US 2978012 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 4, 1961 D. G. NORSEEN 2,978,012
FOLDABLE UTILITY CHAIR Filed Sept. 19, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
54 E1893 DALE e. NOIZSEEN ATTORNEYS April 4, 1961 D. e. NORSEEN 2,973,012
FOLDABLE UTILITY CHAIR Filed Sept. 19, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
l 3" DALE Gr-NOBSEEN ATTOZNE (S United States Patent FOLDABLE UTILITY CHAIR Dale G. Norseeu, Grand Island, Nebr. (RR. 2, Box 119, Minden, Nebr.)
Filed Sept. 19, 1958, Ser. No. 762,073
2 Claims. (Cl. 155-149) This invention relates generally to chairs, stools, and similar articles. More particularly, the invention has reference to a device of this nature which is so designed as to be foldable into a compact article capable of being stored in a very small space.
The desirability of utility chairs or stools that can be foldable into a compact, relatively small article is, of course, well appreciated and there have, over the years, been many developments along this line. The main object of the present invention, in this connection, is to provide a generally improved utility chair or stool of the character stated, and to this end, the device comprising the present invention includes light but strong, comparatively inexpensive components, normally arranged in such a manner as to provide a chair that will swiftly and easily folded, and will be extendable for use with equal speed and facility.
Another object of importance is to provide a utility chair of the type stated which will have an improved seat or support plate, designed for manufacture at comparatively low cost from a single piece of plate-like material, the seat plate including along one edge thereof a downwardly and inwardly rolled flange that facilitates to a marked degree the carrying of the chair either in its folded or unfolded state.
Another object is to incorporate in the chair or stool novelly formed and arranged leg assemblies, providing a .three point support for the seat plate.
A further object is to so design the leg assemblies as to permit them to be swiftly adjusted between unfolded and folded positions respectively, and readily locked in either of said positions.
Another object is to so form each leg assembly as to incorporate therein a novel bracket, wherein a single piece of readily fabricated sheet metal or the like is employed to provide a support for the leg, and to provide, further, means guiding the leg between its extended and folded positions.
Another object is to so form each leg as to permit it to be telescopically adjusted between opposite extreme positions of adjustment in'one of which it is comparatively short so as to be confined wholly within the area of the seat plate when folded, and in the other of which it is extended a substantial distance so as to elevate the seat plate to a corresponding extent above the supporting surface. v
Still another object is to provide a utility stool which will be so designed as to be usablefor any of a large range of difierent purposes. Thus, the particular construction and foldable characteristics of the stool comprising the present invention are such as to permit the stool to be used as a camp stool, or as a stool on which one may rest from time to time when on a fishing expedition. Then again, the construction is such that the stool can be used as a chair seat for a small child. Still further, the utility chair or stool comprising the present invention has a high degree of usefulness in the home. since it can be used as a high chair-for .small children, as a low stool defining a television chair orstool for young children, or as a spare chair or stool capable of use in providing additional seating accommodations for visitors, etc.
Yet another object is to provide a utility chair or stool of the folding type which will be so designed as to have a high degree of strength when extended for use.
A further object of importance is to provide a utility chair which, though having the several desirable characteristics noted above, will nevertheless be capable of manufacture at a comparatively low cost.
Other objects will appear from the following description, the claims appended thereto, and from the annexed.
drawing, in which like reference characters designate like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
Figure l is a perspective view of a foldable utility chair or stool according to the present invention, as it appears when unfolded for use;
Figure 2 is an enlarged bottom plan view of the chair with the leg assemblies in folded position;
Figure 3 is a sectional view substantially on line 33 of Figure 2 on the same scale as Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a view like Figure 2 in which the leg assemblies have been unfolded for use;
Figure 5 is a sectional view on line 5--5 of Figure 4;
Figure 6 is a still further enlarged, fragmentary longitudinal sectional view through one of the leg assemblies, taken substantially on line 66 of Figure 5; I
Figure 7 is adetail sectional view of the bracket and adjacent components of the device, taken on line 77 of Figure 4, on a scale enlarged above that of Figure 4;
Figure 8 is a transverse sectional view through the leg bracket, 'taken substantially on line 8-=8 of Figure 7; and
Figure 9 is a detail sectional view through one of the legs, on a scale enlarged above that of Figure 7, taken substantially on line 9 of Figure 7.
Referring to the drawings in detail, generally designated 10 is a seat plate, which can be formed from a single piece of sheet metal stock, having the requisite characteristics of lightness, strength, and resistance to corrosive effects. Of course, the, materials used in the chair can be varied, at the option of the manufacturer, and it is not desired that I be limited to the use of any particular material, except as necessarily required by the appended claims.
In any event, the seat plate ltl includes a flat plate mem ber 12, which in the illustrated example has rounded corners 14.. Integrally formed upon one of the edges of the plate member 12 is a downwardly and inwardly rolled one edge of the plate. Flange 16 defines a handle, which can be conveniently used in carrying the chair or stool in either its folded or unfolded position.
At the same time, the flange rigidifies the plate member, along the specified edge. It is considered, in this connection, that the particular location of the flange relative to the leg assembly support brackets and the leg assemblies to be hereinafter described, is such as to provide for strength at locations where said strength is of particular importance. Thus, the rigidifying or strengthening means constitutes both a handle and a reinforcing brace.
In accordance with the invention, there are provided three leg assembly support brackets 18. These are arranged as particularly well shown in Figures 2 and 4. Two of the brackets are disposed adjacent opposite extremities of the tubular handle 16. The other bracket is disposed between the first two brackets, adjacent that edge of the seat plate opposite the edge along which the handle 16 extends. As Will be noted, the last-named or intermediate bracket is so disposed as to have its length extended perpendicularly both to the handle 16 and to the'adjacent side Patented Apr. 4, 196,1
edge 19 along which it is positioned. The other brackets are oppositely but identically formed, and diverge in a direction away from the intermediate bracket.
Since all the brackets are identically constructed, the description of one will suflice for the remaining brackets.
Each bracket includes a flat plate 20, which is disposed in face to face contact with the underside of the seat plate. The plate 26 of each bracket is welded as at 22 to the underside of the seat plate, in a preferred embodiment although of course other types of rigid connections can be employed.
The plate 20, at one end thereof, is formed with an elongated, deep, right-angular recess 24, so as to define at this end of the plate a relatively narrow, elongated extension portion or tongue 26 of the plate.
In other words, each bracket, from the standpoint of its general shape, can be considered as having a wide portion at one end and a narrow portion at the other end.
Extending the full length of the bracket is a longitudinal flange 23, which extends continuously along one side of both the wider and the narrower end portions. Extending parallel to the flange 28 is a shorter flange 30, which extends only along the length of the extension portion 26. Flange 30, in fact, can be formed from the material used in defining the recess 24. vThus, by means of a transverse cut in the bracket, material is freed to be bent angularly to the plane of the plate 20 into parallel relation to the flange 28.
It will be seen that by reason of this arrangement, the flange 28 provides for reinforcement along the full length of the bracket. Flange 28 further serves as a side wall at one side of the extension portion 26. Flange 30 constitutes the opposite side wall of extension portion 26. The portion 26 thus is of channeled, downwardly opening formation.
Leg assemblies 32 are identically formed, and accordingly, again the description of one will suffice for all.
Each leg assembly 32 includes what may appropriately be termed an upper tube 34. Upper tube 34, at its upper end, has diametrically opposite openings receiving a pivot pin 36. Pivot pin 36 extends through openings formed in the flanges 28, 30, and in this way, the leg assembly is hingedly connected to the seat plate, for swinging movement between a use position shown in Figures 4 and 5, and a collapsed position shown in Figures 2 and 3.
The upper end of the tube 34 (see Figure 7) is preferably formed with an inwardly directed reinforcing flange 38. This partially closes the tube at this end, eliminating sharp edges when the leg assembly is in folded position, and further providing for a desirable embracing or reinforcement of the tube.
An intermediate tube 40 is slidably telescoped in the lower end of the upper tube 34. Tube 40 (see Figure 6) has an upper or inner end formed with an outwardly directed flange 42 that slidably bears against the inner surface of the tube 34. Tube 34, at its lower end, has an inwardly directed flange 43 that similarly bears against the outer surface of the tube 40. The purpose of this arrangement is to not only guide the intermediate tube during its telescopic adjustment relative to the tube 34, but also, to provide for cooperating stops or abutments of the respective tubes, limiting movement of the tube 40 out of the tube 34.
A spring-loaded detent is provided, to releasably lock the intermediate tube is selected positions to which it is telescopically adjusted within the upper tube. Such detent includes a pin 44, which is spring-biased in a direction radially outwardly of the tube 40, by means of a compression, coil spring 46 arranged diametrically across the interior of the upper end portion of the tube 40. Detent 44 at its inner end has a stop collar 48 against which the spring 46 abuts, limiting the detent against movement outwardly through an opening 50 formed in the tube 40.
Detent 44, when in its outwardly biased position, projects through any of a plurality of a spiral. series of apertures 52 formed in the tube 34. Thus, the intermediate tube can be releasably locked in selected positions to which it is telescopically adjusted.
A lower leg member 58 in the illustrated example is in the form of a solid shaft, although it could be of tubular material if desired. Leg member 58 at its upper end has an outwardly directed collar 60 bearing against the inner surface of the tube 40. Member 58 is slidably, telescopically adjustable relative to the tube 40.
The lower or outer end of the tube 40 is provided with threads 53, and engaged with said threads is a nut 54. The nut 54 has a tapered, threaded opening, and formed in the tube 40 are angularly spaced, tapered slots 56. There could, for example, be a single pair of diametrically opposed slots, as a single pair would be sufficient to permit radial contraction of the threaded outer end of the tube 40 as the nut 54 is threaded along the externally tapered surface of the outer or lower end of the tube 40.
In other words, the material of the tube 40 is of slightly springable characteristics, and normally, the tube tends to expand slightly at its lower end to open the slots or slits 56. In this connection, secured fixedly to the inner surface of the lower extremity of the tube 40 are circumferentially extending ribs 59 terminating at the locations of the slots 56. Therefore, with said ribs normally slidably engaging the leg member 58, it will be seen that threading of the nut 54 upwardly in Figure 6 would tend to contract the lower end of the tube 40, partially closing the slots 56. The confronting, circumferentially extending, internal ribs 59 would thus be forced toward the leg member 58 to bind frictionally thereagainst. In this way, the leg member is retained in selected positions to which it is slidably adjusted relative to the tube 40.
On the lower end of the leg member 58 there is provided a rubber foot 62.
Designated at 64 are braces, connected between the respective brackets 18 and the respective leg assemblies. Referring to Figure 9, welded or otherwise fixedly secured to and projecting outwardly from each upper tube 34 is a. boss 66, having a threaded center opening receiving a screw 68, which extends loosely through an aperture 69 formed in the associated brace 64. This pivotally connects tube 34 to the brace 64.
Designated at 70 is a longitudinal slot formed in each flange 28, at the Wider end of the bracket 18. At one end of the slot there is provided an enlargement 72, of substantially circular form (see Figure 7). Enlargement 72 of each slot is at the end of the slot remote from the narrower end of the bracket.
Extending through and slidable longitudinally of each slot 70 is a connecting pin or rivet 74. This, as shown in Figure 8, has at one end a large diameter portion 76. This portion of the rivet is adapted to engage in the enlargement 72, in the collapsed position of the leg assembly, in a manner to be described in greater detail hereinafter.
The slot 70, at its opposite end (that is, the end nearer the reduced-extension portion 26 of the bracket plate 20) has an enlargement 77 similar to the enlargement 72 (see Figure 7). The large diameter portion 76 of the rivet 74 engages in the enlargement 77, as shown in Figure 8, when the leg assembly is in its use position.
Each rivet also includes a reduced diameter end portion '78, and at opposite ends of the rivet there are heads, bearing against flange 28 and brace 64 respectively, as shown in Figure 8.
The reduced diameter portion 78 extends through a correspondingly sized aperture of the brace 64.
The rivet is bodily shiftable in the direction of its length to selected positions relative to the flange 28. In one position, the large diameter portion 76 of the rivet is coplanar with the flange 28. This is the position of the rivet shown in Figure 8. In this position of the rivet, the large diameter portion 76 thereon would be engaged either in the enlargement 72 of largement 77 of the slot.
0n shifting the rivet axially, the portion 76 may be moved out of the plane of the flange 28. In these circumstances, the reduced part 78 of the rivet would extend through the slot 70, permitting the rivet to move longitudinally of the slot. Of course, whenever the portion 76 of the rivet is in the enlargement 72 or the enlargement 77, the rivet would be held against movementlongitudinally of the slot. This releasably locks the leg assembly either in its folded position shown in Figure 2, or
the slot, or in the enin its extended position shown in Figure 4, depending on Figure 2 position of the leg assembly.
On each brace, at the end thereof remote from its connection to the associated leg assembly, there is formed a reduced, beveled tongue 82 (see Figure 5). The beveled extremity of said tongue is adapted to engage flat against the underside of the seat plate 12, when the leg assembly is extended for use as in Figure 5.
Considering now the manner of use of the device, it will be understood that normally, the leg assemblies would be collapsed against the underside of the seat plate when the chair is not in use and is stored. In these circumstances, the leg assemblies fa-ll flat against the seat plate, and do not project below the seat plate any more than a completely inconsequential degree beyond the edges of the brackets 18. This will readily be seen in Figure 3. Further, the leg assemblies are confined wholly within the area or periphery of the seat plate as clearly seen in Figure 10.
In the circumstances, the utility chair can be folded in a small area. One could, thus, keep a full set of said chairs, and stack them one uponanother upon a shelf. The chairs would of course be of a light material, having the requisite characteristics of strength.
When the chair is to be used, each leg assembly is free for downward swinging movement from its Figure 3 to its Figure 5 position, responsive merely to shifting of the rivets 74 to positions ofisetting their portions 76 from the enlargements 72. This is done by exerting pressure on the rivet'from the right in Figure 8, tending to shift the rivet to the left in this figure of the drawing.
When the rivet has been moved to its unlocked position along the above described path, that is, along a path parallel to the plane of the seat plate 10, the leg assembly is free to swing downwardly to its Figure 5 position. The several leg assemblies diverge downwardly, providing a three point support, with the points being triangularly spaced apart a substantial distance, said points being disposed well outwardly from the periphery of the seat plate.
When the leg assembly swings to its use.position, the rivet moves to the enlargement 77 from the slot, and the rivet may now be moved to the right in Figure 8, to locate the portion 76 thereof in the enlargement 77 of the slot. The leg assembly is now locked in its use position.
When the leg assembly is in its use position, the beveled end 82 of each brace is disposed against the underside of the seat plate as shown in Figure 5, to provide for a particularly slow bracing action.
The leg assemblies are, of course, extendable through a substantial length when in use, as shown for example in Figure 5. This is effected by telescopic adjustment of the several sections 34, 40, 58 of each leg assembly. After the sections have been telescopically adjusted in this manner, they are readily locked in the selected positions of adjustment.
The chair can be used in many situations, and could be 113.:d as a chair or stool having general utility in the home. Then again, the chair or stool can be used on camping of fishing trips, and still further, can be employed as a childs high chair, television stool, or the like. The device is further adapted for use as a car seat. In this instance, the leg shown at the left in Figures 4 and 5 would merely be inserted in the crevice of the back of a conventional divided front seat of a twodoor sedan.
Many other uses will of course suggest themselves, and are to be considered as being embraced within the general scope of the objects of the invention.
It is believed apparent that the invention is not necessarily confined to the specific use or uses thereof described above, since it may be utilized for any purposes to which it may be suited. Nor is the invention to be necessarily limited to the specific construction illustrated and described, since such construction is only intended to be illustrative of the principles of operation and the means presently devised to carry out said principles, it being considered that the invention comprehends any minor change in construction that may bepermit-ted within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A collapsible stool comprising a fiat seat plate having first and second opposed end edges and opposed side edges, the intersections of edges defining corners, a single first leg assembly pivoted at its upper end to the underside of the seat plate at a location near to said first end edge and spaced centrally between the first edge corners, said single leg being normal to said first end edge,
a pair of second leg assemblies pivoted at their upper ends to the underside of the seat plate at locations adjacent to said side edges of the seat plate and adjacent to the second end edge and the second end edge corners of the seat plate, said second leg assemblies being equally spaced at opposite sides of the first leg assembly and converging inwardly toward each other and toward said single leg assembly, said leg assemblies being similar to each other, first means pivoting the single leg assembly to the seat plate to swing on an axis parallel to said first end edge, and second means individually pivoting said second leg assemblies to the seat plate to swing on axes which are inwardly angled relative to the side edges of the seat plate and which converge toward the first leg assembly, said first and second means comprising brackets fixed to the underside of the seat plate, said brackets having outer and inner ends and depending laterally spaced flanges extending therealong, the upper ends of the leg assemblies being disposed between the bracket flanges and pivoted thereto at the outer ends of the brackets, and diagonal brace means extending between the leg assemblies and related ones of the brackets, said brace means comprising closed longitudinal slots formed in one of the bracket flanges, said slots having outer and inner ends, brace bars having outer ends pivoted -to the leg assemblies at points spaced below the upper ends of the leg assemblies, said brace bars having inner ends having lateral pins slidab'ly engaged through slots of bracket flanges, and longitudinal extensions on the inner ends of the brace bar engageable with the underside of the seat plate in the operative downwardly and outwardly swung positions of the leg assemblies.
2. A collapsible stool comprising a flat seat plate having first and second opposed end edges and opposed side edges, the intersections of edges defining corners, a single first leg assembly pivoted at its upper end to the underside of the seat plate at a location near to said first end edge and spaced centrally between the first edge corners, said single leg being normal to said first end edge, a pair of second leg assemblies pivoted at their upper ends to the underside of the seat plate at locations adjacent to said 7 side edges of the seat plate and adjacent to the second end edge and the second end edge corners of the seat plate, said second leg assemblies being equally spaced at opposite sides of the first leg assembly, said leg assemblies being similar to each other, first means pivoting the single leg assembly to the seat plate to swing on an axis parallel to said first end edge, and second means individually pivoting said second leg assemblies to the seat plate, said first and second means comprising brackets fixed to the underside of the seat plate, said brackets having outer and inner ends and depending laterally spaced flanges extending therealong, the upper ends of the leg assemblies being disposed between the bracket flanges and pivoted thereto at the outer ends of the brackets, and diagonal brace means extending between the leg assemblies and related ones of the brackets, said brace means comprising closed longitudinal slots formed in one of the bracket flanges, said slots having outer and inner ends, brace bars having outer ends pivoted to the leg assemblies at points spaced below the upper ends of the leg assemblies, said brace bars having inner ends having lateral pins slidably engaged through slots of References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 605,370 Adams June 7, 1898 749,670 Gardner Jan. 12, 1904 766,988 Bun-owes Aug. 9, 1904 1,112,944 Stone Oct. 6, 1914 1,653,406 Neubert Dec. 20, 1927 1,705,347 Vaughan Mar. 12, 1929 2,039,642 Flint May 5, 1936 2,540,875 Genge Feb. 6, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 25,826 Great Britain 1896 353,228 Germany May 13, 1922 839,614 Germany May 23, 1952 744,192 Great Britain Feb. 1, 1956