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Publication numberUS3284131 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 8, 1966
Filing dateOct 28, 1963
Priority dateOct 28, 1963
Publication numberUS 3284131 A, US 3284131A, US-A-3284131, US3284131 A, US3284131A
InventorsPeter S Fletcher
Original AssigneeAnton Lorenz
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reclining chair with a secondary mounting linkage
US 3284131 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 8, 1966 P. s. FLETCHER 3,284,13l

RECLINING CHAIR WITH A SECONDARY MOUNTING LINKAGE Filed Oct. 28, 1965 5 Sheets-$heet 1 Nov. 8, 1966 P. s. FLETCHER 3,284,131

RECLINING CHAIR WITH A SECONDARY MOUNTING LINKAGE Filed Oct. 28. 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Pfff/2 5, lfol/f/ BYMLW Nov. 8, 1966 P. s. FLETCHER 3,284,131

RECLINING CHAIR WITH A SECONDARY MOUNTING LINKAGE Filed Oct. 28, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. PIE/E2 5. ,Mir/2 BY MLw Nov. 8, 1966 P. s. FLETCHER RECLINING CHAIR WITH A SECONDARY MOUNTING LINKAGE Filed Oct. 28, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 R m E V 1N.

Nov. 8, 1966 P. s. FLETCHER RECLINING CHAIR WITH A SECONDARY MOUNTING LINKAGE 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 28, 1963 INVENTOR. ,Of/'fe s. Uffa/Va United States Patent O 3,284,131 RECLINING CHAIR WITH A SECONDARY MOUNTING LINKAGE Peter S. Fletcher, Delray Beach, Fla., assignor to Anton Lorenz, Boynton Beach, Fla. Filed Oct. 28, 1963, Ser. No. 319,279 6 Claims. (Cl. 297-85) The present invention relates 'generally to reclining chairs and specifically to a reclining chair which provide-s three separate phases of movement and still more :specilically to a multiple position reclining chair wherein the included angle -between the seat and .back-rest can be varied at will by the chair occupant.

During the last several years, the multiple movement Declining ch'air has virtually replaced the single movement reclining chair. A multiple movement reclining chair is a chair which includes a body-supporting mean-s consisting of a seat and back-rest mounted on a support for movement throng-h a lirst movement phase from an upright sitting position to an intermediate, tilted sitting position and, thereafter, through a second movement phase from the intermediate, tilted sitting position to a fully lreclined position. Present reclinn-g chairs which operate in this manner are of two separate types: the rester type and the lounger type. In the rester type, the seat and back-rest form one rigid unit which tilts slightly rearwardly during the lirst movement phase and then tilts to a greater degree during the second movement phase with the seat and backrest maintaining a uniform angular relationship therebetween. The normally employed leg-rest moves to an elevated leg-supporting position during the first movement .phase Iand maintains its relative position with respect to the seat yand back-rest during the second movement pbase. In the lounger type of reclining chair, the seat and black-rest are mounted for movement both with respect to the support and with respect to each other such that the angle between the seat and back-rest 4may be va-ried during the second movement phase. Speciiically, during the iirst movement phase of the lounge-r type of multiple movement chair, the seat and back-rest tilt slightly `rearwardly :and the leg-rest is moved to an elevated leg-supporting pos-ition with substantially no change in the angular relationship between the seat and back-rest; during the second movement phase, the seat is tiltedslightly lfurther rearwardly and the back-rest is tilted t-o a greater degree rearwardly such that the angle between the seat and back-rest opens up to achieve a fully reclined position wherein the chair occupant may stretch out for maximum comfort to a much further extent than is possible in the rester type of multiple movement chair. In each of these -`two types of chairs, the angular relationship between the seat and the yback-rest is predetermined for every point of the reclining movement of the seat and back-rest. In the rester type of chair, the angle remains constant. In the lounger type of a reclining chair, although the angle :between the seat and back-rest varies, it is completely determined for each position of the body-supporting -unit dur-ing both the iirst and second movement phases.

The present invention is particularly concerned with providing an additional deg-ree of ilexibility an-d therefore an additional degree of comfort in multiple movement reclining chairs. Specifically, it is known in reclining chairs of the rester type 'are often considered inadequate because the chair occupant feels constricted in the intermediate, tilted sitting position and in the fully reclined position because of the rather sharp angle between the seat and back-rest and therefore the rather sharp angle between the oc-cupants upper legs and torso. Although the occupants legs `are outstretched, he cannot stretch out his body. Furthermore, in the lounger type of a reclining ice chair, it would be desirable to provide, at the chair occupants option, the ability to increase the angle between the seat `and back-rest in the intermediate, tilted sitting position or in some .position between the intermediate, tilted :sitting position and the fully reclined position thereby to allow the chair occupant to assume a more spread out position without further rearward tilting of the body-supp orting unit.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved multiple movement reclining chair which demonstrates one of the more advantageous teatu-res outlined ab-ove. Specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide Ia reclining chair having increased liexibility.

It is further within the obje-ct of the present invention to provide within la multiple movement reclining chair means to mount the seat and back-rest of the chair tor relative movement to selectively alter the included angle between the seat and the back-rest.

It is still further an object of the present invention to provide means in a multiple movement reclining chair whereby the chair occupant may open up the angle between the seat and back-rest by applying pressure .between those two numbers.

In accordance with one generally illustrative embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a reclining chair having a support, a body-supporting unit including a seat and back-rest which are mounted on the support `for movement from yan upright sitting position through `a first movement phase to an intermediate, tilted sitting position and then through a second movement phase to a -fully reclined position. Primary mounting means are provided to appropriately guide the bodysupporting un-it for such movement with the .angle between the seat and back-rest being maintained substantially uniform. In the reclining chair according to the present invention there is tur-ther provided a secondary mounting linkage for mounting lthe seat and back-rest on the prito through a third movement phase wherein the included `angle between the seat 4and backrest may be selectively varied. The third movement phase may be superimposed on the movement of the body-supporting means, at the option of the chair occupant, during the first and second movement phases or at any fixed position of the primary mounting means. Speciiically'the secondary mounting linkage may be operated as desired by 'the chair occupant in the intermediate, tilted sitting position, in the fully reclined position or at any point in the second movement phase by the simple application of pressure by the chair occupant between the seat and back-rest such as by arching of the chair occupants back. The secondary mounting linkage comprises an independent carrier member which is mounted on the .primary linkage in a manner similar to the mounting of the rigid seat and back-rest of a rester chair on its linkage. A seat pivot connection is formed between the 4forward portion of the seat and the forward portion of the `carrier member and a back-rest pivotal connection is formed between the `back-rest and a rearward portion of the independent carrier member. A further pivotal connection, conveniently termed the .seat-back-rest pivotal connection, is provided between the seat and back-rest. Lost mot-ion means are provided at one of the -pivtal connections. Furthermore, motion limiting means are operatively engaged with the secondary mounting linkage to limit -relative movement between the seat and th-e back-rest.

The above brief description, as well as further other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be best appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of one presently preferred embodiment of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate the first and second movement phases with no movement in the third movement phase. Specifically:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a multiple position reclining chair according to the present invention with a chair being illustrated in an uprightsitting position and with portions broken away for the sake of clarity;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating the `chair in an intermediate, tilted sitting position;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view similar to FIG. l illustrating the chair in a fully reclined position;

FIGS. 4, and 6 illustrate the result of partial or complete motion through the third movement phase in various positions of the primary mounting linkage. Specifically:

FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevational view similar to that shown in FIG. 3 illustrating the chair of FIG. 1 in the fully reclined position but with the secondary mounting linkage at its maximum position and with the angle between the seat and back-rest at its maximum;

FIG. 5 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the chair in its intermediate, tilted sitting position, but with the secondary mounting linkage position such that the angle between the seat and back-rest is at its maximum;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view similar to FIGS. 4 and 5 but illustrating the reclining chair with its primary mounting linkage position halfway between the intermediate, ltilted sitting positi-on and the fully reclined position and its secondary mounting linkage position halfway between the smallest and largest possible angle between the seat and back-rest;

FIGS. 7 through 11I are schematic views of the angular relationship between the leg-rest,v seat and back-rest of reclining chairs, in the prior art and according to the present invention, shown in a variety of their possible positions. Specifically:

FIG. 7 is an illustration of the -relative positions of the seat, back-rest and leg-rest and leg-rest of a typical rester type reclining chair in the upright sitting position;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 illustrating the chair in its intermediate, tilted sitting position;

' FIG. 9 is a view similar to that of FIG. 7 illustrating the chair in its fully reclined position;

FIG. 10 shows, in solid line configuration, one possible position of the seat, back-rest and leg-rest of a chair according to the present invention when the primary mounting linkage is in the intermediate, tilted sitting position and with the secondary mounting linkage in its extreme position with the angle between the seat and back-rest opened up as desired by the chair occupant. In this figure, shown in dotted line configuration, `is the corresponding fixed intermediate, tilted sitting position of the seat and back-rest in a prior art chair; and

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 10 illustrating, in solid line configuration, the reclining chair according to the present invention shown in the fully reclined position and with the secondary mounting means at its maximum open position and illustrating, in dotted line configuration, the corresponding fully reclined position of the seat and back-rest of a chair according to the prior art.

Prior to referring to the specific reclining chair illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 6, reference will be made to FIGS, 7 through 11 for a generalized description of the new results available in a reclining chair constructed according to the present invention in comparison to the type of movement displayed by prior art chairs. In FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 there is schematically illustrated a prior art reclining chair generally designated by the nume-ral 10 which includes` a body-supporting unit 12 having a, seat 14 and back-rest 16 and an associated leg-rest 18. A characteristic of the rester type `of-reclining chair is that the seat 14 .and the back-rest 16 are rigid with each other throughout all movement of the body-supporting means 12. In FIG.

7 it is seen that the seat 14, back-rest 16 and leg-rest 18 are oriented with respect to each other and with respect to the surface upon which the chair is positioned such that the chair occupant is in an upright sitting position completely analogous to the position he would assume in a conventional upholstered chair. In FIG. 8, there is schematically illustrated the intermediate, tilted sitting position wherein the body-supporting unit 12 has been tilted slightly rearwardly and the leg-rest 18 has been elevated to bring the chair occupant into an intermediate, tilted sitting position suitable for viewing television, reading, conversing, or the like. It is specifically noted thatl the angle between the seat and the back-rest has remained uniform during the first movement phase from the upright sitting position to the intermediate, tilted sitting position. FIG. 9 is a schematic illustration of the fully reclined position of the chair 10 wherein the body-supporting unit 12 has been tilted further rearwardly and wherein the leg-rest 18 has been maintained in substantially its same position with respect to the seat 14. Again it is noted that the angle between the seat and the back-rest has remained unchanged during the second movement phase. It will be appreciated by those having knowledge of the art that the lounger type of a chair, although having a seat and back-rest which are movable with respect to each other, will nevertheless have a schematic View in the upright sitting position identical to that of FIG. 7. The lounge'r type of chair would also have a schematic view of its intermediate, tilted sitting position which is quite similar to that of FIG. 8, since in most lounger chairs, there is substantially no change in the angle between the seat and back-rest during the first movement phase. The schematic view of the fully reclined position for a lounger chair would differ markedly from that of FIG. 9 in that the angle between the seat and back-seat would be increased markedly to bring the chair occupant to a more fully relaxed reclining position.

The schematic illustrations in FIGS. 10 and l1 demonstrate the range of movements provided in a reclining chair according to the present invention which are unavailable in a typical rester type of chair or in the typical lounger type of reclining chair. Specifically, in FIG. 10 there is shown a reclining chair, generally designated by the numeral 20 which has a body-supporting unit 22 comprising a seat 24, back-rest 26 and an associated leg-rest 28. The reclining chair 20 is illustrated in FIG. 10 in its intermediate, tilted sitting position, it 'being understood that the upright sitting positionl is identical to that shown for the chair 10 in FIG. 7. It will be noted that movement through the first movement phase from an upright sitting position of FIG. 7 to the intermediate, tilted sitting position of FIG. 10 contemplates a slight rearward tilting of the body-supporting unit 22 and elevation of the leg-rest 28. It will be further noticed that in FIG. 10 the angle between the seat 24 and the back-rest 26 has been increased and that its former relative position is indicated by the dotted line configuration. In accordance with the present invention the chair occupant may adjust the angle between the seat 24 and the back-rest 26 of the body-supporting unit 22 between the extremes illustrated by the dotted line configuration and the full line configuration of FIG. 10- simply by adjusting his weight on the chair. For example, if the chair occupant is in the intermediate, tilted sitting position of the chair 20 which corresponds to the dotted line configuration, a simple arching of the chair occupants back such that force is applied at the upper portion of the back-rest will cause a shift in the position of the seat 24 and the back-rest 26 to increase the included angle -between those members. Similarly, the application of force at the lower portion of the back-rest and/or the rearward portion of the seat will cause a decrease in the angular relationship between the seat 24 and the back-rest 26. This movement is referred to herein as the third movement phase and this third movement phase may be superimposed on the other movement phases or may be effected `at any given stationary position of the body-supporting means between the upright sitting and fully reclined positions. In FIG. l1 there is shown a schematic view of the possible positions of the body-supporting unit 22 and leg-rest 28 of the reclining chair 20` when in its fully reclined position. As is normal with reclining chairs of the multiple movement type, the second phase of movement tilts the body-supporting unit 22 further rearwardly and raises the leg-rest 28 to bring the chair into the fully reclined position. In this position, the chair occupant may, at his option, alter the angular relationship between the seat 24 and back-rest 26 simply by stretching out his body, i.e. arching his back to open up the angle between the seat and back-rest or, conversely, by assuming a more upright position with a sharper angle between the body and the legs to move the body-supporting unit 22 into a smaller included angle between the seat 24 and back-rest 26. As will be described below, the movement of the body-supporting unit 22 and leg-rest 28 from the upright sitting position to the intermediate, tilted sitting position and then to the fully reclined position is controlled by a primary mounting linkage in accordance with the prior art and the movement through what is defined as the third movement phase, is controlled by a secondary mounting linkage which operatively mounts the seat 24 and back-rest 26 on the primary mounting linkage for independent movement to selectively vary the angle between the seat and the back-rest.

Reference will now be made to FIGS. l through 6 for a description of one presently preferred embodiment of the invention.

A reclining chair, generally designated by numeral 30, is illustrated in FIG. l in its upright sitting position, in FIG. 2 in its intermediate, tilted sitting position and in FIG. 3 in its fully reclined position. The chair 30 is basically similar in its primary mounting linkage and its operation through the first and second movement phases to the chair illustrated in a co-pending application entitled Secondary Leg-Rest Actu-ating Means, Serial No. 151,575, filed on November 10, 1961, now Patent No. 3,135,548, granted Iune 2, 1964.

The reclining chair 30 includes a body-supporting unit 32 having a seat 34 and a back-rest 36 which are mounted for movement within a support or frame 38 for movement from the upright sitting position of FIG. 1 to the intermediate, tilted sitting position of FIG. 2 and then to the fully reclined position of FIG. 3. The conventional thin line frame 38 includes the legs 48, the top arms 42, the side 'rail 44 and the structural cross members 46. In this embodiment of the invention, the seat 34 and backrest 36 are mounted on a generally L-shaped, independent carrier member 48. The mounting of the seat 34 and back-rest 36 on the independent carrier member 48 utilizes a secondary mounting link-age and will be described in detail below. For purposes of the present description it is simply necessary to note that the bodysupporting unit 32 is mounted on the support 38 by means of a primary mounting linkage, generally designated by the numeral 58 which functions to interconnect the support 38 and the independent carrier member 48, the independent carrier member 48 being a link of the primary mounting linkage 50. The movement of the independent carrier member 48 of `the chair 30, as guided by the primary mounting linkage 50 may be characterized as movement through rst and second movement phases from an upright sitting posit-ion to an intermediate, tilted sitting position and then to a fully reclined position, completely analogous to the movement of the body-supporting unit in prior art multiple movement chairs, and specifically to the chair described in the aforementioned application.

The body-supporting unit 32, through the carrier member 48, is mounted on a rear guide link 51 by the pivotal connection 52 below the rearward portion of the seat.

6 The guide link 51 is secured to the frame 38 at the pivot 53 on the side member 44. A front guide link 54 (best seen in FIG. 2), pivotally connected to the forward portion of the carrier member 48 at the pivot 56, is pivotally connected at 58 to a primary linkage carrier member 60. The primary carrier member 60 in turn is pivotally secured at its rearward end to the mounting pivot 62 on the frame 38 and normally rests upon the front structural cross member 46 when the chair is in its upright sitting position and in its intermediate, tilted sitting position. The upright sitting position of the body-supporting unit 32 is determined by the engagement of the Astop pin 63 secured to the carrier member 60 which engages a notch 63a formed on an extension 54a of the front guide link 54. The notch 63a is constructed according to standard practice and provides an accurately located stop surface on the link extension 54a.

It will be appreciated that the independent carrier member 48, and therefore the body-supporting unit 32, is carried from the upright sitting position of FIG. 1 to the intermediate, tilted sitting position of FIG. 2 by the front guide link 54 and the rear guide link 51 pivoting in a clockwise direction about the pivots 58, 53 res-pectively. This movement is effective to move the body-supporting unit rearwardly and to tilt the front of the seat 34 slightly upwardly. The motion of the body-supporting unit as guided by the front and rear guide links 54, 51 is halted at the completion of this first movement phase by a stud projection from the pivot 62 which engages the rear guide link 51 halting its rotational movement about the pivot 53.

A sequencing mechanism, .generally designated by the numeral 64, is secured between the rear `guide link 51 and the carrier member 6() and is effective t-o insure the correct sequencing of the two phases of motion of the primary linkage. The sequencing mechanism 64 comprises a .generally triangular-shaped plate 66 having a two-directional slot 68 formed therein. The plate 66 is pivoted at 70 to the carrier member 60 and is further pivoted at 72 to a connecting link 74 which, in turn, is npivoted to the rear `guide link 51 at piv-ot 76. A fixed pin or stud 78 is mounted on the frame 38 and specifically on the side member 44 and is received Within the two-directional slot 68 of the plate 66. As the body-supporting unit is moved through its first movement phase, the connecting link 74 is effected to pivot the plate 66 in a counterclockwise direction about the pivot 70. Relative movement is thus effected -between the fixed pin 78 and the slot 68 and movement through the first movement phase is halted when the fixed .pin 78 reaches the central tbranching; point of the two-directional slot `68. It will be appreciated, of course, that the first portion of the slot 68 describes an arc about the pivot 70 and prevents upward movement of the carrier member 60 about the pivot 62. The second portion of the slot 68 is also arcuate and is defined by the movement of the plate 66 during the second movement phase.

Movement of the body-supporting unit 12 from the intermediate, tilted sitting position of FIG. 2 to the fully reclined position of FIG. 3 through the second movement phase may be seen by progressively inspecting FIGS. 2 and 3. When the plate 66 moves sufficiently such that the pin 78 is positioned at the middle of the slot 68 (see FIG. 2), the rearward motion of the `body-supporting unit 32 is substantially blocked. At that point, a further rearward shifting of the chair occupants weight is effective to pivot the body-supporting unit 32 about the pivot point 52 interconnecting the independent carrier member 48 and the rear guide link 51. The pivot point 52 serves as a stationary body-supporting unit pivot during the second movement phase. The pivotal movement. of the lbodysupporting unit 32 about the -pivot 52 constitutes the second movement phase which is halted by the abutment of the xed pin 78 against the lower end of the second portion of the slot 68 within the sequencing plate 66. It will .be appreciated that the forward portion of the carrier 7 member 60 is -tilted upwardly during the second movement phase thus allowing the front 'guide link 54 and the front of the seat 34 to raise such that the body-supporting unit 32 is moved into its fully reclined position as illustrated in FIG. 3.

In association with the primary mounting linkage 50 for moving the body-supporting unit 32 through the first and second movement phases, there is provide-d a leg-rest linkage generally designated by the numeral 80 which mounts a movable leg-rest 82 on the forward end of the independent carrier member 48 and the forward end of the seat 34. Specifically, the leg-rest linkage 80 is of the lazy tong type and includes a first pair of links 84, 86 pivotally interconnected at 88. Link 84 is pivotally connected at 90 to the forward end of the independent carrier member 48 and link 86 is pivoted at 92 to a p-oint on the leg-rest 82. A second pair of pivotally interconnected links includes the link 54a and the link 94 which are pivotally interconnected at 96. The link 54a is an extension of the front guide link 54 which, as 4described a-bove, is pivotally connected to the independent carrier member 48 at pivot 56 which is positioned rearwar-dly of the pivot 90 and is connected to the carrier -member 60 at pivot 58. The link 94 is pivotally connected at 98 to a point on the leg-rest 82 spaced from the pivotal connection 92. The two pairs of links are themselves pivotally interconnected at 100 intermediate the ends of link 84 and link 94 respectively. It will be appreciated that as the bodysupporting unit 32 is moved rearwardly through the first movement phase, i.e., as the independent carrier member 48 is moved rearwardly by the rotation of the front and rear guide links 54, 51, the front guide link 54 effectively rotates its inte-gral extension 54a in a clockwise ydirection about the pivot point 58 on the carrier member 60. This rotation coupled with the relative movement between the independent carrier member 48 and the primary mounting linkage carrier member 60 combine to actuate the leg-rest linkage 80 to swing the leg-rest 82 from its collapsed position under the seat 34 as shown in FIG. l to its extended, leg-supporting position as shown in FIG. 2. In association with the leg-rest linkage 80, there is provided a secondary leg-rest actuating means comprising the link extension 102 of the link 84 and lthe mating pin 104 positioned at the forward end of the primary linkage ca-rrier member 60. As detailed more completely in the aforementioned co-pending application, the engagement of the llink extension 102 with the pin 104 as the chair is moved from the intermediate, tilted sitting position to the upright sitting position forces the leg-rest linkage 80 to close to a more fully collapsed position than it would otherwise d-o. As explained in the aforementioned application, this assures the tight retainment of the leg-rest out of sight beneath the seat 34.

The primary mounting linkage 50 and leg-rest linkage 80 simply constitute means to move a body-supporting unit of a reclining chair from an upright sitting position through a first movement phase to an intermediate, tilted sitting position and then, through a second movement phase, to a fully reclined position with the leg-rest being elevated to a leg-supporting position during the first movement phase and maintaining its relative position with respect to the body-supporting unit during the second m-ovement phase. Such pri-mary mounting linkages and legrest linkages are lnormally employed in a multiple position rester type reclining chair. In the lounger type of chair, means are provided to mount the back-rest for movement relative to the seat such that the angle between the seat and the back-rest is automatically increased during the second movement phase.

A secondary mounting linkage, generally designated by the numeral 110, is employed according to the present invention to mount the seat 34 and back-rest 36 upon the independent carrier member 48 such that the included angle between the seat and back-rest may be varied at the will of the chair occupant and independently of the position of the primary mounting linkage 50.

The independent carrier member 48 consists of a first portion or seat portion 48a and a second portion or backrest portion 48h at a sharp angle to the first portion. In the present illustrative case, the back-rest portion 48b is at an angle of approximately to the seat portion 48a. The seat 34 is secured to a seat mounting link 112 by conventional means such as the screws 114 and the seat mounting link 112 extends substantially full length of the seat 34 from front to rear. The seat 34, through the seat mounting link 112, is pivotally connected to the independent carrier member 48 at a seat pivotal connection 116 at the forward extremity of the seat portion 48a of the carrier member 48 and at the forward extremity of seating mounting link 112. The seat pivotal connection 116 enables the seat 34 to be pivoted about its forward end and with respect to the independent carrier member 48. Similarly, a back-rest mounting link 118 is rigidly secured to the back-rest 36 by means of the screws 120 or the like. The back-rest 36, through the back-rest mounting link 118, is connected to the upper extremity of the back-rest portion 48b of the independent carrier member 48 at a back-rest pivotal connection 122. The back-rest pivotal connection 122 not only serves as a pivotal interconnection but also as a lost motion means. Specifically, a slot plate 124 is rigidly secured to the inside surfacc of the back-rest mounting link 118 and is provided with a linear slot 126. A slider block 128, pivotally mounted on the back-rest 36 at the back-rest pivotal connection 122, is received within the slot 126 such that the back-rest 36 may not only pivot about the point 122 but may also move transversely with respect to that point. The back-rest mounting link 118 and the seat mounting link 112 are joined at a seat-back-rest pivotal connection 130 such that the basic secondary mounting linkage 110 forms the equivalent of a four-bar linkage. Specifically, the independent carrier member 48 forms the stationary link of the four-bar linkage and the seat mounting link 112, the back-rest mounting link 118 and the pin and slider connection 128, 126 (the equivalent of a link) form the three movable elements of the equivalent four-bar linkage. A limit link 132 is pivotally connected to the rearward end of the seat mounting link 112 at the pivot 134 and is also connected to the independent carrier member 48 by means of a pin 136 secured to the carrier member and a slot 138 formed along the length of the limit link 132. It will be appreciated that the engagement of the pin 136 at either end of the slot 138 will effectively define the limits of movement of the secondary mounting linkage 110. Upon movement of one of the movable links, there will be a corresponding movement of the other links. Thus when the back-rest 36 is tilted further rearwardly about the back-rest pivotal connection 122, the seat 34 will pivot about the seat pivotal connection 116 to increase the angle between the seat and back-rest and the back-rest 36 will translate with respect to the slider block 128.

A more complete understanding of the inveniton will be obtained by comparing FIGS. 2 and 5. In FIG. 2 the chair 30 is shown in its intermediate, tilted sitting position with the secondary mounting linkage 110 in its position with the minimum angle between the seat and back-rest, i.e., no movement having been effected through the third movement phase. On the other hand, in FIG. 5, the chair is also shown in the intermediate, tilted sitting position but with the angle between the seat and back-rest expanded, i.e., the chair having been moved through its third movement phase. The following description of the operations of chair 30 from the upright sitting position of FIG. 1 to the intermediate, tilted sitting position of FIG. 2 and then through the third movement phase to the position shown in FIG. 5, will aid in complete comprehension of the invention. As the chair occupant urges his weight rearwardly, the body-supporting unit 32 moves rearwardly by the pivotal action of the rear guide link 51 and the front guide link 54 pivoting in a clockwise direction about their respective pivots 52, 58. This movement, defined as the first movement phase, effectively actuates the leg-rest mounting linkage 80 such that the leg-rest 82 is moved from its collapsed position beneath the seat 34 to its extended leg-supporting position as shown in FIG. 2. It will be appreciated by comparing FIGS. l and 2 that the independent carrier member 48, and therefore the seat 34 and back-rest 36, have been translated rearwardly with respect to the support 38 and have also been tilted slightly rearwardly. It will also be appreciated that the angle between the seat 34 and the back-rest 36 in the intermediate, tilted sitting position as shown in FIG. 2 is exactly the same as it was in the upright sitting position as shown in FIG. 1. When the chair occupant desires to assume a more stretched-out position with a greater angle between his legs and his body, it is simply necessary for him to straighten out his body to provide the small motivating force to the backrest 36 and to the secondary mounting linkage 110 to actuate the third movement phase. As explained above, the third movement phase may be initiated at any desired time and is essentially independent of the position of the primary mounting linkage 50. When the chair occupant so stretches out his body, pressure against the upper portions of the back-rest 36 will cause the back-rest 36 to pivot in a clockwise direction about the back-rest pivotal connection 122. A complementary counterclockwise rotation of the seat 34 and the seat mounting link 112 about the seat pivotal connection 116 will be accomplished because of the interconnection of seat mounting link 112 and the back-rest mounting link 118 at the seat-back-rest pivotal connection 130. Of course, as this motion progresses, the angle between the seat 34 and the back-rest 36 will increase. The lost motion interconnection of the slider block 128 and the slot 126 will cause the block 128 to move relative to the back-rest mounting link 118 and will specifically move toward the lower end of the slot 126. This relative movement may be readily observed by comparing FIGS. 2 and 5. The extreme to which the chair occupant can vary the angle between the seat 34 and back-rest 36 is limited by the pin 136 and slot 138 formed in the limit link 132. Specifically, the pivotal motion of the seat mounting link 112 about the seat pivotal connection 116 is halted when the link 132 moves relative to the pin 136 to bottom against the lowermost end of the slot 138. When the chair occupant desires to assume a less stretched-out position, it is merely necessary for him to move his body accordingly thereby to apply weight to the rearward end of the seat 34 and the lower end of the back-rest 36 to move the secondary mounting linkage from the position illustrated in FIG. to that illustrated in FIG. 2. This will decrease the angle between the seat 34 and back-rest 36 by reversing the motion of the body-supporting unit 32 through the third movement phase.

As illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the movement through the third movement phase offers the chair occupant a virtually infinite number of varieties of positions and enables the occupant to select that position which is most comfortable for the particular activity in which he is engaged. For example, in FIG. 4 the chair 30` is illustrated in fully reclined position and with the second- `ary mounting linkage 110 shown in its fully extended state with the angle between the seat 34 and the backrest 36 increased to the maximum degree. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the position shown in FIG. 4 is analogous to the fully reclined position which is available in the lounger type reclining chair. From the foregoing it will be appreciated this position may be reached by Lmoving the chair from the upright sitting position of FIG. 1 to the intermediate, tilted sitting position of FIG. 2 and subsequently to the fully reclined position of FIG. 3 and thereupon, the chair occupant may activate the third movement phase by appropriately arching his body to bring the chair into the position shown in FIG. 4. On the other hand, the position of FIG. 4 may be achieved by activating the third movement phase -at any desired point during the first and second movement phases and subsequently completing those movement phases to reach the fully reclined position. In FIG. 5, Ias described above, the chair is shown in its intermediate, tilted sitting position but with the seat 34 and back-rest 36 moved through the third movement phase to provide an increased angle between the seat and back-rest. Those skilled in the art will realize that the position of the chair shown in FIG. 5 was unavailable in commercial chairs according to prior art.

In addition to the specifically recited and named positions at `the intermediate, tilted sitting position, at the fully reclined position, at the minimal angle between the seat and back-rest or at the maximum angle between the seat and back-rest, the primary mounting linkage 50and the secondary mounting linkage of the chair 30 may be selectively positioned at intermediate po-ints between those defined positions. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the chair 30 is illustrated in .a position between the fully reclined position and the intermediate, tilted sitting position, i.e., partially through the second movement phase, and furthermore, the secondary mounting linkage 110 is shown as being at an arbitrary'intermediate position determined by the amount of movement `imparted thereto by the chair occupant. Since the relative weights and lengths of the several elements of a good commercial chair are carefully designed for proper balance, the chair occupant may remain in this position until such time as he desires to alter his position which may be easily accomplished by shifting his weight in a manner described above. In practice, it may be convenient to provide some friction forces in the various components of the linkage units. Specifically, it has been found desirable to add a friction device at the interconnection between the slot 68 and the pin 78 of the sequencing device 64.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that there is provided in accordance with the present invention a secondary body-supporting mounting means which may be utilize-d to provide :selective and independent positioning of the angle between the seat and back-rest of a reclining chair at any desired point of the movement of the chair provided by its primary mounting linkage. Specifically, the secondary mounting linkage according t-o the present invention may be combined with or superimposed upon any existing mounting linkage for a reclining chair in order to give the reclining chair an increased degree of fiexibility and to provide the chair occupant with increased comfort.

Although the foregoing presents a description of only one embodiment of the present invention, it will be appreciated that the specific secondary mounting linkage illustrated and described herein may be used in combination with an infinite number of primary mounting linkages and, further, that variations may be made in the secondary imounting linkage without departing from the teachings of the invention. For instance, friction means may be added, stops may be incorporated in different ways, e.g. the ends of slot 126 may be used to limit the third phase movement instead of the separate slotted link 132, etc. Therefore, the claims which follow should be interpreted broadly to be consistent with the scope of the invention and should not be restricted to the particular embodiment of the invention described herein.

What I claim is:

1. In a reclining chair having a support, the improved combination comprising a primary mounting linkage operatively connected to said support, an independent carrier member forming a link of said primary mounting linkage and yguided by said primary mounting linkage for primary movement, a secondary mounting linkage, and a body-supporting unit including ya seat and backrest mounted by said :secondary mounting linkage on said independent carrier member for movement with said independent carrier member through said primary movement and for secondary movement independent of said independent carrier member to selectively vary the angle between said seat and back-rest, said secondary mounting linkage including a seat link connected to said independent carrier member at a :seat pivotal connection, a backrest link connected to said seat at a seat-back-rest pivotal connection and further connected to said independent carrier member at a back-rest pivotal connection, and lost motion means at said back-rest pivotal connection to provide relative translation between said back-rest and said independent carrier member, said seat mounted on said seat link and said back-rest mounted on side backrest link, the included angle between said seat and said back-rest varying yas said seat and back-rest are moved through said secondary movement.

2. In a reclining chair having a support and a bodysupporting unit including a seat and a back-rest, the improved combination comprising a prim-ary mounting linkage including an independent carrier member operatively mounting said bodyasupporting unit on said support for movement through a first movement phase from an upright sitting position to an intermediate, tilted sitting position and through a second movement phase from said intermediate, tilted sitting position to a fully reclined position, and a secondary mounting linkage operatively connected between said body-supporting unit and said primary mounting linkage for moving said seat and said back-rest through a third movement phase independent of .said first and second movement phases to selectively vary the angle between said seat and back-rest, said secondary mounting linkage mounted on said independent carrier member and thereby connected to said primary mounting linkage and movable therewith, said seat connected to said independent carrier member at the forward end thereof at a seat pivotal connection, said backrest pivotally connected at its lower end to the rear of said seat at a seat-back-rest pivotal connection, said backrest connected to said independent carrier member at a back-rest pivotal connection, and means providing a lost motion interconnection at one of said pivotal connections.

3. A reclining chair comprising, in combination, a support, body-supporting means including a seat and a backrest, a leg-rest, and means mounting said seat, back-rest and leg-rest on said support for movement, said mounting means including a primary mounting linkage including an independent carrier member and a secondary mounting linkage mounted on said independent carrier member of said primary linkage, said seat and back-rest being mounted on said secondary mounting linkage, said primary -mounting linkage 4being pivotally mounted on vsaid support and having means for moving `said independent carrier -member and the attached secondary mounting linkage and seat and back-rest fnom an upright sitting position to an intermediate, tilted sitting position and then to a fully reclined position and having leg-rest mounting and activating means for moving said leg-rest from a stored position to an elevated, leg-supporting position in response to movement of said seat and back-rest from said upright sitting position to said intermediate, tilted sitting position, said secondary mounting linkage including a seat link pivoted to the front lof said independent carrier member, a back-rest link pivoted at one end to said seat link and lost motion coupling means connecting the other end of said back-rest link to the rear of said independent carrier member, said seat .being rigidly secured to said seat link and said back-'rest being rigidly secured to said backrest link.

4. A reclining chair for providing an infinite number of body positions `for a chair occupant including an arm frame, a seat and pivotally interconnected back-rest, a leg-rest, and mounting means mounting said seat, backrest and leg-rest in said frame for movement from an upright sitting lposition to an intermediate, tilted sitting posi- `tion with said leg-rest raised in a leg-supporting position and said seat and back-rest tilted slightly rearwardly with no change in the angular relationship therebetween, and to a fully reclined position with said leg-rest in its legsupporting position and said seat and back-rest tilted urther rearwardly with no change in the angular position and to an infinite number ,of positions superimposed on said intermediate, tilted sitting Iposition, said fully reclined position and all positions therebetween with the an-gle between said seat and back-rest variable at the will of the chair occupant, said mounting means comprising a first carrier member pivotally mounted at its rearward end on said frame, a second and independent carrier member, gui-de link means pivotally connected between said first carrier member and the said second carrier member, said seat and back-rest being mounted on said :second carrier member, said guide link means moving said independent carrier lmember and said seat and back-rest through a first motion phase into a slightly tilted position, a leg-rest linkage operatively interconnected with said guide link Imeans for moving said le g-rest into its leg supporting position in response to movement in said first movement phase, said first carrier member moving upwardly in a second movement phase to tilt said second carrier member and said seat and back-rest further rearwardly into a fully reclined position, sai-d Iseat mounted on said independent carrier member at the @forward end thereof at a seat pivotal connection, the rearward end of said seat being connected to said back-rest at a seat back-rest pivot, and lost motion connection means mounting said back-rest to said second carrier member 'for opening and closing the angle between said seat and back-rest for the provision of an infinite number of body positions.

5. A reclining chair .for providing van infinite number of ybody positions for a chair occupant including an arm frame, a seat and pivotally interconnected back-rest, a leg-rest, and mounting means mounting said seat, backrest and leg-rest in said frame for movement from an upright sitting position to an intermediate, tilted sitting position with said leg-rest raised in a leg-supporting position and said seat and back-rest tilted slightly rearwardly with no change in the angular relationship therebetween, and to a fully reclined position with said leg-rest in its legsupporting position and said seat and back-rest tilted further rearwardly with no change in the angular position andto an infinite number of positions superimposed on said Intermediate, tilted sitting position, said fully reclined position and all positions therebetween with the angle between said seat and back-rest variable at the will of the chair occupant, said mounting means comprising a first carrier member pivotally mounted at its rearward end on said frame, a second and independent carrier member, a guide link means pivotally connected Ibetween said first carr1er member and said second carrier member, said seat and back-rest being mounted on said second carrier member, said guide link means moving said independent carr1er member and -said seat and back-rest through a first motion phase into a slightly tilted position, a leg-rest linkage operatively interconnected with said lfront guide link means for moving said leg-rest into its leg-supporting positron 1n response t-o movement into said first movement phase, said first carrier member moving upwardly in a second movement phase to tilt said second carrier member and said seat and back-rest further rearwardly into a fully reclined position, said seat mounted on said independent carrier member at the forward end thereof at a seat pivotal connection, the rearward end of said seat bemg connected to said back-rest at a seat back-rest pivot, and lost moti-on connection means mounting said back-rest to said second carrier member, said seat, back-rest and lost motion means serving as the three movable links of a four-bar secondary mounting linkage with said second carrier member serving as the stationary link thereof for opening and closing the angle between said seat and positions.

`6. A reclining chair for providing an infinite number of body positions for a chair occupant including an arm frame, a seat and pivotally interconnected back-rest, a leg-rest, and mounting means mounting said seat, backrest and leg-rest in -said frame for movement :from an upright sitting position to an intermediate, tilted sittin-g position with said legrest raised in a leg-supporting position and said seat and back-rest tilted slightly rearwardly with no change in the angular relationship therebetween, and to a fully reclined position with said leg-rest in its legsupporting p-osition and said seat and back-rest tilted furthe-r rearwardly with no change in the angular position and to an innite number of positions superimposed on said intermediate, tilted `sitting position, said `fully reclined position and all positions therebetween with the angle between said seat and back-rest increased at the will of the chair occupant, said mounting means comprising a rst carrier member pivotally mounted at its rearward end on said frame, a second and independent carrier member, a front guide link pivotally connected to said rst carrier member and the forward portion of said second carrier member, a rear guide link pivotally connected to said support and the rearward portion of -said second carrier member, -said seat and back-rest being 'mounted on said second carrier member, said front and rear guide links moving said independent carrier member and said seat and back-rest through a rst motion phase into a slightly tilted position, a leg-rest linkage operatively interconnected with said front guide link, said leg-rest and said support for moving said leg-rest into its leg-supporting position in response to movement of said front Aguide link in said rst movement phase, said -rst carrier member moving upwardly in a second movement phase to tilt said second carrier member and said seat and back-rest further rearwardly into a fully reclined position, said seat mounted on said independent carrier member at the lforward end thereof at a seat pivotal connection, the rearward end of said seat being connected to said back-rest at a seat backrest pivot, and lost motion connection means mounting said back-rest to said second carrier member, said seat, back-rest and lost motion means serving as the three movable links of a four-bar secondary mounting linkage with said :second carrier member serving as the stationary link thereof for opening and closing the angle ,between said seat and back-rest `for the provision of an innite number of body positions.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 121,941 12/1871 Hastings 297-83 268,941 12/1882 Sands 297-29 296,931 4/1884 `Cupp 5-47 X 868,052 10/1907 Wilmot 5-37 X 984,709 2/1911 Ruggles 5-37 3,087,754 4/ 1963 Fletcher 297-89 3,096,121 7/1963 Knabusch et al. 297-269 3,135,548 6/1964 Fletcher 297-89 FOREIGN PATENTS 200,751 7/ 1957 Austria.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

F. ZUGEL, Assistanl Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US296931 *Jul 19, 1883Apr 15, 1884 Combined platform-rocker and reclining-chair
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3858932 *May 23, 1973Jan 7, 1975Legget & Platt IncReclining chair assembly
US4249772 *Jul 3, 1979Feb 10, 1981Rogers Walter C JrWall-avoiding recliner chair
US4376316 *Dec 31, 1980Mar 15, 1983Joerns Furniture CompanyHinge for adjustable beds and the like
US4863215 *Nov 30, 1988Sep 5, 1989Leggett & Platt, IncorporatedAction furniture mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/85.00R, 297/322
International ClassificationA47C1/0355, A47C1/035
Cooperative ClassificationA47C1/0352, A47C1/0355
European ClassificationA47C1/0355, A47C1/035D