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Publication numberUS3314384 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 18, 1967
Filing dateAug 30, 1965
Priority dateAug 30, 1965
Publication numberUS 3314384 A, US 3314384A, US-A-3314384, US3314384 A, US3314384A
InventorsSteel William Garfield, Stuart N Mann
Original AssigneeHard Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Over-bed table
US 3314384 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1967 s. NIMANN' ETAL OVER BED TABLE Filed Aug. 30, 1965 INVENTORS STUART MAN/V 8 W/LL/AM GAAF/ELD 5725 62 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,314,384 OVER-BED TABLE Stuart N. Mann, Derby, and William Garfield Steel, Tonawanda, N.Y., assignors to The Hard Manufacturing Co., Buffalo, N.Y.

Filed Aug. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 483,452 4 Claims. (Cl. 108-146) This invention relates to over-bed tables such as are commonly used in conjunction with hospital beds and for analogous purposes.

Over-bed tables, sometimes referred to in the art as cantilever tables, generally comprise a base of substantial length mounted upon casters and a table top generally overlying the base. A column extends vertically between the base and the table top at one end of the base and a corresponding end of the table top so that the table may be rolled up to the side of the bed with the base extending beneath the bed and the table top extending over the surface of the bed and over an occupant of the bed.

It is desirable that beds of this type be vertically adjustable to dispose the table top at various heights to suit the convenience of the user and other variable factors. The present invention relates particularly to the construction of the adjustable column upon which the table top is supported and more particularly to the means for adjusting the same and for retaining the table top at the desired adjusted height.

Furthermore, the means for locking the table top in various positions is such that the table top position is infinitely adjustable throughout the effective range by means housed within the telescoping column members whereby the lower fixed column and the upper movable column telescope freely and fully and the exposed portions thereof are fully encased in all positions of vertical adjustment.

An important object of the present invention is attained by providing manual means for releasing the height adjustment locking means which is quickly and conveniently accessible. Moreover, release is automatically effected when, through inadvertence, the bed is raised upwardly while the table top is in an interfering position thereover, so that the bed then carries the table top upwardly therewith.

Due to the arrangement of the release means this automatic release will be properly effected despite variations in the position of the obstruction on the bed which causes the release, as when a patients limb extends beneath the table top in various locations on the bed.

Heretofore release means have been provided in the form of handles which must be raised or otherwise manipulated in order to release the locking means in order to adjust the vertical height of the table either upward or downward. Handles have been provided below the table top adjacent to the vertical column supporting the table, whereby if a patients bed is inadvertently raised while the table top remains directly above the bed, the bed or a part of the patients body may contact the handle and move it upwardly, actuating the release means and thus unlocking the table and permitting upward movement thereof. This presupposes and requires that a high point on the bed, as for instance a part of the patients body, is in registry with the release handle to engage the same.

An important object of the present invention is to provide a much simpler means of releasing the table top for vertical movement, thus eliminating the need for the relatively complex system of handles and their associated levers connected with the release means. While the release means of the prior art was actuated only by the raising of such handles, the present invention initiates the unlocking of the releasing means in response to an upward force against any part of the lower side of the 3,314,384 Patented Apr. 18, 1967 table top. Whereas the handles of the prior art were disposed only at certain portions of the length of the table, the present invention, by making the release mechanism responsive to any upward force applied to the table top no matter where such upward force is applied to such table top, eliminates firstly, the need for any handles, secondly, the awkwardness of stooping to reach such handles or the need to Walk around the patients bed in order to reach the handles, and thirdly, the risk involved in striking the bottomside of the table with either the patients limbs or the bed itself at a point where there is no handle to unlock the releasing mechanism.

While a single specific embodiment of the principles of the present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing and described in detail in the following specification, it is to be understood that such embodiment is by way of example only and that various mechanical modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of which is limited only as defined in the appended claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a general side elevational view of one form of the over-bed table of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the upright support portion of the structure in FIG. I viewed from the right of FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale and with portions of the casing broken away for added illustration;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal cross-sectional view taken approximately on the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the mid portion of FIG. 2 shown in cross section on a vertical central plane; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the uppermost portion of the upright support shown in FIG. 2.

Like characters of reference denote like parts throughout the several figures of the drawings and referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the numeral 10 designates a base member having casters 11 at its corners and the numeral 12 designates a table top. The latter is supported upon the base 10 by a vertically adjustable post or column structure designated generally by the numeral 13.

As is conventional, the column 13 is located at one end of the base 10 and the corresponding end of the overlying table ,top 12 whereby the apparatus may be moved up to a bed with the table top projecting over the bed area. The vertically adjustable column structure 13 comprises a lower portion fixed to and extending upwardly from base 10 and an upper portion fixed to and depending from table top 12 and adapted to telescope over the lower portion.

Referring first to such lower portion of column 13, a U-shaped bracket 15 is bolted directly to base 10 and a pair of rigid bars 16 are fixed to bracket 15 and extend upwardly therefrom as clearly shown in FIG. 3. A pair of strap members 17 having flanged ends as at 18 are fixed across the upper ends of bars 16 to rigidity the lower column structure. A pair of vertically spaced antifriction rollers 19 is fixed to each of the upright bars 16 to guide the upper telescoping portion of column 13 for vertical movement in a manner which will presently appear.

The portion of the lower fixed column structure which is exposed when the upper column structure in raised to maximum height is enclosed by a rectangular upright casing 20 consisting of a three-sided sheet metal member 21 and a plate 22 which encloses the fourth side of the column structure. The member 21 has longitudinal edge flanges which engage over plate 22 to form a casing of box section. The upper end of plate 22 and the upper medial wall portion of member 21 are fixed against the outside surfaces of strap members 17.

This completes the structure of the lower column excepting for a pair of counterbalancing spring devices 25 which compise elongated relatively thin spring steel strips which are closely wound on spools 26 and are attached at their upper ends to the inner surfaces of the upright bars 16 as by bolt connections designated 27 in FIG. 2. An adjustment locking rod 30 is fixed at it lower end to the bracket and base 10 and extends upwardly between the spring spools 26 for cooperation with vertical adjustment looking means which will presently be described.

The upper structure which is attached to and depends from the table top 12 includes a horizontally extending housing member 33 in the shape of a rectangular pan having flanges 34 along its opposite longitudinal upper edges for attachment to the under side of table top 12. A channel member 36 is fixed at its upper end to the under side of housing member 33 as shown at 37 in FIG. 2 and extends downwardly over the upper end of locking rod 30.

Fixed to the lower end of channel member 36 is a downwardly facing channel shaped bearing member 38 which rotatably supports a pair of rollers 39 which are disposed to directly overlie the springs which are wound upon spools 26. Thus downward movement of table top 12 relative tothe base structure projects the rollers 39 downwardly against the spring devices 25 and causes a downward unrolling movement of the spools 26 to unroll the spring devices 25 against the inner surfaces of upright members 16. This provides an ideal counterbalance for the weight to the table top and contents wherein the counterbalancing resistance is substantially constant in various positions of vertical adjustment of the table top 12 and wherein the counterbalance force are uniformly applied at opposite sides of the vertical centerline of the column structure.

The means provided for locking the table top 12 in various positions of height adjustment will now be described. In the present invention this is accomplished by, in effect, locking channel 36 against downward movement relative to locking rod in various relative lengthwise positions of these parts. Referring particularly to FIG. 4 locking plate 41 passes loosely through slots in the opposite flanges of channel member 36 and is provided with a hole through which the rod 30 passes. When locking plate 41 is substantially horizontal as shown in dot and dash lines in FIG. 4, the rod 30 will pass freely through the hole in plate 41 but when the latter is canted as shown in FIG. 2 and in full lines in FIG. 4, it binds upon rod 30 and, since plate 41 is constrained by the slots in channel member 36 through which it passes, the locking rod 30 and channel member 36 are effectively locked to each other.

A slot 45 in one side of channel member 36 has a greater vertical extent than a companion slot 46 at the opposite side of channel member 36. Locking plate 41 is normally held in its canted position by a leaf spring 43 which is attached to channel member 36 and engages downwardly against a laterally projecting end of plate 41. For releasing the locking plate 41 for lowering movement of table top 12, a release rod 44 extends vertically along side of channel member 36 and connects at its lower end with locking plate 41 as best shown in FIG. 4. Rod 44 has a reduced lower portion which extends through a slot in plate 41 and a cotter pin 47 engages through rod 44 beneath locking late 41.

The upper end of rod 44 extends through the bottom of housing member 33 and into the interior thereof as shown in FIG. 3. Rod 44 terminates at its upper end in a horizontal finger 49 disposed directly beneath a pin 48a and a superposed button 48, the pin and button being biased upwardly by a spring 50. Manual release of locking plate 41 is effected by depressing button 48 which moves rod 46 and pivots locking plate 41 to the dot and dash line position of FIG. 4. This horizontal disposition of locking plate 41 permits rod 39 to pass freely through the hole in plate 41, thus permitting free relative downward movement of table top 12.

When height adjustment is to be effected the mere application of a force at any point on the underside of the table top will be transmitted to channel member 36 which will move upwardly, pivoting locking plate 41 toward the release position, thus permitting relative movement of the column members.

We claim:

1. In an over-bed table, a horizontally extending base and a table top generally overlying said base, column means extending vertically between said base and said table top adjacent to an edge of each, said column means comprising a first hollow column member fixed to and extending upwardly from said base and a second hollow column member depending from said table top and telescoping with said first hollow column member, said member being relatively vertically movable for adjusting the height of the table top, one of said column members including a vertical locking rod and the other of said column members having a vertical channel member receiving said rod and including slots lying at opposite sides of said rod, one of said slots being of greater vertical extent than the other, a locking means extending through said slots and pivoted adjacent the smaller of said slots, said locking means having an opening through which said locking rod extends whereby in locking position the locking means binds the rod and prevents relative movement between the column members, means responsive to upward movement of said second column to release the locking means thus permitting raising movement of said second columns, and manual means for releasing said locking means for lowering said second column.

2. In an over-bed table, a horizontally extending base and a table top generally overlying said base, column means extending vertically between said base and said table top adjacent to an edge of each, said column means comprising a first hollow column member fixed to and extending upwardly from said base and a second hollow column member depending from said table top and telescoping with said first hollow column member, said members being relatively vertically movable for adjusting the height of the table top, one way clutch means acting between said column means permitting free upward movement of said second column means but normally preventing downward movement thereof, a release member extending upwardly within said column members from said clutch means to the upper end of said second column member and movable vertically to release said clutch means, and manual means adjacent to said table top for actuating said release members to release said clutch means and permit downward movement of said second column means.

3. In an over-bed table, a horizontally extending base and a table top generally overlying said base, column means extending vertically between said base and said table top adjacent to an edge of each, said column means comprising a first hollow column member fixed to and extending upwardly from said base and a second hollow column member depending from said table top and telescoping with said first column member, said members being relatively vertically movable for adjusting the height of the table top, a vertical channel member fixed to said second column member, said first column member including a vertical locking member telescopically receivable within said channel member, means locking said locking and channel members to prevent relative vertical movement therebetween, means responsive to upward vertical movement of said second hollow column member to release said locking means freeing said second hollow column member for upward movement, an upright release rod connected at its lower end to said locking means and extending upwardly to a point adjacent said table top, a push button at the upper surface of said table top and means engaging between said push button and said release rod whereby depression of said push button releases said locking means for downward movement of said second column member.

4. In a table structure, a base and a table top generally overlying the same, telescoping column means extending vertically between said base and said table top, said column means comprising a first member fixed to and extending upwardly from said .base and a second member depending from said table top and telescoping with said first member, said members being movable vertically relative to each other for adjusting the height of the table top, said column members including cooperating locking means normally preventing such relative vertical movement, said locking means being responsive to vertically upward movement of said second member to release said members and permit free relative upward movement of said table top, a release member engageable with said locking means and extending upwardly through said column means to the upper end of said second member and movable vertically to release said locking means and permit relative downward movement of said second member and said table top, and manual means adjacent to said table top for actuating said release member.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS DAVID J. VJILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.

J. T. MCCALL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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FR1082757A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3380405 *Nov 25, 1966Apr 30, 1968American Seating CoOverbed table
US3481286 *Nov 24, 1967Dec 2, 1969Borg WarnerOverbed table
US3890907 *Oct 24, 1973Jun 24, 1975Joerns Furniture CoVertically adjustable overbed table
US4401036 *Feb 3, 1981Aug 30, 1983Simmons Universal CorporationOverbed table
US4607577 *Aug 2, 1985Aug 26, 1986Leonardo Stephen VOverbed table
US4667605 *Sep 22, 1986May 26, 1987Hamilton Industries, Inc.Adjustable table leg assembly
US5265542 *Apr 18, 1991Nov 30, 1993Allard Gene RMotion control apparatus
US5289782 *Dec 3, 1991Mar 1, 1994Westinghouse Electric Corp.Adjustable height table
US5438939 *Nov 25, 1991Aug 8, 1995Clarke; John P.Manually adjustable table support system
US5476049 *Oct 5, 1993Dec 19, 1995Allard; Gene R.Motion control apparatus
WO1992018034A1 *Apr 7, 1992Oct 29, 1992Allard Gene RMotion control apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/146, 108/136
International ClassificationA47B23/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B23/046
European ClassificationA47B23/04E