US 3103384 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 10, 1963 E. L. zm 3,
ADJUSTABLE AND CONVERTIBLE WHEEL CHAIR Filed Jan. 25, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTORNEYS Sept. 10, 1963 E. L. ZlVl ADJUSTABLE AND CONVERTIBLE WHEEL CHAIR 4 sheets-sham; 2
Filed Jan. 23, 1961 INVENTOR, EDWIN .z|v|
Sept. 10, 1963 E. 1.. 21V! ADJUSTABLE AND CONVERTIBLE WHEEL CHAIR 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Jan. 25, 1961 iNVENTOR EDWlN L.Z|Vl
ATTORNEYS Sept.-10, 1963 E. L. ZlVl ADJUSTABLE AND CONVERTIBLE WHEEL CHAIR 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Jan. 25. 1961 INVENTOR EDWIN L.Z|V|
United States Patent ice 3,103,384 ABJUSIABLE AND IEONVERTIELE WHEEL C Am Edwin L. Zivi, PM. Box 237, Severna Park, Md. Filed Jan. 23, 1961, Ser. No. 84,363 11 Claims. (Cl. 297-l3ll) The present invention generally relates to a wheel chair construction and more particularly a wheel chair having a vertically adjustable seat and which may be easily converted to a bath chair.
The present invention has for one of its main objects, the provision of a wheel chair having a novel seat assembly adjustable from a position closely adjacent a floor surface to an elevated position with the adjustment being effected by the occupant of the wheel chair or by an attendant. This feature enables the occupant to accomplish many feats such as retrieving articles that have dropped to the floor, lowering the seat and getting out of the seat onto the floor and then getting back into the seat without any help, depending on the condition of the occupant. This "also enables the occupant to elevate himself to a high adjustment position for easier access to elevated work tables, stoves, kitchen counter tops, sinks, cabinets and the like. I
Another object of the present invention is to provide a wheel chair which may be easily converted to a bath chair for mounting in a bathtub with the vertical adjustment feature being retained whereby'the occupant may lower himself into the water when desired and elevate himself out of the water by employing the elevating mechanism.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a wheel chair of an adjustable and convertible arrangement in which the operating mechanism may be moved from one side to the other of the chair.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a wheel chair in accordance with the preceding objects which is extremely lightweight in construction, simple in construction, easy to operate, easy to adjust, easy to convert from a wheel chair to a bath chair and vice versa, and generally inexpensive to manufacture.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a wheel chair and/or bath chair with a vertical adjustment which is self-locking. After adjustment to the desired height, no further manipulation is necessary; the seat remains locked whenever the. cranking of the handle is stopped. Further, if the control system should be jammed or broken, the seat will remain in its adjusted position with no hazard to the occupant.
The foregoing and other objectives, advantages and features of construction will become apparent from a consideration of the following description and the appended drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the wheel chair of the present invention illustrating the seat in an elevated position;
- FIGURE 2 is a rear elevation of the device converted to a bath chair;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view showing the bath chair illustrating the suction cups on the axle;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the caster assembly;
FIGURE 5 is an exploded perspective view of the wheel assembly; and
FIGURE6 is a sectional view of the elevating mechamsm.
Referring now specifically to the drawings the numeral 10 generally designates (the wheel chair which includes a hollow longitudinally extending bottom frame member 12 having :a foot rest and caster wheel assembly generally designated by numeral 14 detachably mounted at the forward end thereof.
3,l@3 ,334 Patented Sept. 19, 1963 Art the rear of the frame member 12, a pair of upwardly diverging braces 16 are fixed by welding or the like. The braces 16 are inclined towards the rear of the chair with their upper portion extending forwardly as at 18 and attached to collar 2t An open rectangular frame has a lower member 22 extending transversely of the longitudinal frame member 12 and is rigidly secured thereto as by welding or the like. The frame includes parallel vertical guides or side tracks 24 rigidly interconnected by a top member 26. The frame braces 16 and member 12 are all rigidly interconnected and the frame is also inclined rearwardly as shown in FIGURE 1.
Extending vertically upwardly from the lower member 22 is a tubular member 28 rigidly secured to lower member 22. The upper end of tubular member 23 supports the lower end 30 of an elongated coarse screw threaded rod 32 and the upper end of tubular member 28 is provided with -a centering member 34.
Slidably disposed on the frame members 24 is a seat assembly generally designated by numeral 36 which includes a pair of parallel tubular slides 38 generally in the form of hollow box frame members slidable on the parallel guides or tracks 24. I ournaled on bearing lugs 42 at the rear upper end of slides 38 is a roller 44 supported on an axlepin 40. There are rollers 44' similar to 44 mounted on pins 40' at the junction of members 68 and 33 which ride on the forward side of 24. The couple, due to the cantilever seat, is transferred to the tracks 24 through the four rollers, two at the upper rear and two at the lower front. .The slides 38 are rigidly interconnected by a transverse tubular member 46 thereby providing a rigid unit which may vertically slide on the tracks or guides 24. v
The center of the transverse tubular member 46 is provided with a rearwardly extending bracket 48 through which extends the upper end of the rod 30 and the rod 30 is provided with an offset handle 50 at the upper end thereof having a hand grip or knob 52 thereon. The handle 50 is disposed in such a manner that it will pass over the top of the upper transverse frame member 26 for manipulation by an attendant.
The rod 30 extends through a drive mechanism generally designated by numeral 54 and includes a ball bearing nut 55. The drive mechanism 54 includes a drive sprocket 58 having a plurality of [indentations therein for drivingly receiving a bead chain 60. An elongated sleeve 57 is provided to minimize the cocking action of the chain pull on the sprocket by extending upwardly through bearing 59 locked into position between bracket 48 and brake 61. Collar 63 locked with set screw to sleeve 57 prevents the seat from being raised and disengaging the screw mechanism. Collar 65 attached to the rod 30 thrusts against a bracket 26' on frame member 26 and prevents the screw assembly from lifting out of center device 34. Chain 60 encircles a drive sprocket gear 62 carried by bracket 64 depending from bracket 48 and drivingly connected to a flexible drive shaft assembly 66 extending forwardly and to one side of the seat assembly 36.
The seat assembly 36 includes a pair of side rails 68, and a plurality of sockets 6'9 rcmovably receiving upstanding support members 70 and arm rests 72. A seat forming member 74 which may be of any suitable construction such as interwoven fabric or the like is mounted between rails 68. Each arm rest 72 is provided with a laterally extending bracket 76 to which is attached a gear transfer mechanism 78 having a handle 80 connected thereto for rotating the flexible drive shaft disposed within the flexible drive shaft housing 66 thereby rotating the drive assembly 58 for elevating the seat assembly. By providing a bracket 76 on each arm rest 72, the drive mechanism may may be positioned on either side of the chair, depending upon the desires of the occupant. Also by removing the retaining screw, the gear box 78 may be rotated 180 about the axis of housing 66, thereby placing the handle 80 on the inside of the arm rest 72 providing for additional clearance of the seat in the bath tub.
For supporting the rear end of the wheel chair, there is provided a rear transversely extending axle 82 rigidly :attached to the tubular members 16- and by member 84 to member 28. The axle 82 is provided with an insert 86 secured in position by spring pin 88 and the insert 86 is provided with an internally threaded socket 9 detachably receiving a screw threaded stud 92 rotatably mounted in and projecting inwardly from the hub 94 of the wheel 96 thus detachably connecting the wheels 96 to the ends of the axle 82. This enables removal of the wheels 6 and the insertion of suction cups 98- each having a screw threaded stud 100 thereon and a sleeve 1011 held in 82 by spring pin latch or clip 88 with sleeve 101 freely movably receiving extensions 100'. The screw threaded extensions 100 of the suction cups 98 are each provided with a nut 102 having a handle 103 for rotation of the nuts for reaction against sleeves 3101 thereby expanding the suction cups outwardly for gripping engagement with the side edges of -a bath tub 104.
A sleeve 106 forming a part of the caster assembly 14 fits into the forward end of tubular member 12 and is secured in position by a removable pin 103. The sleeve 106 has a rigid transverse forward axle 112 mounted thereon. The outer ends of the axle 112 have Vertical members 114 rigid therewith with each vertical member extending through the axle 1112 and receiving a caster Wheel frame 116 therein which journals a caster wheel 118 for rotational movement about the axle of the wheel 118 and also for pivotal movement about the vertical axis of the vertical member 114. Mounted on the vertical members 114 are a pair of support arms 120 for swiveling movement about the axis of the vertical member 114 and the inner end of each arm is provided with a sleeve 122 rotatable and vertically adjustable on the member 114. The outer end of the arm 12%] is disposed in perpendicular relation to the remainder thereof as indicated by numeral 125 and pivotally or rotatably supports a foot rest 128 thereon. By removing pin 168, the caster assembly 14- may be completely removed for conversion to a bath chair. Replacing the wheels with suction cups 93 by means of latch 88, the chair is a bath chair in which suction cups 130 and 132 mounted on member 12 as shown in FIGURE 1 engage the bottom of the bath tub 1G4 and suction cups 98 engage the sides of the bath tub 104-.
As previously set forth, the supporting structure of the open rectangular frame is a rigid assembly which may be either welded or joined by suitable mechanical means such as rivets, nuts and bolts or the like. Also, the inwardly curved portions 18 of the braces .16 form hand grips for an attendant when pushing the chair and also serve to rigidify the overall frame structure. Inasmuch as the fore and aft suction cups 130 and 132 do not interfere with the operation as a Wheel chair, they can remain in place whether the chair is used as a bath chair or a wheel chair. Thus, the forwardmost suction cup is disposed rearwardly of the attachment means for the caster assembly.
The seat assembly 36 is rigid and may have either a rigid or flexible seat 74, preferably of plastic. The arm rests are removable for easy sidewise access as a bath chair and for easy access in transferring from a bed or toilet to the wheel chair. The operating mechanism for raising and lowering the seat may be located on either arm rest or disposed interiorally of the arm such as when the seat is being lowered into the interior of a bathtub, thus providing clearance between the seat and the bathtub and allowing the widest possible seat.
The sleeve which holds the suction cups in place in the tubular axle is held in place by the spring clip 88 and the screw which is attached to the suction cup is engaged with a T-nut 102 which, when rotated, forces the screw 1% and the suction cup 98 outwardly or inwardly to lock the bath chair in place or to release it from the bathtub. For converting the bath chair to a wheel chair the spring clip is released and the complete suction cup assembly is removed and the corresponding sleeve and wheel hub is inserted therein with the same spring clip holding the insert in place.
As an alternate to the sprocket and ball chain drive for elevating the chair, intermeshed gears or a worm and pinion gear may be employed to transfer the torque of the flexible shaft to the nut. Also, the present invention may be used solely as a bath chair so that a person may employ a wheel chair and transfer himself from the wheel chair to the bath chair by employing a suitable bridging platform or the like.
From the above description it will be apparent that there is thus provided a device of the character described possessing the particular features of advantage before enumerated as desirable, but which obviously is susceptible of modification in its form, proportions, detail construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the principle involved or sacrificing any of its advantages.
While in order to comply with the statute the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific 'features shown, but that the means and construction herein disclosed comprise the preferred form of several modes of putting the invention into effect, and the invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A chair assembly comprising a supporting frame having upright rigid side tracks, :a seat assembly movably supported on said tracks for elevational movement, means interconnecting the seat assembly and the frame for moving the seat assembly on said tracks, and operating means mounted on the vertically movable seat assembly and connected with the interconnecting means whereby an occupant of the seat assembly may change the elevational position of the seat assembly, said seat assembly including a generally L-shaped frame assembly, a seat member mounted on said frame assembly and being shaped to comfortably receive an occupant, arm rests carried by said frame assembly, said operating means being detachably mounted on one of said arm rests adjacent the outer end thereof for easy access by the occupant of the seat assembly.
2. A chair assembly comprising a supporting frame having transversely spaced upright rigid side tracks, a seat assembly movably supported on said side tracks for elevational movement, means independent of said side tracks interconnecting the seat assembly and the frame for moving the seat assembly on said side tracks, and operating means mounted on the vertically movable seat assembly and connected with the seat assembly moving means whereby an occupant of the seat assembly may change the elevational position of the seat assembly, said supporting frame including a longitudinal base frame member rigid with and transversely spaced from the side tracks, a transverse axle mounted in horizontal position, means rigidly supporting the axle from the supporting frame in vertically spaced perpendicular relation to the base frame member, and support means removably mounted on each end of said axle.
3. The chair assembly as set 'forth in claim 2 which each of said support means on the axle includes a rotatable wheel having a spindle detachably connected to the end of the axle.
4. The chair assembly as defined in claim L2 wherein each of said support means on the axle includes a suction cup, a shank on the suction cup adjustably anddetachably mounted on said axle for expanding the suction cups outwardly into gripping engagement with the side walls of a bathtub.
5. The chair assembly as defined in claim 2 wherein said longitudinal base frame member is provided with support means mounted thereon for stabilizing the support frame.
6. The chair assembly as defined in claim 5 wherein said support means on the base frame member includes a pair of longitudinally spaced suction cups facing downwardly for engagement with a bathtub, each of said support means on the axle includes a suction cup, a shank on the suction cup adjustably and detachably mounted on said axle for expanding the suction cups outwardly into gripping engagement with the side walls of a bathtub.
7. The chair assembly as defined in claim 5 wherein said support means on the base frame member includes a foot rest and caster wheel assembly detachably connected with the forward end of the longitudinal base frame member and each of said support means on the axle includes a rotatable wheel having a spindle detachably connected to the end of the axle.
8. The chair assembly of claim 7 wherein said last named assembly includes a transverse rigid member, a caster wheel on each end of said transverse member, an upstanding member at each end of the transverse member, a foot rest plate mounted on each upstanding member for vertical adjustment, pivotal movement about the axis of the upstanding member and pivotal movement about a horizontal axis at one edge of the foot rest plate.
9. A chair assembly comprising a supporting frame having upright rigid transversely spaced side tracks, a seat assembly mounted on and guided by said tracks for elevational movement, means interconnecting said seat assembly and said frame for moving the seat assembly on said tracks, operating means for said interconnecting means, said operaitng means being flexibly connected to said interconnecting means and adjustably positioned on said seat assembly remote from said interconnecting means whereby an occupant of the seat assembly may change the elevation thereof while seated therein, said seat assembly including arm rest means thereon, means on said arm rest means for supporting said operating means, said operating means including mounting means supporting said operating means in any one of a plurality of positions thereon.
10. The chair assembly as defined in claim 9 wherein said arm rest means includes an arm rest on each side of said seat assembly, said operating means being adjustably positioned on said mounting means on either arm rest.
11. A chair assembly comprising a supporting frame having transversely spaced upright rigid side tracks, a seat assembly movably supported on said side tracks for ele vational movement thereon, means independent of said tracks interconnecting said seat assembly and said frame for moving the seat assembly on said side tracks, operating means adjustably mounted on said vertically movable seat assembly and connected with said first mentioned means whereby an occupant of the seat assembly while seated therein may change its elevational position, said supporting frame including a longitudinal base frame member rigid with but transversely spaced from said side tracks, an axle extending transversely across said supporting frame, means rigidly supporting said axle from said frame in vertically spaced perpendicular relation to said longitudinal base frame member, and support means removably mounted on each end of said axle.
References :Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 132,255 Coates Oct. 15, 1872 924,177 Moore June 8, 1909 1,300,229 Welt et al Apr. 8, 1919 2,614,610 Casmisa et a1 Oct. 21, 1952 2,350,075 Wilson Sept. 2, 1958 2,869,614 Wamsley Jan. 20, 1959 2,937,692 McMichael May 24, 1960 2,9 82,562 Gladstein May 2, 1961 2,986,200 Nobile May 30, 196 1 FOREIGN PATENTS 158,278 Australia Aug. 17, 1954 1,041,209 Germany Oct. 16, 1958