US 3288525 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 29, 1966 D. B. CERF 3,288,525
ORTHOPEDI C CHAIR Filed May 17, 1965 INVENTOR. 3 00mm 8- C6 United States Patent M 3,288,525 ORTHDPEDIC CHAIR Donald B. Cerf, 309 E. Live Oak, San Gabriel, Calif. Filed May 17, 1965, Ser. No. 456,352
Claims. (Cl. 297284) This invention relates generally to chair structures, and in particular to an orthopedic chair having a seat and a back whose contours are adjustable to conform these elements to the special requirement of an occupant.
The conventional baby chair is constituted by a seat, a back and side arms, the chair usually including a foot rest and a safety belt to strap the child within the chair. It is desirable from the orthopedic standpoint, for the child to maintain an erect posture within the chair, for prolonged slumping may lead to deformity. But the spine of a baby is so flexible and almost rubber-like that he literally collapses in an unsupported chair of ordinary design, and all that restrains him from sliding completely out of his seat is the safety belt. This problem is encountered not merely in very young infants, but also in babies up to the age of twenty-four months.
Heretofore, attempts have been made to shape the chair to conform to the contour of a user. However, While it is possible to impart a contour to a chair suitable for a particular child or older person, this contour may not be appropriate to another person or to the child as he grows and changes in contour.
Accordingly, it is the major object of this invention to provide an orthopedic chair whose seat and back have a contour which is readily adaptable to conform these elements to the unique requirement of a particular user. While the invention will be described in the context of a baby chair, it will be appreciated that the underlying principles thereof are fully applicable to orthopedic chairs of larger size intended for older children or adults.
More specifically, the object of this invention is to provide a chair whose seat and back have a contour which may be conformed exactly to the posterior and spinal curvature of a particular user, whereby the seated individual is properly supported in a comfortable and orthopedically approved posture.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a chair of the above-described type which is of strong and long lasting construction and yet may be manufactured and sold at relatively low cost.
Briefly stated, these objects are accomplished in a chair whose cushioned seat and back are constituted by a rigid backing and a flexible diaphragm, between which is sandwiched a layer of elastomeric material, such as foam rubber, means being provided to impart a curvature to the diaphragm producing the desired contour.
For a better understanding of the invention, as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following detailed specification to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein like elements in the several views are identified by like reference numerals.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the chair, with the side arms omitted;
FIG. 3 is a section taken through the back of the chair in the plane indicated by line 33 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a section taken through the plane indicated by lines 44 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 shows schematically the contour imparted to the chair seat and back for an infant of relatively large size;
FIG. 6 shows the contour imparted to the same chair for an infant of smaller size; and
3,288,525 Patented Nov. 29, 1966 FIG. 7 shows a child in a conventional chair.
Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 7 which shows an infant F in a conventional chair having a flat seat S and a straight back B, as well as a foot rest R, it will be seen that since theinfant is unsupported he occupies the chair in a slumped position, with a pronounced curvature to his spine. Orthopedically, this position is highly undesirable. Moreover, unless the infant is strapped to the chair, there is a likelihood that he will slide out of the chair and possibly injure himself.
We shall now consider a chair in accordance with the invention, as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, and as represented schematically in FIGS. 5 and 6. The orthopedic chair is constituted by a seat, generally designated by numeral 10, a back 11, side arms 12 and 13 and a foot rest 14, which ICC is only partially shown.
1 whereas the stuffed section 15 may be filled with cotton batting 16 or similar material and covered with leather.
Within the arms of the stuffed section 15 there is placed an insert constituted by a diphragm 17 of flat spring material, which may be of sheet metal or plastic, the diaphragm being covered with a ribbed pad 18. Interposed between the diaphragm and the backing is a layer 19 of elastomeric material, which may be polyurethane, polyvinyl or rubber foam. Because of the compressible nature of the foam, it fills the space behind the diaphragm, regardless of how the diaphragm is contoured.
Attached to the rear of the diaphragm 17 at vertically spaced positions are three coupling plates 20, 21 and 22 having channels indented therein. Extending rearwardly from these plates are threaded rods 23, 24 and 25 whose ends are keyed to the channel portions of the plates, the rods passing through internally threaded inserts 26, 27 and 23 embedded in the backing and terminating in control knobs 29, 30 and 31.
Thus by rotating each of the knobs 29, 30 and 31, the portion of the diaphragm which is operatively coupled thereto by the associated rod is caused to be flexed outwardly or inwardly, depending on the direct-ion of rotation. In this way, since the three rods are disposed at the center and adjacent the upper and lower ends of the diaphragm, respectively, the diaphragm may be caused to assume various configurations, depending on the relative adjustment of the rods.
For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the diaphragm and hence that portion of the chair back which engages the back of the child may be caused to assume a concave configuration. On the other hand, as shown schematically in FIG. 6, the back may be contoured to follow the back curvature of a relatively large infant, with the upper rod causing the diaphragm to conform to the small of the back of the infant, with the other rods adjusted accordingly. But in FIG. 6, with a shorter infant, it is the center rod which is turned in to the greatest extent in order to accommodate the small of the back which occupies a lower position than in FIG. 5.
It will be seen that the back 11 is pivotally connected to the seat 10' by hinge 32, the angular position of the back being adjustable to provide the most comfortable seating arrangement. The seat construction is similar to that of the back, and is therefore not shown in detail. It differs from the back mainly in the fact that in lieu of three adjusting rods, only one, 34, need be provided, in order, as shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, to raise a portion of the seat to an extent forming a concavity to receive the posterior of the occupant. The angle of the foot rest 14 may also be made adjustable.
Thus it becomes possible to adjust the curvature both of the seat and the back and thereby contour the chair to conform to the needs of the occupant.
While there has been shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious that many changes may be made therein without departing from the essential features of the invention as defined in the annexed claims.
What I claim is:
1. An orthopedic chair having a seat and a back, said seat and said back each having a cont-curable portion constituted by a rigid backing, 1a flexible diaphragm and an elastomeric layer interposed therebetween, and means to impart a curvature to the diaphragm producing a desired contour appropriate to a particular occupant, said means acting on the diaphragm on the back being constituted by a plurality of rods coupled at spaced positions to said diaphragm and projecting rearwardly through the rigid backing, the axial positions of said rods with respect to said rigid backing being adjustable to impart a curvature to said diaphragm whose profile conforms to the back curvature of the occupant.
2. A chair as set forth in claim 1, wherein said diaphragm is of flat spring metal.
3. A chair as set forth in claim 1, wherein said layer is formed of polyurethane foam.
4. A chair as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said rods is constituted by a threaded rod, one end of which is coupled to said diaphragm, the rod rearward ly passing through said backing and terminating in a control knob.
5. A chair :as set forth in claim 1, further including an adjustable foot rest.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,527,754 2/1925 Simon 128-44 2,139,028 12/1938 Mensendicck et a1. 297284 2,664,143 12/1953 Li Calsi 297-154 X 2,991,124 7/1961 Schwarz 297284 3,095,188 6/1963 Giese 297460 X 3,112,137 11/1963 Drenth 297--284 3,155,425 11/1964 Chreist 297254 X 3,198,578 8/1965 Geoffrey et .al. 297456 FOREIGN PATENTS 557,421 5/ 1957 Belgium.
939,909 9/1961 Great Britain.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Examiner.