US 2918114 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
22, 1959 s. B. HENDRICKSON 2,913,114
FOLDING CHAIR Filed May 20, 1958 INVENTOR. I fisvEev/v 5. /-7(E/VDE/CK5OM BY r m 2 1M WM FOLDING CHAIR Severin B. Hendrickson, Templeton, Mass., assignor to Heywood-Wakefield Company, Gardner, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Application May 20, 1958, Serial No. 736,512
4 Claims. (Cl. 155-442) This invention relates to folding chairs, and more particularly to folding chairs suitable for use in theaters or other places where rows of chairs are desired.
Folding chairs of conventional patterns must ordinarily involve a number of compromises in design. Where the advantage of compactness in storage is gained, the folding chairs in common use today all involve one or more sacrifices in strength, comfort, or convenience in use. It is an object of my invention to provide a folding chair in which all the advantages of ordinary chairs are combined with the ability to be folded for storage in the smallest possible space.
A disadvantage of many folding chairs is that their seats cannot be folded up without folding up the rest of the chair at the same time. This is a substantial disadvantage when a large number of chairs must be placed in rows, as in theaters, or other places where people will be passing in and out of rows at various times. Accordingly, it is an object of my invention to provide a folding chair in which the Seat can be folded independently of the frame of the chair.
Another disadvantage with many folding chairs is that their mechanisms permit the use of hard seats only. This again presents a problem in theaters, where the user of the chair may be occupying it for extended periods of time. Another object of my invention is to provide a folding chair especially designed to include an upholstered seat comparable in comfort to ordinary theater seats. It is a further object to provide a folding chair in which the use of an upholstered seat will not prevent the chair from being folded into the most compact space possible.
Still another object of my invention is to provide a folding chair which combines the features enumerated above with strength and light weight, so that it will support a person of any reasonable weight and yet can be easily carried with one hand. It is an additional object of my invention to provide a folding chair which is convenient in operation. This includes subsidiary objects of (1) being able to pick up the chair with one hand without having it collapse into a folded position, (2) being able to pick up and fold the chair with one hand by merely leaning the chair backwards, (3) being able to carry the chair in a folded position with one hand without risk that it will unfold, (4) being able to place the chair while in its folded position against a wall without risk that it will unfold, and (5) being able to set up the chair from its folded to its unfolded position with one hand.
In the accomplishment of these and other objects of my invention, I employ a tubular frame construction in which the rear legs are connected to the front legs by means of pivoting link elements which engage the rear legs in a telescoping relation. An upholstered seat is pivoted on a pair of brackets, which are in turn pivotally connected to the front legs and rear legs. The front legs and the pivoting link elements are carefully shaped in such a ice way as to allow the chair to be folded up into a minimum of space.
It is a feature of my invention that the seat is pivoted on its brackets independently of the other elements of the chair, thereby allowing the seat to be folded up without disturbing the rest of the chair when it is set up for use. Another feature of my invention is that the use of separate brackets for the support of the seat allows the use of a full-size upholstered seat. A further feature of my invention is that the shape and the pivoting relationship of the bracket and leg elements, combined with the telescoping feature of the rear legs, permits the seat, when folded, to fall squarely between the frame and leg elements, thereby reducing the depth measurement of the folded chair to a minimum. An additional feature of my invention is maximum strength combined with minimum weight resulting from the use of a tubular frame construction. It is a feature of my chair that it can be picked up at the back rest and carried conveniently without folding up. Still other features are a result of the tubular construction combined with the pivoting relationships, which allow the chair to be picked up with one hand and folded by grasping the back rest, leaning the chair backwards, and allowing the weight of the frame and seat to operate the folding mechanism. The chair may then be carried with one hand, or left in its folded position against a wall, or may be set down and unfolded by merely letting the chair down vertically with one hand.
These and other objects and features of my invention will best be understood and appreciated from a detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration, and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. l is a view in side elevation of the chair in its unfolded position; and
Fig. 2 is a view in side elevation showing the chair in the folded position.
The preferred embodiment of my invention herein shown comprises a tubular metal base frame indicated at 10, having a pair of front legs 12, joined by a cross brace 14 in the lower portion thereof. In the upper portion of the frame 10, the tubular elements are bent into a loop across the top of the chair to which a back rest element 16 is secured. At points 18 between lower bends 2t and upper bends 22 in the frame 10, a pair of links 24 are pivotally connected to the frame it). The links 24 extend rearward from the pivot points 18 to bended portions 26 in the links 24. From the bended portions 26, the links 24 extend downward and enter rear legs 28 in a telescoping relation. The rear legs 28 are joined by a cross brace 30. Attached to the cross brace 30 are suitable clamps 32 which can be clamped onto a bar when it is desired to have a number of chairs in a fixed row.
Pivotally connected to the rear legs 28 at 34 are a pair of brackets 36. These brackets 36 are also pivotally connected to the front legs 12 at points 38. An upholstered seat, indicated at 4%, having an upholstered portion 42 and a metal base portion 44, is pivotally connected to the brackets 36 at 46.
When the chair is in its unfolded position, as shown in Fig. 1, it can be seen that the pivot point 46 lies above a line defined by points 38 and 34. In this position, the front of the seat 40 is prevented from further downward travel by a conventional stop mechanism within the seat 40. The front of the seat 46 can be pivoted upwards until it rests against the back rest 16. This can be accomplished without disturbing the position of any other elements of the chair. Also, the chair as a whole, in its unfolded position, can be picked up by the back rest 3 1 6 and carried without danger of the chair folding up of its own accord.
In order to fold the chair, the back rest 16 is grasped by one hand and, if necessary, one of the rear legs 28 can be braced at the bottom with one foot. The back rest 16 is then pulled backwards and loweredjpartway to the floor. After being lowered a short Way, the weight of the frame 10 and the seat 49 will cause the rear legs 28 and links 24 to lengthen telescopically and to pivot on point 18 until they come to rest at a position parallel with the front legs 12. The seat 40 can then be pivoted on points 46 until it rests against the back rest 16, if this has not already been done. In the folded position it can be seen that the seat 40 extends substantially no farther in front of the front legs 12 and frame 10, than it extends in back of the rear legs 28 and frame 10. The chair can then be carried conveniently by holding the back rest 16. If desired, the chair can be stacked upright in its folded position, by leaning the front portion of the back rest 16 against a wall.
In order to unfold the chair, it need only be held upright by the back rest 16 and lowered to the floor. It can be seen in Fig. 2 that the rear legs 28 extend farther down than the front legs 12. The Weight of the chair, falling first on the rear legs 28 as the chair is lowered, will cause the rear legs 28 and links 24 to come together telescopically and the remainder of the frame 10 to un fold. The seat 40 can then be moved to its horizontal position.
Since numerous minor variations of this preferred embodiment of my invention will now be apparent to those skilled in the art, it is not my intention to confine the invention to the precise form herein shown, but rather to limit it in terms of the appended claims.
Having thus described and disclosed a preferred embodiment of my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A folding chair comprising a tubular frame, a pair of brackets pivotally connected to said frame, one adjacent to each side of said frame, a pair of rear legs pivotally connected to said brackets and to said frame at a point above said brackets, free sliding telescoping means for increasing the length of said rear legs between the pivotal connections thereof to said brackets and said frame, said brackets having portions extending forward from said frame, a seat pivotally connected to said brackets at pivot points on said forward extending portions, whereby the center of gravity of said seat is slightly forward of the pivotal connections to said brackets, and means for limiting pivotal motion of said seat when said chair is set up for use from a roughly horizontal operative position to an inoperative position roughly parallel with said frame.
2. The inventiondefined in claim 1 further characterized by the pivotal connections between the brackets and the seat, when the chair is in its unfolded position, lying above a plane defined by the pivotal connections between the brackets and the frame, and between the brackets and the rear legs.
3. A folding chair comprising a tubular frame terminating in a pair of front legs, a pair of brackets pivotally connected to said frame, one adjacent to each said leg, first portions of said brackets extending forward from said frame and second portions of said brackets extending rearward from said frame, tubular rear legs pivotally connected to said second portions of said brackets, a seat pivotally connected to said first portions of said brackets, means for limiting pivotal motion of said seat when said chair is setup for use from a roughly horizontal operative position to an inoperative position roughly parallel with said frame, and links pivotally connected to said frame at a point above the pivot point between said brackets and said frame, said links engaging said rear legs in a telescoping relation, said links having a bended portion between the pivot point between said links and said frame and the point of telescoping engagement between said links and said rear legs, whereby said rear legs can be pivoted to a position parallel to said frame, when said chair is folded for storage.
4. The invention defined in claim 3 further characterized by the pivotal connections between the brackets and the seat, when the chair is in its unfolded position, lying above a plane defined by the pivotal connections between the brackets and the frame, and between the brackets and the rear legs.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS