US 2837394 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June s, 195s P. RAH'ALL 2,837,394
PORTABLE DESK Filed March 14. 1957 United States Patent O ronrABLn DESK Philip Rahall, Affton, Mo. Application March 14, 1957, senat No. 645,954
s claims. (ci. S12- 257) This invention relates tofportable desks, and particularly to that kind of desk which can be employed over the lap of a person seated in a chairor bed.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide a desk which may be folded neatly and compactly, which is sturdy and rigid when in use, which provides storage compartments from which articles are not likely to rbe lost when the desk is transported, which is easily carried, readily erected and folded, comfortable andv convenient to use, and which is simple to manufacture.
Other objects will become apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of the following description and accompanying drawings.
In accordance with this invention, generally stated, a portable desk is provided having a top, a pair of runnertype supports hinged beneath the top, and a pair of receptacles secured to the top. The top is divided into two panels, hinged together on their under sides along abutting edges intermediate the supports. Each of the. receptacleshas va wall projecting above the top immediately along the abutting edge of a panel. These walls are so positioned as to engage one another when the panels are unfolded to form the top. Each of the supports is provided with a handle portion which extends beyond the boundaries of the top.
The top panels are grooved on their under sides to receive the supports when the supports are folded, so that when the panels are then folded, they fit substantially flat against one another. The receptacles are provided With hinged doors which open in the direction of the handle portion of the supports. A back panel of each receptacle, cooperating with the upwardly projecting wall, braces the wall and strengthens the top against bending. The hinging of the panels and supports is so arranged that when the desk is in folded position and the handle portion of the supports is grasped, the desk will remain folded. The supports diverge from one another downwardly when the desk is erected, so that the weight of the desk serves to prevent the supports co1- lapsing toward one another to their folded position.
In the drawing, Figure 1 is a top plan view of a desk constructed in accordance with one illustrative embodiment of this invention, showing the desk erected;
Figure 2 is a view in front elevation of the desk shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a view in side elevation, of the desk shown in Figures 1 and 2;
Figure 4 is a bottom plan view of the desk shown in Figure l, showing one of the supports erected and one folded;
Figure 5 is a view in perspective of the desk shown in Figure 1; and
Figure 6 is a view in perspective of the desk shown in Figure 1, folded.
Referring now to the drawing for an illustrative embodiment of this invention, reference numeral 1 indicates a complete desk, made up of a pair of mirror-image top 2,837,394 Patented June 3, ,1958
panels 2. and 3,-runners 4 and 5, hinged to panels 2 and' 3 respectively, and receptacles 6 and 7 mounted on panels 2 and 3 respectively.
Panels 2 and 3 are hinged together along a straight edge by means of hinges 10 and 11 fastened to the underV a rear leg 25, a handle section 26, a front leg 27, a front' hinge bearing section 2S, terminating in a front stop foot Z9, and a rear hinge .bearing section 30, terminating in a rear foot stop 31. As shown in Figures 3 and 5, the
bottom rail 24 is preferably not parallel with the top.
of the desk, so that when the rail 24 rests on a horizontal surface, the top slants downwardly toward the front. Hinge plates 35 are screwed to the under surface of the top, across the channel 15, confining the bearing sections 28 and 30 within their respective grooves near they outboard edges of the panels. In the illustrated embodiment shown, asillustrated most clearly in Figure 4, the rear bearing section 30 of the support 4 is shorter than the rearxbearing section of the support 5, while the front bearing section 23 of the support 4 is longer than the front bearingsection 28 of the support 5.
The foot 29 at the end of the front bearing section 28 of the support 4 is long, while the corresponding foot 29 of the support 5 is short. The foot 31 at the end of the rear bearing section 30 of the support 4 isshort, while the corresponding foot 3l. of the support Sis long. The long lfoot 29 ofthe section 4 projects, when the desk is foldedv into a recess 39 in the under side of the panel 3. The long foot 31 of the support 5 extends into a recess 41 in the under side of the panel 2. In the illustrative embodiment shown, simple buttons 45 are positioned to be turned to hold the foot 29 of the support 4 and the foot 31 of the support 5 within the channel 15.
In the illustrative embodiment shown, each of the receptacles 6 and 7 is a complete box, with a bottom 51, top 52, outboard side 53, inboard side 54, back and hinged front S6. The front 56 is hinged to the top 7 by means of hinges 57, and is provided with a pull 58. The receptacles 6 and 7, are bolted to the panels 4 and S respectively by bolts running through the Ibottom 51 and nuts, which seat in counter bores in the under side of the panels, as shown in Figure 4. The receptacles 6 and 7 may be compartmented in any desired way.
A simple hook latch 60 on the outboard edges of the panels 6 and 7 completes the desk of this illustrative embodiment.
The fact that the supports are hinged on the outboard side of the panels, ensures that when the desk is being carried by grasping the two handle sections 26, the panels will be held rmly together. Likewise, the hinging of the front 56 of the receptacles is such to ensure that the doors thus provided are held closed by gravity when the desk is being carried.
The front and rear legs of the supports, bearing against the wall of the channels 15 when folded within the channels 15, relieve the support hinges 35, of any load when the desk is carried by the handle.
The arrangement of the abutting inboard sides 54 of the receptacles is an essential part of this invention. By providing a substantial `bearing surface above the top of the desk, on the side opposite the panel hinges 10 and 11, they make such a hinging arrangement practical. Without such an arrangement, the mechanical advantage However, they have the same parts,
applied to the hinges, when the desk, is so great as to make the arrangement impractical. The back 55 adds strength to the structure by forming a brace for the side 54.
Numerous variations in the particularY design of the` desk, within the scope of the appended claims, will occur to those skilled in the art in the light of the foregoing disclosure. The shapeof the panels 2 and 3, fior example, may be varied in any desired way. The outboard efdgesvof the panels in the illustrative embodiment shown are curved, while the front edge is straight. The front edge may `be made concave, the better to accommodate the conliguration of the person using the desk, or the outboard sides may be made straight to simplify the manufacture of the desk.
Similarly, the conliguration of the supports may `he varied, for example to change the length of the Abottom rail or its angular relation with the top, or to vary the shape or size of the front and back legs. The handle section is preferably made of a size and shape comfortably to fit the hand of the user. The means for anchoring the supports in unfolded position may take any desired form. For example, a spring brace or latch may be positioned in the groove in which the front leg lies, in such a way as to snap up when the supports are unfolded. The method of mounting the receptacles, and their construction, may also -be varied. The method of mounting shown in the illustrative embodiment was adopted to ensure that the receptacles are rigidly and permanently mounted when the panels and receptacles are made of wood. If the desk is made of metal, or of plastic, when the receptacles may be made integral with the panels, such a bolting arrangement may not be necessary.
Thus it can be seen that a portable desk is provided which is compact and light, but at the same time is rigid and strong, which is convenient to carry and use, and which is neat and pleasing in appearance.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A portable desk comprising a top made up of panels weight is put on the top of 'asszsea Y 4 hinged together to fold, and two runner-type supports hinged to the under side of said top near the outboard edges thereof, each of said supports having a handle part extending beyond an edge of said top, said handle parts meeting when the panels are folded to form a handle by which the desk can conveniently lbe carried. 2. A portable desk comprising a top made up of panels hinged together to fold, and two runner-type supports hinged to the under side of said top near the outboard edges thereof, the under side of said top lbeing grooved complementarily to the conguration of the supports and the said supports being hinged to fold into the grooves, each of said supports having a handle section, extending beyond an edge of said top, a bottom rail, and a leg extending at an angle from said bottom rail whereby, when said supports are folded into said grooves and the desk is lifted by said handle, the desk is supported by the v'bearing of the leg against a wall dening said groove.
3. A portable desk comprising a top, said top being made up of a pair of panels hinged together on their under sides along contiguous edges to permit folding of the panels; a receptacle on the upper surface of each of said top panels, each of said receptacles having a side wall extending along the hinged contiguous edge of its panel, said walls abutting when the top panels are unfolded, a front, hinged along one edge; and runner-type supports hinged to the under side of said panels Ytoward the outboard edge thereof, each of said supports having a handle section projecting beyond an edge of the top', the front of the receptacles opening in a direction toward said handle section.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,775,156 Bulkowski Sept. 9, 1930 2,747,957 Lencioni May 29, 1956V 2,784,973 Nemec Mar. 12, 1957