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Publication numberUS3246928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 19, 1966
Filing dateOct 2, 1964
Priority dateOct 2, 1964
Publication numberUS 3246928 A, US 3246928A, US-A-3246928, US3246928 A, US3246928A
InventorsJerald A Haynes, Lawrence C Post
Original AssigneeJerald A Haynes, Lawrence C Post
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding back stacking chair structure
US 3246928 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 19, 1966 J. A. HAYNES ETAL 3,245,928

FOLDING BACK STACKING CHAIR STRUCTURE Filed Oct. 2, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 tfra la a. fiayzzeg; Q1

a4 28 22 a lawrzzce C P037,

April 19, 1966 J, HAYNES ETAL 3,246,928

FOLDING BACK STACKING CHAIR STRUCTURE K4 /@]2 0119 (Tera 1d Q. ficzynasK Lawrezzce C P052 127 3,246,928 FOLDING BACK STACKING CHAIR STRUCTURE Jerald A. Haynes, RR. 4, Van Wert, Ohio, and Lawrence C. Pst,105 Susan St.', Sturgis, Mich. Filed Oct. 2, 1964, Ser. No. 401,194 2 Claims. (Cl. 297239) The present invention relates to stacking chairs, and is more particularly concerned with a stacking chair having a folding back structure.

Ordinary fixed chairs are commonly used in the home or in public halls or auditoriums where the chairs may be left permanently in place. In places used for many different functions, such as gymnasiums and banquet halls, the chairs must occasionally be removed and stored in a restricted space until they are needed again. Ordinary chairs having a fixed, structure are not suitable for such use.

Folding chairs have been developed for such use where they must occasionally be removed and stored in a restricted space. However, the structure of folding chairs is not generally as rugged and durableas fixed chairs. Additionally they are somewhat complicated in structure and more expensive.

Stacking chairs have been developed in an effort to provide a chair which is strong, relatively inexpensive, and wherein a number of chairs may be stored in a relatively confined space. Their structure is so designed that the chairs may be placed over each other and telescoped, thus utilizing the floor area of only a single chair. However, prior stacking chairs have the disadvantage that, when they are provided with backs, the backs tend to interfere with proper vertical stacking and, as a result, the chairs cannot be stacked. straight up, that is, with the centers of gravity of the chairs of each stack in a straight vertical line perpendicular to the fioor. Instead, the stack leans and ultimately, if too many chairs are stacked, the stack tips over. Even in those cases where prior stacking chairs with. backs have been particularly designed to be stacked straight up, their structure has been necessarily so distorted that they offer only limited comfort to the occupant.

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide stacking chairs which may be stacked straight up. It is a further object to provide such stacking chairs which have folding backs. It is still a further object to provide stacking chairs with folding backs which are so designed that the backs clear both the seat and seat cushions when folded. It is an additional object to provide stacking chairs of the type described which are strong, comfortable, and which may be relatively inexpensively produced. The accomplishment of the foregoing and additional objects will become more fully apparent hereinafter.

According to the invention, stacking chairs are provided having downwardly diverging pairs of legs permitting a plurality of chairs to be telescoped into each other for vertical stacking. The chairs are provided with backs which may be folded against the seats of the chairs so that the folded chairs may be stacked vertically in a straight line. The backs are mounted on the chairs by means of an offset frame member so that when folded, they clear the seat cushion when one is present.

The invention in its preferred embodiment is illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side plan view of a stacking chair according to the invention, the back being shown in erect position by solid lines and in folded position by broken lines.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation.

FIG. 3 is a top view showing the back in folded position.

United States Patent 0 ice FIG. 4 is a rear elevation showing the back in erect position.

FIG. 5 is a bottom view.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken at the line 6--6 of FIG. 2, and

FIG. 7 is a side elevation showing two chairs in stacked arrangement.

Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings for a better understanding of the invention, wherein all the parts are numbered and wherein the same numbers are used to refer to corresponding parts throughout. I Referring to the drawings and particularly FIGS. 1-4, the stacking chair of the invention as illustrated comprises a lateral leg assembly 1 on the right side and another lateral leg assembly 2 on the left side. The right assembly 1 is comprised of a front leg 3 and a rear leg 4 joined together at their upper ends by a suitable method such as welding to a lateral frame member 5, The left leg assembly 2 is comprised of a front leg 6 and a rear leg 7 also suitably connected together at their ends by a lateral frame member 8. The right leg assembly 1 and the left leg assembly 2 are connected together by means of a transverse member 9 afiixed at its ends by suitable means such as welding to the front legs 3 and 6, and by a transverse member 10 suitably connected at its ends to the rear legs 4 and 7. The transverse members 9 and 10 may be formed of tubular steel or other suitable material. Decorative arm strips 11 and 12 are suitably ailixed to the leg asesmblies.

As shown in FIG. 5, seat brackets 13, 14, 15 and 16 are aflixed as by welding to the lateral frame members 5 and 8, and support a seat 17 of a material such as plywood affixed thereto by means of screws 18. The rear portion of the seat is provided with recesses 17b and to permit the offset lever members to clear the seat and any cushion, if present, when the back of the chair is folded thereover. A cushion 17a which may be of a material such as rubber foam or plastic foam is supported by the seat and maintained in place by means of a seat cover 19 of a suitable material such as vinyl chloride film, as shown in FIG. 6. The edge 19a of the seat cover 19 is affixed to the bottom of the seat by suitable means such as staples 20.

Thefront and rear legs of each leg assembly are arranged so that they diverge downwardly with respect to each other, that is, their ends at the bottom are spacedapart a greater distance than their ends at the top. This arrangement is required to permit the described configuration of the front and rear legs, the legs of each succeeding chair being telescoped over the legs of the preceding chairs when they are placed one upon the other. The plane defined by the right lateral leg assembly 1 may be parallel to that defined by the left lateral leg assembly 2. Alternatively, the leg assemblies may, if desired, be designed so that their planes diverge downwardly with respect to each other. Such divergent arrangement may be desirable in such cases where the lateral edges of the seat extend sufficiently to cover the tops of the lateral frame members. However, where, as in the embodiment shown and described, both the seat and the back are confined within the limits defined by the inner surfaces of each lateral leg assembly, the legs of each succeeding chair will clear the seat and back even when the leg assemblies are substantially parallel to each other. In order to prevent the surfaces of the legs from becoming marred as a result of repeated stackings,

cylindrical plastic bumper guards 20a may be utilized.

As shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 6, .the folding back 21 comprises vertical frame members 22 and 23 connected together by means of a vertical web 24 suitably contoured to fit the ocoupants back, all of these par-ts being joined by suitable means such as welding or the like. A backboard 24a of a material such as plywood is affixed to the vertical web 24 by screws 24b. A cushion 24c is mounted over the backboard and a covering 25 of a material preferably the same as that used to cover the seat, the edge 25a of which is folded over the backboard 24a and suitably secured between the backboard and the Web 24.

Afiixed to the lower end of the vertical frame members 22 and 23 by suitable means such as welding are offset lever members 26 and 27. Each lever member 26 and 27 is provided with an opening through which the transverse member 16 is journalled, permitting the folding back 21 to pivot about the transverse member 10. The openings provided in the lever members 26 and 27 divide the members into proximal lever arms 28 and 29 and distal lever arms 30 and 31, respectively. The length of the proximal lever arms 28 and 29 is so designed that the folding back 21 clears the seat 1'7 and seat cushion 17a, if present, when it is folded down. The distal lever arms 30 and 31 are designed to be of such dimensions that they engage the rear seat brackets 15 and 16 (or other suitable limit means such as protuberances, rods or straps) when the back is erected, and maintain the back at a suitable upright angle. If desired, adjustable limit means such as adjustable bolts, associated with the frame may be used to vary the angle of the upright position. The ends of the distal lever arms may be provided with protective discs 32 of rubber or plastic to prevent marring of the surfaces of the folded vertical frame members 22 and 23 of the chair below when the chairs are stacked.

Crowns 33 of a suitable material such as plastic may be provided over the ends of the vertical frame members for decorative and protective purposes. Leg tips 34 are affixed at the ends of the legs and provided with swivel discs 35 for parallel engagement with the floor.

The legs 3, 4, 6, and 7, the lateral frame members and 8, the vertical frame members 22 and 23, and the offset lever arms 26 and 27 may be fabricated of a variety of materials, among which are metal, wood, or plastics. In the preferred construction, these parts are constructed of tubular steel or aluminum, preferably having a rectangular cross-section. The front transverse member 9 maybe constructed of tubular metal either of rectangular or circular cross-section. However, the rear transverse member must have at least portions thereof of circular cross-section to perm-it the lever members 26 and 27 to pivot thereon.

The various parts of the chair may be affixed by any suitable method or means. However, it has been found particularly advantageous to utilize welding.

In the design of the leg assemblies, the angle subtended by the front legs and the lateral frame members need not be the same as that subtended by the rear legs and lateral frame members. However, it is desirable that the angles sub-tended by both the rear legs and the front legs be obtuse, in order to permit vertical stacking in a straight line substantially perpendicular to the floor. For such arrangement, the center of gravity of the stack remains substantially over the rectangle defined by the legs of the bottom chair, insuring that the stack will not topple over.

The stacking chairs of the present invention have many advantages over chairs designed for similar purposes in the prior art. They are more rigid and easier to construct than folding chairs. They may be made highly decorative and comfortable. Because the back may be folded down for stacking, the chairs may be designed to be stacked vertically in a straight line, without danger that the stack will fall over. Morevoer, more chairs may be stacked per given space than with any previous known stacking chair construction.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact details of construction, operation, or exact materials or embodiments shown and described, as obvious modifications and equivalents will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and the invention is therefore to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A stacking chair comprising a right lateral leg assembly and a left lateral leg assembly, each assembly comprising a front leg, a rear leg, and a lateral frame member connecting the upper ends of said legs, said front and rear legs being arranged downwardly divergent with respect to each other, the posterior sides of said front legs and the anterior sides of said rear legs being provided with bumper means to prevent defacing of the surfaces of adjacent chairs when stacked thereon, a front transverse frame member connecting the front portions of said lateral leg assemblies, and a rear transverse frame member having a circular cross-section connecting the rear portions of said lateral leg assemblies, a folding back comprising a web having a vertical frame member connected to each side thereof, one end of each vertical frame member terminating in an offset lever member having an opening provided therein dividing said lever member into a proximal lever arm and a distal lever arm, the distal ends of said offset lever members being provided with bumper guards to prevent defacement of an adjacent chair when stacked thereon, the ends of said rear transverse frame member being journalled through the openings of said lever members and permitting said folding back to pivot thereon, a seat suitably mounted on said chair having a cushion mounted thereon and wherein the contours of the rear corners of said seat and cushion are recessed to permit said offset lever members to clear said seat and said cushion when said back is folded down, said proximal lever arms being of sufiicient length to enable said back to clear said seat and said cushion when said back is folded down, said lateral frame members being positioned exterior of the lateral edges of said seat, and limit means engaging said distal lever arms when said back is erected for restraining said back in a suitable vertical position, whereby said back may be folded down to permit a plurality of chairs to be telcscoped over one another and to be arranged in a vertical stack.

2. A stacking chair according to claim 1 wherein the end of each leg is provided with a swivel disc for parallel engagement of the floor surface upon which said chair rests.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 187,264 2/ 1960 Langhjelm 297-445 1,013,265 1/1912 Applas 297378 1,956,956 5/1934 Lcibo 297378 2,981,319 4/1961 Close 297-451 FOREIGN PATENTS 654,049 12/1962 Canada. 1,166,216 6/ 1958 France.

479,529 2/ 1938 Great Britain. 509,630 7/ 1939 Great Britain. 511,458 8/1939 Great Britain.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner,

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3351378 *Nov 9, 1965Nov 7, 1967Blisscraft Of HollywoodChair
US3408965 *Jan 11, 1967Nov 5, 1968Hamilton Cosco IncStack table
US3708202 *Jan 22, 1971Jan 2, 1973American Seating CoIndependent seat rise stacking and row chair
US5564787 *Nov 8, 1994Oct 15, 1996Shelby Williams Industries, Inc.Chair frame and associated chair framing material
US5997084 *Jul 21, 1998Dec 7, 1999Shelby Williams Industries, Inc.Stackable chair
US6659544Nov 27, 2001Dec 9, 2003Stephen M. HollettReconfigurable chair for infant carriers and toddlers or small children
US6866338 *Jul 17, 2003Mar 15, 2005Cosco Management, Inc.Chair stacker apparatus
US7014268 *Nov 6, 2003Mar 21, 2006Michigan Tube Swagers & Fabricators, Inc.Nesting chair with flexible back
US7552968Apr 25, 2006Jun 30, 2009Mity-Lite, Inc.Feet for stacking chair
US8029059Oct 4, 2011Mity-Lite, Inc.Folding and stacking mesh chair system
US8033598Oct 11, 2011Mity-Lite, Inc.Mesh folding chair
US8033612Oct 11, 2011Mity-Lite, Inc.Comfortable mesh folding chair
US8038221Apr 13, 2009Oct 18, 2011Mity-Lite, Inc.Folding mesh chair with nesting hoops
US8317269Nov 27, 2012Mity-Lite, Inc.Mesh stacking chair
US8322787Dec 4, 2012Mity-Lite, Inc.Clamping joint for a chair
US8454093Jun 4, 2013Mity-Lite, Inc.Mesh chair with open-end hoop
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U.S. Classification297/239, 297/378.1, 297/452.2
International ClassificationB05C1/08, A47C3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47C3/04, B05C1/086
European ClassificationB05C1/08Y, A47C3/04