US 2877506 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 17, 1959 H. A. ALMOSLINO 2,877,506 TRANSFORMABLE. RIGID STRUCTURAL UNIT FOR A BODY OR ARTICLE SUPPORTING ASSEMBLAGE Filed Aug. 10, 195
INVENTOR 'HA VS A AZIVUSZ/IVU ql C '1 BY United. States Patent TRANSFORMABLE RIGID STRUCTURAL UNIT FOR A BODY 0R ARTICLE SUPPORTING ASSEMBLAGE Hans A. Almosliuo, Hollis, N. Y. Application August 10, 1953, Serial No. 373,380 3 Claims. c1. 20-.5
This invention appertains to improvements in the construction of body or article supporting assemblages, such as chairs, tables, and the like articles of furniture, and especially relates to improvements in structural units for such articles, such as arms, legs, cross bars, seat and back frames and the like.
In conventional practice, the structural units are formed from a single piece of wood, metal or other material or from a number of pieces which are connected in a unitary, non-transformable manner.
point of manufacture and initial construction, it is ap parent that many different forms and shapes of arms, legs and the like must be made to obtain diversity of shape and contour in final form of the assemblages. In other words, it is necessary to provide different patterns and shape the units so that they form assemblages of varied and different appearances.
The present invention is designed to avoid the production of rigid units of diversified form and appearance and to permit the easy transformation of assembled units so as to easily change the shape of a constructed assemblage. Thus, the primary object of the present invention is to provide a rigid structural unit which can be reformed and reshaped, as desired, to repeatedly alter the form and appearance of the assemblage, composed of a number of such units.
A further object of this invention is to provide a structural unit which embodies a number of complementary blocks of identical dimensions, the blocks being rigidly connected together in mating fashion by a common connector which holds the blocks in rigid succession but which is releasable to permit reassembly of the blocks so as to alter the shape and contour of the unit. The variations in form and appearance of the unit are attained by shaping the blocks so that they have different dimensions, considered axially of the connector.
A further object of this invention is to enable the transformation in shape and contour of the structural unit to be accomplished without removing the blocks from the connector.
These and ancillary objects are attained by this invention, the preferred embodiment of which is set forth in the following description and illustrated in the accompanying drawing, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view compose a structural unit;
Fig. 2 is an elevational view of one end of the block;
Fig. 3 is an elevational view of the opposite end of the block;
Fig. 4 is a side elevational view, partly in section to illustrate the connector, of one form of structural unit, and,
Fig. 5 is a side elevational view of the structural unit, showing it transformed into a different shape.
In the illustrated form, the structural unit is made of one of the blocks, which up of a number of identically shaped and contoured blocks 12 which are held rigidly together in end to end contacting relation. The unit can be transformed from one shape into a multiple number of differing shapes by repositioning the mating. faces of the blocks. Thus, a straight unit can be changed to a curved unit, or serpentine or wavy unit. This permits the shape and appearance of the assemblage which consists of a number of such units to be transformed. However, when the blocks are connected together, after a transformation in the shape and contour of the unit has been made, they will be rigidly related so that the unit possesses all of the rigidity and strength of a unitary structural unit. The advantage of the present invention is that many variations in the shape and appearance of the unit may be realized, after construction of the end product. Also, the present invention enables a manufacturer to construct many varied forms of assemblages from blocks of identical shape.
The block 12, shown in detail in Figs. 1 to 3, is formed with side or length faces 16 and 18, which are in planar parallelism and with upper and lower faces 20 and 22 which are also in planar parallelism. The faces 16 and 18 are in right angular relation with the faces 20 and 22 so that the angle at the juncture between the faces is The block also includes width or end faces 24 and 26, which are inclined from the face 20 to the face 22. The end faces 24 and 26 are the contacting faces of the block, since they are constantly in facial contact with the adjoining end faces of adjacent blocks, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5. To ensure such contact and impart rigidity to the unit, the end faces are formed in a keying formation.
Thus, the end face 24 is formed with a transverse groove 28 that extends through the side faces 16 and 18 and is in the exact center between the upper and lower faces 20 and 22. The opposite end face 26 is formed with a transversely extending tongue 30, which is dimensioned to fit snugly and entirely within the groove in the adjoining end face of an adjacent block. The tongue is in the same plane as the groove and, thus, lies exactly centrally between the upper and lower faces 20 and 22.
Formed axially of the block and extending through the is an opening 32 through which sembled formation, order.
From a consideration of Fig. 4, it can be seen that when a straight structural unit is desired, then the blocks are positioned on the connector so that every other block has the end block 12a has its upper face 20 planar with the of the adjoining blocks 12b and and has its lower face 22 planar with the upper faces 20 of the blocks 12b and 120. This formation is carried out throughout the length of the unit. By having the end faces inclined and the blocks alternately reversed, the major end 38 of one block complements the minor end 40 of an adjoining bloc In this fashion, the unit is formed with upper, lower and side planar surfaces and is, thus, rectangular in shape.
To change the form of the unit, the nuts are loosened to provide space between adjoining blocks, one of which can then be rotated about the connector as an axis. By selectively repositioning the blocks, the unit will assume other shapes.
An example of another shape is shown in Fig. 5, where in the unit is curved. The curvature is obtained by having the major ends of the blocks grouped together and the minor ends arranged together, so that the blocks radiate from a common center point. The connector being flexible bends to conform to the curvature.
Thus, by reversing the blocks, an innumerable number of difierent shapes and curvatures can be obtained. Yet each shape will be rigid and the unit, irrespective of its particular shape, cannot be folded or rolled up. Of course, the shape of a particular unit will be governed by the. positioning of the blocks and the shape is not limited to a straight or curved line but can be any conceivable shape, since one or two blocks repositioned will vary the shape.
A particular advantage of this invention resides in the ease and simplicity of effecting the transformation of a unit. Simply loosening one of the nuts 36 will produce the necessary play axially of the connector in the block succession to enable any desired block to be rotated about the connector into a new position. This is possible due to the dead center positioning of the single connector, which also, due to its positioning relative to the blocks, enables the nuts to rigidly hold the blocks together.
While only one flexible connector is shown in the drawing. for securing the blocks together in rigid succession, three parallel connectors could be used, the connectors extending through the dead center and on each side thereof longitudinally through the blocks in the plane of the tongues and grooves. Or again, two connectors could be used, such connectors extending longitudinally through the blocks on opposite sides of the center. Thus, any number of connectors can be used, though the advantage of one connector is that the blocks can be repositioned without removing them from the connector.
A structural unit formed according to this invention will be of tremendous value in display arrangements. It is; well known that displays must constantly be changed to blend in with different types and kinds of merchandise. Due to the easy and ready transformability of tural unit, changes may be quickly made to shape the unit to best advantage in displaying the goods. Not only is this true of the actual merchandise supporting assem blage, but also in the display field, structural units, particularly of curved shape, are used as a frame or background. The structural unit of this invention can be used for decorative purposes to great advantage, since the curvature thereof can be changed as desired. Depending upon the design of the display, structural units, used for background, can be transformed so as to tie in with the different kinds of merchandise.
As will be understood, the specific shape and dimensions of the block can be changed, as found necessary or desirable, dependent upon the specific supporting, display or decorative assemblage into which the structural unit is to be incorporated.
Therefore, while a specific form of my invention has been shown and described herein, such is by way of example and is but one embodiment of my invention, which isdefined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A structural unit comprising a plurality of substantially identically formed blocks arranged in succession and having opposed planar contacting faces, said opposed planar faces of each of said blocks being non-parallel and having mating interengaging means formed thereon, said interengaging means comprising mating arcuately convex tongues and opposed arcuately concaved grooves, eachof the struc said blocks having an opening in their centers and extending through the interengaging means on each block, the openings being in registry, a flexible tensile connector extending through the registering openings and having ends extending beyond the end blocks and rigid securing elements on said ends bearing against the end block and holding the blocks in. rigid immovable facial contact, at least one of said ends of the connector being threaded and one of said elements including a nut on the said threaded end and tightly drawn up thereon against the adjacent end block, partial loosening of said nut releasing the mating engagement of said tongues and grooves to permit relative rotation of adjacent blocks relative to each other.
2. A structural unit comprising a plurality of substantially indentically formed blocks arranged in succession and having opposed planar contacting faces, said opposed planar faces of each of said blocks being non-parallel and having mating interengaging means formed thereon, each of said blocks having an opening in their centers and extending through the interengaging means on each block,-
the openings being in registry, a flexible tensile connector extending through the registering openings and having ends extending beyond the end blocks and rigid securing elements on said ends bearing against the end block and holding the block in rigid immovable facial contact, said interengaging means including a convexly arcuate-faced tongue on one of the contacting faces of a block and a concavely arcuate-faced groove on the other, the tongues and grooves on the blocks being identically dimensioned, partial release of said securing element permitting rotation of adjacent blocks relative to each other.
3. A structural unit comprising a plurality of substantially identically formed blocks arranged in succession and having opposed planar contacting faces, said opposed planar faces of each of said blocks being non-parallel means formed thereon,
and having mating interengaging each of said blocks having an opening in their centers and extending through the interengaging means on each block, the openings being in registry, a tensile connector extending through the registering openings and having ends extending beyond the end blocks and rigid securing elements on said ends bearing against the end block and tensioning said connector to hold the blocks in rigid immovable facial contact, said interengaging means including a convexly arcuately faced tongue on one of the contacting faces of a block and a concavely arcuately faced groove on the other, the tongues and grooves on the blocks being identically dimensioned, and extending transversely of the connector and lying centrally between the faces of the block above and below the connector, par-- tial release of said securing elements permitting rotation of adjacent blocks relative to each other.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS