US 3120308 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 4, 1964 J. w. FIERRO ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT MEANS Filed Jan. 1o. 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Feb. 4, 1964 .1. w. FIERRO 3,120,308
ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT MEANS Filed Jan. 10, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent O 3,126,398 ADJUSTABEJE SUPPRT MEANS Joseph W. Pierro, 91 Velma Ave., Pittsfield, Mass. Filed Jan. 10, 1%2, Ser. No. 165,414 3 Claims. (Cl. 2li-74) This invention relates to an adjustable support means, and, more particularly, to an adjustable support means for supporting a tray or similar device on the arm or back of upholstered furniture, such as a soia, chair or a car seat.
As is Well known to those skilled in this art, many attempts have been made to provide an adjustable support means for use with trays and similar devices, rfhese support means have been desired so as to iirmly position or otherwise secure a tray or similar device to the arm of a chair or sofa or to the bach of a car seat. Such support means have been found necessary in todays society due to the great arnount of auto travel, iniorm entertaining and television viewing done by the American public. in each of these activities it is found desirable to partake of food or drink during the course of an evening, or at some point during travel. When food or drink is served a problem generally arises ior the guests and hosts alike as to a suitable place to rest tl e containers of food or drink While they are being consumed.
One solution to this problem has been the snack tray which has made its appearance during the past few years. These are usually trays which are attached in some manner to an )ti-shaped support member which must rest on the oor near the person using it. Obviously, such devices are not suited for autos, and in general are unsatisfactory for informal entertaining due to the amount of door space necessary to accommodate these snack trays. Other devices are available which clamp in some manner to either a car door or a chair arm, and may be used to support a tray or similar device. These clamping devices are generally unsatisfactory for one or both of two objections. In some of the available clamping devices it is necessary to engage a screvv-type clamping means to the supporting structure. This is clearly unsatisfactor j because of the the time and etort required to attach such devices, as Well as the probability of marring or otherwise damaging the supporting structure. Another type of clamping device usually relies on spring pressure to provide the desired clamping to a supporting structure. These types of clamping devices have proved unsatisfactory since a relatively strong spring is necessary to provide a solid support means, Wmch of course requires etiort to place on the supporting structure, and is likely t0 mar such structure. Vvhile, if the spring is not suthciently strong the support means is very susceptible to accidental dislodgment, thus spilling the tray and its contents, which is secured to such support means.
Another type of support means which is known is one which relies on the Weight of the supported object to hold it securely to a chair arm or other member. These support means are generally considered unsatisfactory since a slight jar could release the weight oi the supported object, thereby allowing the support means to become provide a novel support means that is readily adjustable nnlatched. Also when beverages are served, the bottom of the beverage container tends to become moist and forms a suction between the container and the support means. When the container is lifted, the suction tends to cause the support means to also litt slightly, thus allowing unlatching of such support means. From the above it will be apparent that there is presently a longfelt need in this art for an adjustable support means Whic will overcome the present disadvantages of the available supporting means.
It is, therefore, a principal object oi this invention to ICC to enable it to be secured to a variety of supporting structures and which will resist accidental dislcdgment.
A further object orr this invention is to provide a novel, adjustable support means having cooperating parts which function together to lock the support means to any of a variety of supporting structures.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a novel support means having cooperating parts which are adjustable to t a variety of supporting structures.
A still urther obje-ct of this invention is to provide a novel, adjustable support means having cooperating parts which are provided with a novel locking means which requires a dual movement to release, thereby preventing accidental release or dislodgment oi the support means.
ln carrying out this invention in one form thereof, an adjustable support means is provided which comprises first and second cooperating members. A rst member has a tray or similar device secured thereto and is provided with a pivot means and a lock means, forming a part of said iirst member. The second member is provided v/ith an extending arm which is movable into engagement will the member. The extending arm has a beveled side and a row of tooth-like indentations along an adjacent side thereof. The pivot means, the loch means, the beveled side and the tooth-like indentations are so designed that when the arm is moved into engagement with the first mernbe the pivot means coacts with the beveled side to force the tooth-like indentations into locking position with the locking means to firmly secure the support .eans to a supporting structure.
The invention which is sought to be protected is clearly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims appended hereto. However, it is believed that the construction and operation of this invention, and the manner in which its various objects and advantages are achieved, together with other objects and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following detailed description, when taken in the light of the accompanying drav ings, in which:
FGURE l invention;
FEGURE 2 is a top view of the form of invention shown in FlGURE l;
FGURE 3 is a perspective view of the form of invention shown in FGURES 1 and 2;
is an elevation View of one form of this FIGURE 4 is a partial view showing one form of the novel pivot means and lock means of this invention;
FIGURE 5 is a partial sectional view of the bottom portion, taken on the line 5-5 ot FGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a sectional View taken on the line 6-6 of FGURE 5; and
FGURE 7 is a detailed sectional view taken substantially on the line '7 7 of FlGURE 6.
Referring now to the drawings, in which like numerals are used to indicate like parts throughout the Various views thereof, this invention is shown in a preferred embodiment as an adjustable support means it), comprising a iirst member 12 having a tray device, shown in the form of a tumbler or cup holder id, secured thereto. A second member i6 is provided having an extending arm i forming a part thereof, the extending arm co-acting with portions or" the iirst member to provide an adjustable, locking engagement between the rst and second members Considering specifically FIGURE 1, the adinstable support means 1? is shown as comprising a first member i2, substantially L-shaped, and having a contact means in the form of rod 2t) secured to the lower extremity of the 'L -shaped mem er 12 As shown, the contact rod 2S contacts one side of an upholstered furniture piece, such as the back 22 of a car seat. Of course, it Will be understood that other forms of contact means may be Y tooth-shaped indentations 42.
provided. However, in the preferred embodiment shown, the rod form is believed most advantageous since it will not tear or otherwise mar upholstered furniture. Further, it will be understood that any type of tray or other device, such as a headrest or radio may be secured to member 12.
As can be seen, especially in FIGURES 2 and 3 of the drawings, the lirst member 12 is provided with an opening or slot means 24, formed between the cup supports 26 and 28, which comprise the cup holder 14. This opening or slot means 24 enables the second member 16 of the adjustable support means 10, to be firmly and removably secured to the first member 14, in a manner to be more fully described hereafter. The opening or slot means 24 is preferably open at its top as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. The end of slot means 24, which receives the second member 16 has a slot 30 in wall 32 of the cup holder 14. 'Ille bottom of slot means 24 is open adjacent the slot 30, as can be more clearly seen from FIGURE 4. Adjacent slot 3i), which provides entry in-to the slot means 24, a lock means is provided preferably in the form of a tooth 34, as shown in FIGURE 4. This lock means 34 co-acts with a portion of the second member 16 to removably secure the second member 16 to the rst member 12. Also provided within the slot means 24 is a pivot means, generally shown in FIGURES 2 and 4 as a two sided pyramidal member 36, the sides sloping from the bottom of slot means 24 to the side wall of cup holder 28, as shown.
The second member 16 of the adjustable support means is also substantially L-shaped, having an extending arm 18 which co-acts with the lirst member 12, and a lower leg 38. The lower end of leg 38 is provided with a contact means in the form of rod 40, which is similar to contact rod 20 and functions in the same manner. The extending arm 18 is provided with a row of tooth-like indentations 42, which extend substantially along the entire length of arm 18. As can be seen from the drawings, these tooth-shaped indentations 42 are on the side of arm 18 which contacts the lock means 34 when arm 18 is inserted in the slot means 24. The sides of arm 18 which are adjacent to the tooth-shaped indentations 42 are beveled as shown at 44, the bevel being directed away from the In a similar manner, the upper end ofslot is beveled in the same direction as bevels 44, as indicated at 31 in FIGURE 4.
Reference will now be made to FIGURES `5, 6, and 7 for a more complete description of the co-operative constructional details of a preferred embodiment of this invention.l As can be seen from FIGURES 5 and 7, the arm 18 of member 16 ts within slot means 24 of member 12, with suliicient clearance, such that arm 18 may be pushed further into slot means 24, if desired. As shown, the tooth-like indentations 42 are provided with a straight portion and a slanted portion, as is the lock means 34. In this manner, the arm 18 may be pushed into slot means 24, with the tooth-like indentations 42 riding over lock means 34. However, due to the complementary shape of the lock means 34 and the indentations 42, the arm 18 cannot be accidentally moved rearwardly out of slot means 24. Thus, the indentations 42 and lock means 34 function -as a ratchet, to allow arm 18 to move in only one direction in slot means 24. Of course, it will be obvious that the lock means 34 and the tooth-like indentations 42 could be reversed, if desired, with the arm 18 carrying the lock means.
As can be seen, especially from FIGURES 6 and 7, the beveled top 31 of slot 30 and pivot means 36 cooperate with the beveled sides 44 of arm 18 to force the toothlike indentations 42 into locking engagement with lock means 34. As will be understood, the principal co-action is between the pivot means 36 and the lower beveled edge 44 of arm 18. I-t will be apparent that -as arm 38 and rod 40 contact an upholstered piece, such as 22, the lower beveled edge 44 of arm 18 will be forced into engagement with pivot means 36. This will cause the tooth-like indentations 42 to move against the side of slot means 24, thusengaging lock means 34, to securely'lock the members 12 and 16 together.
From the above description of the -adjustable support means of this invention it is believed that its manner of operation will be apparent to one skilled in this ant. However, in order to more clearly bring out the novel co-action of the various portions of this invention a brief description of its operation will be given. When it is desired to place the adjustable support means 10 of this invention on a piece of upholstered furniture, such as the back 22 of a car seat, the first member 12 is placed on one side of the back with contact rod 20 in contact with the back. The second member 16 is then secured to the iirst member 12 by inserting extending arm 1-8 into slot means k24 through the slot 30. Extending arm 18 is inserted into slot means 24 at a slight angle such that the lower beveled edge 44 clears the pivot means 36. When extended arm 18 is moved into slot means 24 a suiiicient distance for the contact rod 4G' to Contact the opposite side of the back 22, further movement of arm 18 will cause the arm 18 to be raised toward Ithe top of 4the slot 30. Raising of arm 18 causes the lower beveled edge 44 to contact pivot means 36, pivoting about the pivot means 36 until the Vupper beveled edge 44 contacts the top of the slot 3i). At this point, due to the contour of the beveled edges 44 and the pivot means 36, the arm 18 is forced against the lock means 34. Obviously, as the lock means 34 enters one of the tooth-shaped indentations 42, the members 12 and 16 will be firmly locked to the back 22. As can be seen from the shape of the tooth-like indentations 42, the arm 18 may be pushed further into the slot means 24, the arm riding over the lock means 34. However, the arm may not be removed from the slot means 24 of the first member 12 by a rearward motion. action of the pivot means 36 and lock means 34 with the beveled edge 44 and the tooth-like indentations 42, it is necessary to move the extended arm 18 in a downward direction to clear the pivot means 36, while -a-t the same time moving it in a sideward direction to clear the lock means 34. Since this dual motion is required to release the second member 16 from the first member 12, the adjustable support means of this invention resists accidental dislodgement when it is secured to a portion of upholstered furniture. Thus it can be seen that adjustable support means of this invention obtains all of the objects and advantages hereinbefore set forth.
Of course it will be obvious to those skilled in -this art that various changes may be made in the construction of the various portions of the preferred embodiment herein described without departing from therscopeof this invention. For example, the upper edge of the extended arm could be flat instead of beveled and the top of the slot could also be substantially even rather than beveled, as shown. Clearly, the extended arm would function in substantially the same manner with the pivot means 36V and the lock means 34 to securely fasten the second member to the first member. Also it will be obvious that the particular shape of the lock means may be changed if desired. It is only necessary lthat the lock means be formed so as to co-act with the beveled edge of the extended arm -to force the arm into contact with the lock means. Other changes will also occur to those skilled in this art. Therefore, it is to be understood, that this invention is not limited to the preferred embodiment hereinbefore set forth, but that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed as new and which it is desired to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. An adjustable support means for supporting a traylifke device on a portion of upholstered furniture comprismg;
(a) a first member including a tray-like device,
Because of the co-' 1) an elongated slot means having opposite side walls, formed in said member,
(2) a pivot means attached to said first member on one of said side Walls of said slot means,
(3) a lock means attached to said first member on the other of said side Walls of said slot means,
(b) a second member movable into locking engagement with said lirst member,
(1) an elongated arm extending from said second member and insertable into said slot means of said first member between said opposite side walls,
(a) said arm having at least one beveled side which contacts said pivot means when said arm is inserted into said slot means,
(b) another side of said arm adjacent 4to said beveled side having a plurality of indentations therein which face said other of said side Walls when said arm is inserted into said slot means,
whereby as said arm of said second member is inserted into said slot means of said vfirst member said beveled side contacts said pivot means to thereby force said arm away from said one of said side Walls to said other of said side Walls and forcing said indentations into locking Contact with said lock means on said other of said side Walls.
2. An adjustable support means as claimed in claim l in which said lock means on said rst member is in the form of a tooth and said indentations on said extending arm are of complementary tooth shape -to provide locking contact with said -tooth lock means.
3. An adjustable support means as claimed in claim 2 in which said lock means is provided with a straight side and a sloping side and said indentations are of a complementary shape whereby said extending arm may be moved further into said rst member by riding over said sloping side of said lock means.
Rosenblum Aug. 10, 1920 Heuler Jan. 31, 1961