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Publication numberUS3127216 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 31, 1964
Filing dateMar 13, 1961
Publication numberUS 3127216 A, US 3127216A, US-A-3127216, US3127216 A, US3127216A
InventorsGeorge S. Clotise
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular furniture
US 3127216 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 31., 1964 a. s. CLOUSE 3,127,216

MODULAR FURNITURE Filed March 13, 1961 2 SheetsSheet 1.

ll lw W GEORGE S. CLOUSE I I y f 9 ATTORNEY5 March 31, 1964 a. s. CLOUSE 3,127,216

MODULAR FURNITURE Filed March 13, 1961 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 51 FIG.8 533w INVENTOR. 650365 5 CL0l/5E @Mvw ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,127,216 MODULAR FURNITURE George S. Ciouse, Seattle, Wash, assignor to Triway industries, Inc, Seattie, Wash, a corporation of Washington Filed Mar. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 95,152 3 Claims. ((11. 297-134) This invention relates to modular furniture and more particularly to modular furniture having interchangeable table and chair units.

The general object of my invention is to provide a modular furniture construction where table and chair units may be easily interchanged thereby making a variety of chair, davenport, and side table arrangements possible.

A more specific object is to provide a simple yet rigid frame attractive in appearance and having removable legs which can be easily and quickly attached and detached.

A further specific object is to provide a sturdy yet attractive chair unit which lends itself to easy removal and interchange with other units.

With yet additional objects and advantages in View which, with the foregoing, will appear and be understood in the course of the following description and claims, the invention consists in the novel construction and in the adaptation and combination of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a chair and table assembly constructed to embody preferred teachings of my invention.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top plan view of the supporting frame with the outline of a unit chair shown in dotted lines.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary transverse vertical sectional view drawn to an enlarged scale on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view taken from the vantage point shown by 4-4 of FIG. 3 to detail the corner structure and with parts broken away and shown in horizontal section.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of said chair and table assembly.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary longitudinal vertical sectional view of a chair unit with the chair outline shown partially in dotted lines and drawn on line 66 of FIG. 7 employing the scale of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary transverse vertical sectional view drawn to an enlarged scale on line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a horizontai sectional view on line 88 of FIG. 7, again using the scale of FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary transverse vertical sectional view on line 9-9 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view showing a modified form of the invention.

According to the present invention there is provided a rigid horizontal rectangular frame 29 which is sustained by four legs 21 and, in the particular design here illustrated, supports two chair units 22 and a table unit 23 located between the chair units. The chair and table units each have the same overall width and are in each instance removably and interchangeably mounted on the frame.

The components of the rectangular frame structure consist of four metal channel beams disposed so that the troughs face to the inside, the front and back channels being designated as 24 and 26 respectively and the side channels as 27. The channels are joined firmly together at each of the four corners of the rectangle by means of a respective one of four diagonal gusset plates 28. Each plate is welded to the vertical inside surfaces of two adjacent channels, so as to make a 45 angle with the longitudinal axes of the channels.

The corners of the frame are given an open character by having each channel terminate short of the plane occupied by the inside limit of the adjoining channel. The legs 21 fit in these corner openings of the frame. The legs are metal and are made hollow with a uniform square configuration in horizontal section, with two adjacent sides 30 of each leg butting against the flat vertical ends 31 of the two adjacent channels.

Drilled in the center of the gusset plate 28 and normal to its surface is a hole 32, and in the inside corner of the leg 21 is a registering hole 33. A bolt 34 extends through both holes with its head 36 bearing against the plate and with a nut 37 threaded onto the bolt and bearing against the inside of the leg.

On each of the two sides 30 of the leg is a headed pin 39 the head 38 of which is exposed and engages the lower side of the channel at its end to provide a localizing rest therefor. The open top of the leg is closed by a removable cap 40.

Welded to the lower inside edge of the trough of the back channel are several brackets 41 extending upwardly at a slight inclination toward the inside of the rectangular frame, and spaced two for each chair or table module. Each of these brackets has two vertical longitudinally spaced holes 42 to accommodate screws 45 for securing a chair unit to the frame.

Welded to the inner edge of the upper flange Of the front channel 24 so as to lie fiush with the top face of the channel are a plurality of metal tabs 73, each having vertical screw holes 74 to fix the front portion of either a chair or table unit to the frame. The tabs are spaced one at the center of each chair or table module. When a table unit is secured to the frame (see FIGS. 2 and 11), a washer 77 is tensioned by a screw 7 6, which is threaded into the table, so as to take a purchase against the top flange of the back channel 26, and thus complement the tab by fixing the back edge of the table to the frame.

Exposed outside surfaces of the frame are faced with plastic laminate, preferably simulating wood grain.

The chair unit 22 has a seat portion 46 and an upstanding back portion 47 firmly attached thereto. Two rigid L-shaped metal tubular members 43, each having a horizontal portion 50 extending into the seat and having an upstanding portion 51 extending into the back section, are placed in each side of the chair unit with the two members placed parallel to one another.

The upper portions of the L frame are sandwiched between front and back parallel generally planar wood panels 53 and 54, respectively. The front board is connected to each upstanding portion 51 of the L member by screws 49. Along the upper edge of the boards 53 and 54 is a horizontal wood spacer 5'5 to which both boards are secured by screws 52. A foam rubber cushion 56 overlies the front face of the front panel 53.

The lower edge of the back board 54 is screwed to the back bar 57 of a rectangular wood frame, the side pieces 6% of which are screwed onto the horizontal portions of the L-frame. The front bar of this frame is devoted by 59. A subjacent rectangular frame 58 stiffens said wood frame. Designated by 61 and secured to each side piece 69 are a respective one of two spring-anchoring flat bars. Coil springs 63 which these fiat bars anchor extend horizontally within the opening which said rectangular wood frame defines and are hooked in openings provided along the inner edges of the fiat bars. Surrounding each spring is a sleeve 64 of plastic material to protect the foam rubber cushion 66 which rests on the springs.

The entire backrest section 47 of the chair unit and at least the upper and side surfaces of the seat section are covered with suitable upholstery.

FIG. 10 shows a modification of my invention. The front and back boards of the backrest section of the chair have notches 67 at the lower outside edges. The back cushion 69 does not extend into actual contact with the seat, and abox-like cover 68 extends around the exposed lower portion of the back section 70 which is below the backrest cushion. The upholstery then covers only the seat and that portion of the back lying above said exposed box.

To assemble the furniture, each hollow leg 21 is placed in a respective corner of the frame 20 with the lower edge of the frame resting on the heads 38 of the localizing pins 37 in the legs. A bolt 34 is inserted through the plate hole 32 and the leg hole 33 and a nut 37 is threaded from withinthe hollow interior of the leg on the bolt end. The caps 40 then close the hollow interiors of said legs. Chair and table units are then secured according to the desired arrangement onto the frame.

What I claim is:

1. A modular chair and table structure comprising: a rectangular frame having connected front, back, and side beams outlining said rectangle and sustained at each of the four corners by a respective leg, said front and back beams being each metal and sectionally of such a shape as to present a vertical web from the top edge of which ahorizontal flange points inwardly, the frame having a length which is a multiple of a predetermined module, each modular portion of said frame having respective metal tab means welded to and extending rearwardly from the top flange of the front beam flush with the upper face thereof and having respective metal brackets Welded to and extending forwardly from the web of the rear beam to occupy a generally horizontal plane spaced Well below the upper face of the rear beam, chair and table units carried by the frame each having a width the 821116 as the predetermined module and arranged to collectively span the full width of the frame, the table unit having its front end resting upon the flange of the front beam and its rear end resting upon the flange of the rear beam, respective means detachablysecuring said front end of the table unit to the underlying tab means and the rear end of the table unit to the underlying flange, the chair unit having its front end resting upon the flange of the front beam and its rear end resting upon the related brackets, and respective means detachably securing said front end of the chair means to the underlying tab means and said rear end of the chair means to the underlying brackets.

2. The modular structure of claim 1 in which the brackets present a substantial shelf sloping upwardly toward the front in a plane which includes the top flange of the front beam.

3. The modular structure of claim 1 in which the means for detachably securing the rear end of the table unit to the underlying flange comprises a clip catching under the lip of the flange and attached by a screw to the table unit.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,820,103 Toy Aug. 25, 1931 1,939,834 Sher Dec. 19, 1933 2,535,463 Stubnitz Dec. 26, 1950 2,757,892 Remstein Aug. 7, 1956 2,829,707 Liebson Apr. 8, 1958 2,845,112 Borenstein July 29, 1958 2,925,851 Weiss Feb. 23, 1960 2,979,122 Knoll Apr. 11, 1961 3,019,051 Nugent Jan. 30, 1962 FOREIGN PATENTS 159,370 Switzerland Mar. 16, 1933

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1820103 *Feb 11, 1930Aug 25, 1931Toy Hugh TPedestal
US1939834 *Jun 1, 1932Dec 19, 1933Sher Robert MCounter chair or stool seat
US2535463 *Oct 23, 1947Dec 26, 1950Stubnitz Greene Spring CorpAutomobile seat
US2757892 *Mar 9, 1953Aug 7, 1956William RemsteinStand constructions
US2829707 *Jul 13, 1953Apr 8, 1958Liebson SidneyKnock-down furniture having interchangeable and replaceable elements
US2845112 *Jan 10, 1957Jul 29, 1958Martin BorensteinConvertible furniture
US2925851 *Jan 30, 1959Feb 23, 1960Weiss Jack BConvertible table and seat
US2979122 *Sep 22, 1958Apr 11, 1961Knoll AssociatesChair frame and supporting structure
US3019051 *Jan 11, 1960Jan 30, 1962Walter S NugentSitting furniture
CH159370A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3528096 *Feb 28, 1968Sep 8, 1970Avm CorpModular furniture
US4032188 *Mar 16, 1976Jun 28, 1977Jones Ferris EModular bench seat
US4059306 *Jul 26, 1976Nov 22, 1977Coach And Car Equipment CorporationSeat with removable seat cushion
US5518298 *Apr 5, 1994May 21, 1996La-Z-Boy Chair CompanyMounting apparatus for a modular sofa assembly
US5544938 *Mar 10, 1994Aug 13, 1996La-Z-Boy Chair CompanyMounting apparatus for securing independent sections of a sectional sofa assembly
US5630644 *Apr 26, 1995May 20, 1997La-Z-Boy Chair CompanyModular sofa assembly and mounting apparatus for securing independent sections thereof
US8667908Apr 22, 2011Mar 11, 2014Steelcase Inc.Frame type table assemblies
US8689705Apr 22, 2011Apr 8, 2014Steelcase, Inc.Reconfigurable table assemblies
US9185974May 25, 2012Nov 17, 2015Steelcase Inc.Frame type workstation configurations
USD662733Dec 16, 2011Jul 3, 2012Kimball International, Inc.Lounge end
USD668892Mar 23, 2012Oct 16, 2012Kimball International, Inc.Lounge end
USD671333Dec 16, 2011Nov 27, 2012Kimball International, Inc.Lounge corner unit
USD680347Dec 16, 2011Apr 23, 2013Kimball International, Inc.Lounge
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USD695038Dec 16, 2011Dec 10, 2013Kimball International, Inc.Lounge
USD718559Aug 30, 2012Dec 2, 2014Steelcase Inc.Casegood corner
USD728947May 23, 2014May 12, 2015Kimball International, Inc.Lounge with table
USD728983May 23, 2014May 12, 2015Kimball International, Inc.Lounge end
USD731835May 23, 2014Jun 16, 2015Kimball International, Inc.Lounge end
U.S. Classification297/134, 297/440.2, 297/440.24, 297/452.49, 297/136, 297/DIG.100, 297/232, 297/440.15
International ClassificationA47C13/00, A47C7/22
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/282, Y10S297/01, A47C13/005
European ClassificationA47C7/28A, A47C13/00M