US 3034830 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 15, 1962 s. AVEDON 3,034,830
SEATING UNIT Filed March 20, 1961 INVENTOR. 614M 41 500 3,034,830 SEATING UNIT Sam Avedon, Los Angeles, Calif, .assignor to Alladin glastics, Inc., Gardena, Calif., a corporation of Caliorma Filed Mar. 20, 1961,.Ser. No. 96,804 8 Claims. (Cl. 297-445) This invention relates to molded chairs, and. relates especially to a novel molded plastic chair construction.
In the past, chairs molded from plastic have proven to be popular, mainly because of their inexpensiveness. The seating portion of these chairs, known in the trade as a bucket, has usually been molded in one piece from plastic material. This process enables the chair to be made very cheaply. However, the main disadvantage of such chairs is their lack of comfort.
Bearing in mind the foregoing, it is a major object of the present invention to provide an inexpensive molded seating unit which has greatly improved seating comfort over prior art chairs of the same class.
It is another object of this invention to provide a onepiece molded seating unit having an improved novel shape, and made of a flexible resilient material, resulting in improved seating comfortwith respect to chairs of similar cost.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a one-piece molded seating unit having an improved novel shape that provides additional back support for the user due to the shape and flexibility thereof, thereby resulting in improved seating comfort with respect to chairs of a similar type.
These and other objects of the present invention will become more clearly understood by referring to the following description, taken together With the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of my seating unit;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view of my seating unit, taken along the longitudinal axial line 2-2 of FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 2, the phantom line in FIGURE 3 depicting the attitude assumed by the back and side portions of the seating unit due to the weight of a person seated therein; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary transverse cross-sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 2, the phantom line in FIGURE 4 illustrating the attitude assumed by the side portions of the seating unit due to the weight of a person seated therein.
In general, my invention consists of a novel bucket or seating portion, for a chair, which is molded preferably from a synthetic plastic material and which is molded in one piece. The plastic material employed has the physical properties of being flexible, i.e., changing its shape or contour due to the weight of a person, and of also being resilient, so that any change in shape of the material is temporary and due only to the weight of the person.
Further, the novel bucket of my chair is shaped so that flexible resilent side portions and outer portions of a flexibly resilient back support thereof move inwardly toward each other, i.e., to the center of the bucket, when a person sits in the chair and leans normally back therein. The inward movement or contraction of the side and back portions, under the influence of the persons back pressure, gives to the person a feeling of sitting in a chair that is custom molded to his body shape. This is due to the fact that, as force is exerted by the person causing the side portions and a portion of the back support to move inwardly, the small of the back of the person is engaged and supported. In this manner, the chair gives ate a custom-contoured feeling 'to the person sitting therein, and also imparts a feeling of great comfort to the person. Referring now to FIGURE 1, a chair 10* is shown comprising generally a bucket or seating portion 12 supported on legs 14 having suitable leg bracing 16.
The bucket 12 is preferably molded in one piece, as shown, from a material which has both flexibility and resilience. Such moldable materials are found in the class of materials known as the synthetic plastics, a preferred example thereof being polypropylene.
Referringnow to FIGURES 2-4, as well as to FIG- URE 1, the bucket 12 is formed or molded with a seating surface 20 sloping slightly downwardly from a front curled-over front-edge or lip portion 22 to the rear of the seating surface. The curled-over lip portion '22 serves to add rigidity to the front edge of the seating surface 20. The rear of the seating surface merges into a rear corner section 24 formed with a compound curvature having a fairly large radius both across the seat, i.e., transversely, and in the vertical direction, i.e., longitudinally (see particularly FIGURES 2 and 3).
The rear corner section 24 merges smoothly into the side sections 26 and the back support section 28 of the chair Ill.
The side sections 26 are both transversely and longitudinally concave, and extend upwardly along the sides of the seating surface 29 and back surface 28, commencing at a point 30 forward of the center of seating surface 2t and terminating at a point 32 in the back surface 28, which is approximately one-half to two-thirds up the back support 28 from the seating surface 20. The side sections 26 have relatively little concavity at the upper and lower ends thereof but have a relatively large degree of concave curvature where they merge with the rear corner section 24 of the seating unit. The edge portions of the side sections 26 are not curled-over in the fashion of lip portion 22 since it is desired to preserve the resiliency of the side portions and avoid the introduction of flanges or lips which would inherently minimize such desired resilience.
The side sections 26 merge smoothly into back support 28, the back support bein'g transversely concave over the major lower area 28a, and merging into a transversely convex minor upper portion 23b. The side sections 26 are not distinct from the lower back surface 28a since this back surface has a transverse curvature of approximately the same degree as the transverse curvature of the side section 26 and because of the smoothly merging surfaces of the back support area 28a and side sections 26. The smoothly merging back and side surfaces 28a, 26 are shown in FIGURE 3.
As force is exerted on the back support 28 at approximately the juncture of areas 23a and 28b indicated by the arrow F in FIGURE 2, by a person sitting back in the seating unit 10, the central portion of the flexibly resilient back surface 28b moves rearwardly to approximately the position indicated by the phantom line 40. The transverse concavity of the curvature of the back surface 28a increases as shown in FIGURE 3, and the central area thereof moves rearwardly a measurable distance designated by the letter a. In so doing, the peripheral side portions of the back surface 28a and the smoothly merging side portions 26 move inwardly toward each other to the position shown in dotted line in FIG- URES 3 and 4. In this position of the side and back support surfaces, the small of the back of the person sitting in the bucket is engaged and is supported. Further, part of the side portion 26, adjacent the seating surface 20, may move inwardly sufficiently to contact the thigh of the person and give a feeling of further support depending upon the weight of the person.
A person sitting in my chair 10 has a feeling of sitting in a chair that conforms to his or her shape, and for this reason, it can be stated that the chair assumes the shape of the person using it to a significant degree. A feeling of substantially great comfort, in comparison with similar one-piece molded plastic chairs of the prior art, is thus achieved.
Inasmuch as the bucket is made of resilient plastic material, it readily assumes its original position when not in use.
It will be noted that the underside of the bucket may have molded therein reinforcing strips 50, as well as sockets 52 for receiving the legs 14. The seating surface 20, itself, is thereby made rigid in contrast to the aforementioned flexibility of the side sections 26 and the back section 28.
One preferred embodiment of my invention has been shown and described, but it will be understood that changes and modifications may be made that lie within the scope of my invention. Hence, I do not intend to be limited by my preferred embodiment but only by the claims which follow.
1. A one-piece plastic seating unit for a chair which comprises: a seating base having a seating surface; a flexibly resilient transversely concave back support merging smoothly into said seating surface; and a pair of flexibly resilient upwardly extending transversely concave side sections connecting said seating surface and said back support, said side sections merging with the sides of the seating surface and the sides of the back support, whereby when a rearward force is exerted on a central portion of said back support approximating that of a person reclining thereon, the outer portions of said side sections and the outer portions of the back support contract inwardly toward the center of said seating unit.
2. The one-piece plastic seating unit of claim I having, on the underside of said seating base a plurality of leg-receiving sockets integrally molded thereon.
3. A chair comprising: a one-piece seating unit made of flexibly resilient material which includes a seating surface, a transversely concave back support merging gradually into said seating surface, said seating surface and said back support curving more sharply transversely concavely along a substantial portion of their sides to thereby form upwardly extending transversely concave side sections which connect the seating surface and the back support whereby When said back support is forced rearwardly by a force approximating that of a person reclining thereon, the outer portions of said side sections move toward each other a measurable distance, said side sections having the peripheral edges thereof substantially'the same thickness and radius of transverse curvature as the remaining portions of said side sections; and a plurality of legs afiixed to, and supporting, said seating unit.
4. The one-piece plastic seating unit of claim 1 having, on the underside of said seating surface, reinforcing means for rigidifying said seating surface.
5. The one-piece plastic seating unit of claim 1 wherein the transverse curvature of said transversely concave side sections is increased as said rearward force is exerted on said central portion of said back support.
6. The one-piece plastic seating unit of claim 1 wherein the peripheral edge portions of said side sections are approximately of the same thickness as the remaining portions of said side sections.
7. The one-piece plastic seating unit of claim 1 wherein the radius of curvature of the peripheral edge portions of said side sections is substantially the same as the radius of curvature of the remaining portions of said side sections.
8. A chair comprising: a one-piece plastic seating unit having a seating base with a seating surface thereon, and, on the underside of said seating base having integral rigidifying means and integral leg-receiving sockets, a flexibly resilient transversely concave back support merging smoothly into said seating surface, a pair of flexibly resilient upwardly extending transversely concave side sections connecting, and merging into, the sides of said seating surface and the sides of said back support, said side sections having the peripheral edges thereof of substantially the same thickness and radius of transverse curvature as the remaining portions of said side sections, whereby when a rearward force is exerted on a central portion of said back support approximating that of a person exerting his weight thereon, the peripheral portions of said side sections and the peripheral portions of the back support contract inwardly toward the center of the seating unit; and a plurality of legs supporting said seating unit, each leg being received within one of the said leg-receiving sockets.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 181,676 Ristenpart Dec. 10, 1957 D. 182,790 Cohen May 20, 1958 2,808,875 Bargen Oct. 7, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,236,664 France June 13, 1960