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Publication numberUS3114577 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1963
Filing dateOct 6, 1961
Priority dateOct 6, 1961
Publication numberUS 3114577 A, US 3114577A, US-A-3114577, US3114577 A, US3114577A
InventorsRobert L Propst
Original AssigneeMiller Herman Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Seating
US 3114577 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 1963 R. L. PROPST 3,114,577

SEATING Filed Oct. 6. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. #06577 4. 7421957 BY y @i M R. L. PROPST Dec. 17, 1963 SEATING 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed 001;. 6, 1961 INVENTOR.

ifii'if A FY0257 Ami/V5745 United States Patent ()fifice 3,114,577 SEATiNG Robert L. Propst, Ann Arbor, Mich, assignor to Herman Milier, inc, Zeeland, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Oct. 6, 1961, Ser. No. 143,338 11 Claims. (Ql. 297-445) This invention relates to chairs. More particularly, this invention relates to a chair or related unit of furniture especially well adapted to be used in seating situations requiring comfortable seating for extended periods.

in my co-pending application entitled Net Seating, Serial No. 114,739, filed June 5, 1961, a seating structure was disclosed which utilized a removable net fabric for supporting the sitter, which greatly adds to his comfort and minimizes discomfort caused by pressure point contact on conventional seating. The present invention discloses a seating structure utilizing such a net together with its excellent seating properties and having a means for allowing the net to be mounted on the chair by hand and tensioned without special tools. Thus, the net mounted by means of the structure disclosed herein may be quiclcly and simply removed to be laundered or replaced. N othing more than a simple mechanical motion is required to accomplish the particular tension requirement desired even though considerable force is necessary in order to bring such a net to the tension necessary to bear seating loads. The seating apparatus disclosed herein is especially well adapted to be used by secretaries and the like.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved chair utilizing a net for supporting a person, the chair including a means for tensioning the net to properly bear seating loads.

Another object of this invention is to provide such a seating apparatus which enables one to make the proper adjustment without the use of special tools, it being possible to vary the tension applied to suit the individual taste of its user.

Another object of this invention is the provision of such a seating structure which enables one to quiclcly remove and replace the net for purposes of cleaning and the like.

A still further object of this invention is the provision of such a seating apparatus which is extremely simple in construction and yet durable and pleasing in appearance.

These and other objects of this invention will become obvious to those skilled in the chair art upon reading the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view of one embodiment of a chair utilizing the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the chair shown in FIG. 1, the chair being viewed generally from the rear;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing the component parts of the chair shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the seat of the chair shown in FIG. 2, before tensioning is applied to the supporting net; and

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4, tension having been applied to the supporting net.

Briefly, this invention relates to a unit of furniture (such as a chair) which includes a frame, a net for supporting a person, the net being extended across the frame and means being provided for expanding the frame to tension the net thereon.

Referring more specifically to e drawing, the reference numeral 1 designates one embodiment of a chair utilizing the principles of this invention (FIGS. 1 and 2). It will be noted that this particular embodiment is especially well adapted to be used by secretaries, receptionists and the like. The chair 1 includes a base 2, a supporting 3,lld,5'i7 Patented Dec. 17, 1963 member 10, a pair of frames 2t} and a together with a pair of nets 50 and Slla tensioned over the frames.

The base 2 may be of any conventional construction. In the embodiment shown, the base 2 includes floor engaging legs 3 and a foot rail 4, together with a telescoping supporting post '5 and a means 6 for height adjustment. The supporting member 10 is secured to the top of the supporting post 5. The supporting member 10 is generally L-shaped including a pair of legs 1d and d2. This supporting member may be, for example, of formed steel and act as a spine in the chair construction, the leg 11 supporting the seat frame 20 and the leg 12. supporting the back frame 20a.

The frames 20' and 20a are of essentially identical construction and assembly except for size and the like. Therefore, only one of these frames will be described in detail. The seat frame 20 (FIG. 3) includes a pair of curved, winglike, shell-shaped elements 21 and 22. The elements 21 and 22 may be, for example, formed or molded from suitable material such as plywood or plastic. The elements 21 and 22 respectively include outwardly extending lips 23 and 24, one substantially flat side 25' and 26 together with openings 27 and 28 extending through the flat sides adjacent their tops. A formed housing 29 is provided in the bottom of the element 21 adjacent its flat side 25, the purpose of which will be explained hereinafter.

A pair of elongated resilient cushioning strips 31 and 32, having the respective openings 33 and 3'4 therein are provided and may be formed of material such as rubber or neoprene. They are mounted on opposite sides of the leg 111 of the supporting member 19, tying pins 35 being provided for this purpose to be received in the holes 33 and 34. It will now be seen that the fiat sides 25 and 26 of the elements F211 and 22 respectively may be positioned against the strips 311 and 32, the pins 35 extending into the holes 27 and 28 and suitably securing the elements in place. The elements 21 and 22 are secured in a manner allowing hinged movement of the element as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The strips 3-1 and 32 not only prevent rocking and rattling between the elements and the supporting member, they also act as a compressible spring allowing some final adjustment of the tensioning of the net. A threaded hand screw extends through the flat sides 25 and 26 of elements 211 and 2:2, lying below the strips 31 and '32 and below the leg 11 of the supporting member 10. \A hand grip -41 is provided on one end of the screw 4t), nesting within the housing 29 in the bottom of the element 21. Upon rotation of the hand screw 4% through rotation of the grip 41, the lower portions of the elements 21 and 22 are drawn toward each other, hinged movement being provided by the pins '35. it will now be seen that such movement of these elements (as shown by the arrows in FIG. 5) expands the frame 20 to tension the net 50, to now be described in detail.

The nets and 50a are of similar construction and one will now be described in detail. The net 50 is preferably of a nylon or Dacron knit fabric which greatly minimizes discomfort caused by pressure points and lack of ventilation. Such a net is advantageous in that it is tough and tear resistant, low in cost, easily cleaned, laundered or sterilized and very adaptable to use in adjustable or motion situations. Such a net may be provided in any color and exhibit considerable variation in density and performance characteristics. In use, the weave should be close enough to give the net an even fabric appearance with only slight transparency effects. In the embodi ment shown, the net 50 includes a continuous cord 51 of set length sewn into its edge, and adapted to be received under the lips 23 and 24 of the elements 211 and 22 of the seat frame 20. it should be noted that this net could also be positioned by means of screws or by means of a stiffened member sewn into the net and received in a groove on the underside of the lips 23 and 24.

The net 5% is mounted on the seat frame as follows. The hand screw 49 is rotated such that the elements 2 1 and 22 are positioned as shown in FIG. 4. The resilient strips 3 1 and 32 aid in this positioning of the elements. The net St is then stretched across the frame 20 and the cord 51 is positioned under the lips 23 and 24 of the elements 2-1 and 2.2. strenuous effort is not required at this point since the net is relatively slack when so mounted. Next, the grip All is rotated, rotating the hand screw 40 and pulling the bottoms of the elements 21 and 22 toward each other. This in turn draws the elements in the direction shown by the arrows in FIG. 5, expanding the frame 20 and tensioning the net 50 as shown. It will be seen that varying degrees of tension can be applied, depending on the degree of rotation of the hand screw 49. Thus, with an absolute minimum of effort, the net 51) is mounted and tensioned to bear the weight of the individual using the chair. If the net is to be removed for cleaning or changing, mere rotation of the hand screw 40 returns the elements 21 'and 22 to the position shown in FIG. 4, allowing simple removal of the net 50.

From an examination of FIG. 3, it will be seen that the net 59a is mounted on the back frame 20a in a manner similar to that just described. Thus, a chair has been disclosed utilizing nets for supporting the weight of its user, means being provided for applying proper tension to the nets to support the loads imposed by the individual user. I he comfort provided by such net seating has thus been provided in a chair of relatively simple construction, yet giving the user the benefit of being able to quickly change or launder the nets, together with providing the advantage of adjustment for individual comfort and liking.

While only one embodiment of this invention has been shown and described, it may be possible to practice the invention through the utilization of certain other embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Such other embodiments are to be included as a part of this invention unless the following claims specifically state otherwise.

I claim:

1. A unit of furniture including a frame; said frame including a pair of curved, shell-shaped elements, each element having a lip extending outwardly from its top edge and one side wall being substantially flat; an elongated supporting member; said flat sides of said elements hingedly secured to opposite sides of said member adjacent their tops; a net for supporting a person; said net extending across said frame and secured about said lips of said elements; and means for drawing the bottoms of said elements toward one another for tensioning said net.

2. A unit of furniture as defined in claim 1, including resilient strips positioned between said supporting member and said elements and said means for drawing the bottoms of said elements toward one another comprising a threaded hand screw extending through said bottoms of said fiat sides.

3. A seating structure, comprising: a base; a generally L-shaped supporting member secured to said base; a first frame secured to one leg of said member; a second frame secured to the other leg of said member; a pair of nets; one of said nets extending across said first frame; the other of said nets extending across said second frame; and means for expanding said first and second frames for tensioning said nets whereby said nets support the back and seat of a person.

4. A seating apparatus, comprising: a base; a generally L-shaped supporting member secured to said base; a first frame secured to one leg of said member; a second frame secured to the other leg of said member; each of said .4 first and second frames including at least two elements, said elements movable with respect to one another; a pair of nets; one of said nets extending across said first frame and secured to the outer edges of its associated elements; the other of said nets extending across said second frame and secured to the outer edges of its asso ciated elements; and means associated with each of said first and second frames for moving their respective elements with respect to one another to tension said nets, whereby said nets provide support for the back and seat of a person.

5. A seating apparatus, comprising: a base; a generally L-shaped supporting member secured to said base; a first frame secure-d to one leg of said member; a second frame secured to the other leg of said member; each of said first and second frames including a pair of shellshaped elements, said elements hingedly secured to opposite sides of their respective legs; a pair of nets; one of said nets extending across said first frame and secured to the outer edges of its associated elements; the other of said nets extending across said second frame and secured to the outer edges of its associated elements; and means associated with each of said first and second frames for moving the bottoms of their respective elements toward each other to tension said nets, whereby said nets provide support for the back and seat of a person.

6. A seating apparatus as defined in claim 5 and including flexible strips between said respective elements and legs.

7. A seating apparatus, comprising: a base; a generally L-shaped supporting member secured to said base; a first frame secured to one leg of said member; a second frame secured to the other leg of said member; each of said first and second frames including a pair of shell-shaped elements, each of said elements having a lip extending outwardly from its top edge and one side wall being substantially flat; said fiat sides of said elements hingedly secured to opposite sides of their respective legs adjacent their tops; a pair of nets; one of said nets extending across said first frame and secured about said lips of its associated elements; the other of said nets extending across said second frame and secured about said lips of its associated elements; and means associated with each of said first and second frames for moving the bottoms of their respective elements toward one another to tension said nets, whereby said nets provide support for the back and seat of a person.

8. A seating apparatus as defined in claim 7, said means for drawing said bottoms of said elements together comprising a threaded hand screw extending through said bottoms of said side walls.

9. A seating apparatus as defined in claim 7 and including resilient strips positioned between said respective elements and legs.

10. A unit of furniture including in combination a frame, a support for said frame, said frame including at least two elements, said elements movable one with respect to the other, a net for supporting a person, said net extending across said frame and secured to the outer portions of said elements, and means for moving said elements with respect to one another for tensioning said net.

11. A unit of furniture as defined in claim 10, said elements comprising a pair of net receiving members pivotal one with respect to the other.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,357,737 Solaini Nov. 2, 1920 1,976,326 Carlton Oct. 9, 1934 2,738,835 Eames Mar. 20, 1956 3,024,068 Eames Mar. 6, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1357737 *Nov 18, 1919Nov 2, 1920Peter SolainiEmbroidery-frame
US1976326 *Jan 27, 1932Oct 9, 1934Lee C CarltonVehicle seat construction
US2738835 *Dec 8, 1952Mar 20, 1956Herman Miller Furniture CompanUpholstery pad
US3024068 *Apr 8, 1959Mar 6, 1962Miller Herman IncDemountable furniture web construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3167352 *Jan 27, 1964Jan 26, 1965Charlton Company IncChair with a unitary suspended seat and backrest
US3233255 *May 22, 1961Feb 8, 1966Miller Herman IncBed construction
US4853995 *Sep 15, 1982Aug 8, 1989Sears Manufacturing CompanyMolded cushion article
US7594700Aug 24, 2005Sep 29, 2009Herman Miller, Inc.Contoured seating structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/451.1, 297/284.2
International ClassificationA47C4/02, A47C3/14, A47C31/11, A47C3/12, A47C3/28, A47C7/46, A47C7/14, A47C7/32, A47C1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47C4/02, A47C3/12, A47C7/46, A47C3/14, A47C7/32, A47C3/28, A47C7/282, A47C31/11, A47C7/14, A47C4/028
European ClassificationA47C4/02, A47C4/02U, A47C7/28A, A47C3/28, A47C3/12, A47C7/14, A47C7/46, A47C3/14, A47C31/11, A47C7/32