US 3086812 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. O. EADS FOLDING CHAIR April 23, 1963 2 Sheets-Shee t 2 Filed Jan. 15, 1962 122179333477 Haflozdb 0. End's, y y 5; L
United States Patent 3,086,812 FOLDING CHAR Harold D. Earls, Vienna, W. Va., assignor to McDonough (30., doing business as O. Ames Co., Parkershurg, W- Va., a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 15, 1962, Ser. No. 166,204 2 Claims. (Cl, 297-30) This invention relates to a folding or collapsible chair. In the particular construction herein disclosed as an example, it is proportioned for use as an infants high chair which, as the child grows, may be used as a youths chair, so called, or, if suitably dimensioned, for general uses.
The construction involved provides a sturdy and stable chair, easily folded or unfolded and which when folded assumes the form of a flat packet of very small thickness, of reduced height as compared with the set up structure, and of no greater width.
The invention may be understood from the following description of an illustrative embodiment thereof shown by way of example in the accompanying drawings, where- FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a childs high chair in erected position;
FIG. 2 is a section on a vertical plane, parallel to that of the paper in FIG. 1 showing the chair parts in a position assumed during folding, the tray being omitted;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the chair completely folded;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section as in FIG. 2, showing the parts erected and the latching device;
FIG. 5 is an elevation of the latch as viewed from a point above and to the right in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary front view of FIG. 1 showing the footrest; and
FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view emphasizing the pivotal centers and the linkwork connecting them. 7
I use the word chair to designate a structure having a seat bottom or seat and an underframe for supporting the seat at a suitable elevation and which may also include a back support or back and arms at the sides of the seat.
Folding or collapsible chairs of many forms are known. Among them we may distinguish two types. In one the collapsing action may be viewed as a result of forcing together the forward and rearwardly disposed parts toward a centrally disposed plane between them. In the second the collapsing action may be viewed as a crushing down of the top portions of the chair so that all parts lie superposed more or less flat on the floor. The former I shall term horizontal collapse as distinguished from vertical collapse in the latter. In the former case depth is reduced, but in the simpler cases height is increased. In the latter height is reduced, but depth increased.
The present invention relates to a chair of the horizontally collapsing type and provides a chair wherein the parts close to a flat packet of small depth, while cooperating features of construction minimize the increase in height which would occur in the simple movement.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the chair as shown comprises a pair of front legs 20 and a pair of rear legs 22, the lower portions of which are spaced to conform to the width of the chair by stretchers 24. The ends of the front legs 20 are bent slightly rearwardly and pivoted by horizontal pivots A to the corresponding rear legs a little below the upper extremity of the same, the rear legs 22 extending upwardly beyond the pivot, and herein shown as carrying a slightly enlarged abutment member 26 of cushioning material for a purpose which will be described. The legs 20 and 22 can "ice swing together from the open position of FIG. 1 through the position of FIG. 2, closing like the arms.
In the erected position of the parts the legs at either side diverge like an inverted letter V and they may swing about the pivot A to close together, as shown in FIG. 3. A seat 28 is pivoted between the rear legs 22 on a crossbar B and in the erected position its forward end extends forwardly beyond the front legs 20 and is supported at the sides by links 39 pivoted to the sides of the seat near the front at center C. The other ends of the links are pivoted at centers D. on legs 20 lower than center A. This arrangement of support in cooperation with the 0&- setting of the upper end of the leg 20 permits the legs to move closely together while the front end of the seat still supported by links 39 is guided and drawn forwardly and downward to lie closely adjacent the two approximated legs when the parts are folded as seen in FIG. 3. Integral with link 30 is an extension 30b carrying a pivot E which supports the forward ends of the arms of a U-shaped yoke 32,'the crossbar of the U being journalled in a fitting 34 attached about half way up on the rear face of a back support 36, providing a pivotal connection F. The yoke 32 and fitting 34 are like the similar parts in the patent to Eads and Exline, 2,845,993. The lower end of the back support may be connected by means of ears '38 to pivots G on the rear legs 22 located at points between the pivots A and B. The forward ends of the arms (the sides of the U-shaped member 32) may carry a detachable tray 46 of conventional construction.
When the chair is expanded from the partially collapsed position of FIG. 2 to the position of FIG. 1 the legs further diverge, the front edge of the seat rises, the leg 28 swinging clockwise as shown in the figure, the center E moves rearwardly and upwardly pushing the back support rearwardly about the center G and bringing the arms to a horizontal position where they will rest against the abutment 26, checking further movement. To maintain the parts positively in this position a swinging latch 42 may be provided, pivoted on pivot A at one side of the chair and having the transverse locking portion 44 and an extension 46 to be engaged by the fingers. The latch may be turned from the out position shown in FIG. 2 to the position of FIG. 4 where the locking surface will engage the ears 38 on the back 36 by which the latter is supported on the center G thus effectively preventing relative movement of the parts about G and securely locking the whole construction in erected position.
T 0 provide a footrest, a U-shaped bail 48, conveniently of tubing, may have its arms pivoted to the crossbar which defines the centers C at the sides of the front of the seat. The arms of the bail extend forwardly and then downwardly so that the lower end of the bail overlies the stretcher 24 between the two front legs of the chair and its arms may slide downwardly in the collapsing movement of the chair. A footrest 50 is provided of a length permitting it to span the arms of the bail 48 and is provided with arms 52 having out-turned ends for entering the bail arms at a higher point. The ends of arms 52, which may be formed of heavy wire, may be bent toward each other, selectively presented to corresponding elements of a series of openings 54 in the inwardly facing surface of the bail arms and permitted to spring back. This provides for adjustment of the height of the footrest relative to the seat.
When the legs are folded together completely the seat hangs down from center B, its lower edge being supported by link 30 closely adjacent the central plane between the folded legs and the extension 30a moves the side of the arm yoke 32 down, and this in turn rocks the back 34 about pivot G so that it too hangs downward from that pivot, all parts including the tray, if it is present, being as it were, piled up flat-wise at the front of the closely approximated legs. The seat 28 may pass between the two front legs into the space between them. The arms of the yoke 32 are substantially coplanar with legs 22. The sides of back support 36 when the chair is folded may move in between the arms and stacks on top of the seat 28. The lower end of the footrest supporting bail 48, because'of the curvature of its arm, moves in between the legs as those arms slide across the stretcher between the front legs and the footrest 50 is received in alignment with the downwardly presented edge portions of the seat and back. The result is a packet of very small thickness. Also the height of the packet is less than the overall height of the erected chair.
-In a commercial embodiment of the invention the thickness of the collapsed packet is only 5 /2 inches. Its height is 29 /2 inches (the length of leg 22) as compared vw'th 34% inches measured from the top of the back support 36 to the floor when the chair is erected. v The chair may be collapsed from the position of FIG. 1 by merely releasing the latch 42 and pushing downwardly toward the left on the upper side of the back 34. To erect it the upper side of the back and the front edge of the seat may be grasped and moved apart.
The folded up chair, if stood up on its front legs as in FIG. 3, is not in stable equilibrium, but is close to a balance. Thus it can be stored fla-twise against a wall in a generally vertical position and is not likely to fall forward or slide down. It can of course be placed in narrow spaces between a wall and a table for example. It can be slid as a fiat packet beneath a table or shelf. It can be stood on its end or on its side behind the front seat of an automobile. Laid flat it can go in the trunk or on a roof-supported rack.
I am aware that the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof, and I therefore desire the present embodiment to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, as is in fact clear in several matters from the description itself. Reference is to be had to the appended claims to indicate those principles of the invention exemplified by the particular embodiment described and which I desire to secure by Letters Patent.
1. A folding chair comprising (a) front and rear pairs of legs, the legs of each pair being pivoted together closely adjacent their upper extremities by main pivots to provide an inverted V when spread, 1 (b) a seating assembly supported from the legs, the seating assembly comprising a bottom or seat proper,
a back and a pair of arms,
(c) the seat bottom being pivoted adjacent its rear end to the rear legs on centers below the main pivots and, when the chair is erected, extending forwardly beyondthe front legs,
(d) the back being pivotally-supported by links extending between it and the rear legs at opposite sides,
(e) the arms being pivoted at their rear ends to the back and their front ends having links pivoted to them and to the forward portion of the seat, the link connections at either side between the seat and legs and between the seat and arms being a single lever with three pivots one on each of the joined elements,
(f) releasable means for relatively positioning the parts for sustaining them in upright position,
(g) the back arms and bottom, when said means are released, swinging downwardly to lie at the forward side of the folded Vs of legs and below the level of the main pivots at the apex of the Vs.
2. A folding chair comprising (a) front and rear pairs of legs, the legs of each pair being pivoted together closely adjacent their upper extremities by main pivots to provide an inverted V when spread,
(b) a seating assembly supported from the legs, the seating assembly comprising a bottom or seat proper,
a back and a pair of arms,
(0) the seat bottom being pivoted adjacent its rear end to the rear legs on centers below the main pivots and, when the chair is erected, extending forwardly beyond the front legs,
(d) the back being pivotally supported by links extending between it and the rear legs at opposite sides, (e) the arms being pivoted at their rear ends to the back and their front ends having links pivoted to them and to the forward portion of the seat,
(1) releasable means for relatively positioning the parts for sustaining them in upright position,
(g) the back arms and bottom, when said means are released, swinging downwardly to lie at the forward side of the folded Vs of legs and below the level of the main pivots at the apex of the VS.
'(h) the rear legs extending upwardly beyond the main pivots for the legs and providing undern'ding abutments for the arms in the erected position of the parts.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 235,184 Wakefield Dec. 7, 1880 766,836 Miller et al Aug. 9, 1904 2,580,178 Kvarnstrom Dec. 25, 1951 2,707,020 NObbe Apr. 26, 1955 2,816,598 shone Dec. 17, 1957