US 2844429 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 22, 1958 E. FREY LP TRAY WITH -ADJUSTABLE LEG-ENGAGING MEANS Filed Dec. 5, 1956 United States PatentO LAPTRAY WITH 'ADJUSTABLE LEG-ENGAGING MEANS Ephriam Frey, Flint, Mich.
Application December 5, 1956, Serial No. 626,362.
Claims. (CL 3114-45)y The present invention relates-texan improvedflap tray of that type illustratedin my cti-pending application, SeriallNo. 479,304, filed-January 3, 1955, now Patent Number 2,783,109, issued February 26, 1957.
Generally, the inventionl comprises a tray which' may be :firmly supported 'on a horizontal plane by the legs of the user irrespective of f slight inclinations of 'thev userfs legs, and the particular improvements in the'present invention are-the provisions :of novel means for fr'i'c-tionally engaging leg-abuttingpanels for supporting the tray'horizontally and novel means for adjusting the'distance betweena pair of leg-abutting panelsv` which forma part Vofthe invention.- Essentially, the devicecomprisesia tray, preferably of rectangular formation, andhavingtuponf' its underside a pair of longitudinally extending spaced parallel trackwaysIbetween"whicltiisl slidablyarra-nged a pair of base members to each. of which is hingedly connected a leg-abutting' panel. A novel arrangement is provided for locking the panels -intheir upright positions aftertliey have b'een'adjusted toward or away from each other.
It isaccordingly an objectof the invention to provide an improved lap trayhavingnovel means for adjusting a` pair of 'leg-abutting memberstowardand away-from each other.
Another object of the invention is to provide, in a device of the character set forth, novel means for locking leg-abutting members forming part of the invention in adjusted positions.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved lap tray having novel means whereby the tray may be supported horizontally by the legs of a user independent .of the inclination of the lap of the user when said user is seated in a comfortable position.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a device of the character set forth which is simple in construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and yet effective and efficient in use.
Other and further objects of the invention will become v apparent from a reading of the following specification taken in conjunction with drawing, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention showing the same in operative position,
Figure 2 is a perspective view of the underside of the tray illustrated in Figure l showing one leg-abutting member in closed position and one leg-abutting member in opened position, such leg members forming parts of the invention,
Figure 3 is a top plan view of the tray illustrating the same in position upon the lap of a user, and
Figures 4 and 5 are enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional views illustrating certain details of construction and taken substantially on lines 4-4 and 5-5, respectively, of Figure 3.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, there is shown a rectangular tray composed of a thin plate of lightweight rigid material which may be thin plywood or v the like and which has axed to its marginal edge por- 2,844,429 Patented July 22, 1958 ice 2. tions'stps'forming'an upstanding'ledge 11 along all sides -of the tray.
Secured'to the underside vof the tray 10' is a pair of strips 1'2" of jwood or like material, the strips 12being spaced inwardly from the longer sides ofthe tray and extendinglongitudinally thereof'in` spaced parallel relation, Aiixedl toy ythe underside of each of the strips 12 is a relatively thirr stripof metal 13, the strips V13 extendinginwardly beyond the inner4 sides of the wood strips 12 to provide trackways. The strips 12 and 13 are'each secured to the tray 10 by means of a plurality of screws 14 or the like.l
A pair of support plates 15 is provided and`each has aflixed to theupper side of each of its side edge portions a longitudinally and laterallyextending guide member 16,
thefou-ter edges of vthe guide lmembers 16 being received bythe trackways formed 'by th'epairs of strips 12'and 13, aslclearly shown in Figures 4 and 5.
On theundersideofeach of the supporting plates 15, there is affixed-'by means of'hinges 17, a dependent legabutting'panel 18; The-panels 18 areadapted to be folded towardeach other to a position whereby they will be-fsubstantiallyparallel tothe'tray 10"and in such condition` may be'stacked or otherwise stored when not in USC It willbe 'noted by; reference to Figures 2 and; 3' that thepanels-IS are sohinged that they extendjacrossopp osite end portions of the assembled device at' slight ang-les to leach other and,` ofcourse, are of Agreater'len'gth Vthan heightwhereby 'tofpresent a maximum` surface contactf'with' tlrelegs oftheuser as'willBehereinafterset forth.'
Each ofthefpanels 1.8ihas'axed in'any suitablemanner upon its outer'face and-adjacent each ende'- portion thereo'ffstileni-ng strips 19,l each lof `whichis'provided with anintegra-lly'formed enlargedhead 20" at its'upperend, that is'to say, 'thatend -of the panel 18fwhichlies adjacent the tray 10. It is in these enlarged heads that the screws 21 (Figure 5) attaching the hinges 17 to the leg-abutting panels 18 are extended for firm securement of the hinges.
One of the strips 13 has formed therein adjacent each end thereof a series of vertical openings 22, and the associated strip 12 is provided with registering openings 23. Each of the enlarged heads 20which lies adjacent the strips having the openings 22 and 23 is provided with a dowel 24 which is selectively engaged in the openings 22-23 upon swinging the leg-abutting panels 18 to depending positions at right angles to the tray 10.
At the forward and rearward end portions of the legabutting end panels 18 and on their inner sides that fold up next to the tray 10 when the device is not in use are vertically extending strips 25 having irregular surfaces 26 on their exposed sides that frictionally engage the sides of the legs of a user so as to permit supporting the tray on a horizontal plane independent of the inclination of a users lap.
In operation, when it is desired to use the tray of the present invention, it is only necessary to rst move the supporting plates 15 toward or away from each other until the proper and most comfortable position of the same is arrived at, whereupon the panels 18 may be extended to a vertical position as shown in Figure 1. This action will force the dowel pins 24 into engagement with the openings 22--23 thus locking the panels in the preselected positions.y The tray may now be placed over the upper portions of the users legs in the manner indicated in Figure 3, and it will be apparent that a slight outward pressure of the users legs will tend to engage the ribs 25 to securely hold the tray .10 in a substantially horizontal position and in such a manner that both of the users hands are free. It will also be seen that the provision of the dowel pins and the openings for receiving the same makes the present device one which may be utilized by persons of diierent sizes.
In View of the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, it is believed that a lclear understanding of the construction, operation, and advantages of the device will be quite apparent. A further detailed description of the operation is accordingly deemed unnecessary.
It is to be understood, however, that even though there is herein shown and described a preferred embodiment of the invention, various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and full intendment of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A lap tray that is supported by engagement of the legs of a user therewith, said lap tray comprising a substantially rectangular tray top, a pair of spaced parallel longitudinally extending trackways aixed to the underside of said tray top, a pair of support plates each slidably mounted in said trackways, a leg-abutting panel hingedly connected to the underside of each of said plates and each swingable toward the other from a position at substantially right angles to said tray top to a position substantially parallel to said tray top, and means automatically latching said plates in preselected positions in said trackways upon swinging of said leg-abutting panels to positions at substantially right angles to said tray.
2. A lap tray as defined in claim 1 wherein said latching means includes a plurality of spaced openings in one of said trackways, and a dowel aixed to each end panel and selectively receivable in said openings.
3. A lap tray that is supported by engagement of the legs of a user therewith, said lap tray comprising a substantially rectangular tray top, a pair of spaced parallel longitudinally extending trackways aflixed to the underside of said tray top, a pair of support plates each slidably mounted in said trackways and having undersurfaces thereof substantially on the same plane as undersurfaces of said trackways, a leg-abutting panel hingedly connected to the underside of each of said plates and each swingable toward the other from a position at substantially right angles to said tray top to a position substantially parallel to said tray top, a pair of stitening strips aflxed to the outer face of each of said panels, said stiffening strips abutting the undersides of said trackways when said panels are in positions at substantially right angles to said tray top, and means at the abutment of said stitening strips with said trackways for automatically holding said plates in preselected positions on said trackways upon swinging said leg-abutting panels to positions at substantially right angles to said tray top.
4. A lap tray as deflned in claim 3 wherein said holding means includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced openings adjacent each end portion of one of said trackways, and a dowel aflixed to a stifening strip of each panel and selectively receivable in said openings.
5. A lap tray that is supported in a level position by engagement of the legs of a user therewith, said lap tray comprising a substantially rectangular tray top having forward and rearward edge portions extending lengthwise thereof, a pair of leg-abutting end panels extending transversely of and depending at substantially right angles from the underside of said tray top adjacent its ends, said panels being of greater length than their widths and being positioned outwardly of the legs of a user, and a narrow vertically extending strip along at least one end portion and on the inner side of each of said leg-abutting panels, said strips having irregular exposed surfaces thereon so as to frictionally engage the sides of the legs of a user for supporting the tray top substantially on a horizontal plane.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,008,037 Johnson Nov. 7, 1911 2,476,620 Nichols July 19, 1949 2,663,603 Newman Dec. 22, 1953 2,697,018 Georgides Dec. 14, 1954 2,783,109 Frey Feb. 26, 1957