US 3127619 A
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April 7, 1964 E. L. BRONSTIEN CONTOUR BED Filed June 2 mm m. m m E United States Patent Ofifice 3,127,619 Patented Apr. 7, 1964 3,127,619 CGNTQUR BED Edward L. Eronstien, St. Paul, Minn, assignor to The United States Bedding ompany, St. Paul, Minn, a corporation of Minnesota Filed .iune 2, B53, fier. No. 739,162 1 Claim. ((11. 5-68) This invention relates to an adjustable bed for home use which is provided with a powered mechanism for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the bed springs.
Adjustable beds provided with a manual or powered mechanism for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the bed springs or mattress supports are widely used in hospitals, and although it would be desirable to have beds with these adjustable features in the home, those designed for hospital use are not suitable for this purpose.
There are many reasons for this. Gne of the most important involves aesthetic considerations. Beds in the home, in addition to their utilitarian function must be attractive enough to fit into the general decor. ospital beds are unsatisfactory because they are substantially higher than the beds used in the home, and consequently do not conform to the rest of the bedroom furniture which was designed to harmonize with conventionally sized beds. The reason for this difference in height is that hospital beds are designed for the convenience of the hospital staff who have to handle the patients on the bed, while beds in the home are designed for the convenience of the user and are lower for greater ease in getting into and out of them.
This difference in height is also important because it permits the mechanisms for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the hospital beds to be conveniently mounted underneath them. Since the space heneath beds in the home is substantially less than that available under hospital beds, it would be difficult to similarly install the adjusting mechanism beneath them without causing an objectionable increase in height.
Furthermore, many homes already have bedroom suites of matched furniture, and any kind of adjustable bed would be unsatisfactory unless it exactly conformed to the appearance of the furniture in the suite. Since there are a very large variety of styles, colors, and woods employed in existing bedroom suits, it would not be economically feasible to produce an adjustable bed to conform to each of them. it would, however, be desirable to be able to modify the existing conventional beds in these bedroom suites so they incorporate the desired adjustable features.
Aesthetic considerations aside, mattresses used with hospital beds are comparatively light to permit them to be conveniently removed for cleaning purposes. Furthermore, they are made rather inexpensively in anticipation of their rather short useful life so that when they must be destroyed, either for hygenic reasons or when they are worn out, the loss will not be too severe. Since they have an anticipated short life, problems of local strains caused by people sitting on edge of the beds, for example, are not a serious consideration.
Mattresses on beds in the home, on the other hand, are made in anticipation of a long life, and so they are generally more expensively made and stronger so they can last longer. Since the mattresses are more expensive and the strains on their periphery caused by people sitting on the edge of the bed extend over a substantially longer period, beds in the home must be designed to provide greater peripheral support for these expensive mattresses to prevent deformation and damage.
Along with these factors, the mechanism for adjusting the head and foot portions of the hospital beds is freely exposed so that the beds can be readily and frequently hygenically cleaned. This is not suitable for general home use where it is more important to prevent any substantial accumulation of dirt. In addition, it is important to be able to prevent access to the mechanism by any children in the household.
In summary then, adjustable beds such as used in hospitals are not suitable for home use because they cannot fit into the general decor of the home, they are too high, they lack sutlic-ient peripheral support for the mattress, and the mechanism for adjusting the bed is freely exposed.
What is needed, therefore, and comprises the principal object of this invention, is a bed suitable for home use which is provided with a mechanism for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the mattress supports.
A further object of this invention is to provide an apparatus which can be installed as a unit between the side frames of a conventional bed for converting it to an adjustable bed.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a bed suitable for home use which is provided with means for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the mattress supports or bed springs, and which provides a large degree of peripheral support for the mattress.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a bed suitable for home use which is provided with a housing for protecting the mechanism for raising and lowering the head and foot portions ofthe mattress supports.
Yet a further object of this invention is to provide a bed suitable for home use in which the bed frame is also a housing for protectively mounting a mechanism for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the bed springs or mattress supports.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a ed frame for an adjustable bed which is formed from a plurality of planks assembled together.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an adjustable bed suitable for home use in which the bed frame is formed from a plurality of connected planks mounted on edge and in which the mechanism for raising and lowering the head and foot portions of the mattress supports are mounted intermediate the opposite horizontal edges of the planks.
These and other objects of this invention will become more apparent when read in the light of the accompanying drawings and specification wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the completed adjustable bed constructed according to the principles of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view lengthwise along the center of the bed frame showing the adjusting mechanism, and
FIGURE 3 is a sectional View taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, an adjustable bed, indicated generally by the reference numeral it comprises a combined housing and bed frame, indicated by the reference numeral 12. The combined housing and bed frame is rectangular in cross-section, and in this particular embodiment is formed from a plurality of planks horizontally disposed and on edge. These planks, which form the supporting walls of the combined housing and bed frame are preferably formed from an inexpensive kind of wood, although other materials may be used. The important thing is that the height or width of the planks or supporting walls be large in comparison to their thickness. As shown in FIGURE 3, the planks are assembled with their upper and lower edges 17 and 19 horizontally disposed to form spaced parallel side walls 16 and opposed parallel end walls 18, which are connected to the opposite ends of the side Walls. As seen in FIGURE 1, legs 2% which may consist only of casters, are connected to the planks or supporting walls. The length of the legs projecting below the lower edge 19 of the planks or supporting walls is small in comparison to the width or height of the planks so that the width of the planks substantially determines the height of the bed, exclusive of the mattress. This arrangement helps prevent dirt from entering the combined housing and bed frame from beneath the lower edge 19 of the supporting walls. In addition, it helps keep the height of the adjustable bed equal to the height of the standard conventional beds found in the home.
An articulated bed spring indicated by the reference numeral 22, see FIGURE 1, is secured to the combined housing and bed frame. As seen, the bed spring comprises a peripheral frame 24 and a resilient spring system 26 connected therebetween. The peripheral bed spring frame 24 is rectangular in shape to conform to the peripheral shape of the combined housing and bed frame, and in this particular embodiment it comprises a central portion 28 and end portions 30 and 32, which are pivotally connected to the central portion 28 on pivots 34 and 36, see FIGURE 2. As seen, end portion 32 is itself articulated at pivot 38. It is understood, however, that the principles of this invention are applicable to bed springs which are articulated in any manner.
As seen in FIGURE 2, horizontally extending support bars, which in this case are angle irons 4t), are horizontally disposed and rigidly secured to the inner side of the supporting walls 16 of the combined housing and bed frame, and these angle irons are substantially centrally positioned between the opposed horizontal side edges of the supporting walls for reasons to become apparent below.
Spaced parallel and upwardly extending support plates 42 are secured to the angle irons 40 by riveting or other conventional means. The central portion 28 of the bed spring frame is horizontally and rigidly mounted on the support plates on the opposed side Walls 16. As seen in FIGURE 2, the upper surface 29 of the central portion of the bed spring frame is in substantial correspondence with the upper edge 17 of the planks or supporting walls for purposes to become apparent below. This arrangement, in which the articulated bed spring is never higher than the upper edge 17 of the bed frame, reduces the over-all size of the adjustable bed so that it will be no higher than conventional beds.
A powered mechanism, indicated generally by the reference numeral 44, is also supported by the angle irons 40. This mechanism includes a pair of hydraulic cylinders 46 in which the pistons 48 are slidably mounted in a manner well known in the art. As seen in FIG- URE 2, these cylinders are mounted on support plates 43 which are rigidly secured to and depend from the angle iron support bars 40.
Each of these pistons is connected to a lever system and these lever systems are connected to the end portions 30 and 32 of the bed spring frame 24 to cause them to pivot with respect to the central portion 28 whenever the powered mechanism is actuated. The lever systems comprise bell crank levers t) and 52, pivotally connected on the support bars 40, and respectively associated lever arms 51 and 53. It is apparent that operation of the pistons 46 transmits movement to the lever arms 51 and 53 through the levers 50 and 52. This will impart the desired adjustment of the end portions 30 and 32, since the lever arms 51 and 53 are pivotally connected to the end portions at 55 and 57, respectively. The usual motor, pump, selector valves, fluid lines, etc. (not shown) are connected to the hydraulic cylinders 46 in a manner well known in the art, and a control system (not shown) is adapted to be connected to the mechanism to conveniently control the position of the end portions of the bed spring frame. With this arrangement, as seen in FIG- URE 1, both the articulated bed spring and the mechanism for pivoting the end portions of the bed spring are mounted on the angle iron support bars 4%. The im portance of this arrangement is that both the bed spring and the powered mechanism can be conveniently mounted as a unit between the side frames of any conventional bed. This arrangement is very useful because it permits conventional beds to be modified so they have been adjustable features without disturbing the harmony of the bedroom suite or the decor of the home.
As stated above, the combined housing and bed frame 12 is formed from a plurality of planks. As seen in FIG- URE 3, the ends of the planks may be conveniently and economically connected together by means of the wooden corner sections 13, which in this embodiment happen to be arcuate for decorative purposes.
Since the combined housing and bed frame is formed from planks which may be made of a very inexpensive untreated wood, the planks, or at least their external surface and top edge, may be encased in a soft resilient upholstering material both for decorative purposes and for protecting the planks to some extent from the effects of humidity. In addition, while the principal portion of mattress 54 rests on bed springs 22, part of the lower surface 56 of its peripheral portion 58 rests on the top edge 17 of the planks forming the supporting walls of the combined housing and bed frame. Since the end portions 30 and 32 of the bed spring pivot and carry the corresponding parts of the mattress along with it, there is some rubbing between the periphery of the mattress and the top edge of the combined housing and bed frame, and this rubbing increases the wear on that portion of the mattress. By encasing the upper edge of the frame with a soft resilient material, the wear on that portion of the mattress can be substantially reduced.
As seen in FIGURE 1, the peripheral bed spring frame 24 is positioned so it lies within the periphery of the combined housing and bed frame and is positioned closely adjacent to the supporting walls. The bed spring frame is further positioned so the upper edges 29 of this frame are in substantial correspondence with the upper edge 17 of the walls of the housing when the bed spring is entirely horizontal, and when the bed spring frame is also encased in a soft resilient upholstering material for protection against humidity and to reduce wear on the lower surface of the mattress, it is almost flush with the upper edge 17 of the supporting walls. This is an important feature because it increases the amount of support for the peripheral portion 58 of the mattress. This increased support is needed when the bed springs and mattress are entirely horizontal because the greatest peripheral strains occur then, due to people sitting on the edge of the bed. In other words, instead of the periphery of the mattress being supported by the comparatively narrow upper edge 17 of the combined housing and bed frame, this arrangement in which both the bed frame and the bed spring frame are in substantial correspondence in side-by-side relation increases the peripheral support area and decreases the pressure per unit area on the periphery of the mattress, and this results in decreased Wear on the mattress.
If desired, a floor 21 could be secured to the lower edge 19 of the combined housing and bed frame to completely seal the housing and protect the spring system and the powered mechanism mounted inside.
The invention may be embodied in other forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof as set forth in the claim, and the present embodiment is therefore to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, and it is intended to include all changes which come within the scope and range of the claim.
An adjustable bed comprising a combined housing and bed frame, said combined housing and bed frame comprising at least supporting walls connected together,
said supporting walls having opposed upper and lower horizontal edges, the height of said Walls large in comparison to their thickness, at least the external surface and upper edge of said walls protectively encased in a soft resilient upholstering material, legs connected to said supporting walls to support the combined housing and bed frame, the length of said legs projecting below the lower edge of said walls small in comparison to the height of said walls, an articulated bed spring, said bed spring comprising a peripheral frame and a resilient spring system connected therebetween, said peripheral frame similar in shape to the peripheral shape of said combined housing and bed frame and comprising a central portion rigid with the peripheral frame and pivotally connected end portions all protectively encased in a soft resilient material, the central portion of the peripheral frame of said bed spring horizontally disposed and rigidly mounted between the opposed Walls of the combined housing and bed frame, and a mechanism protectively mounted in said housing and connected to the end portions of the bed spring to cause them to pivot with respect to the central portion of the bed spring, said mechanism comprising a bell crank lever pivoted intermediate its ends to the combined housing and bed frame, a lever arm pivotally connected at one end on a portion of said bell crank lever offset from its pivot and pivotally connected at the other end to an end portion of said peripheral frame spaced outwardly from its pivotal connection to the central portion, a piston and cylinder assembly having one end pivotally connected to the combined housing and bed frame while the other end is pivotally connected to a portion of the bell crank lever offset from its pivot in the direction away from the pivotal connection with the lever arm whereby operation of the piston and cylinder assembly Will cause rocking movement of said bell crank lever about its pivot to effect rocking movement of the end portion of the peripheral frame about its pivot.
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