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Publication numberUS3122395 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 25, 1964
Filing dateFeb 7, 1961
Priority dateFeb 7, 1961
Publication numberUS 3122395 A, US 3122395A, US-A-3122395, US3122395 A, US3122395A
InventorsOffner Edwin
Original AssigneeOffner Edwin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Width-adjusting attachment for wheel chairs
US 3122395 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


EDWIN UFF/VER BY A www ATTORNEY United States Patent O M' 3,122,395 WIDTH-ADJUSTENG ATTACHMENT FR WHEEL CHAIRS Edwin Oftner, Mayfair Road, Elmsford, N.Y. Filed Feb. 7, 1961, Ser. No. 87,635 2 Claims. (Cl. 297-45) My invention is an improvement in wheel chairs for persons that are incapacitated due to accident or illness and particularly wheel chairs which can be folded crosswise into a smaller transverse compass.

Such chairs have in general been previously so constrncted that, when occupied and moved about, they often encounter a doorway too narrow for passage, so that in many places a restriction in the use of the chair is entailed. The conventional wheel chair can be folded crosswise; and of course, a strong attendant handling the chair can reduce the width thereof somewhat, by proper manipulation, provided the sitter therein is not too heavy; but such an operation is always necessarily diicult and uncertain.

The principal object of this improvement is to provide a wheel chair that can be quickly and easily adjusted to reduce the width thereof and pushed through a relatively narrow doorway, or other opening, without disturbing or inconveniencing the occupant and at once restored to full width afterward.

In best practical form of my invention, this shifting of the width of the chair can even be readily accomplished by the occupant, with very slight exertion.

Another object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a wheel chair of conventional design comprising a pair of side frames with arm rests supported to be movable towards each other and apart when necessary, and equipped with a simple attachment that serves the desired purpose.

This attachment is mounted on one of the arms at the side of the seat or at any other convenient point and can be actuated by the hand of the occupant at will.

Other objects and advantages of my invention are made clear in the following description and the accompanying drawing illustrates the best embodiment of my invention now known to me. But this disclosure is explanatory only and changes in structural details may be adopted within the range of meanings in which the appended claims are expressed.

On said drawing:

FIGURE l is a perspective view of the framework of a wheel chair without my adjusting attachment thereon.

FIGURE 2 is a side view of part of such a framework carrying my attachment.

FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal section of my adjusting attachment.

FIGURE 1 shows the general construction of a wheel chair now well known, and the conventional features thereof are not part of this invention.

A chair for incapacitated persons, as is well known, is made up of stout metal parts, which may be tubing, all joined rigidly together to form two side frames, each comprising back uprights 2 and front uprights 3 xedly connected by bottom bars 4, extending from front to rear. The front uprights 3 are bent rearward at their tops to present horizontal bars or arms 5 running to the rear uprights 2 and at`l`xed thereto at their back ends. These arms 5 have cushions 6 attached firmly to upper sides and these cushions serve as arm rests for the occupant.

The seat 8 is of course below the arms 5, and below these arms 5 are horizontal side bars 7 between front and back to support the seat 8, which is of leather or some other strong ilexible sheet material extending across from 3,122,395 Patented Feb. 25, 1964 ICC one side bar 7 to the other and made fast thereto along its opposite side edges.

Beneath the seat are cross braces 9 which run diagonally from side to side, each joining a side bar 7 on one side to a bottom bar 4 on the other. On the uprights 2 and extending outward below the seat 8 are journals 10 for the rear large wheels, and near the front ends of the bars 4 are forked-shaped supports 11 for the smaller front wheels, these supports having swivel connection at their tops with the bars 4. Only one such support is shown. The wheels (not illustrated) are of the usual type with rubber tires, and the back wheels can be rotated by the sitter with his hands while the front wheels can turn sides and otherwise facilitate guiding the chair in motion. The cross braces 9 are joined at midpoints where they intersect by a pivot bolt 12 and can be turned at their upper and lower ends about the bars 4 and 7. At the front, the uprights 3 and bars 4 have affixed thereto downward slanting bars, parts of which appear at 13, to mount foot rests, belt and any other necessary attach- Y ment. A separate sheet of material at 14 in back of the seat extends as at 14 up between the uprights 2 to enable the sitter to lean rearward, and terminates adjacent the handles 15 on the upper ends of the uprights 2. This sheet is secured along its side edges to the uprights 2.

The cross braces 9 have pivotal connection at their lower ends with the bars 4 and are united in the same way at their upper ends to the side bars 7 for the seat S. Hence, when the chair is to be folded the side frames are simply pushed towards each other and the seat 8 and back 14 are folded in the middle. To distend the chair the frames are pulled apart in the opposite direction. When the chair is collapsed the side frames are pulled up with the hands by means of the bars 5 or 7, and the braces 9 then swing up towards the vertical and push the arms 7 upward. These arms then slide at their ends along the two uprights 2 and 3. When the chair is needed again, the side frames are drawn away from each other, the diagonal braces are again swung apart on the pivot bolt 12, and the side bars 7 slide downward at their ends of the uprights 2 and 3. The unfolding movement of the chair is completed when the ends of the side arms 7 make contact with stops 16 under them on the front uprights 3 and rear uprights 2.

The cross braces 9 have pivotal engagement at their opposite ends with the side bars 7 of the seat and the bottom bars 4 between the bars 2 and 3. This pivotal connection can be obtained in various ways as by mounting rotatable sleeves 29 on the bars 4 and 7 and making these sleeves fast to the ends of the bars 9, and the bars 7 may have stops 39 to keep the sleeves from moving lengthwise on the bars which carry them.. Of course other modes of pivotal connection may be adopted. Also the ends of the bars 7 may be provided with short sleeves 31 which are seated with their hollow sides in contact with the uprights 2 and 3, the sleeves being secured to the bars 7 by welding or any other suitable manner. When the chair is unfolded, these shoes rest on the stops 16 so that the seat and the weight of the occupant is supported thereon. The stops '16 may be rings on the uprights, or knobs 30 obtained by inserting screws with heads in openings in the uprights or any other suitable stop device.

The foregoing paragraphs merely set forth by way of example the construction and mode of manipulation of the conventional wheel chair for use in hospitals, sanitariums and other places, and the various parts of such parts of -such a chair and the connections at the several points for collapsing and distending the chair are matters of common knowledge in this art and need not be shown in detail herein. They are not features of this invention,

which resides in the attachment illustrated on FIGURE 2 and FIGURE 3.

This attachment embraces a tubular member 17, secured rmly to one side arm 5 above the seat 8 by an angle-shaped bracket 18, having a downturned end, so that it lits tightly over the top of the cushion 6 on said arm. This member comprises a hollow tubular element i9 xed to the bracket 18 and open at its lower end, at which it receives a hollow shank 20 extending downward and Abearing at its lower extremity a laterally projecting foot 21. The shank is fixed to the lower side of the bracket 18 and is parallel to said downturned end. On one side bar 7 of the seat directly under the member 17 is a metal strip 22 affixed by screws 23 to a clamp 24 that encircles said side b'ar and is held tightly against turning on the said bar 7 by screws 25. The foot 21 extends beneath this strip 22. Above the bracket d8 is a crank 26 affixed to a threaded rod 25 in the member element 17, and engaging screw threads 27 at the top of the hollow shank 20. The top of the bracket has a bearing in which the rod is rotatably engaged and the crank 26- is ixed to the end of the rod that projects up from this bearing. Obviously, when the crank 2d is turned, the side bar carrying the strip 22 over the foot 21 is pulled up and this motion is accompanied by a folding movement of the braces '9, and a shifting of the side frames towards each other. Thus the width of the chair is reduced, so that the chair can go through a narrow doorway or other narrow opening. This result can be obtained by the occupant merely by turning the crank 26. After the narrow doorway is passed, the turning of the crank in the opposite direction again moves the side frames apart and restores the chair to its full width..

The chair is thus rendered easily adjustable by the occupant, and no alteration in the usual construction is necessary.

The attachment is strong and durable, and can be mounted by means of the bracket 1S on the arms 5 and by the clamp 24 and screws y25 to the arms 7 beneath said arm 5; and readily taken 01T when it is not needed.

Obviously when the crank 26- is turned to lift the bar 7 at the side of the seat directly below it, the adjacent end of the brace 9 connected to this bar 7 is lifted also and swings around the pivot 12; :so that the pivotal connection of the opposite end of this bar 9 with the bottom bar 4 will tend to pull the other side frame toward the frame bearing the attachment 17 and lift the other brace 9 to raise the other side bar 7 also. Hence the two side frames are drawn together. In practise, the braces 9 should be approximately as long as the distance between the bars 7 and bars S'so that the frames can be fully collapsed when the chair is not needed.

The angle-shaped bracket 1S fits over the cushion 6 on the side arm 5 snugly and eectively supports the entire attachment.

Having described my invention, what l believe to be new is:

1. The combination with a wheel chair having side frames between which flexible material is secured for a seat and back, said side frames being movable towards and from each other, the frames having vertically movable horizontal side bars to which the seat is united, lixed horizontal arms at the sides above said side bars, and diagonal braces beneath the side bars movably connected thereto at their upper ends and to the frames below the seat at their lower ends, an attachment comprising anV `angle-shaped bracket connected to one of said horizontal arms and having a downturned end, a tubular member alhxed at one end to said bracket, a slidable tubular shank in said member projecting from the opposite end of said member, said downturned end of the bracket eX- tending in the :same direction as said member, said shank having internal threads, a threaded rod in said member engaging the threaded shank therein, said bracket having a bearing, the rod projecting from the member at said bracket and rotatably engaging the bearing, a crank on the rod adjacent the bearing to turn the rod and actuate the crank, and a foot on the lower end of the shank connected to one of said side bars, whereby, when the attachment is supported at a side arm by said bracket, the turning of the crank causes the rod to move the tubular shank to raise or lower said one side bar and change the width of the chair.

2. The combination with a wheel chair having side frames between which flexible material is secured for a seat and back, said side frames being movable towards and from each other to reduce the width of the chair, the frames having vertically movable horizontal side bars to which the seat is united, horizontal arms at the sides above said side bars, arm rests on said horizontal arms, of an attachment mounted on one of said arm rests and extending downwardly to and being connected to one of said side bars, said attachment comprising an angle shaped bracket secured to -said arm rest, a threaded rod depending downwardly from said bracket, a threaded shank engaging said threaded `rod so as to be longitudinally reciprocable relative thereto when said rod is rotated, a foot on the lower end of said shank, a clamp secured to one of said vertically movable horizontal side bars, said foot being secured to said clamp, a horizontal crank secured to said threaded rod and a handle on said crank whereby the horizontal turning of said crank causes the rod to reciprocate the shank vertically to raise -or lower said horizontal side bars and change the width of the chair accordingly.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,120,497 Heinrich time 14, 1938 2,628,147 Berner Feb. 10, 19,53 2,641,306 Lerm-an June 9, 1953 2,808,303 Frank Oct. 1, 1957V 2,824,597 Lerman Feb. 25, 1958 2,884,225 Ford Apr. 28, `1959 3,002,726 Ford Oct. 3, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 391,954 Great Britain May 11, 15933

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2120497 *Sep 30, 1935Jun 14, 1938Kearney James R CorpChain tightener
US2628147 *Oct 22, 1948Feb 10, 1953American Hospital Supply CorpBedside table structure
US2641306 *Jan 16, 1952Jun 9, 1953Lerman Monroe ArnoldFoldable wheel chair
US2808303 *Mar 31, 1954Oct 1, 1957Frank EmanuelMovable pedestal invalid table with offset side standard
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US2884225 *Mar 20, 1957Apr 28, 1959David FordFence stretcher
US3002726 *Apr 27, 1959Oct 3, 1961David FordInterchangeable stretching device and clamps
GB391954A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3331614 *Jun 18, 1965Jul 18, 1967Jimmy L McclintockAttachment for wheel chairs
US3409324 *Aug 22, 1966Nov 5, 1968Carl W OjaHydraulic device and wheelchair equipped therewith
US3937490 *Jun 25, 1974Feb 10, 1976Nasr Ibrahim Abdelrahim MohameWheelchair
US4098521 *Aug 9, 1976Jul 4, 1978Reme Enterprises, Inc.Wheelchair adaptable for passage in narrow spaces
US4500109 *Dec 15, 1982Feb 19, 1985Frank VolinWheelchair width adjuster
US4572501 *Jul 1, 1983Feb 25, 1986Claudia DurhamExercise device for attachment to a wheelchair
US4648615 *Nov 6, 1985Mar 10, 1987Frank VolinWheelchair width adjuster
US4776605 *Jul 16, 1987Oct 11, 1988Hathcock John EWheeled bed apparatus
EP1056635A1 *Feb 22, 1999Dec 6, 2000Sunrise Medical HHG Inc.Wheelchair and link assembly for use with a wheelchair
U.S. Classification297/45, 297/284.2, 297/DIG.400
International ClassificationA61G5/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61G5/1062, Y10S297/04
European ClassificationA61G5/10S4