US 3146736 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 1, 1964 R. c. HETRICK 3,146,736
BABY FURNITURE Filed Aug. 8, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 R. C. HETRICK BABY FURNITURE Sept. 1, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 8, 1963 p 1, 1964 R. c. HETRICK 3,146,736
BABY FURNITURE Filed Aug. 8, 1963 5 SheetsSheet 3 2 ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,146,736 BABY FURNITURE Robert Charles Herrick, Penn Yan, N.Y., assignor to The Barden and Robeson Corporation, Penn Yan, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 8, 1963, Ser. No. 300,751 4 Claims. (Cl. 108111) This invention relates to improvements in baby furniture, and more particularly to an improved frame structure for an article of baby furniture of a design and construction enabling it to serve the manifold purposes of a bassinette, a screened crib, a playpen, a baby bath and a dressing table, and which permits said article of furniture to collapse in pancake fashion rather than to fold or collapse about a plane extending longitudinally-centrally through its ends or transversely-centrally across its sides, as is conventional.
Stated broadly, an object of the invention is the provision of a simple, practical and thoroughly dependable crossedleg frame structure for an article of baby furniture as above.
A more particular object of the invention is the provision of a crossed-leg frame structure for a suspended bassinette, crib, playpen or the like, characterized in that the crossed legs are capable of collapsing in pancake fashion against the main top frame, and in so doing, of also collapsing the suspended bassinette, etc. against the top frame and/or of maintaining the same collapsed.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a crossed-leg supporting structure for an article of baby furniture capable of functioning as a bassinette, crib, playpen, baby bath and the like, which comprises a main top frame and crossed supporting legs therefor, and wherein the legs also support a low-level shelf for storing diapers, toilet articles, etc., and are so constructed and arranged that they may collapse in pancake fashion against the top frame and in so doing will actuate the shelf to a position in parallelism with and closely adjacent to the top frame.
The above and other objects of an improved frame structure for an article or piece of baby furniture characterized as in the foregoing will appear from the following detailed description, in which reference is had to the accompanying illustrative drawings, wherein- FIG. 1 is a perspective View of an article of baby furniture employing the improved pancaking frame structure according to the invention, which shows said article set up for use as a dressing table and also illustrates the enclosure means defining the bassinette, crib or playpen aspect thereof;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are sectional views taken along lines 2-2 and 33, respectively, of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a skeletonized end elevation of the crossedleg frame structure of the invention, which illustrates the geometry thereof and the manner in which the crossed legs and the low-level shelf carried thereby pancake against the main top frame;
FIG. 5 is a broken-away side elevation of the skeletonized frame depicted in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view taken from beneath an article of furniture of the type shown in FIG. 1, which illustrates the crossed-leg supporting means of its frame structure in a partially collapsed position and the lowlevel shelf moving against the main top frame of said frame structure; and
FIG. 7 is an upside-down perspective view showing the article of baby furniture according to FIG. 1 fully collapsed, as is rnade possible by the collapsible supporting frame structure according to the invention.
Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference letters and/or numerals designate like parts throughout the Patented Sept. 1,, 1964 several views, FIG. 1 taken with FIGS. 6 and 7 depict an article of baby furniture erected upon a crossed-leg type supporting structure according to the invention and which generally comprises an elongated, rectangular main top frame TF normally supported in raised position from the floor by end pairs of crossed legs designated CL and GL Illustratively, said article of baby furniture includes enclosure means defining a combination bassinette, crib, playpen, etc. designated BC which is suspended from said main top frame TF; a baby bathtub BT extending between and detachably hooked to the long sides of the top frame; a dressing table DT substantially coextensive with and connected by hinge means (not shown) to the main top frame for swinging movement from a horizontal position, in which it is supported on said main top frame and provides a closed top for both the detachable bathtub BT when the latter is mounted as aforesaid and the bassinette, etc. BC, to a vertical, out-of-the-way position; and a lowlevel shelf S for the storage of articles such as diapers and baby toilet articles which is effectively carried by and extends transversely between the lower end portions of the crossed legs of the supporting frame structure.
As indicated in FIG. 1, the side Walls of the enclosure means which defines the bassinette, crib and playpen BC are fashioned from an open mesh material, preferably nylon netting, reinforced along the top and bottom edges by vinyl edge bands, and said side walls further suspend a rigid bottom of a lightweight structural material such as Masonite, which is preferably covered by a floor pad of soft material. The bathtub ET is preferably molded from a light-weight plastic material such as styrene'. The combined top and dressing table DT and the shelf S are preferably fashioned from vinyl laminated to Masonite. The main top frame TF and the end pairs of crossed legs CL and GL are preferably fashioned from steel or aluminum tubing for lightness. However, it is to be understood that the aforesaid specifications as to the materials of the component parts are suggestive only and particularly so because the invention is primarily directed to the construction and design of the crossed-leg supporting means as a whole which renders the illustrated article of baby furniture capable of collapsing or pancaking against the top frame TF (as in FIG. 7) and to the manner of mounting and connecting the low-level shelf S so that it too pancakes into close adjacency with the top frame responsive to collapse of the crossed-leg supporting means.
More particularly, the crossed legs of each pair CL and GL thereof (only one pair will be described since the pairs are identical and differ only in their rightor left-hand relationship) are of sectional (two-part) construction, being made up of upper leg sections 10a, 10b and lower leg sections 12a, 12b, of which the upper leg sections are disposed in crossed relationship and are pivotally connected at their upper ends to and at spaced points along the end members or parts of the main top frame TF by means of suitable pivots journaled in U-brackets 14a, 14b aifixed as by riveting to said main frame, and the lower sections 12a, 12b are pivotally connected at their upper ends to the lower ends of the upper leg sections by means of pivots extending through said lower ends and the free ends of U-shaped swing brackets or knuckles 16a, 16b fixedly secured to said upper ends and through the bight or eye of which said upper ends extend. Thus, referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, said swing brackets or knuckles 16a, 16b normally secure the leg sections connected thereby in extended relationship, but they also permit the lower leg sections 12a, 12b to pivot or fold inwardly towards one another with respect to their upper leg sections Illa, ltlb, in the manner shown in FIG. 6.
Each leg pair also carries means for releasably securing the upper leg sections 10a, 10b in crossing relation at a predetermined crossing point which, by reference to FIG. 2, illustratively comprises a spring-loaded pull knob 18 carried by the relatively outer leg section a and whose shank normally extends into an opening therefor in the companion leg section 10b. Such an arrangement permits disconnection of the upper leg sections from one another simply by pulling back on the knob 18, whereupon said upper leg sections 10a, 1012 may be swung more or less freely of one another in opposite upward directions against the main top frame TF.
As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 6, low-level side rungs 20a, 20b extend between the opposite lower leg sections 12a, 12b of the end pairs thereof, being preferably afixed to said leg sections by riveting. The aforesaid low-level shelf S is supported on said side rungs 20a, Ztlb and is secured in place thereon preferably by axially related pairs of U-brackets 22a, 22b and 24a, 24b (FIGS. 6 and 7) which are secured to the under face of the shelf by rivets generally designated 26 (FIG. 1) and through the loop or eye of which the rungs freely extend. Accordingly, the low-level shelf S is effectively pivotally connected adjacent its corners to the opposite lower leg sections 12a, 12b of the leg pairs at corresponding fixed points intermediate the ends thereof, about which points the said lower leg sections may swing in either direction with respect to the shelf, depending on the direction of movement imparted to the lower ends of their corresponding upper leg sections.
More particularly, the effect of the aforesaid shelf mounting and in particular of the pivotal connection of a rigid, transversely extending shelf S at approximately the four corners thereof to points on the lower leg sections 12a, 12b of the leg pairs which are disposed below the points of pivotal connection of said leg sections with their corresponding upper sections 10a, 10b is to cause the lower ends of said leg sections to swing in unison towards one another and relatively against the under side of the shelf S (see arrows A A FIG. 4) in response to spreading forces applied simultaneously to the lower ends of said corresponding upper leg sections 10a, 10b as cause said leg sections to swing in under the main top frame TF (see arrows B B FIG. 4), and further to cause relatively upward movement of the shelf S in the direction of said top frame. Accordingly, assuming proper dimensioning of the leg sections in terms of their relative length, proper locationing of the points about which the sections of each full leg will pivot with respect to each other, and proper placement of the effective points of pivotal connection of shelf to lower leg sections as explained above, pulling out or backing off of the pull knob 18 as aforesaid will permit the upper leg sections 10a, 10b of the leg pairs to be swung in opposite direc tions against the top frame TF and such leg motion will necessarily be accompanied by inward swinging motion of the lower ends of the lower leg sections 12a, 12b of the pairs both about their points of pivotal connection with their corresponding upper leg sections and their points of pivotal connection with the low-level shelf S to respective positions relatively beneath said shelf, and finally in movement of the entire leg assemblage and shelf against the main top frame. In other words, the crossedleg supporting means of the invention is capable of collapsing in pancake fashion against the main top frame and in so doing also will move the low-level shelf S upwardly against the main top frame while also maintaining parallelism between said top main frame and said shelf. In the event the suspended enclosure means defining the bassinette, playpen, etc. BC has not already been manually collapsed toward the main top frame (which is permitted by the flexibility of the mesh side walls thereof), the aforesaid movement of the shelf S against the top frame will necessarily collapse said enclosure means by forcing its rigid bottom in upward direction.
Illustratively (see FIGS. 1 and 6), the lower leg sections 12a, 12b of one of the leg pairs mount caster wheels 28a, 28b at their lower ends. The provision of these caster wheels renders the herein proposed article of furniture highly portable even when set up for use, since it can be moved about simply by applying a slight lift force to the end thereof whose crossed supporting legs do not mount the casters and then pushing it in the direction of the end mounting said caster wheels.
The advantages of an improved frame structure of the invention and which is characterized by supporting crossed legs which pancake against the under side of the main frame as aforesaid are numerous. In the first place, the collapse or pancaking of the entire article of furniture to a folded or collapsed condition may be readily effected simply by releasing the pull knobs 18 which determine the fixed crossing points of the pairs of crossed legs, and thereupon either positively spreading the lower ends of the upper leg sections 10a, 10b of the leg pairs or positively contracting the lower ends of the lower leg sections of the leg pairs. When the frame structure is folded 0r collapsed as aforesaid, the article of furniture is folded to unusually compact size. As an example, commercial articles of furniture incorporating the collapsing or pancaking frame structure of the invention will fold to depth of approximately six inches, such endowing said articles of furniture with a very high degree of portability.
In addition, the supporting frame structure of the invention is characterized by unusual strength and durability and it may be inexpensively manufactured.
As many changes could be made in carrying out the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. A collapsible crossed-leg frame structure for an article of baby furniture capable of serving as a bassinette, baby bath, crib, playpen and the like comprising, in combination, a main top frame having generally rectangular configuration, end pairs of crossed supporting legs therefor, the legs of each pair comprising upper and lower sections, of which the upper sections are disposed in crossing relation and are pivotally connected at their upper ends to the top-frame end portions for swinging movement in opposite directions against the top frame, and the lower leg sections are pivotally connected at their upper ends to the lower ends of said upper leg sections below the point of crossing thereof for swinging movement relatively towards one another, releasable means for securing the upper sections of the leg pairs in crossing relation at a predetermined crossing point, and means spacedly interconnecting the lower sections of each of the leg pairs at corresponding points intermediate their length, the construction and arrangement being such that upon release of said releasable crossing-point securing means the upper leg sections of the leg pairs may swing in opposite directions against the top frame and responsive thereto the lower sections of the leg pairs will swing in unison towards one another to a generally similar collapsed position.
2. A collapsible crossed-leg frame structure according to claim 1, wherein the means spacedly interconnecting the lower leg sections of the leg pairs comprises a lowlevel shelf extending across the space between said lower leg sections of the leg pairs and which normally derive support from said lower leg sections and to which said lower leg sections are effectively pivotally connected.
3. A collapsible crossed-leg frame structure according to claim 1, wherein side rungs are fixedly secured to and extend between the corresponding lower leg sections of the leg pairs and the means spacedly interconnecting said lower leg sections of the pairs comprises a shelf extending between said side rungs and being secured thereto in 5 such manner that said rungs are free to turn with respect to the shelf, whereby said lower sections of the leg pairs are free to swing in unison towards one another about the axes of said rungs.
4. A collapsible crossed-like frame structure according to claim 1, wherein the pivotal connection between the lower and upper sections of the leg pairs incorporates means for normally maintaining the so-connected leg sections of each leg in extended relationship but allows pivotal motion of said sections with respect to one another in direction as to bring said sections to substantial parallelism when such is desired.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Nov. 5,