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Publication numberUS3230012 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1966
Filing dateDec 21, 1962
Priority dateDec 21, 1962
Also published asDE1429362A1
Publication numberUS 3230012 A, US 3230012A, US-A-3230012, US3230012 A, US3230012A
InventorsRodney Y Hatanaka, Harper Irving, George H Nelson, Beckman Ronald
Original AssigneeMiller Herman Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Catenary furniture
US 3230012 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 18, 1966 BECKMAN E TAL 3,230,012

CATENARY FURNITURE Filed Dec. 21, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS RONALD EEC/(MAN 6150/?65 Al. A/EZSO/V .Z'EI/l/VG HARPER BY waver if A/ATA/VAKA 1955 R. BECKMAN ETAL CATENARY FURNITURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed D96. 21. 1962 A WM M TMN M m mm /fig wawey P mm MW 4 6 A WWW; mw

United States Patent 3,230,012 CATENARY FURNITURE Ronald Beckman and George H. Nelson, New York, and Irving Harper, Rye, N.Y., and Rodney Y. Hatanaka, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, assignors to Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Dec. 21, 1962, Ser. No. 254,531 20 Claims. (Cl. 297-445) This invention relates to furniture. More particularly, this invention relates to a unit of furniture utilizing a plurality of logs forming support for a person in combination with a unique base structure.

Many types of bases for chairs and the like are already in existence. Characteristics of critical importance to the functioning of such bases are the provision of proper rigidity for a chair, yet allowing sufiicient flexibility to provide comfort for its users. In achieving such characteristics, it is often additionally desirable to provide a base exhibiting simplicity of design and structure, yet also capable of sufficient strength to provide proper durability.- The same is true with respect to the chair itself mounted on the base. Rigidity and strength are necessary, yet a degree of flexibility must be exhibited for proper comfort. Ideally, a chair and a base having characteristics coperating with one another to achieve all of these results is highly desirable.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved unit of furniture, such as a chair, providing comfort for its user through suflicient rigidity, yet providing flexibility at appropriate pressure points for maximum comfort.

Another object of this invention is the provision of a unique base structure for a unit of furniture, the structural elements thereof defining generally a pair of pentahedrons, capable of high strength, yet allowing flexibility at certain pressure points.

An additional object of this invention is the provision of a base for the chair utilizing a plurality of connecting rods providing the entire support for the chair.

Another object of this invention is the provision of a chair utilizing a plurality of segments or logs positioned adjacent one another to form support for a person.

A still further object of this invention is the provision of such a chair and base utilizing the unique means for securing the logs in position to also secure the logs to the base.

Another object of this invention is the provision of such a chair and base exhibiting exceptional simplicity in construction, even though exceptional strength and durability are also provided.

These and other objects of this invention will become obvious to those skilled in the furniture art upon reading the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a base embodying the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the base shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front View of the base shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the base shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front and side perspective view of an assembled chair utilizing the principles of this invention and the base shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view showing the manner in which the logs of the chair shown in FIG. 5 are secured to one another, certain parts thereof being broken away to better show this structure; and

FIG. 7 is a front view of one of the logs utilized in the chair shown in FIG. 5.

Briefly, this invention relates to a unit of furniture, such as a chair, including a base having a floor-engaging member. A front weight supporting brace is positioned generally above the front of this member and a back weight supporting brace is positioned generally above the back thereof. Elongated connecting rods extend between the front of the member and the ends of the front brace. Elongated connecting rods extend between the back of said member and the ends of the, back brace.- Additional elongated connecting rods extend between the interior of the member and generally the middlesof the front and back braces. A plurality of logs are positioned adjacent one another forming support for a person. Means are provided securing these logs in this position of support and further means are provided to secure them to the front and back braces.

Referring more specifically to the drawings, the reference numeral 1 designates a unit of furniture, a chair in the embodiment shown, embodying the principles of this invention (FIG. 5). The chair 1 includes a base 2 and seat 40, the seat 40 comprised of a plurality of individual logs 41.

The base 2 will now be described in detail and is best shown in FIGS. 14. The base 2 includes a floor-engaging member comprised of a pair of generally U-shaped members 3, suitably secured together in back-to-back relationship. A suitable spacing means 4 is positioned between the bight portions 5 of the U-shaped floor-engaging members 3 to eliminate binding and assure a rigid, noisefree connection. The legs 6 of the members 3 spread slightly outwardly from their respective bight portions 5. A front weight supporting brace 10 is positioned generally above the ends of one of the members 3 and a back weight supporting brace 11 is positioned generally above the ends of the legs of the other of said members.

Elongated connecting rods 20 extend between each end of the front brace '10 to the respective end of the leg 6 of the member 3 therebelow. Elongated connecting rods 21 extend from the middle of the front brace 10 to each end of the bight portion 5 of the member 3 positioned therebelow. Elongated connecting rods 22 extend from each end of the back brace 11 to the respective end of the leg 6 of the floor-engaging member 3 positioned therebelow. Elongated connecting rods 23 extend from the middle of the back brace 11 to each end of the bight portion 5 of the member 3 positioned therebelow. The rods 22 and 23 are of a length greater than the rods 20 and '21, thereby positioning the back brace :11 at a height greater than that of the front brace '10. It should be understood, that the term rod includes either solid or tubelike elements and is not limited to any particular cross-sectional configuration. The rods 20, 21, 22 and 23 are fabricated from a material exhibiting suflicient strength and rigidity, yet exhibiting a degree of flexibility. These rods are secured into the members 3 and the braces 10 and 1-1 by a suitable means, such as extending into openings therein and aflixed in position by means of an epoxy glue. At the ends of front brace 10, tubelike elements 12 are suitably secured. At the ends of back brace 11, tubelike elements 13 are suitably secured. The purpose and function of the elements 12 and 13 will be described hereinafter.

It will be seen from FIGS. 1-4 that the elongated connecting rods 20 and 21 define generally the outlines of one pentahedron and the rods 22 and 23 define the outlines of a second pentahedron. These two pentahedrons bear against one another along one oomrnon edge. The positioning of the rods 21 and 23 provide one triangular face for each of the pentahedrons, the braces 10 and 11 defining the tops thereof. Thus, exceptional vertical load supporting strength is provided, yet, the braces being able to pivot slightly about their middles. This provides ideal flexibility at load points for a seat mounted thereon. A seat especially adapted to be mounted on such a base will now be described in detail.

The seat 40 includes a plurality of individual logs 41, positioned adjacent one another and secured together (FIG. 5). In the embodiment shown, the logs 41 are of identical construction and include a frame 42, the ends thereof bent to form tubelike elements 43 adjacent the tops thereof (FIG. 7). The logs are provided with a padding and covering as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 to complete the structure thereof. Flexible cables 45 are provided for insertion through the tubelike elements 43 of each log 41 and the tubelike elements 12 and 13 on the braces 10 and 11 respectively. Each cable 45 includes a threaded socket 46, a cap 47 and a bolt 48 (FIG. 6). Thus, cables 45 are passed through the tubelike elements 12 on the front brace 10 and through the tubelike elements 43 on successive frames 42 of adjacent logs 41, associated tubelike elements 43 also enveloping elements 12. Upon passing cables 45 through all of the logs 41 and through the elements 13 of the back brace 11, the caps 47 are positioned over the sockets 46 and the bolts 48 rotated within the threaded sockets to draw up each cable. Rotation of the bolts 48 draws the cables tightly through the logs 41, afiixing them tightly against one another and in a contoured position of support, defined by the positioning of the tubelike elements 12 and 13 on the respective front and back braces 11 and 12. Thus, tightening of the cables 45 completely secures the legs 41 into a position of sup port and to and above the base 2. Due to the positioning of the tubelike elements 43 adjacent the tops of the ends of the logs, loads imposed upon the logs will not result in pinching, even though the logs flex together with the base.

It will now be seen that this invention has provided a unique base, seat and means for securing the seat and the base together. A minimum number of different components are utilized in the assembly of the chair. Thus, both fabrication and assembly are simplified. The base is both of unique design and function. Flexibility is ineherently provided for maximum comfort when sitting or moving in the chair. Yet, the base provides rigid support through a structure free of cumbersome appearance and bulk. The unique cooperation between the seat formed of logs and the base, in the manner of attaching the logs together and the logs to the base, creates a chair of exceptional comfort and simplicity of design.

While only one embodiment of this invention has been shown and described, it may be possible to practice the invention through the utilization of certain other embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention. Such other embodiments are to be included as part of this invention unless the following claims specifically state otherwise.

We claim:

1. A base for a unit of furniture, comprising: a floorengaging member; a front weight supporting brace positioned generally above the front of said member; a back weight supporting brace positioned generally above the back of said member; elongated connecting rods extending between said front of said member and the ends of said front brace; elongated connecting rods extending between said back of said member and the ends of said back brace; and elongated connecting rods connecting the interior of said member and generally the middles of said front and back braces.

2. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 1, said elongated rods connecting said member to said back brace being of greater length than said elongated rods connecting said member to said front brace.

3. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 2, said member shaped to the general configuration of an H.

4. A base for a unit of furniture, comprising: a pair of generally U-shaped floor-engaging members, the bight portions of said members secured together in back-to-back relationship; a front weight supporting brace positioned generally above the ends of the legs of one of said me111 4.- bers; a back weight supporting brace positioned generally above the ends of the legs of the other of said members; elongated connecting rods extending between the ends of said front brace and the ends of said legs of said one member; elongated connecting rods extending between i the ends of said back brace and the ends of said legsof said other member; elongated connecting rods extending between the middle of said front brace and said bight portion of said one member; and elongated connecting rods extending between the middle of said back brace and said bight portion of said other member.

5. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 4,:

said elongated rods connecting said other member to' said back brace being of a length greater than said elongated rods connecting said one member to said front brace.

6. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 5,

said elongated rods connecting generally the middle of said back brace to said other member extending to the ends of said bightportion of said other member and said elongated rods connecting generally the middle of said front brace to said one member extending to the ends of said bight portion of said one member.

7. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 6,,

the legs of each of said members spreading outwardly of respective bight portions thereof.

8. A base for a unit of furniture, comprising: structural elements defining generally a pair of pentahedrons;

each of said pentahedrons having a first surface for engaging the floor, one edge of each of said first surfaces positioned adjacent one another; and only one of the other of said surfaces of each of said pentahedrons being tri:

angular, each of said triangular surfaces having a common edge with said adjacent edges of said first surfaces.

9. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 8,

one of said pentahedrons being of a height greater than the other.

10. A base for a unit of furniture as defined in claim 9, elongated rods defining vertical edges of each of said pentahedrons.

11. A chair, comprising: a base, said base having a floor engaging member and front and back weightsupporting elements; means interconnected between said member and said elements yieldingly positioning said elements above said member; a plurality of logs positioned adjacent one another forming support for a person; flexible cables passing through the ends of each of said logs positioning said logs adjacent one another; and said cables secured to said weight supporting elements of said base, thereby positioning said logs above said base.

12. A chair as defined in claim 11, each of said logs tending between said front of said member and the ends of said front brace; elongated connecting rods extending between said back of said member and the ends of said back brace; elongated connecting rods connecting the interior of said member and generally the middles of said front and back braces; said elongated rods connecting said member to said back brace being of greater length than said elongated rods connecting said member to said front brace; a plurality of logs positioned adjacent one another forming support for a person; means securing said logs in said position of support; and means securing said logs to said front and back braces.

15. A chair, comprising: a base, said base having a floor-engaging member; a front weight supporting brace positioned generally above the front of said. mem er; a

back weight supporting brace positioned generally above the back of said member; elongated connecting rods extending between said front of said member and the ends of said front brace; elongated connecting rods extending between said back of said member and the ends of said back brace; elongated connecting rods connecting the interior of said member and generally the middles of said front and back braces; said elongated rods connecting said member to said back brace being of greater length than said elongated rods connecting said member to said front brace; a plurality of logs forming support for a person; each of said logs including a fname having generally tubelike elements adjacent the ends thereof; flexible cables passing through said elements securing said logs together; and tubelike elements on said front and back braces receiving said cables, thereby securing said logs to and above said base.

16. A chair as defined in claim 15, said member shaped to the general configuration of an H.

17. A chair, comprising: a base; said base having a pair of generally U-shaped floor-engaging members, the bight portions of said members secured together in backto-back relationship; a front weight supporting brace positioned generally above the ends of the legs of one of said members; a back weight supporting brace positioned generally above the ends of the legs of the other of said members; elongated connecting rods extending between the ends of said front brace and the ends of said legs of said one member; elongated connecting rods extending between the ends of said back brace and the ends of said legs of said other member; elongated connecting rods extending between the middle of said front brace and said bight portion of said one member; elongated connecting rods extending between the middle of said back brace and said bight portion of said other member; said elongated rods connecting said member to said back brace being of greater length than said elongated rods connecting said member to said front brace; a plurality of logs forming support for a person; each of said logs including a frame having generally tubelike elements adjacent the ends thereof; flexible cables passing through said elements securing said logs together; and tubelike elements on said front and back braces receiving said cables, thereby securing said logs to and above said base.

18. A chair as defined in claim 13, said elongated rods connecting generally the middle of said back brace to said other member extending to the ends of said bight portion of said other member and said elongated rods connecting generally the middle 10f said front brace to said one member extending to the ends of said bight portion of said one inember.

19. A chair as defined in claim 14, the legs of each of said members spreading outwardly of respective bight portions thereof.

20. A chair as defined in claim 13, each of said logs being of identical construction and said frames including padding and a covering.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,210,076 8/ 1940 Goldberg 5129 2,694,438 11/ 1954 Frech 297440 2,798,538 7/ 1957 Dreifke 297-440 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,150,285 1/1958 France.

615,947 7/ 1935 Germany.

699,146 11/ 1940 Germany.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2210076 *Jan 17, 1938Aug 6, 1940Bunting Glider CompanyGlider
US2694438 *Apr 3, 1951Nov 16, 1954Frech Wilhelm PaulChair convertible to a couch
US2798538 *Aug 18, 1954Jul 9, 1957Dreifke Raymond FChair construction employing tension-held slats
DE615947C *Jul 16, 1935Hubert Jakob RosenthalKlappstuhl mit einer Sitz- oder Liegematte aus auf eine Drahtlitze gezogenen Holzleisten
DE699146C *Mar 16, 1939Nov 23, 1940MaschbHalter zum Befestigen der Latten einer Sitz-, Lehn
FR1150285A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3387887 *Jun 9, 1966Jun 11, 1968Schlumberger LtdChair
US3499682 *Feb 13, 1968Mar 10, 1970Mass Art IncInflatable chair
US3574401 *Oct 23, 1968Apr 13, 1971Lehner WilhelmDriver{3 s seat for motor vehicles
US3877750 *Aug 6, 1973Apr 15, 1975Porsche AgReposing furniture
US7931340 *Jan 14, 2008Apr 26, 2011William T ReddickTetraframe component of furniture
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/451.1, 297/452.1, 297/452.2, 297/452.63
International ClassificationA47C5/06, A47C7/00, A47C4/02, A47C5/04, A47C3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C3/00, A47C7/00, A47C5/06, A47C4/03, A47C5/043, A47C4/028, A47C4/02
European ClassificationA47C4/03, A47C4/02U, A47C4/02, A47C7/00, A47C5/06, A47C3/00, A47C5/04A