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Publication numberUS3311932 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1967
Filing dateAug 8, 1963
Priority dateAug 8, 1963
Publication numberUS 3311932 A, US 3311932A, US-A-3311932, US3311932 A, US3311932A
InventorsElmer E Ahola
Original AssigneeElmer E Ahola
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Berth-settee combination
US 3311932 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 4, 1967 E. E. AHOLA I 3,311,932


.ipw il ATTORN E YS April 4, 1967 E. E. AHOLA BERTH-SETTEE COMBINATION 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 8, 1963 w m w m ELMER E. AHOLA ATTORNEYS April 4, 1967 E. E. AHOLA BERTH-SETTEE COMBINATION Filed Aug. 8, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. ELMER E. AHOLA BY SZZQJ AT ORNEYS April 4, 1967 E. E. AHOLA BERTH-SETTEE COMBINATION 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Aug. 8, 1963 ELMER E. AHOLA INVENTOR.

guapflg ATTORNEYS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 8, 1963 ELMER E. AHOLA INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofiice Patented Apr. 4, 1967 3,311,932 BERTH-SETTEE COMBINATIUN Elmer E. Ahola, Seattle, Wash.

(5611 208th SW., Lynnwood, Wash. 98036) Filed Aug. 8, 1963, Ser. No. 300,808 7 Claims. (Cl. --9) This invention relates to improvements in what has herein been designated to be a berth-settee combination. More particularly, it relates to improvements in those features of construction of the combination of parts that permits that particular member which serves as a back rest when in the settee adjustment, to be readjusted and secured for use as an upper bunk and incident to such adjustment, adapts the bottom or seat portion of the settee for use as a lower bunk.

It is one of the principal objects of this invention to provide a combination, as above stated, that is neat and attractive in appearance; that is easily converted from either of its two adjustments to the other; and is equipped with conveniently placed and easily operable latching means for holding its adjustable member in either adjustment.

Another of the principal objects of the invention resides in the provision of novel spring powered means that becomes properly tensioned, incident to the adjustment of the upper bunk forming member from its raised position to that position at which it serves as a back rest for the settee, that it will serve effectively as a towering means for automatically lifting this bunk forming member from its settee adjustment, back to that position at which it serves as the upper bunk.

Further objects and advantages of the invention reside in the novel details of construction of various parts embodied in this complete unit and in their combination and manner of use, as will hereinafter be described and set forth in the claims which terminate the specification.

In accomplishing the above mentioned and other objects of the invention, I have provided the improved details of construction, the preferred forms of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein- FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present berthsettee combination, with its parts in the settee adjustment.

FIG. 2 is a similar view of the combination with its parts in that adjustment that provides them for use as upper and a lower bunk.

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-section of the unit, with its bunk forming parts in the berth adjustment of FIG. 2.

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of the upper bunk frame structure, with bedding removed, and showing the interior angle iron frame structure and the supporting rollers at one end of the bunk frame.

FIG. 4 is a detail of one of the upper bunk latching means.

FIG. 5 is an underside plan view of the rectangular angle iron frame structure of the upper bunk, showing the location and relationship of the supporting rollers at its ends; the securing latches at its ends-and the latch releasing handle means.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmental portion of an end of the spring tensioned shaft employed to aid in upper bunk lifting.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the bunk latch releasing handle.

FIG. 8 is a cross-section on line 8-8 in FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 is an elevational view of one of the paired bunk supporting trackway assemblies as contained within the end wall panels of the main housing or frame structure of the unit.

FIG. 10 is a fragmental, sectional detail of a part of a trackway with one of the bunk supporting spring tensioned rollers contained therein FIG. 11 is an enlarged, sectional detail, taken on line 1111 in FIG. 9, showing the trackway as mounted between spaced wall panel forming plates, and a portion of the upper bunk and one of its supporting rollers.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view of the settee back forming member and upper bunk.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a part of an upper bunk latch and bumper member.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a guard rail as hingedly applied to the outside wall of the upper bunk.

Referring more in detail to the drawings:

Explanatory to use of the invention, it will here be stated that units of the present kind have been designed especially for and have been installed in ferries that are presently in operation between parts of the states of Washington and Alaska, to afford travel comfort for passenger who use these ferries; this combination unit being especially desirable because it may be readily converted from its normal daytime use as a settee, to an upper and lower bunk facility for night time use. However, the application and use of such units is not necessarily confined to ferry boats, since it is adaptable, without material change in construction, to various other forms of transportation; as well as for use in homes, hotels, motels, cabins and the like.

In its present showing, the combination, considered as a unit, includes a supporting frame structure, housing or enclosure that is comprised by opposite end wall panels 1t ]ltl and a back wall panel 11; these panels being suitably joined to house and support between the opposite end wall panels thereof, the two principal elements of the berth-settee combination namely a lower bunk, designated in its entirety by reference numeral 13. The presently preferred construction of the back wall panel is made up of two sheet metal plates 11a and 11b, spaced slightly apart and rigidly joined in that spacing by suitable means that may be applied along their longitudinal edges and other points as may be required. The opposite end wall panels 19-10 are of a construction similar to that of the back wall panel 11 and these three wall forming parts, as thus formed, are joined to define the three sides of the housing or compartment as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

It is to be noted in the several views, especially in FIG. 3, that the box-like frame structure 12b of the lower bunk 12 designated by reference numeral 12b, is fixedly supported horizontally from the opposite end wall panels 10-416 and back wall somewhat above the floor level, thus to provide an open space 14 immediately beneath it for storage of hand baggage and packages such as are usually carried by passengers or travelers. It is also to be noted that the lower bunk 12 is of such width as to extend slightly from the open front of the enclosure housing it, to the back Wall panel; the width of this lower bunk normally being approximately 36" and its length being approximately The upper bunk 13, as shown in FIG. 3, also has a box-like frame structure 135, as well shown in FIG. 3, which has approximately the same length, width and depth as the frame 12 of the lower bunk, but which is adjustably mounted for purposes that will presently be described in detail.

On what will be referred to as its front side, the rectangular frame structure 13b, as best shown in FIG. 12, is fitted with a back rest cushion 18 that is indicated as being of the conventional, overstuffed and tufted formation for comfort in use and to present a pleasing apearance. The top longitudinal edge portion of this cushion terminates somewhat below the corresponding top edge of the bunk frame and a metal plate or panel 19 is applied to the frame to close this space, as is well shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 12. FIG. 12 further shows that the cushion 18 has a plywood backing panel 20 that bears against one or more arcuately, outwardly bowed spring brace bars 21 that are fixed in and extend across the frame structure 13!).

It is further to be observed in FIGS, 3a and 12 that the rectangular box-frame 13b includes, within its lower edge periphery, a rigidly secured, rectangular angle iron frame 22 to which bedding supporting spring members 23 serving this bunk are attached as best shown in FIG. 5, the bedding being shown as applied to the bunks in FIG. 2, but FIG. 3 is represented by the dash line rectangle 24.

It is to be understood that the lower bunk frame 12b, which is similar in general construction to the structure of upper bunk frame 13b, is rigidly fixed in position as shown in FIG. 1, but the upper bunk is movably supported for adjustment between the positions in which it has been shown, respectively, in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The specific means provided for the adjustable support of the upper bunk comprises paired right and left end trackways 2525 which are fixed within the end wall panels 10-10 between the spaced inside and outside plates ltla and 10b thereof, as shown in FIG. 11 and in which trackways, rollers 26 and 27, applied to each of the opposite ends of the bunk frame, as noted in FIGS. 3 and 9, are contained for support and travel of the bunk as required for its before mentioned adjustments.

The trackways 25-25, as applied respectively within the opposite end wall panels 1010 are alike in structure and mode of application; each, as shown in FIG. 9 comprises a substantially horizontal channel-like upper rail or trackway 30 and a downwardly directed, forwardly inclined back rail or trackway 31, of similar construction as best shown in FIG. 9. Each rail has a cross-sectional channel formation, as shown in FIG. 11, wherein it is noted that the back wall 29 of the channel has parallel, outwardly turned edge flanges 2929 that terminate in inwardly turned edge flanges 29 The inclined rail 31 and the top rail 30 have ends joined or disposed in close, angular relationship, as shown best in FIGS. 9 and 10. The back rail 31 is downwardly and forwardly inclined so as to give the back rest cushion, as seen in FIG. 3 the desired angle of slope, when adjusted to the settee combination. The bunk supporting and guiding rollers 26 and 27, as applied to opposite end members of the bunk frame 311] as in FIG. 3a are contained, respectively, for limited travel in the track rails 30 and 31. The limits of travel of the rollers 26 in their respective rails 30 is indicated, in FIG. 5, by the dash line circles 26a and 26b; these being those located near the outer edge of the bunk. Likewise, the limits of travel in tracks 31 of rollers 2727 which are located near the back side of the bunk, is indicated at 27a and 27b. For better understanding it will be pointed out that rollers 26 never leave the channeled rail 30, and the rollers 27 never leave the channeled rails 31 in the upper bunk adjustments.

A main feature of this invention resides in the spring powered bunk lifting shaft 40 which is best shown in FIG- URES and 6 to be contained longitudinally of the bunk structure 13b and to be rotatably mounted in the end members of the angle iron frame structure 22 as applied and secured within the bunk 13b. This shaft 40 is mounted in the bunk frame, across what would be considered the lower longitudinal edge portion thereof, as viewed in FIG. 12, or backside edge of the bunk, as seen in FIG. 3, and it extends from end to end of the bunk; one end portion of this shaft being shown enlarged in FIG. 6 and shown in its entirety in FIG. 5 wherein it is noted that the opposite end portions of the shaft have wheel mounting axle portions 41 extending therefrom and rotatably through the end walls of the bunk and with the rollers 27 fixedly mounted thereon at their outer ends.

It is to be understood that the rollers 2626, as mounted on opposite end walls of the bunk 13 are freely rotatably on stub axles 26x that project outwardly from the bunk angle frame 22, as seen in FIG. 5, and are contained for travel in the trackway 30 between the limitations designated at 26a and 26b in FIG. 9. It is also to be explained that the inside wall plates 10a of the end panels 101 of the compartment or housing are slotted only as required for the passage and movement of the wheel mounting axles 26x and 41 along the trackways, while keeping the trackways covered.

It is to be understood also that the power shaft 40, as shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 is made up of a tubular shaft 40t that extends substantially the full length of the bunk between its end walls and which, at its opposite ends, mounts the stub axles 4141 therein which extend rotatably through bearings or bushings 40b in the end walls of the bunk and at their outer ends fixedly mount the rollers 2727 thereon for guided travel in the op posite end trackways 3131, as contained within the end wall panels 1010. In the foregoing consideration of shaft 40, the axles 4'1-41 wheels 2727 and tubular shaft 401 are considered as a unit and rotate together as a unit.

Fixed to the rollers 2727 and spirally Wound there on, as in FIG. 10, are flat steel tapes 42 which, at their outer ends are each formed with a hook 43 that is holdingly applied over the top edge flange of the coirespond ing trackway 31 in which the rollers are guided, as has there been illustrated. Medially of its opposite ends, the shaft 40 has a cylindrical collar 44 fitted thereon and normally fixed thereto. This collar is rotatably supported in a plate 45 that is welded in the back member of angle iron frame 22 as seen best in FIG. 6; Adjacent each of its opposite ends, the tubular shaft 40 has a collar 46 fitted thereon and normally secured against [relative rotation by a set screw 47 that extends, as best shown in FIG. 6, through the collar and tube 40t into the inner end portion of the corresponding stub axle 41 to retain their fixed relationship. Applied to the shaft 40t between these collars 46 and the central collar 44 are coiled springs 4848 with their inner ends secured respectively, in the opposite ends of collar 44 and at their outer ends likewise secured to the collars 46-46, as' has been shown in FIG. 6; these two springs being secured under torsion that acts in such direction as to tend to wind the tapes 4242 onto their respective rollers 2727 as in FIG. 10. Torsion, as may be required for bunk lifting, may be adjusted by proper adjustable rota tion of collar 44 on shaft 402; which collar 44 is nor mally held against rotation by a set screw 44x, which is shown in FIG. 6 to be threaded through a laterally turned flange 45x on the collar containing plate 45.

With the bunk 14 thus equipped with cross-shaft 40 and the torsion springs 48-48 as above explained, it is apparent that when this bunk is caused to be moved from its fully raised position of FIG. 3 to its position of FIG. 1, the downward movement of its opposite end rollers 2727 in their trackways 3131 will cause the M1369 42-42 to be drawn out therefrom thus to rotate li rollers and shaft 401 accordingly in such direction as to add greater torsion to the springs 48-48. With the full lowering of the bunk to its settee adjustment, its top corner portions will engage against a pair of cushioning bumpers 49-49, shown in FIG. 3 to be mounted at the upper ends of a pair of short angle iron bars 5050, as seen in FIG. 13, to support the bunk in its settee adjustment. The bars 50-50 are fixed vertically to the back wall panel bars, at the locations shown in FIG. 3.

When the bunk 13 is lifted from its settee adjustment to its upper berth forming position, the stored up torsion in the two springs 4848 is applied to shaft 40 and the rollers 2727 which are secured thereto, to wind the tapes on the rollers and thus to lift the bunk to its horizontal position of FIGS. 2 and 3.

With the upward swinging of the bunk 13 to its horizontal position of use, it becomes automatically latched, at each of its ends, by spring actuated latches 55-55 that are mounted at the under sides of the end members 22c of the angle iron frame 22 as applied to the bunk 13. These latches 55 are shown in FIG. 5 to be fixed on the ends of mounting rods 5-6 slidable in bearings 57 that are mounted on the angle iron members, 222, and actuated by coil springs 53 applied about and acting against the rods to extend the latches beyond the inner or back wall of the bunk for latching engagement with inturned flanges 59 formed on the lower ends of the angle bar member 5ll5{l as has been illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 13.

The latches 55 may be manually released from the flanges 59, for bunk lowering, by a pair of pull wires 6tl 60 attached to the rods 56 and extended therefrom through tubular guides 61-61 to a central portion at the front of the bunk where they are connected as shown in FIG. 7, to a short link 62 that has pivotal connection, with the outer end of a radial arm 63 fixed to the mounting shaft 64 of a handle member 64 positioned for easy access to an attendant.

If it is desired, or required, the bunk may be releasably held in its settee adjustment as seen in FIG. 3, by a magnetic latch applied to its top edge position, medially of its ends as indicated at 66 in FIG. 3. It is further anticipated that the upper bunk 13b may be provided at its forward edge with retaining rails as shown at 79 in FIG. 14 to prevent any accidental falling of a sleeper from the bunk. These rails are hinged for folding inwardly when the bunk is to be lowered to its settee adjustment.

I claim:

1. In a settee-berth combination of the character described, a housing comprising vertical back and opposite end walls, a lower bunk fixed horizontally in said housing and extending between its opposite end walls, an upper bunk forming frame structure extending between said opposite end walls and equipped at each of its opposite ends with a forwardly disposed supporting roller and with a rearwardly disposed supporting roller, a track fixed to each of said opposite end walls and extending substantially horizontally thereacross and containing the corresponding forwardly disposed roller therein for its support and guided travel, a track fixed to each of said opposite end walls in a vertical direction and containing the corresponding rearwardly disposed supporting roller therein for guided travel; said upper bunk being guided by its end rollers in the travel in said trackways in the adjustment of the upper bunk between its horizontal position of use and that inclined position of use at which it serves with the lower bunk in the formation thereby of a settee.

2. A combination according to claim 11 wherein said rearwardly disposed guiding rollers have spring tensioned means directly associated therewith that is caused to be additionally tensioned, incident to the movement of said upper bunk from its horizontal position of use to its inclined settee adjustment, to apply lifting force to said upper bunk for its adjustment back to horizontal position from its settee adjustment.

3. A combination according to claim 1 wherein a powered shaft extends from end to end of said upper bunk frame structure adjacent its rearward wall and rotatably through its opposite end walls, and fixedly mounts said rearward rollers thereon on its ends, tapes wound on said rearward rollers and fixed, at their outer ends, to the top ends of the corresponding trackways; at least one torsion spring applied about said shaft with one end fixed to the shaft and its opposite end fixed to the bunk frame structure, tapes wound on said rearward rollers with their outer ends fixed to the top ends of the corresponding trackways whereby the lowering of said upper bunk to its inclined position causes said rearward rollers to be rotated for increasing the torsion of said spring.

4. A combination according to claim 3 wherein a collar is applied to said cross-shaft between its ends for axial rotation thereon and has a releasable securing means for normally holding it against relative rotation thereon, and torsion springs applied about opposite end portions of said shaft, each with its outer end fixed to the shaft and its inner end anchored in said collar, and wherein adjustment of torsion of said springs may be effected upon temporary release of said collar on said cross-shaft and its rotary adjustment on said shaft.

5. A combination according to claim 3 wherein latching means is provided in the upper bunk frame structure in coacting relationship with means applied to the housing structure for releasably retaining the upper bunk structure in either position of its adjustment, and means for releasing said latching means.

6. In a combination of the character described wherein a berth forming structure is mounted for adjustment between a lowered, on-edge position, at which it serves as a back unember for a settee, and a raised horizontal position, at which its serves as an upper bunk; and a rotatable mounted lifting shaft extending longitudinally of said bunk and is equipped with tape winding wheels fixed axially thereon at its end, tapes wound in said wheels with their outer ends extending upwardly and secured to supports located above the raised position of said bunk, coiled torsion springs applied to said shaft with one end of each fixed thereto and their other ends fixed to the bunk; said springs being placed under bunk lifting torsion with the turning of said shaft and wheels fixed thereon incident to lowering of said bunk to its on-edge adjustrnent.

7. A combination according to claim 6 wherein said lifting shaft has a collar rotatably adjustable thereon between its ends and between the torsion springs as applied to said shaft, and to which collar the adjacent ends of said springs are secured for the establishing of spring adjustment with the rotatable adjustment of said collar.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,854,672 10/1958 Hagstrom 59 2,891,255 6/1959 Simmons 5--9 3,027,571 4/ 1962 Bendixen et al 5-9 X 3,184,776 5/1965 Moritude 5118 3,191,194 6/1965 Grfin 5-9 FOREIGN PATENTS 216,201 5/ 1924 Great Britain.

33,454- 10/1855 Germany.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

JAMES T; MCCALL, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2854672 *May 10, 1955Oct 7, 1958Gordon M HagstromFolding couch bunk-bed
US2891255 *Apr 25, 1956Jun 23, 1959James R SimmonsSofa-bunk bed
US3027571 *Oct 23, 1959Apr 3, 1962Bendixen Bendix IvarArticles of furniture
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*DE33454C Title not available
GB216201A * Title not available
Referenced by
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US3747134 *Feb 11, 1972Jul 24, 1973J MontiagueConvertible sofa
US3748667 *Mar 29, 1971Jul 31, 1973JuveniliaConvertible piece of furniture with double-decker beds
US3772716 *Aug 26, 1971Nov 20, 1973Ratcliff JConvertible bed
US3811138 *May 30, 1972May 21, 1974Tri Way Ind IncConvertible berth
US3828374 *Dec 21, 1972Aug 13, 1974Tri Way Ind IncConvertible berth
US3863280 *Dec 6, 1973Feb 4, 1975Hoover Seng CoSettee-bed with backrest convertible to an upper bed
US4555821 *Apr 30, 1984Dec 3, 1985Page Elwin HSofa-bunk bed combination
US4999864 *Apr 9, 1990Mar 19, 1991Crews Paul BBed movable to plural positions
US5875502 *Jan 14, 1998Mar 2, 1999Kolbenstetter; GarySpace saving institutional bed
US6611973 *May 15, 2002Sep 2, 2003Michelle D. ConnellBed structure with storage area
US6966080Mar 18, 2003Nov 22, 2005Connell Michelle DBed structure with storage area
US7051384 *Nov 4, 2004May 30, 2006Hickory Springs Manufacturing CompanyFoldable bed with foldable guardrail
US7367069May 27, 2004May 6, 2008Connell Michelle DLifting mechanism for a bed deck
US7543340 *Nov 19, 2004Jun 9, 2009Volvo Trucks North AmericaDual berth invertible bunk
US7774872 *Dec 4, 2008Aug 17, 2010Sanders Jr JamesFold down loft bed with modular furniture
US8544124 *Aug 20, 2009Oct 1, 2013Choon Bae YoonTurning apparatus for multipurpose space utilization furniture
US20110145990 *Aug 20, 2009Jun 23, 2011Choon Bae YoonTurning apparatus for multipurpose space utilization furniture
DE19723093A1 *Jun 2, 1997Dec 3, 1998Hubert KurzVariable recliner for bathing cubicles
DE19723093B4 *Jun 2, 1997Mar 12, 2009Ruku Gmbh & Co. KgVariable Liege für Badekabinen
EP0565071A1 *Apr 7, 1993Oct 13, 1993OGGIONI OGNIFLEX S.r.L.Piece of furniture selectively convertible into a bed and into a desktop
WO2006055005A1 *Nov 19, 2004May 26, 2006Balicki Brian DavidDual berth invertible bunk
U.S. Classification5/9.1, 296/65.17, 296/69
International ClassificationA47C17/16
Cooperative ClassificationA47C19/205
European ClassificationA47C19/20D