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Publication numberUS3124390 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 10, 1964
Filing dateOct 8, 1962
Publication numberUS 3124390 A, US 3124390A, US-A-3124390, US3124390 A, US3124390A
InventorsCharles Eaiues
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Seating pad attachment
US 3124390 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 10, 1964 C. EAMES ETAL SEATING PAD ATTACHMENT Filed Oct. 8. 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 TM W%%W I31 W an A M M M March 10, 1964 c. EAMES ETAL 3,124,390

SEATING PAD ATTACHMENT Filed Oct. 8, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS Cl/APZES 4M$ AQBEFT Z. 5727/ 155 states This invention relates to seating, and more particularly to seating structures embodying a removable body-supporting member.

This is an improvement of the invention embodied in United States patent application Serial No. 142,070, filed October 2, 1961, and assigned to the assignee herein.

Public seating is ordinarily exposed to extremely demanding conditions. Because of carelessness of the general public, and of actual mischievousness of certain persons, public seating regularly deteriorates rapidly. The problem of damaged seats is extremely difficult to cope with since public seating is economically manufactured only when a plurality of seats are formed in an integrated fashion on a common standard. Therefore, a single M ate t damaged seat in the integrated row of seats cannot ordinarily be replaced. Yet it detracts significantly from the appearance of the entire row.

Well-known methods of comhatting this problem are (1) the provision of rigid, hard surfaced wooden or plastic seating arrangements resembling partitioned benches, and (2) the use of completely individualized, space-consuming, and expensive seats. The first method, although more economical, leaves much to be desired in comfort. Further, even though such seats are not damaged as readily, when they do become marred, replacement of individual seats is not possible. The second method of providing individual seats is usually too expensive for public lobbies, waiting rooms and lounges. Further, it does not utilize the space efficiently. In this type of seating where flexible pads are utilized, it is important to provide the pads with closely spaced supports. This assures uniformity of load distribution and prevents failure of the pad or its connections due to load concentration. In this invention the primary means of support for the pads is a plurality of pins which pass through suitable openings arranged along two edges of each pad.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide seating especially suitable for public use, which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and assemble into integrated-row seats, yet characterized by individual, replaceable body-supporting elements. Furthermore, this invention reduces fabrication costs by making the seat pad anchors separable from the supporting frame members. These studpins are formed entirely separately of the cast frame members and yet cooperate with it to provide rigid, sturdy support. The novel assembly provides great versatility of assembly depending upon conditions. It enables easy replacement of a strip of these relatively small stud pins in case of failure of one or more pins during use. Thus, an expensive frame member is not scrapped merely because of the failure of one or two stud-pins. Moreover, it enables a large number of such pins to be used since the pins do not have to be cast as an integral part of the frame elements. Further, this permits the casting to be simple in design and less costly to fabricate. The pins may be made of a harder, higher strength material than the frame casting, when necessary. The novel assembly'provides lateral support for the free ends of the P1118.

These and other objects of this invention will be apparent from a study of the following specification in conjunction with the drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a novel seating shown formed with three seats and four frame elements;


FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of the assembly in FIG. 1 partially disassembled;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged exploded perspective view of the structure in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on plane VV of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional View taken on plane VIVI of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a sectional fragmentary view taken on plane VII-VII of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of the strip illustrated in FIG. 4 showing three different methods of securing the stud-pins to their mounting strip.

Basically, the inventive seat structure comprises a plurality of identical, spaced, hollow or channeled frame elements. Elongated mounting strips are positioned in the hollow areas of the frames and secured to the frames. A plurality of stud-pins project from one side of each strip and pass through reinforced openings in the edges of the pads forming the seats or backs or both of the unit. Cover strips seat over the pins and are secured to the frame elements to conceal the pins. The outer free ends of the projecting stud-pins are retained between sidewalls of the internally channeled cover strips to further support them against the loads imposed by the pads.

Referring to the drawings, the seat structure 1 comprises a standard 2 and a plurality of spaced, generally L-shaped, indentical frame elements 4. Each frame element includes a bottom portion 5 and a back portion 6.

The standard 2 includes a pair of feet at opposite ends of the integrated group of seats, legs 54 projecting upwardly from the feet and an elongated, T-shaped support bar 52 extending between the legs. The frame elements 4 are rigidly secured to the support bar 52. Between the backs 6 of frame elements 4 is an elongated tie 56 secured to the frame elements as by bolts '72.

Extending between adjacent back portions of the frame elements are flexible, resilient, body-supporting tension members 60. Each of these members may be formed of a suitable material. For example, it may be made of multiple layers of various materials and have an outer protective envelope of soil and wear resistant vinyl plastic, such, for example, as that marketed under the trademark Naugahyde. This resilient member may be filled with a foamed padding material to provide even greater comfort. Secured between the adjacent lower portions of the frame members are cooperating body-supporting elements 61 of a nature similar to 66. The resilient body-supporting pads or members 6%) and 61 are secured between the frame members by special means concealed beneath the cover elements or strips 20 and 40. The upper cover strips 40 may include, as an integral portion, a suitable forwardly extending arm rest 43 upon which padding 46 may be mounted.

Referring to FIG. 3, a single frame member is shown. The back body-supporting pad is shown with cover element 40 removed. The bottom portion of the frame member is shown with both the cover 20 and the seat pad 61 removed. Each of the upper cover elements 40 is preferably secured to the back portion 6 of the frame by hooking the upper end 53 (FIG. 2) over a matching protuberance on the top of the back portion 6, and securing the lower end thereof with a stud 57. An opening (FIG. 3) is made in the edge of the back pad 60 for stud 57 to project therethrough and connect to the frame 4. In FIG. 3, the bottom of the frame shows the hollow or channeled nature of the frame, with the special mounting strip 72 located therein between the Walls of the channel. This mounting strip is secured to the seat portion of the frame 5 by suitable bolts or screws 74.

Each of the strips includes a plurality of generally parallel stud-pins 76. These are spaced from each other along the strip and project outwardly from the frame. These studs anchor the pads. For example, referring to the pad 6% in FIG. 3 studs '76 project through the reinforced openings in its edges. These openings preferably are surrounded by grommets 78 to provide bearing strength. Also to be noted in FIG. 3 is the tapped orifice 82 in the rear of the frame bottom 5. This receives stud 86 to mount and secure the cover strip 26. The front end 88 of the cover 20 is secured by a hook connection like that of the upper cover strip 40. This hook connec tion for either the upper cover or lower cover is illustrated more specifically in FIG. 7 and will be explained in detail hereinafter.

FIG. 4 illustrates the seat portion 5 of the frame element 4 with the special strip 72 partially lifted from its seat in the channel of the hollow frame. It will be understood from the explanation hereof that the back portion 6 of the frame elements comprises a similar structure. The frame elements 4 are cast with this hollow configuration, including a lower elongated cavity 90 and shoulders 92. on opposite sides thereof (FIG. 5). The elongated strip 72 is retained between the walls 94, and rests upon shoulders 92. It is secured to the frame member by bolts '74. Preferably, the channel is interrupted at each bolt 74 by a boss, the top surface of which provides direct support for the strip when the bolt 74- is tightened. The cylindrical stud-pins. 76 project upwardly out of the recess so that the openings in the body-supporting element 61 can he slipped over the studs 76 before the cover 20 is secured in position. The cover 26 includes a special elongated recess 98 to receive the free ends of the studs 76. The stud-pins 76 are retained between the side walls 9 of this recess. Preferably, the walls 99 of the recess 98 fit closely about the studs for positive lateral support of the stud-pins. Thus, it will be realized that since the stud-pins are fixedly secured to the strip 72, the strip 72 is held fixedly between the walls 94 of the lower hollow frame, and the outer protruding ends of the stud-pins 76 are held between the walls 99 of the cover, these stud-pins are rigidly held on both ends to provide excellent support for the pads. It will be understood that the loads imposed by the pads act almost entirely in a direction normal to the greater axis of the frame and strip. The strips and pins further serve to align the cover 2% with the frame.

In the end frame illustrated in FIG. 5, the thickness of the pad 61 is balanced by a trim strip 95. This may be formed of a suitable extruded plastic such as a vinyl plastic or other equivalent material.

The middle frame units which serve to form the intermediate supporting elements of the structure appear as illustrated in FIG. 6 in cross-section. The edges of the pads on both sides of the frame element are secured thereto. Thus, referring to FIG. 6, the right-hand pad 60 with its respective grommet 73 is shown in one posi tion on pin 76, with the left-hand body supporting member 6t" with its respective grommet 78' seated on top of it. Since these project from opposite sides bet-ween the cover element 4t) and the upright portion 6' of the frame element 4, no trim strip is needed. FIG. 6 illustrates the assembly of both the bottom and back portions of an intermediate frame unit. FIG. 5 illustrates the assembly of both the bottom and back portions of an end frame unit.

The stud-pins 76 are fixedly secured to the relatively flexible elongated narrow strip 72. The type of securement may vary. Three representative examples are illustrated in FIG. 8. The pins may be welded to the surface of the strip 72 as at 74. Alternatively, they may be press fitted into an opening in the strip and then welded to the strip as at 74. As a still further alternative, the pin may have a reduced shank portion which is press fitted into the strip and the end peened over as at 74". The shoulder at the end of the reduced shank cooperates with the peened over end to lock the pin to the strip. It is obvious to those skilled in the art that a variety of methods may be utilized depending upon the load requirement, number of pins used, spacing of pins, size of pins, size of strip, strip material and other factors.

In assembling the novel apparatus, the desired number of frame elements 4 are mounted upon the elongated support 52. The support is mounted upon the common legs 54 of feet 55 to form the complete standard for the integrated seat units. When so mounted, the frame elements appear as shown in FIG. 4. Next, strips 72 with the stud pins 76 assembled to them are bolted within the channel or hollow portion of the seat, and of back portions of the frame with suitable bolts 74. Next, the individual pads 6d and 61 are placed between the frame elements and their grommeted orifices pressed over the studpins 76. Then, cover elements 28 are hooked at the front and bolted (86) at the rear. Cover strips 40 are booked at the top and bolted (-57) at the bottom thereof as illustrated in FIG. 1. FIG. 7 illustrates more specifically the hooking of the ends of these cover elements. For example, the end 88 of the cover element 20 is hooked over the edge of the bottom portion 5 and pressed downwardly so that the recess 93 fits securely over the sides of the stud-pins 76 with the walls 99' seated closely about the pins for the latters alignment and support.

The composite seating is then ready for use. If, at any time, certain of the pins should become bent because of misuse of the seating, the cover strip concerned may be readily removed and a new, inexpensive mounting strip 72 replaced at will. Also, during manufacture, should any of the pins 76 fail to meet specifications, the loss is limited to an inexpensive strip rather than a complete frame element since the pins are formed separate from the frame. Thus, loss due to scrap is minor. Further, a large number of pins may be used on each frame element without encountering any special casting problems. Further, the strips will readily assume the particular shape of either the seat back or the seat bottom as needed. Also, if any of the individual seat or back pads 61} or 61 are slashed, worn, or otherwise damaged, they may be readily replaced merely by removing the cover elements, lifting the edges of the supporting members from the studs, attaching a new body-supporting element and replacing the covers.

Several important advantages stem from this invention in the casting of the frame. If it is attempted to cast the stud-pins integral with the frame structure they will, of necessity, be of the same material. While aluminum, for several reasons, is a preferable material for the frame, it is not of sufiicient strength for the stud-pins because of their small cross-section. This invention permits the use of steel pins. It also eliminates the necessity for close tolerance boring which is required when steel pins are press fitted into the frame, as has been practiced heretofore. This boring requires careful jigging to assure pin alignment with the pad openings. Accurate stud-pin spacing can be readily maintained in fabrication of the strips 72 and the necessary adjustments to properly position the pad can be made at the point of installation if the holes for the attachment bolts 74 are slightly enlarged or elongated.

Further, to satisfy requirements of comfort and esthetics, the frames normally are of compound curvature. Any attempt to case the stud-pins as an integral part of such a frame with the pins normal to the adjacent portion of the frame results in a severe problem in opening the mold because of interference from divergent pin axes.

Various advantages have been mentioned with respect to the apparatus. Additional advantages will be readily apparent to those in the art upon studying the foregoing specification and drawings. Further, it is entirely conceivable that certain obvious modifications may be made to the apparatus to suit a particular situation without departing from the basic principles of the invention. These obvious modifications are thus deemed to be part of this invention, which is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims and the reasonably equivalent structures to those defined therein.

We claim:

1. A seat structure comprising: a pair of spaced frame elements; elongated mounting strips secured to each of said frame elements; each of said strips having a plurality of support pins projecting outwardly of said frame elements; a body supporting member having a plurality of apertures along each of two of its edges, said member being seated over said pins with said pins received through said apertures; cover means attached to said frame elements, said cover means being seated over said pins and concealing them, and also engaging and cooperating with said projecting support pins to help stabilize said body supporting member.

2. A seat structure comprising: a plurality of spaced frame members, each of said members having an open faced internal channel; a mounting strip seated in each of said channels and secured to said frame members; said strips having a plurality of spaced elements projecting outwardly from said strips and members; body supporting means mounted between said frame members and having edges fitting over said projecting elements with said projecting elements extending through said supporting means; cover means over said elements and removably attached to said frame members; and said cover means and projecting elements securing said body supporting means to said frame members.

3. A seat structure comprising: a plurality of spaced frame members; each of said members having an internal open faced channel; mounting strips seated in said channels and secured to said frame members; said strips each having a plurality of spaced stud-pins projecting outwardly from said strips and members; flexible pads mounted between said frame members and having edges fitting over said projecting elements with said projecting elements extending through said pads; cover means seated over said stud-pins and removably attached to said frame members; said cover means including socket areas receiving the free ends of said stud-pins and cooperating therewith to provide lateral support for said stud-pins and attachment means detachably securing said cover means to said frame members.

4. A seat structure comprising: a plurality of spaced frame members; each of said members having a channel opening through one face thereof; recessed, strip-supporting shoulders in each of said channels; elongated metallic mounting strips seated in said channels, resting on said shoulders, and detachably secured to said frame members; each of said strips having a plurality of spaced pins projecting out of said channels; flexible body supporting means extending between said members and having reinforced orifices at the edges thereof fitted over said pins; and elongated strip-covering caps having portions receiving the outer free ends of said pins to cause said ends of said pins to be rigidly held and to hold said body supporting means on said pins; and said caps being removably secured to said frame members.

5. A seat support structure comprising: spaced frame members; each of said members including first and second channeled parts facing each other and connectable together; said parts adapted to receive the edge of an or-ificed, body-supporting tension element therebetween; a plurality of rigid pins extending between said first and second elements and adapted to extend through the orifices of said tension element; one end of each pin being held between a pair of walls of the channel of said first part; the other end of each pin being permanently secured to a common, elongated mounting strip characterized by sufficient flexibility to bend to the contour of said frame members; and said mounting strip being held between a pair of Walls of the channel of said second part.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,772,226 Kessler July 23, 1929 2,095,625 Allen Oct. 12, 1937 2,266,466 Linder Dec. 16, 1941 2,281,341 Turner Apr. 28, 1942 3,041,109 Eames et a1. a June 26, 1962

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3167352 *Jan 27, 1964Jan 26, 1965Charlton Company IncChair with a unitary suspended seat and backrest
US3248150 *Feb 10, 1965Apr 26, 1966Beatrice LilienfeldChair construction
US3261640 *Oct 20, 1964Jul 19, 1966Interlake Steel CorpModular furniture
US3431022 *May 29, 1967Mar 4, 1969Steelcase IncChair construction
US3466092 *Oct 20, 1967Sep 9, 1969Thomas Alexander Robert ViranyChairs
US3497260 *Mar 18, 1968Feb 24, 1970Miller Herman IncSeat structure
US3747978 *Mar 7, 1972Jul 24, 1973American Seating CoTransit seat with contoured plastic shell
US3964789 *Jul 12, 1974Jun 22, 1976Steelcase, Inc.Chair
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US4152023 *Jan 14, 1977May 1, 1979Steelcase Inc.Chairs and method for making same
US4438603 *Jun 24, 1982Mar 27, 1984Durkan Jr Martin JStadium seating
US4753482 *Sep 12, 1986Jun 28, 1988Orthotic & Prosthetic Specialties, Inc.Customized modular seating system
US5431479 *Apr 29, 1993Jul 11, 1995Leib; Roger K.Tandem chair assembly
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US7517023 *May 31, 2001Apr 14, 2009Cosco Management, Inc.Juvenile seat armrest
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USD754464 *Feb 2, 2015Apr 26, 2016Okamura CorporationBench
USD762074 *Oct 9, 2015Jul 26, 2016Charles Augustus GibilterraModular public seating
USRE29522 *Jun 24, 1976Jan 24, 1978American Seating CompanyTransit seat with contoured plastic shell
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U.S. Classification297/452.19, 160/404, 297/232, 297/DIG.200, 297/283.2, 297/452.56, 5/402
International ClassificationA47C7/18
Cooperative ClassificationY10S297/02, A47C7/185
European ClassificationA47C7/18D