US 3117535 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J 1954 s. B. HENDRICKSON 3,117,535
MODULAR LANGUAGE LABORATORY STUDENT STATION Filed Feb. 12, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 2
Severin B. Hendrickson ATTORN EYS J 1964 s. B. HENDRICKSON 3,117,535
MODULAR LANGUAGE LABORATORY STUDENT STATION Filed Feb. 12, 1963 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I N VE NTOR.
Sc rin B Hendrickson ATTORNEYS United States Patent poration of Massachusetts Filed Feb. 12, 1963, Ser. No. 257,974 9 Claims. (Cl. 10860) This invention is a modular desk unit for assembling a laboratory bench providing visual and acoustical isolation for a number of students such as is required in a modern language laboratory using electronic equipment for instruction.
More particularly, this invention is concerned with a modular language laboratory student station adapted to be conveniently assembled into a series of stations with each unit being capable of conversion from a position providing isolation to a position where vision and hearing are unobstructed.
Language training classrooms have been developed wherein long tables divided into individual stations or booths by vertical acoustical panels are used to accommodate a number of students. Each booth is equipped with the necessary earphones and a microphone for receiving instructions and communicating with the teacher. Recent designs have provided for the acoustical panels to be dropped or lowered so that the table can be converted to provide a work surface suitable for other types of classroom Work. This invention deals with this type of convertible student station arrangement and is concerned with certain specific design features that go to improving appearance and functionality, particularly from the standpoints of ease of assembly and ability to withstand abuse.
Besides its clean ascetic appearance, the modular desk unit of this invention is particularly characterized by the modular desig of the work surface which permits ready assembly of units into a rugged series that will accept considerable student abuse, and by the design of the supporting legs which protect the acoustical panels in their lowered position against twisting and bending when struck by the legs and feet of students. The design of the supporting legs is such as to protect the acoustical panels while still giving a neat open look and providing adequate foot and leg room.
Other features and objects of this invention will become clear from the following description made with reference to the drawings attached to and forming a part of this specification, wherein:
FIGURE 1 illustrates a view of one end of an assembly of the modular units of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side view in section taken along line 2-2 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 3 is a front view of a portion of the assembled units at a point of joinder, i.e., looking towards the side where the student sits;
FIGURE 4 is an exploded view showing in more detail the means of assembling the modular units; and
FIGURE 5 is a side sectional elevation view similar to FIGURE 2 showing the use of a different shape of an acoustical panel.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the laboratory table consists of a series of assembled work surfaces supported by supporting legs 11 and having a terminating end piece 12. Each surface unit it) defines a student work station and at the sides thereof are slots holding acoustical panels 13 which may be raised and lowered as desired. The particular acoustical panel shown is preferred although the shape 13a shown in FIGURE 5 can be used as desired. Acoustical panels 13 comprise a segment of a circle encompassing an arc of 90 to 130 e.g., 120.
3,ll?,535 Patented Jan. 14, 1964 Both sides of the panel are suitably clad with a sound deadening material such as perforated Celotex.
With particular reference to FIGURE 4, the modular arrangement of this invention consists in having each transverse end of every modular unit recessed at 15 preferably to equal depths to receive the acoustical panels. Within each recess fits an integral metal rim 16 that is bolted or screwed to the adjacent units. The rim 16 carries means for mounting the acoustical panels. In the case of acoustical panels 13 they are pivotedly mounted on the student side of the rim by means of machine screws 18 that are threaded into cylindrical housing 18' to form the pivot. At the opposite side of the rim in this arrangement a nylon glide or Washer 17 is inserted that gently presses against the rim of the circular section, which is preferably made of metal, to provide a smooth dropping or lowering action. The nylon glide is in the form of an open ended channel section.
It can be seen that by the design of the Work surface in this manner any number of units can be rapidly assembled together with rim 16 being used to carry the acoustical in place and also to provide the holding together and strengthening of the continuous units. At the end of a series of units a terminating end segment 12 is placed. It too has one of its transverse edges recessed to accommodate a rim 16.
The supporting structure of the modular units of this invention is illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3. About each point of joinder of the modular units is a supporting means consisting of a pair of elongated legs 11a and 11b running down to and rigidly attached to a floor mounting base 14 which can be screwed or bolted to the floor. The upper ends of each pair of legs terminate in suitable mounting brackets 19 on the underside of the work surfaces. This arrangement co-operates with the metal rim to securely hold each modular unit adjacent to its neighbors and provides adequate support for each unit.
The acoustical panels in their lowered position are subject to sideways bending by being struck by the legs and feet of the students. The support 11 used in this invention prevents any damage from occuring in this manner by having legs 11a and 11b when viewed from the front taper from the underside of the table to an apex at base 14. The space between legs 11a and 11b is just slightly wider than the thickness of the edge, indicated at x, of the acoustical panel in its lowered position so that the legs firmly restrain the panel from being bent sideways and damaged. When viewed from the side it is desirable to incline the legs so that the point of restraint x on the acoustical panel is at about the mid point thereof. This inclination of the legs in this manner to the extent of 20 to 30 degrees from the vertical, is also desirable from the standpoint of appearance and to provide adequate leg room in the sitting position and adequate walking room between adjacent benches. Legs 11a and 1111 are preferably tubular to provide maximum strength, although in some cases they may be ovalid to better resist forces exerted against either the front or back of the table.
For the design illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3, the circular edge of acoustical panel 13 is provided with projecting stops 26 and 21 to limit the upward and downward motion of the panel. In addition to the smooth action provided by washer 17 the movement of the panel can be controlled by means of a friction break 23 which can consist for example of a spring loaded nylon plunger pressing against the metal rim on the side of the acoustical panel 13.
In summary, this invention is a modular language laboratory student station. The work surface of each modular unit has a transverse elongated opening at each end which accommodates a vertical acoustical panel that can be raised and lowered. The ends of two abutting modular units when assembled are supported by a sup port consisting of two elongated legs attached to the underside of the work surface on either side of the opening. The legs define a slot between them which is slightly larger than the edge of the panel in its lowered position so that bending of the panel is prevented.
In the preferred design, the supporting legs are tubular and have an upwardly open t -shape when viewed from the front and are forwardly inclined when viewed from the side. The apex of the V-shape is rigidly attached to a suitable floor mounting.
The slot formed by the recesses between abutting work surfaces is encompassed by a unitary rigid metal rim that carries the acoustical panel for that slot. The rim is detachably mounted to the work surface such that it holds together and strengthens the assembly or" the Work surfaces. This metal rim, in co-operation with the support given by the legs on either side of the slot, assure that a sturdy construction is obtained while still having a rather light-appearing, pleasing open arrange: ment.
Having described this invention, what is sought to be protected by Letters Patent is succinctly set forth in the following claims.
1. A modular language laboratory student station comprising a work surface with a transverse elongated opening at either end, a vertical acoustical panel in said opening, said panel ha ing a raised position providing isolation and a lowered position wherein it protects below said work surface, and a support at each end of said work surface, each support comprising two elongated legs attached to the underside of said work sur face on either side of said opening, said elongated legs defining a slot therebetween at the edge of said panel in its lowered position slightly larger than the thickness of said panel whereby bending of said panel is prevented.
2. The modular language laboratory student station of claim 1 wherein said elongated legs are tubular and each support has an upwardly opening V-shape when viewed from the front, and is inclined when viewed from the side, the apex of said V-shape terminating in a floor mounting base.
3. The modular language laboratory student station of claim 1 wherein said work surface is split transversely at either end at the centerline of said opening thereby forming a removable end portion whereby by removing one end portion of a single module that module can attach to the end of a similar module to form a continuous unit having one less support than the number of modules.
4. The modular language laboratory student station of claim 3 wherein each of said openings is encompassed by a continuous unitary metal rim detachably mounted to said work surface and carrying mounting means for said panel.
5. A laboratory bench providing isolation for a number of students comprising a plurality of abutted modular work surfaces, the two transverse ends of a unit each having an elongated recess to receive a vertical acoustical panel, vertical acoustical panels in the slot formed by the elongated recess between the abutting modular work surfaces, said panels having a raised position providing isolation and a lowered position projecting below said work surface, and a demountable rim around each of said slots, said demountable rims carrying mounting means for said acoustical panel and serving to hold abutting units together.
6. The laboratory bench of claim 5 including terminal end pieces at each end thereof, each of which is recessed on one transverse edge to receive a vertical acoustical panel.
7. The laboratory bench of claim 5 wherein all of said recesses are of equal depth.
8. The laboratory bench of claim 5 when said acoustical panels consists of a segment of a circle with the apex of each being carried by said mounting means at the student side of said demountable rims.
9. The laboratory bench of claim 5 when said plurality of abutting modular work surfaces are supported by supports located at each of said slots, each support comprising two tubular legs attached to the under side of the work surface on either side of said slots and defining a space slightly larger than the edge of the acoustical panel therebetween in its lowered position.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 134,496 Vetter Dec. 31, 1872 1,992,903 Potashnik Feb. 26, 1935 2,652,307 Harazirn Sept. 15, 1953 2,944,861 Lessin July 12, 1960 2,961,280 lentzen Nov. 22, 1960 2,961,282 Close Nov. 22, 1960 3,083,417 Cook Apr. 2, 1963