US 2934135 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Apnl 26, 1960 J, S 2,934,135
' APPARATUS FOR PREVENTING INFANTS FROM SLIDING OUT OF HIGI-ICHAIRS Filed July 31, 1958 INVENTOR. ciomvjii 55w Uite States Patent 9 i APPARATUS FOR PREVENTING INFANTS FROM SLIDING OUT OF HIGHCHAIRS John M. Lesh, Santa Ana Heights, Calif.
Application July 31, 1958, Serial No. 752,346
11 Claims. (Cl. 155-189) This invention relates to apparatus for preventing infants from sliding downwardly from the seat of a highchair beneath the tray thereof.
It is widely recognized that infants may slide downwardly beneath the tray of a highchair and either fall to the floor or choke on the inner edge of the tray. Attempts to prevent this have generally involved providing means for jamming the tray tightly against the infant, but this makes the infant uncomfortable and frequently does not accomplish the desired end. Other approaches have made use of apparatus which was difficult or impossible to adjust, could not be manufactured as relatively inexpensive accessory equipment, and could not. be folded back completely out of the way when not in use.
In view of the above and other factors characteristic of conventional means for preventing children from sliding out of highchairs, it is an object of the present invention to provide a highly simple and economical, yet safe and efiective, means for maintainingan infant in a big chair without making him uncomfortable and without increasing the difficulty of placing the infant in the seat while the tray is in position.
A further object is to provide a highchair attachment which may be readily adjusted to fit various sizes of children and various types of highchairs, without requiring thumb or locking screws, etc.
A further object is to provide a highchair incorporating a saddle lever which may be readily adjusted between retracted and operating positions, independently of the tray adjustment, and which locks automatically at any desired position without the necessity of employing thumb screws, latches, etc.
A further object is to provide a highchair accessory which may be fully retracted to a position at which substantially all elements are disposed in a horizontal plane adjacent the undersurface of the tray.
' These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be more fully set forth in the following specification and the claims, considered in connection with the attached drawing to which they relate.
In the drawing:
7 Figure 1 is a perspective view of a highchair incorporating the present invention;
I Figure 2 is a greatly enlarged section taken on line 2--2 of Figure 1 and illustrating the apparatus of the invention in operative position beneath the tray portion of the highchair;
' Figure 3 is a section on line 3-3 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a fragmentary section corresponding to the left portion of Figure 2 but showing the saddle lever in fully retracted position beneath the tray; and
Figure 5 is a top plan view of the accessory, as viewed from above in Figure 2 but with the tray removed.
Referring to the drawing, the invention is illustrated as incorporated in an accessory which may be removably secured beneath the trays 11 of numerous types of highchairs 12, either before such chairs are originally soldor 2,934,135 Patented Apr. 26, 1960 after the chairs have been in use for any length of time. It is to be understood, however, that the invention may also be mounted at the factory as original equipment in the highchair, and may be rigidly secured thereto instead of removably secured.
Throughout this specification and claims, it will be assumed that the longitudinal or major axis of the tray 11 is horizontal and parallel to the back portion 13 of highchair 12, and that the minor axis of the tray 11 is perpendicular to such back portion. The minor axis therefore extends perpendicularly from the child or infant sitting on the seat portion 14 between arms 16. Means, not shown, are provided to removably secure the tray 11 to the highchair, normally at the arms 16, in order that the tray may be removed from the highchair when desired. It is a feature of the invention, however, that the present accessory, when retracted, does not impede sliding of the infant downwardly between the chair back 13 and tray 11 while the tray is mounted on the highchair, so that in many instances it is unnecessary to remove the tray from the highchair in order to place a child therein.
The apparatus is illustrated to comprise a support or track plate 17 having track means 18 therein and extending generally parallel to the minor axis of tray 11 when the track plate is mounted beneath the tray as will be described. The apparatus further comprises a saddle element 19, which may be referred to as a saddle lever. Lever 19 extends downwardly from the track plate 17 to a position relatively close to the seat 14 and between the legs of the infant, thereby preventing sliding of the infant downwardly beneath the tray. Means 21 are provided to form a frictional or binding couple between the saddle lever 19 and track plate 17, thereby automatically locking the saddle lever at any adjusted position. Means 22 are provided to maintain the saddle lever 19 in generally horizontal retracted position closely adjacent the underside of the tray.
The support or track plate 17 is illustrated as being generally rectangular, and as having side flanges 23 which extend upwardly into engagement with the underside of tray 11 and constitute means for maintaining the body of the track plate in spaced relationship beneath the tray. The forward or outer end of the track plate is shown as having a tongue 24 to which is secured a helical tension spring 26, at a selected position by being hooked through one of a plurality of holes 27 in the tongue. The forward end of spring 26 is connected to a hook element 28 which is hooked over the forward or outer edge of the tray 11. A second hook element 29 is integrally provided on the rear edge of plate 17 for hooking over the inner edge of tray 11, and cooperates with the book 28 and spring 26 to constitute means for removably securing the track plate 17 beneath tray 11. The hooks 28 and 29, 'and also the saddle lever 19, are illustrated as being suitably covered with a frictional, decorative and injury-preventing substance such as plastic, rubber, etc.
Proceeding next to a description of the track means 18 and associated elements, this is illustrated to comprise a pair of slots formed parallel to each other in the body of.
shown as being integral with the saddle lever 19. Each, outer leg 31 is illustrated as extending, generally rear- The means 21 to form a couple relative to the wardly and-obliquely from the body of the saddle element 19, through an associated slot 18. Each such leg has at its upper end a hook or foot 33 extended over the body of track plate 17 as best shown in Figures. 3' and 5. The, outer legs 31 are substantially narrower than are the slots 18, so that such legs may readily slide relative to plate 17 as will bedescribed hereinafter. 4
The center leg 32 is illustrated as curving or extending forwardly and obliquely from the body of. saddle element 1 9, and as having an upper end 34 which curves to a position generally parallel .to the body of saddle lever 19 for engagement with the undersurface of track plate 17 between slots 18. center leg 32 are such that, when end 34 is in engagement with track plate 17, thebody of the saddle lever 19 extendsdownwardly from tray 11' and is also inclined remwardly toward an infant sitting on seat .14. s
It is pointed out that the feet 33, slots 18, etc.,lconstitute'means to provide a shiftingpivo-t connection between the saddle element 19 and track plate 17, and thus between the saddle and tray 11. Thesaddle lever 19 may thereafter pivot upwardly toward the infant, for. example to the generally horizontal posit-ion shown in Figure 4, about an axis parallel to the major axis of the tray. However, the center leg 32 prevents outward or downward pivoting of saddle lever 19 (away from the infant) through more than a predetermined angle.
When the .parts are pivoted to the fully retracted posi- 7 tion shownv in Figure 4, they may be secured therein, by the means 22 previously indicated. Such. means are shown as comprising a pair of leaf springs riveted beneath track plate 17 and adapted to receive beneath them upper edge portions of saddle lever 19 between center leg-3'2 and-each outer leg 31. The springs '22 are adapted to bear upwardly against the underside of saddle. lever 19 at apoint spaced. from the upper edge thereof, and. cooperate with track plate 17 to prevent downward pivoting ofthe saddle about an axis which corresponds generally to the upper edge thereof (excluding the legs 31 and 32).
Operation Let. it be assumed that the accessory is initially in the fully retracted position shown in Figure 4, with saddle lever 19 maintained closely against the track'plate 17 by means of springs 22. If for any reason it is desired to completely remove the accessory 10, it is merely.
The shape and length of the necessary to slide the hooks 28 and 29 downwardly ofi the edges of tray 11.' V I d To position the accessory 10 for operation, it ismerely necessary to slide the saddle lever 19 .to the left, in
Figure 4, until it is clear of the springs 22. Thelever.
19 then pivots downwardly through the angle permitted by the center 'leg 32 and to a position similar to" the one shownrin Figure 2 but normally'somewhat father to the right. The lever may even be slid, when iII'dOWIlwardly-pivoted position, to the right of springs 22; The infant may thenbe placed'in the highchair with case; even when the tray 11 is in mounted position .on arms 16,
since the lever 19 is disposed a substantial distance forwardly (to the right in Figure 2') and thus doesnot interferewith movement of the infant downwardly between the tray 11 and back 13 onto seat 14. The infant may also 17, and a downward force is present between feet 33 and the upper side of plate 17 adjacentthe slots. The resulting binding action effectively prevents forward shifting of the lever despite very substantial pressure present at point B. The infant is thus effectively retained in the seat as desired.
When it is desired to remove the infant from the highchair, it is not necessary to remove the tray 11 but only to'slide the lever 19 forwardly along, the slots 18 by app-lying pressure to the lever as indicated at A in Fig ure 2. Such point of pressure application is sufficiently close to the legs 31 and 32' that the couple is insufiiciently strong to result in a frictional bind relative to-plate 17. Stated otherwise, pressure brought to bear near point A creates a translational force which dominates over the rotational force. The forward sliding is thus simple to perform and may, if desired, be accompanied by' an upward pivotal movement whereby the lever 19 is again disposed in fully retracted position beneath springs 22 as shown in Figure 4. In the illustrated embodiment, it has been found that binding occurs when pressure is applied in a forward direction generally beneath the central region of the lever 19, and that no binding occurs when pressure is applied in a forward direction generally above the central region of the lever. It is pointedout that the position of the tray makes it substantially .impossible for the. infant to apply pressure at or near point A.
Various embodiments of the present invention,.in additionto what has been illustrated and described in detail, may be employed without departing from. the scope of the accompanying claims. 3
1. In combination with an infants highchair having a seat and a tray, a saddleelemcnt, means to effect a shifting pivot connection between one end portion of said saddle element and said tray to permit pivotal movement of said saddle element about an axis generally parallel to the major axis of said tray and also permit translational shifting of said saddle element generally parallel to the minor axis of said tray, and means to prevent pivotal.
movementof said saddle element away. from an infant sitting on said seat when the other endportion. of said saddle element extends downwardly from said tray and in cantilever relationship between the legsof said infant sitting on said'seat, saidlast-named meansalso operating in responseto forward pressing by said infanton said other end portion to prevent translational shifting of said saddle element away from said infant and parallel to said. minor axis. v v V 2. In'combination with an infants highchair. having a seat and. a tray, track means mounted beneath said tray in generally horizontal relationship andextending generally parallel to the minor axis of said tray, a saddle lever, and means to effect a shifting pivot connection between said saddle'lever and said track means to permit pivotal movement ofsaid lever' about an axis generally parallel tot-he major axis of said tray and also to permit be placed in the chair before the saddle lever is' moved away from the Figure 4 position. s 7
After the infant has. been seated on the .seat 14, the lever 19 is slid rearwardly'a'long track 18; to the left in Figure 2, untilithe lower portionof the lever 19 is-l'ocated fairly close to the; infant and between-his legs. Shoulds the infantattempt'to slide forwardly on'seat"14,"pressure brought to bear'against the lower end; of lever '19 as indicated atjB inFigure 2. This, however, doesnotre suit in sliding of the lever forward along slots 18 since a binding'couple isf created whereby an upward force" translational shifting of said lever along said-track means,
said last-named means operating in response to forward pressingon the distal end of said lever to; bind relative to; 'said track meansand thereby prevent both'pivotal. and translational movement of said lever in a direction away from said seat.
' 3. The invention. as claimed in claim 2,.in which said last-named means operates to effect saidsbinding'when pressure is-exerted against a distalportion'of'said lever:
and in a direction away from said seat but not when pressure is exerted against the upper pivotally. mounted portion of said lever and in a direction away from said seat, whereby pressure against said upper portion'ofnaid lever effects translational movement of said lever along ispresenr'betweenleg" end 34- andthe underside of platesaid trackmeans and away from said seat 4. Theinvention as claimed." in claim 2, in which means are provided to retain said lever in retracted position closely adjacent the undersurface of said tray.
5. The invention as claimed in claim 2, in which mounting means are provided to removably secure said track means adjacent the undersurface of said tray.
6. An accessory for an infants highchair, which comprises a track plate, means to effect mounting of said track plate generally parallel to the undersurface of the tray of said highchair and spaced therebeneath, slot means formed in said track plate and generally parallel to the minor axis of said tray when said track plate is in mounted condition, a saddle lever mounted beneath said track.
plate and having first leg means extending upwardly through said slot means, said first leg means terminating in hind portions adapted to engage the upper surface of said track plate, second leg means provided on said saddle lever and adapted to engage the undersurface of said track plate on the side of said saddle lever remote from the seat portion of the highchair, said second leg means cooperating with said bind portions to create a binding couple between said saddle lever and said track plate preventing shifting of said first leg means along said slot means when pressure is exerted against the distal portion of said saddle lever relatively remote from said tray, but permitting shifting of said first leg means along said slot means when pressure is exerted against the portion of said saddle lever relatively adjacent said tray.
7. The invention as claimed in claim 6, in which said track plate is provided with upwardly-extending flanges adapted to engage the undersurface of said tray, and in which said mounting means comprises hook elements adapted to hook over the edges of said tray and resilient means to secure at least one of said hook elements to said track plate.
8. The invention as claimed in claim 6, in which leaf spring means are mounted on the undersurface of said track plate to bear against said saddle lever and maintain the same in pivoted condition closely adjacent the undersurface of said track plate.
9. An accessory for the tray of an infants highchair,
6 Y which comprises track means, means to mount said track means beneath the undersurface of said tray in such relationship that said track means extend generally parallel to the minor axis of said tray, a saddle element extending from said tray in cantilever relationship for insertion between the legs of an infant eating from said tray, and means to slidably associate said saddle element with said track means and responsive to forward pressing by said infant on a portion of said saddle element relatively remote from said tray to create a binding couple preventing sliding of said saddle element on said track means, said last-named means being responsive to forward pressing on a portion of said saddle element relatively adjacent said tray to effect sliding movement of said saddle element.
10. The invention as claimed in claim 9, in which said last-named means includes first couple means to engage a surface of said track means lying relatively adjacent said tray, and second couple means to engage a second surface of said track means on the other side thereof and relatively remote from said tray, said first couple means and said second couple means being oflset generally parallel to said minor axis of said tray whereby to create a substantial binding action in response to pressing by the infant on said portion of said saddle element relatively remote from said tray.
11. The invention as claimed in claim 9, in which said means to mount said track means beneath the undersurface of said tray comprises hook elements adapted to hook over the forward and rear edges of said tray, and resilient means to associate at least one of said hook elements with said track means to bias such hook element toward said track means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 236,273 Stevens Ian. 4, 1881 518,070 Morfoot Apr. 10, 1894 1,724,569 Elliott Aug. 13, 1929 2,532,812 Huber Dec. 5, 1950 2,687,167 Janesick Aug. 24, 1954