping arms 28 carrying a threaded bolt 29 and nut 30. The shorter end 21 of the U-shaped handle section 29 has a plurality of apertures 22, 23. One end of a bent pivot rod 24 fits into one of the apertures. A cotter pin 35 or the like prevents rod 24 from slipping out of the aperture 22 or 23 in which it is engaged. The other end of the bent rod 24 is lodged or telescoped in the hollow post 36 which has an eye termination 37. A clamp 38 is secured to frame member 12 by threaded bolt 39 which also engages the eye termination of the post 36. A nut 40 is threaded on bolt 39. A locking pin 41 is mounted in the arm rest 42 for a purpose hereinafter described.

In operation, the occupant of the chair or an attendant moves the handle forward from position A to the dotted line position B and locks the handle there in front of pin 41. As the handle moves forward it pivots on bolt 25. A powerful leverage or force is exerted on post 36 because the length of handle 18 including portion 19 is many times greater than the distance from rod 24 to bolt 25, the effective length of the end 21 of the handle. Post 36 is thus forced upwardly which in turn raises frame member 12 causing the frame members 14, 14 to close somewhat and reducing the width of the chair.

A particular advantage of the device embodying the invention is the facility with which it may be installed on a collapsible wheel chair of conventional tubular frame structure. To install the device, the bracket 27 is placed on frame member 30. The handle 18 is then anchored to the bracket 27 by means of bolt 25 and an associated nut (not shown). Bracket 27 is then located on frame member 13 to locate handle 18 at its farthest rear position. A guide rail 43 for confining movement of the handle to a fixed path may if desired be attached to the arm rest 42 or to the chair frame. The guide rail prevents handle 18 from contacting wheel 16. Clamp 38 is then mounted on frame member 12 directly in front of the point of attachment of frame member 14 to frame member 12. Post 36 is then attached to the clamp 38 by bolt 3? and nut 37. Rod 24 is then inserted telescopically into the lower end of post 36 and the free endof the rod is secured in aperture 22 or 23 of the free end portion 21 of the handle. Aperture 22 if used will provide greater leverage than aperture 23 since it is closer to the bolt 25 which acts as a fulcrum for the leverage exerted by the handle. The cotter pin 35 is inserted in the apertured end of rod 24 to hold the rod in the selected aperture of the handle end 21. The amount by which the frame member 12 is raised with respect to the frame member 13 and consequently the amount the chair will be narrowed depends on the overall length of post 36 and the associated portion of rod 24. The length of post 36 and rod 24 should therefore be made sufficient to accomplish narrowing of the chair a predetermined maximum amount. When the amount of chair width control is determined by moving handle 18 to-a forward position, the locking pin should be inserted in arm rest 42 so that it contacts the back edge of the handle in that forward position. When the handle is placed in the forward position where it is locked by pin 41, free use of the arms of the occupant of the chair is obtained to operate the wheels of the chair and to move it as required.

Referring now to the motorized wheel chair shown in Figs. 3, 4 and 5 of the drawing, it will be understood that the wheel chair construction as shown in the first two figures of the drawing remains the same and corresponding parts will have corresponding reference characters. It will be noted that extending across frame members 13 and 13' are telescopic tubes 80 and 81. There are two such sets of telescopic tubes, one in front of the other and both occupying parallel lines extending transversely across the wheel chair. Tubes 81 project into tubes 80 and these tubes are free to telescope inwardly and outwardly, depending upon whether the chair is to be narrowed or widened in accordance with the procedure above described. Mounted on tubes 80 is a box 56 containing an electric motor 82. This electric motor is a D. C. motor of the kind used for starting the gasoline engines of conventional automobiles and other similar motor vehicles. A worm 83 is secured to the motor shaft and a worm wheel 84 engages said worm. Worm wheel L 84 is secured to a shaft 85 which is journaled into bearings 86 and 87 supported by the sides of box 56. Also secured to shaft 85 is a gear wheel or sprocket 61 which engages a gear chain 62. Gear chain 62 engages a second gear wheel or sprocket 63 which is secured to the shaft or axle 64 of wheel 16 of the chair. When the motor is eneregized, worm 33 drives worm wheel 84 which, in turn, turns shaft 85 and sprocket 61. This causes chain 62 to turn sprocket 63 and thereby to turn wheel 16. When the current to said motor is cut off, the

motor slows down and then stops. Any momentum which the wheel chair may have developed while being driven by said motor will act through sprocket 63, chain 62, sprocket 61, shaft 85 and worm wheel 84 against worm 83 and consequently a braking action will result since the worm wheel cannot turn the worm and as soon as the motor stops rotating so will the worm and all of the other above mentioned elements connected therewith.

To power the motor, one or more storage batteries may be provided in a box or receptacle 55 mounted on box 56. These storage batteries may simply be of the type used in automobiles to power starting motors and also for ignition purposes. These storage batteries may be of the six or twelve volt variety and of course the motor would similarly be a six or twelve volt motor but this is purely illustrative and not limitative of this feature of the invention. It has'been found that a six volt battery having a one hundred and twenty ampere-hour capacity, operating in conjunction with a six volt D. C.


automobile starting motor, function extremely well in connection with this invention.

A convenient and very desirable feature of the present invention is the provision of an electric charger 57 which is supported by box 56. Conductors 58 and 59 are connected to said charger 57 for connecting the same to a suitable source of electric current, such as a conventional outlet or receptacle in the home. The charger may be connected to the storage batteries in conventional manner to charge or recharge them.

It will be observed that a spring-urged push button 50 is provided at the upper end of frame member 51. This push button is connected to the circuit which connects the storage battery to the electric motor. It will be noted in the circuit diagram that switch 54 is provided which push button 50 actuates in order to close the circuit between the battery and the motor. When the push button is released, the switch opens and breaks the circuit and the motor slows down to a full stop and thereby brakes the chair to a halt.

A motorized wheel chair must be provided with steering gear and the wheel chair shown in Fig. 3 is so provided. It will be observed that one of the caster wheels 17 is connected to a steering rod 52 having a handle 52a at its upper end. Handle 52 and said wheel 17 swivel integrally with each other in a bracket 53 which is secured to the frame of the chair. Consequently, when handle 52 is turned either to the right or to the left by the person sitting in the chair, the chair will be steered in a corresponding direction.

The foregoing is ilustrative of preferred forms of this invention and it will be understood that these preferred forms may be modified and other forms may be provided within the broad spirit of the invention and the broad scope of the claims.

I claim:

1. In a collapsible wheel chair having a pair of side frames joined by pivotally connected frame members, said frame members being pivotally movable toward each other to bring the side frames toward each other and thereby to narrow the wheel chair, the improvement comprising a relatively long handle which is pivotally connected to one of said side frames at the lower end of the handle, and at a lower portion of said side frame, the upper end of the handle extending upwardly to a position where it can readily be grasped by an occupant of the chair, the pivotal axis of said handle being transverse to the chair and the handle being movable by the occupant of the chair in a generally vertical plane generally parallel to the side frame to which it is pivotally connected, a laterally extending arm formed at the lower end of said handle, said arm being relatively short and said handle being relatively long when compared with the length of said arm, and a post pivotally secured at its upper end to one of said frame members and pivotally secured at its lower end to said arm, whereby the handle may be moved about its pivotal axis to cause its said arm to move the post and thereby to move the frame member and to change the width of the chair, said post consisting of a pair of telescopically connected members, one being pivotally connected to the arm of the handle and the other being pivotally connected to said last mentioned frame member, and a stop member provided between said telescopically connected members to prevent telescoping beyond a predetermined limit when said telescopically connected members are moved inwardly toward each other.

2. In a collapsible wheel chair having a pair of side frame members connected by a scissor frame for lateral movement toward and away from each other and seat supporting frames on said scissor frame, said scissor frame being adapted to move the side framemembers toward each other to narrow the wheel chair when the seat supporting frames are moved upwardly, the combination of: a bracket secured to one of said side frame members; an

upwardly extending handle having a rearwardly extending arm at its lower end, a pivotal connection between said arm and said bracket for pivotally supporting said handle, a second bracket secured to one of said seat supporting frames, a vertically extending post, the lower end of said post being pivotally connected to said arm a spaced distance from the pivotal connection between said arm and the first mentioned bracket, the upper end of said post being pivotally connected to said second bracket, whereby forward movement of the handle on said first mentioned pivotal connection causes its said arm to elevate the post and thereby to raise the seat supporting frame to which the post is pivotally connected by means of the second bracket, thereby causing the scissor frame to move the side frame members toward each other to narrow the wheel chair, a guide rail carried by the side frame member on which said handle is pivotally supported for con- References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 222,210 Steves Dec. 2, 1879 1,235,973 Heid Aug. 7, 1917 1,882,315 Clayton Oct. 11, 1932 2,222,904 Heaslet Nov. 26, 1940 2,482,203 Peterson et a1 Sept. 20, 1949 2,485,016 Rideout Oct. 18, 1949 2,641,306 Lerman June 9, 1953 2,669,289 Usher Feb. 16, 1954 2,676,643 Miller et al. Apr. 27, 1954

Patent Citations
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US222210 *Dec 2, 1879 Improvement in apparatus for guiding headers
US1235973 *Feb 24, 1917Aug 7, 1917Frank HeidWheeled chair.
US1882315 *Aug 29, 1931Oct 11, 1932Pitcairn Aircraft IncAircraft
US2222904 *Apr 5, 1940Nov 26, 1940Cleveland Tractor CoTractor steering mechanism
US2482203 *Aug 16, 1946Sep 20, 1949Harold R PetersonElectric motor drive and control for wheel chairs
US2485016 *Feb 14, 1947Oct 18, 1949Gendron Wheel CompanyInvalid wheel chair
US2641306 *Jan 16, 1952Jun 9, 1953Lerman Monroe ArnoldFoldable wheel chair
US2669289 *Sep 1, 1948Feb 16, 1954John A UsherFolding chair
US2676643 *Jul 1, 1952Apr 27, 1954Elwood A MillerArmchair therapy cart
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3122395 *Feb 7, 1961Feb 25, 1964Offner EdwinWidth-adjusting attachment for wheel chairs
US3133742 *Oct 8, 1962May 19, 1964T H ConklinStairclimbing wheelchair
US3166138 *Oct 26, 1961Jan 19, 1965Jr Edward D DunnStair climbing conveyance
US3216738 *May 1, 1963Nov 9, 1965Charles R BockusChairs for non-ambulatory persons
US3882949 *Nov 16, 1972May 13, 1975Us HealthUniversal wheelchair for the severely disabled
US4326732 *Sep 8, 1980Apr 27, 1982Sears, Roebuck And Co.Foldable wheelchair
US4500109 *Dec 15, 1982Feb 19, 1985Frank VolinWheelchair width adjuster
US4802683 *Aug 10, 1987Feb 7, 1989Gillum Sr J TWheelchair width reducing attachment
US4825971 *Oct 30, 1986May 2, 1989Bernstein Lawrence AUniversal wheeled chair
US5346280 *Mar 31, 1992Sep 13, 1994Deumite Norman AChair with automatic standing aid
US5379866 *Jul 20, 1993Jan 10, 1995Genesis Composites, Inc.Light-weight wheel assembly and static brake for wheelchairs
US5503773 *Sep 8, 1994Apr 2, 1996Genesis Composites, L.C.Method of making a composite handlebar
US5603520 *Jan 12, 1995Feb 18, 1997Teksourc, LcLight-weight wheel assembly for wheelchairs
US5667235 *Apr 10, 1995Sep 16, 1997Teksource, LcMulti-adjustable wheelchair
US5769441 *Sep 19, 1995Jun 23, 1998Namngani; AbdulatifVehicle having two axially spaced relatively movable wheels
US5769442 *Oct 10, 1995Jun 23, 1998Teksource, HlcStructural shell frames and method of making same
WO2009010597A1 *Jul 16, 2007Jan 22, 2009Fundacion TeknikerWheelchair
U.S. Classification280/657, 297/45, 180/9.48, 297/DIG.400, 180/907, 280/638, 280/250.1
International ClassificationA61G5/10
Cooperative ClassificationY10S297/04, Y10S180/907, A61G5/1062
European ClassificationA61G5/10S4