US 2931425 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 5, 1960 G. B. RASCO HAL 2,931,425
MULTIPLE PURPOSE FURNITURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 16. 1958 IN VENT 0R5. Grady B. R0660 BY John R. Toy/or; Jr:
P lih April 1960 G. B. RASCO ETAL 2,931,425
MULTIPLE PURPOSE FURNITURE Filed May 16, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS. Grady 6, Rosco BY John R Tag/or; Jr?
AGENT MULTIPLE PURPOSE FURNITURE Grady B. Rasco, Lake Jackson, and John R. Taylor, In, Freeport, Tex.
Application May 16, 1958, Serial No. 735,871
8 Claims. (Cl. 155-43) This invention relates to furniture and particularly to multi-purpose furniture which is adapted for institutional usage.
In an elfort to reduce institutional costs many schools, churches, etc. now use a single room or area for more than one functional purpose. For example, many schools have multi-purpose rooms which are commonly called cafeteria and are combination cafeteria eating areas the assembly halls. Another example of such multiple purpose rooms occurs in churches where a single room may serve as a meeting or eating area (church suppers, etc.) and as an overflow seating area used during church services.
, While the concept of using such multi-purpose rooms to reduce capital costs is excellent, the progress in development of economical, fool-proof multi-purpose furniture has apparently lagged behind the need for such furniture and consequently the economies achieved in using such multi-purpose rooms have not been as impressive as had been expected.
Accordingly, a principal object of this invention is to provide improved multi-purpose furniture.
Another object of this invention is to provide improved, more economical multi-purpose furniture than has heretofore been obtainable.
: A further object of this invention is to provide improved multi-purpose institutional furniture which is of simplified construction and is economical to manufacture.
An ancillary object of this invention is to provide improved multi-purpose institutional furniture which may be stored compactly and which may be converted as to its functional usage by persons having no special training in the usage of such furniture.
In accordance with this invention there is provided multiple purpose furniture having a fiat, elongated top section whose edges are parallel with the longitudinal axis of the section. Legs and suitable bracing are secured to the top section and a seat section is hingedly supported from the legs. Two side sections are hingedly connected at their edges to the top section and means nited States Paten't O 2,931,425 Patented Apr. 5, .1960
Fig. 6 is an end view of furniture similar to that shown in Fig. 1, but having detachable legs for permitting more compact storage of the furniture when it is not being used.
Referring to Fig. l and to Fig. 2, there is shown multiple purpose furniture 10 which is in position for use as a table. The furniture 10 comprises a center section 12 which is fixedly secured to each of the leg frame sections 14a, 14b. Each of the frame sections 14a and 14b is attached to the center section 12 near each end thereof by, for example, the screws 16 extending through ends of the members 20, 22 are offset from the center of the base 24 for reasons which will be explained later. An upper lateral cross member 18, as mentioned above, and lower lateral cross member 28 are secured to each pair of vertical members 20, 22.
A pair of upper longitudinal cross members 30, 32' are secured to and extend between the vertical members 20, 22 of each frame section 14a, 14b. In addition a brace 34 extends from each of the lower lateral cross members 23 (secured to that part of the member 28 lying between the vertical members 20, 22) to the bottom of the center section 12 at a point between the points of attachment of the leg frame sections 14a, 14b. In practice it is convenient to provide lateral cross members 36, 38 secured between the longitudinal cross mem bers 30, 32 and to attach the upper ends of braces 34 to the center section 12 through the lateral cross members 36, 38.
Elongated, flat side sections v40, 42 are secured to the center section 12, one side section on each side thereof, by means of hinges 44, 46 at each end of the frame. Only one set of hinges 44, 46 is shown in Fig. 2, but the hinges at the other end of the table frame are similarly disposed. Usually, too, hinges are used to connect the side sections 40, 42 to the center section 12 at the position along the frame where the lateral crossmembers 36, 38 are disposed.
When the furniture 10 is used as a table the side section 40 is held in its raised position by means of the somewhat V-shaped braces 48, 50 which are secured by pivot members or brackets 58 to the bottom part 52 are provided for supporting each side section in coplanar relationship with respect to and contiguous to the top; section. Means are also provided for supporting the seat section in fixed alignment with respect to the legs and for supporting one of said side sections along an edge of the seat section.
The invention, as well as additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood when the following detailed description is read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, of multiple purpose furniture made in accordance with this invention and shown in its table position;
Fig. 2 is an end elevational view of the furniture shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is an end view of the furniture shown in Fig. 1, but with the furniture in the pew position;
Fig. 4 is an end view of the furniture shown in Fig. 1, but with the furniture in desk position;
I Fig, 5 is an end view of the furniture shown in Fig. 1, but in its storage position, and
of the seat section 54. The seat section 54 is attached by means of an L-shaped pivot bracket 56 to the part 57 of the lower lateral cross member 28 which projects outwardly beyond the vertical member 20. The upper part of the seat section 54 lies against the upper part of the frame 14a (against vertical member 20) and 14b just'below the center section 12. When the center section is rather narrow, the points of attachment to the center section 12 of the frame sections 14a and 14b are offset to one side of center to permit the seat section 54 to lie against the upper part of the frame and not extend beyond the side edge of the center section 12.
The V-shaped braces 48, 50 are conveniently connected together by a bar 60 (which may be an integral part of the brace structure if desired) to permit the positional adjustment of both braces 48, 50 at one time by One person. The upper or vertex end of the braces 48, 50 is held in a retaining bracket or stop means 62 which is positioned, when the braces are ledged with respect to the center section '12 by meansof braces 64 which are pivotally secured to the vertical members 14b and which rest against stop members 66 which are veniently made of rectangularly .shaped'wood planks,
al though metal or plasticlcompositional planking pould also be used for the purpose. The frame sections are conveniently made of metal sections oretubes, but wood' construction may also be used if desired. V V i Referring now to Fig. 3, it may be seen that the fumiture shown in Fig. 2 may be converted to use as a pew or backed seating bench by releasing the braces 64 from the stop members 66 and permitting the side section 42 to lie generally vertically with respect to the floor (not shown) on which the furniture rests The side section 4}) is dropped by releasing the !-shaped braces 50 from thebracket or stop means762, lowering the'seat section 54 and then seating the braces 50 against the stop mem-.
ber 63 which is attached on the U,-shaped leg member 26. With the seat section in this position, the sidersection 49 is dropped down andrests against the seat back stop 70 which is, as illustrated, and angle section which is secured to the bottom 52 of the seat section 54 and which has one edge which extends above the topfof the rear edge of the section 54. i
The pew position illustrates why the vertical members secured to the lower end of the vertical part, the vertical part having a lateral cross member affixed thereto and extending outwardly from the'vertical part, the upper end of said vertical part being secured to the center section at approximately equal lengths from the center of the length of the central section, a pair of flat, elongated side sections each having an upper side and a lower side, each of saidside sections .havingparallel edges along ,f the lengthwisedimension thereof, said side sections having hinges attached thereto and to said central section at at least two places along the length thereof, the pivot of said hinges being approximately aligned with an edge of said central section and an 'edgeof the side section V to which each hinge is attached, afiat, elongated seat 14a, 14b are not centered with respect to the base 24 of the U-shaped leg members 26. If the members 14a, 14b were centered on the base 24, the assembly would easily be upset when people sat on the seat section. The offset arrangement shown minimizes the tipping tendency of the furniture when used as a pew or desk.
Figure 4 shows the convertible furniture of this invention adapted for use as an elongated desk suitable for use by several individuals at one time. The desk position is the same as the pew position except that the side section 42 is raised as in the table position shown in Figs 1 and 2 and held in position by the braces 64. It may be seen that when other such furniture units are set together in a r'ow that the seat part of the rear units accommodate the desk part of the front unit.
Fig. 5 shows furniture of the type shown in Figs. 1
to 4, but with the side sections 40, 42 and seat section we 54 folded to the storage position for the furniture. It may be seen that the furniture folds into a compact unit and that by staggering furniture units slightly the leg sections 26 do not interfere with those of adjacent pieces of similar furniture and the .furniture may. be stacked with V the side sections of one piece abutting against side sece tions of another piece.
'Fig. 6 illustrates a modification of the furniture shown in Figs. 1 to 5 in that the legs sections 20:: and 22a are adapted to fit into tubular vertical members 14a and 14b to complete the furniture unit. This arrangement permits the removal of the furniture legs for storage convenience and to permit the use of legs of various heights. For
. example, shorter legs may be used when small children are to use the furniture in order that their feet may touch the floor when they are seated, yet longer legs may easily be attached to the furniture when it is tobe used by adults. Usually, though, the legs are high enough to permit sweeping under the legs. Also, furniture of this type may be stacked'in storage;
From the above description it is apparent that the fumiture of this invention is adaptedfor different functional usage, is simple in construction, maybe easily setup and changed in function by persons having no special training therefor, and may be stored conveniently when not in use. a 7 7 What is claimed is:
1. 'Multiple purpose furniture'comprising a flat surfaced, elongated center section having side edges which are parallel, a pair of leg structures, :each leg structure comprising a vertical part having an'upperend and a lower end, and a horizontally extending stabilizing cross member part, said stabilizing crossmember being section having a top side and a bottom side, said seat section being hingedly secured to the part of each of said lateral cross member which extends outwardly from said vertical parts, a first pair. of spaced apart'hinged braces having two ends, one end of each of said first pair of hinged braces being secured to the bottom side of said seat section, a pair of stop means disposed on each stabilizing cross member part of the leg structure for receiving the unsecured other end of each of ,said first pair of braces when the seat section is in one position, a pair ofstop means disposed on thelower side of the side section which is disposed on the same side of said central section as is said seat section. for receiving unsecured ends of each of the first pair of hinged braces when the seat section is in another position, a second pair of hinged braces each having two ends, one of said braces being secured at one end to said leg structure and stop means secured to the lower side of the second side section to receive the unsecured end of each brace of the second pair of braces. 2. Multiple purpose furniture in accordance with. claim 1, wherein the vertical part of each of said leg structures comprises a pair of tubular elements having a top and bottom and having a cross member near to the top end, and said stabilizing cross member part is a U-shaped tubular element having a wide base length, the lower end of said tubular elements of the legs being secured to the base of the U-shaped tube.
3. Multiple purpose furniture in accordance with claim 1, wherein the width of said seat section is less that the distance between the lateral cross member of the vertical part and the upper end of the vertical part. 7
4. Multiple purpose furniture in accordance with claim 1, wherein the thickness of the seat section is less than the distance between the upper end of the vertical part symmetrically disposed with respect to the length of the horizontally extending stabilizer elements. 7 V r 6. Multiple purpose furniture in accordance with claim 1, ,wherein said horizontally extending stabilizing cross member is detachably secured to said vertical part of the leg structure. 7 V i j I 7. Multiple purpose furniture in accordancewith claim 1, wherein stop means extend outwardly from the top side of the seat section along the edge thereof which is adjacent where the seat'is hingedly secured to the lateral cross members. i
8. Multiple purpose furniture in accordance with claim 1, wherein the first pair of spaced apart hinged braces are mechanically coupled together. 7
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,214,019