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Publication numberUS3025106 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 13, 1962
Filing dateAug 17, 1959
Priority dateAug 17, 1959
Publication numberUS 3025106 A, US 3025106A, US-A-3025106, US3025106 A, US3025106A
InventorsEvans George A, Jan Machielse, Morgan Erving B, Weaver Gerald L
Original AssigneeAmerican Seating Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foldable seating structure
US 3025106 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 13, 1962 G. A. EVANS ETAL 3,025,106

FOLDABLE SEATING STRUCTURE Filed Aug. 17, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS George A. Efland Jan Mac'hielae Erzh'ng B.Mov an WITNESS BY derald L. Wavez- 7 5 8mm) 4 @MMMM" ATTORNEY March 13, 1962 EVANS ETAL 3,025,106

FOLDABLE SEATING STRUCTURE Filed Aug. 17, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS 66 836 .A. Evian-s Jazz Mackiellse li'rfiz'ng B.Margcen G era'd L Weafimr WITNESS BY March 13, 1962 G. A. EVANS ETAL FOLDABLE SEATING STRUCTURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 17, 1959 INVENTORS george A. ErJano Jan Machielae Erfiing .3. Morgan BY Gerald L. Weather ATTORNEY WITNESS .3,@Z5,l06 Patented Mar. 13, 1962 ice 3,025,106 FOLDABLE SEATING STRUCTURE George A. Evans, Jan Machieise, Erving B. Morgan, and

Gerald L. Weaver, Grand Rapids, Mich, assignors to American Seating Company, Grand Rapids, Mich, a

corporation of New Jersey Filed Aug. 17, 1959, Ser. No. 834,135 12 Claims. (Cl. 297--248) The present invention relates to a foldable seating structure. The structure is primarily adapted for permanent installation in civic auditoriums or similar public halls wherein certain areas are alternately used for clear floor space or for the seating of spectators during a performance in the hall.

The primary objects of the invention are to provide improved seating which can be telescoped into a Wall opening such as, for example, beneath the balcony of an auditorium, and which can be extended out of the wall opening to provide increased seating capacity in the auditorium when required; to provide such a foldable seating structure which when in use provides a bank of comfortable, fully upholstered arm chairs of the theater type, and said chairs being collapsible so as to facilitate folding of the entire seating structure compactly into the wall opening provided with the chairs occupying a minimum of space between the telescoped platforms; and to provide novel mechanism whereby the chairs may be quickly and easily unfolded for use and collapsed when it is desired to telescope the seating structure into the wall opening.

An illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary, vertical sectional view of parts of an auditorium including the new seating structure in extended position for use;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 1 and showing the new seating structure telescoped into the wall opening provided therefor;

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view showing a section of two of the new chairs, with the seat of one chair lowered for occupancy and the seat of the other chair raised for non-occupancy;

FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of the same, the chair seat shown in this view being illustrated in a lowered position in full lines and in a raised position in dotted lines;

FIGURE 5 is a side elevational view similar to FIG- URE 4 and showing the chair in a collapsed condition for storage;

FIGURE 6 is a front elevational view of a section of two of the new chairs, with the seat of one chair lowered and the seat of the other chair raised;

FIGURE 7 is a top plan view of the same;

FIGURE 8 is a rear elevational view of the same; and

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary, vertical sectional view of the two-chair section taken on lines 9-9 of FIGURES 6 and 8.

Referring now in detail to these drawings, FIGURES l and 2 illustrate part of an auditorium having a floor 10, a balcony 11 and a wall opening 12 provided beneath the balcony for receiving the new foldable seating structure when it is not in use. The structure itself comprises a series of telescoping platforms 13 which are mounted on upright posts 14 having wheels or rollers 15 at their lower ends to facilitate folding and extending of the structure. A bracket 16 depending from the underside of the balcony 11, has pins 17, 18 which are contacted by an arm 19 on the rearwardmost, upper platform 13 to limit the forward and rearward movements of this upper platform. This and the other platforms 13 are telescopically interconnected so that the entire structure can be extended for use as seen in FIGURE 1 by simply pulling out the forwardmost, lower platform 13, or nested back into the wall opening 12 by pushing in this lower platform 13 as seen in FIGURE 2, so that the platforms are vertically tiered with spaces therebetween.

The chairs, generally designated 20, which are mounted on the platforms 13 preferably in sections of two as shown, are fully upholstered theater-type chairs having seats 21, backs 22 having forwardly extending side wings 22a, and armrests 23. In order to provide these comfortable, fully upholstered chairs in such a foldable seating structure, it is necessary that the chairs be collapsible so that the structure can be nested compactly into the wall opening 12 as seen in FIGURE 2. The novel mechanism for thus collapsing and unfolding the chairs in sections of two, is illustrated in FIGURES 3-9.

A tubular metal support bar 24 is turnably mounted on bearing brackets 25 secured to the platform 13, and a clip 26 also secured to the platform maintains the bar 24 in alignment at its center. Front links 27 are secured as by welding to the support bar 24 and are turnable therewith, and these links extend rearWardly-upwardly from the support bar and have their rearward ends pivotally connected at 28 to the side Wings 22a of the chair backs 22.

Two armrests 23 are provided for the section of two chairs shown, one armrest being at one end of the section-the near end as seen in FIGURE 3, and the other armrest being located between the two chairs, it being intended that the armrest on an adjoining section serve as a common armrest for both sections. The armrests 23 are pivotally connected at their rearward ends to the side wings 22a of the backs 22 by means of brackets 29. Channel form links 30 are pivotally connected at 31 to the undersides of the armrests 23 and extend rearwardlydownwardly and are pivotally connected at 32 to the front links 27.

Rear links 33 are pivotally connected at 34 to brackets 35 mounted on the platform 13, and the outer ends of these rear links 33 are pivotally connected at 36 to seat brackets 37 on the seats and also to the lower ends of the chair backs side wings 22a. The rear links 33 are thus swingable through upwardly extending arcs between positions extending forwardly from and rearwardly from their pivotal connections at 34 to the platforms 13.

Operation When the sections of two chairs are each collapsed for storage as seen in FIGURE 2, the various parts of each chair section are in their positions best seen in FIGURE 5. The front links 27 and rear links 33 all extend in a rearwardly-upwardly direction. The chair seats 21 are in a rearwardly moved position and the chair backs 22 are folded down onto the chair seats. When the chairs are in this collapsed condition, the entire foldable seating structure can be quickly and easily moved from its extended use position to its non-use position stored within the wall opening 12 as seen in FIGURE 2.

When it is desired to extend the seating structure to its position of use as seen in FIGURE 1, the lower forwardmost tier or platform 13 is wheeled out and the other tiers follow. The chairs are then unfolded for use. This is accomplished by simply lifting up on the top of the chair backs 22 and swinging the backs upwardly and rearwardly. During this movement the two backs move in unison, being tied together by a tubular metal tie-bar 38 extending the entire width of the two-chair section and welded to the lower ends of the chair backs side wings 22a. When the backs are thus swung to upright position, links 33 move the chair seats 21 forwardly to use position wherein the seats project forwardly beyond the platforms so that each chair occupant may rest J his feet on the rear part of the platform next forward of and below the platform on which his chair seat is mounted. Links 30 also elevate the armrests 23 to use position.

The chairs are best illustrated. in their unfolded positions for occupancy in FIGURE 4. Links 33 extend forwardly with their feet portions 39 resting on the platform 13. Tie-bar 38 rests on links 33 for supporting the chair backs 22 which are maintained at the proper angle by links 27. Each chair seat 21 is supported in the rear by its pivotal connections at 36 to the chair backs side wings 22a, and is slidably supported forwardly thereof on support bars 40 secured to the platform 13. Rubber bumpers 41 on the underside of each seat rest on these support bars 40. It will be seen that the chair seats 21 are independently foldable about their pivotal connections at 36, to raised positions as indicated in dotted lines in FIGURE 4. Thus a chair occupant may rise and stand rearwardly to permit other to pass in front of him. Lowering of the seat to use position is silenced by contact of the rubber bumpers 41 with the support bars at).

Releasable locking means is desirably provided for locking each two-chair section in its unfolded position As seen in FIGURES 8 and 9, this locking means comprises a latch member 4-2 pivotally mounted at 43 on a bracket 44 secured to the platform 13. The latch member 42 is hook-shaped and can be manually turned to engage the tie-bar 38 as seen in FIGURE 9, thus locking the two-chair section in its unfolded position for occupancy.

It will thus be seen that the invention provides comfortable seating which can be compactly stored away in a wall opening when not in use, and while but one specific embodiment of the invention has been herein shown and described it will be understood that numerous details thereof may be altered or omitted without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the following claims.

We claim:

1. In a collapsible chair: a platform; front links pivotally mounted on the platform near the latters front edge and extending rearwardly-upwardly; rear links pivotally mounted on the platform substantially rearwardly of the front links, said rear links being swingable through upwardly extending arcs between positions extending forwardly from and rearwardly from their pivotal connections to the platform; a chair seat having its forward part slidably supported on the platform, said seat being pivotally connected in the rear to the outer ends of the rear links whereby swinging movement of the rear links moves the seat forwardly and rearwardly on the platform, said seat extending forwardly beyond the platform when in its forwardmost or unfolded position of use; and a chair back pivotally connected at its opposite sides intermediate its top and bottom to the upper rearward ends of the front links, said back being pivotally connected at its bottom to the outer ends of said rear links whereby swinging movements of the back about its pivotal connections to the front links between an upright unfolded position of use and a forwardly-downwardly folded position swings the rear links between their forwardly extending and rearwardly extending positions respectively thus moving the chair seat between its forwardly extended or unfolded position of use and its rearward folded position respectively.

2. A collapsible chair according to claim 1 provided with armrests pivotally connected to the chair back and extending forwardly therefrom, and provided with armrest-supporting links having pivotal connections with said armrests and with said front links whereby said armrests are maintained in substantially horizontal position at all times.

3. A collapsible chair according to claim 1 in which, when the seats and backs are in their unfolded positions for use, the seats may be swung upwardly about their pivotal connections to the rear links so that a chair occupant may rise and stand rearwardly to permit others to pass in front of him.

4. In a collapsible chair: a platform; front links pivotally mounted on the platform near the latters front edge and extending rearwardly-upwardly; rear links pivotally mounted on the platform substantially rearwardly of the front links, said rear links being swingable through upwardly extending arcs between positions extending forwardly from and rearwardly from their pivotal connections to the platform; a chair seat having its forward part slidably supported on the platform, said seat having seat brackets at its opposite rear sides pivotally connected to the outer ends of the rear links whereby swinging movement of the rear links moves the seat forwardly and rearwardly on the platform, said seat extending forwardly beyond the platform when in its forwardmost or unfolded position of use; a chair back having side wings pivotally connected intermediate the backs top and bottom to the upper rearward ends of the front links, said side wings being pivotally connected at the bottom of the back to the outer ends of the rear links whereby the seat and the back are pivotally interconnected and whereby swinging movements of the back about its pivotal connections to the front links between an upright unfolded position of use and a forwardly-downwardly folded position swings the rear links between their forwardly extending and rearwardly extending positions respectively thus moving the chair seat between its forwardly extended or unfolded position of use and its rearward folded position respectively.

5. A collapsible chair according to claim 4 in which the rear links have feet portions which in the unfolded position of the chair back rest on the platform forwardly of said rear links pivotal connections with said platform, and in which is provided a tie-bar connecting the lower ends of the side wings of the chair back, said tie-bar resting on the rear links for the support of the chair back in the unfolded position of said back.

6. A collapsible chair according to claim 5 in which a latch member is pivotally mounted on the platform and is adapted to engage said tie-bar to releasably lock the chair back and seat in their unfolded positions of use.

7. A collapsible section of two chairs comprising: a platform; three equally spaced front links pivotally mounted on the platform near the latters front edge and extending rearwardly-upwardly; three rear links pivotally mounted on the platform substantially rearwardly of the front links, said rear links being swingable through upwardly extending arcs between positions extending forwardly from and rearwardly from their pivotal connections to the platform; a pair of chair seats having their forward parts slidably supported on the platform, said seats being pivotally connected in the rear to the outer ends of the rear links whereby swinging movement of the rear links moves the seat forwardly and rearwardly on the platform, said seats extending forwardly beyond the platform when in their forwardmost or unfold-ed positions of use; a pair of chair backs pivotally connected at their opposite sides intermediate their tops and bottoms to the upper rearward ends of the front links, said backs being pivotally connected at their bottoms to the outer ends of the rear links whereby simultaneous swinging movements of the backs about their pivotal connections to the front links between upright unfolded positions of use and forwardly-downwardly folded positions swings the rear links between their forwardly extending and rearwardly extending positions respectively thus moving the chair seats between their forwardly extended or unfolded positions of use and their rearward folded positions respectively, the middle link of each set of front links and rear links serving as common supports for said pair of chair seats and pair of chair backs.

8. A structure according to claim 7 in which the means for pivotally mounting the three front links on the plat 5 form comprises a single tubular metal support bar to which the front links are connected, and brackets mounted on the platform and having bearings therein in which the opposite ends of the support bar are turnably disposed.

9. A structure according to claim 7 in which two armrests are pivotally connected to opposite sides of one of said chair backs and extending forwardly therefrom, and including armrest-supporting links pivotally connected to the armrests and to the adjacent front links 10. A structure according to claim 7 in which the two chair backs are rigidly connected together by a tie-bar extending the entire width of the structure and connected to the lower ends of said backs.

11. A structure according to claim 10 in which the two chair seats are pivotally connected to the rear links independently of each other so that each seat may be independently swung about its pivot to a raised, non-use position.

12. A structure according to claim 11 in which a latch References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 308,656 Du Bois Dec. 2, 1884 1,934,396 Bales Nov. 7, 1933 1,946,826 Agati Feb. 13, 1934 2,305,077 Hard Dec. 15, 1942 12,647,563 Bishop Aug. 4, 1953 2,789,623 Lisi Apr. 23, 1957 2,816,871 Fish Dec. 17, 1957 2,817,122 Walworth Dec. 24, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 383,467 Great Britain Nov. 17, 1932 477,750 Italy February 1954

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/248, 297/236, 297/378.13, 52/9, 297/15, 297/378.12, 297/48, 297/340, 297/257, 297/40
International ClassificationE04H3/12, A47C1/00, A47C1/126, E04H3/10
Cooperative ClassificationE04H3/123, A47C1/126
European ClassificationA47C1/126, E04H3/12B