US 3147949 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
7 High wnvabxwanig l m w J. M. WEBSTER LAP BOARDS Filgd July 23, 1963 Sept. 8, 1964 lil ll FIG. 2
INVENTOR. JAMESMWEBSTER ATTORNEY United States Patent "ice 3,147,949 LAP BOARDS James M. Webster, 31 Old Stamford Road, New Canaan, Conn. Filed July 23, 1963, Ser. No. 297,144 1 Claim. (Cl. 248-463) The present invention relates to so-called lap-boards, having a wide range of uses in various circumstances. A lap-board may be used as a book rest or support, for holding an open book in a convenient position for reading. The lap-board may similarly be used as a small writing table, and for many other purposes. The user may be reclining as in a bed, or he may be seated.
An object of the present invention is to provide a novel lap-board having a support that holds the main panel at a comfortable angle, but which may be folded flat for use in that condition or for storage when not in use.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a lap-board that has a collapsible stand or support that is of low-cost construction, that is attractive in appearance, and that involves parts which are held together both when the supporting means is collapsed and when it is erected, without resort to separate pieces that are apt to be lost.
A still further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a lap-board having a collapsible stand, wherein the collapsible support, when erected, has curved or arched parts whose contour and position are particularly effective in adapting the lap-board to rest comfortably and with stability on the knee of the user, as when his legs are crossed.
In achieving all of the above objects and features, there is disclosed below a presently preferred embodiment of the invention having a main panel, and having a collapsible support that comprises a pair of broad and resilient elements each having one end secured to the back of the panel near its lower edge. The opposite ends of the resilient elements are secured to a bar that affords stiffening and fixed spacing of the elements across their ends; and
a U-shaped strut is pivoted to this bar. A fixed stop is provided at the rear of the main panel for cooperation with the strut in its erect attitude. The combined or extended length of one resilient member plus a leg of the U exceeds the space between the stop and the bottom portion of the main panel where the resilient members are supported. Accordingly, the U-shaped member and the resilient elements form a roughly triangular strand when the bottom part of the U is forced into position against the stop. In this condition, the resilient elements (which are widely separated from each other) form an arched pair that are well suited to rest with stability on the knee of a user whose legs are crossed.
The strut is held in its erect position by the resilience of the paired elements, thus requiring only a quick and easy motion of snapping the bottom of the U against the stop for setting-up the lap-board stand. This resilient cooperation of the strut and the stop is readily released for collapsing the stand. When released, the resilient elements spring close to the main panel, and the U-shaped strut can also be swung close to the back of the main panel. The lap-board with its stand in collapsed condition thus consists of parts that are articulated and always held together and available for erection, yet which can be collapsed readily for compact storage. The length of each resilient element and the length of each leg of the U-shaped strut are individually shorter than the panel and thus, when the strut is swung back against the resilient elements, the parts of the stand do not project but are confined compactly within the area of the main panel.
The nature of the invention including the foregoing and further features and objects, will be better appreciated 3,147,949 Patented Sept. 8, 1964 from the following detailed description of the illustrative embodiment which is shown in the annexed drawing forming a part of this disclosure. In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the novel illustrative lap-board, including a view of its user in broken lines, illustrating a particularly effective mode of use;
FIGURE 2 is a bottom view of the lap-board with its stand in collapsed condition, one part of the stand being shown in solid lines in the normal configuration of the parts for storage and the same part appearing in broken lines to illustrate the preferred proportion of the parts;
FIGURE 3 is a lateral View of the lap-board when collapsed, as shown in FIG. 2;
FIGURE 4 is a lateral view of the lap-board of FIG. 2, with its stand erected; and
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-section of certain parts as viewed at the line 55 in FIG. 2.
Referring now to the drawings, the illustrative lapboard includes a main panel 10 as of plywood, to the front of which there is secured a bar 12. This bar prevents sliding of a book, sheet of paper, pencil and the like that may be supported on the inclined main panel in the erect attitude of FIG. 4.
Along the lower edge of the panel 10 there is a channel 14 as of wood. A pair of broad and long resilient elements 16 have their lower ends secured flat against the rear of the panel, suitably by glue and screws. Elements 16 advantageously are of thin resilient processed wood, laminated for strength and resilience, and may be called leaf-spring elements. Bar 18 is grooved so as to form a channel that receives the upper ends of elements 16 which are secured in place as by glue. A rectangular member 20 formed as of metal rod of round cross-section has in-turned end portions 22 that are pivotally confined between the upper ends of elements 16 and the groove in bar 18. Legs 24 extend from portions 22, and legs 24 are interconnected by a transverse portion 26 that is integral with the legs. A strip 28 as of wood is joined to the rear of panel 10, conveniently with glue.
Strip 28 forms a stop that arrests the transverse portion 26 of generally U-shaped member 20 that includes legs 24 and portion 26 as shown in FIGURE 4. Resilience of elements 16 biases and thus resiliently retains member 20 into that position. In their stressed condition, resilient strips 16 are curved or arched. Because of this shape and their lateral separation, they are particularly suited to rest on and conform comfortably to the crossed legs of a seated person using the lap-board, as shown in FIGURE 1. The extended length of elements 16 and 20 (designated 20' in its extended position in FIGURE 2) is greater than the space between the lower end of panel 10 where elements 16 are fastened and the upper rear of panel 10 where stop 28 is located, this proportion producing the generally triangular erected assembly shown in FIGURE 4. Member 20 constitutes a supporting generally U- shaped strut, and members 16 and 20 constitute a collapsible, articulated stand.
In the collapsed condition of the stand (FIGURE 2), members 16 and 20 fold flat against the rear of panel 10, and actually fit into the space afforded by members 14 and 28. When the stand is collapsed, the lap-board can be used as a drafting board and can rest on a table, supported by bars 14 and 18. There is no interference from the articulated parts of the stand, which are thus constantly available for erecting the lap-board. In the collapsed condition of the stand, the lap-board can be stored compactly and it may be compactly contained in a shipping carton without requiring the person who receives it to assemble separate, loose parts.
The described lap-board shown in the accompanying drawings is readily erected or collapsed, as the user may desire, and it is very flexible in its range of applications as explained above. Variation in matters of detail will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Consequently, the invention should be accorded a latitude of interpretation, consistent with its full spirit and scope.
What is claimed is:
A lap-board having a generally rectangular panel and erecting means therefor, including a stop member on the rear of the panel spaced upward from the bottom edge thereof and formed to provide a downward-directed recess, a pair of laterally spaced elongated members each having one end thereof secured to the panel at the rear and adjacent the bottom thereof and being resiliently biased normally against the rear of the panel, a transverse bar fixed to the ends of said spaced elongated members remote from said secured ends thereof, and a U-shaped support having a transverse part and a pair of legs interconnected by the transverse part, the ends of the U-shaped support being pivoted to said transverse bar and the extended length of said support plus one said elongated member being greater than the distance between said stop member and said fixed ends of said elongated members, whereby said U-shaped support and said elongated members may be erected as a stand by forcibly disposing said transverse part of the U-shaped member in the downwardly-directed recess provided by said stop member, and said U-shaped member being proportioned to lie substantially within the outline of said panel when swung against the panel.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 706,228 Fleming Aug. 5, 1902 1,580,344- Stillians Apr. 13, 1926 2,173,379 Smith Sept. 19, 1939 2,826,857 Saunders Mar. 18, 1958 2,842,416 Davock July 8, 1958