US 3319999 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1 1967 E. M LIEBERMAN ETAL 3,319,999
CHAIR CONSTRUCTION Original Filed Oct. 23, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS. Edgar M. Lieberman Dav/d Mas/an By Norman Po/sky y 1967 E. M. LIEBERMAN ETAL 3,319,999
CHAIR CONSTRUCTION Original Filed Oct. 23. 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 m 3 Rm m y $3 m wm .GDI M F 0 ohm @Ww EDN Y B United States Patent Ofiice 3 ,319,999 Patented May 16, 1967 3,319,999 CHAIR CONSTRUCTION Edgar M. Lieberman and David Maslan, Kansas City,
Mo., and Norman Polsky, Shawnee Mission, Kans., assignors to Fixtures Manufacturing Corporation, Kansas City, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Original applications Get. 23, 1961, Ser. No. 146,928, now Patent No. 3,144,271, dated Aug. 11, 1964, and June 14, 1964, Ser. No. 376,076. Divided and this application Apr. 27, 1966, Ser. N 545,661
Claims. (Cl. 297-457) This is a division of our application Ser. No. 146,928, filed Oct. 23, 1961, and entitled, Chair Construction (now Patent No. 3,144,271, issued Aug. 11, 1964), and our copending application Ser. No. 376,076, filed June 14, 1964, and entitled, Chair Construction (now Patent No. 3,256,039).
This invention relates to chairs and, more particularly, to chairs having novel unitary construction.
The most important object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive chair of lightweight and sturdy construction that will seat anyone included in more than ninety percent of the American adult population comfortably for long periods of time.
A further object of this invention is the provision of a chair frame of simple, unitary construction, yet capable of rendering the required support for the other components of the chair.
Still a further object of this invention is the provision of a chair having seat members which may be easily removed and replaced by other seat members, thereby permitting the substitution of differently colored members for harmonizing with various color schemes.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective View on a reduced scale of a chair made pursuant to this invention;
FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the chair showing details of construction;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged, cross-sectional view showing the frame clamped between a gripper block and a flanged portion at the top of the seat member;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, enlarged, elevational view showing the disposition of a stacking foot when two chairs are in stacked relationship, parts being broken away and shown in cross section for clearness;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, elevational view of one of the gauging hooks showing the leg upon which it is mounted in cross section and the proximal leg of another chair in dash lines.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, detailed cross-sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional View of a modified form of seat member;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional View of a further modified form of seat member;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged, fragmentary, front elevational view of two chairs in stacked relationship, showing a modified stacking foot and leg guard, with the frame and seat member appearing in cross section for clearness;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged, fragmentary, side elevational view of the stacked chairs of FIG. 9 with parts thereof broken away to reveal details of construction; and
FIG. 11 is an enlarged elevational view of a modified form of the gauging hooks showing the legs upon which they are mounted in cross section with the proximal leg of another chair also appearing in cross section.
Briefly, this invention relates to chair construction wherein each chair is provided with hooks on the legs for releasably securing two chairs together, novel stacking feet depending from the frame for preventing damage to another chair when the chairs are stacked when not in use, and novel frame construction permitting the use of a seat member of relatively thin sheet material without adversely affecting the weight bearing capacity of the chair. The peripheral margin of the seat member rests on the frame precluding the necessity for frame contact across much of the member which is engaged by the body, resulting in greater comfort from increased seat member flexibility. Additionally, novel gripper means permit the quick and easy interchangeability of seat members to allow versatility for color harmonizing purposes.
A chair broadly numerated 10, constructed pursuant to the instant invention, comprises a continuous, unitary frame 12 and four legs 14 secured to and depending therefrom. The legs 14 are arranged in pairs to present an inverted V with the upper ends of each pair of legs 14 rigidly secured to frame 12 on opposed sides of the latter and with the legs 14 of each pair diverging as the lower extremities thereof are approached.
Each leg 14 of one pair of the latter is provided with a hook 16, having one end 18 thereof secured to the leg, and an outwardly extending end portion 20 aligned with a respective leg 14 and extending outwardly therefrom. Each end portion 20 is shaped to complementally engage the outer surface of a leg 14 and is aligned to be parallel with the axis of the particular leg 14 upon which the hook 16 is secured. The end portions 20 of hooks 16 are thereby in position to engage corresponding legs 114 of an adjacent, similarly constructed chair illustrated in dashed lines in FIG. 5.
A seat member broadly designated 22, formed from relatively thin, flexible material such as sheet plastic or the like, is shaped to conform to the comfortable posture requirements for a chair. Thus, member 22 is designed to conform sufliciently with the body of a person seated thereon to reduce contact pressures below the discomfortcausing level. The peripheral margin of member 22 is formed to rest on frame 12 substantially along the length of the latter, and is provided with a peripheral rib formed as a downturned flange 24 overlying frame 12. The rigidity imparted by flange 24 permits the use of somewhat flexible and relatively thin (therefore lightweight) sheet material in the formation of member 22 and, cooperating with frame 12 provides adequate stability for the accom modation of persons within the ninety percent adult weight group to which reference has previously been made.
It is significant to point out at this juncture that the comfort of the person seated upon a 'chair is related to the pressure exerted upon the body by those portions of the chair which are in contact with the body. If the pressure can be kept below the pain-producing level, then the seated person will remain comfortable, even during relatively long periods of time. If, however, the pressure exceeds that at which pain is produced, the individual rapidly becomes uncomfortable from contact with the chair. The pressure at which pain is produced in most individuals is believed to be equal or near the diastolic blood pressure. For the average person, such pressure is mm. of mercury or 1.54 pounds per square inch.
The pressure exerted upon the seated body is a function of both the weight of the individual and the surface area contacted by the chair. If the weight of the person remains constant, the pressure may be reduced only by increasing the surface area of contact.
It may readily be seen that member 22 is supported by frame 12 which extends around the outer margin of the member but does not engage the central portion thereof. Additionally, both the back and seat portions of member 22 are included within the support afforded by the unitary, peripherally extending frame 12 to permit 3 a blending of the back and seat portions without a rigid zone of demarcation between the two. Thus, frame 12 supports member 22 in a hammock-like fashion and the main body supporting back and seat portions are free to bend to conform to the seated posture of the individual. This greatly increases the surface area of the chair in contact with the body and reduces the pressure exerted by the chair upon the body. Further, the flexibility of member 22 yields at the points of concentration of the greatest weight to distribute the weight uniformly over the entire area of contact. Any shifting of the weight by the individual while seated, is automatically compensated for by the flexible member 22.
A plurality of grippers 26, each comprising an elongated block 23 having a surface 30 shaped to conform to the outer surface of the frame member, is rigidly secured to the underside of member 22 in spaced relationship from flange 24 with surfaces 30 facing the latter. The flexibility of flange 24 allows the latter to be shifted away from block 28 far enough to receive frame 12 between surface 30 and flange 24. Further, the resiliency of member 22 urges each gripper 26 toward flange 24 and securely clamps frame 12 therebetween. Manifestly, suflicient grippers 26 are disposed around the peripheral margin of member 22 to provide adequate means for securing the latter to frame 12.
The grippers 26 serve only to secure member 22 to frame 12 and do not affect the function of chair 10 in supporting the body. Any suitable fastening means could be used for this purpose. Flange 24 is the sole means of supporting flexible member 22 on frame .12 when chair 10 is supporting a person. Grippers 26 are not used or needed for supporting member 22 in its load-bearing function.
A stacking foot 32 is secured proximal to tthe upper ends of each pair of legs 14 and depends therefrom. Each foot 32 includes a somewhat flexible web 34 extending from the zone of attachment to legs 14 and terminating in an enlarged surface 36. A pair of knobs 33 which may be integral with foot 32, extend outwardly from web 34 and are in alignment with the upper, inwardly directed portions of each leg 14 of a respective pair thereof. The knobs 33 may be telescoped within the tubular legs 14 and secure foot 32 to the latter. Indentations in legs 14 may be formed to secure the feet 32 in place, or other suitable fastening means such as screws or the like may be used.
The lower portion of foot 32 is enlarged to present a flat bottom surface 36 for foot 32. Surface 36 distributes the weight of the chairs which are stacked above a particular chair 10, over a substantial area of member 22 to prevent damage to the latter. The shape of foot 32 and its components, including knobs 33, web 34 and surface 36, is such that foot 32 may be easily molded or cast from material such as plastic or the like.
Surface 36 is adapted to be disposed to engage the upper surface of the seat member 122 of a second chair 110 when chair 10 is stacked thereon as is shown in FIG. 4. It will be noted from FIG. 4 that web 34 extends sutficiently far for foot 32 to hold frame 12 in spaced relationship from seat member 122 so that frame 12 does not engage the latter in a manner to damage the bottom chair.
The hooks .16 are advantageously disposed so that chair 10 may be readily and easily secured to an adjacent chair by simply aligning the legs 14 with the legs of an adjacent chair, while chair 10 is in a slightly elevated position, then lowering chair 10 so that hooks 16 engage the latter. Conversely, it is a simple matter with the chair of the present construction to disengage the two chairs by simply elevating chair 10 slightly to release hook 16 from the legs of the second chair. By utilizing hooks 16, disposed to be alignable with the legs of an adjacent chair, applicants are able to quickly and easily effect the releasable attachment of two or more chairs without the necessity for attachment means on both sides of each chair.
When not in use, the chairs made pursuant to the principles of this invention, may be safely stacked for the conservation of space while stored, with the surface 36 of stacking feet 32 engaging the seat members of the next lower chair. Web 34 is sufliciently rigid to maintain the weight-bearing portions of the frames 12 of the upper chair out of engagement with the seat member 122 of the lower chair. This prevents any possible damage resulting to the member 122 such as scarring, puncturing or the like.
The construction of the grippers 26 allows for the quick and easy removal of a respective member 22 from frame 12 and for the substitution of differently colored members 22 to allow chair 10 to be readily integrated into any color scheme. This interchangeability of members 22 provides for great versatility in the use of the chair and also allows for the replacement of any members 22 which might become damaged.
A modified form of seat member 122 is illustrated in FIG. 8. Member 122 has an enlargement 126 on the outer marginal area of peripheral flange 124 and in position to engage the outer surface of frame 12 for securing the member to the frame. It will be understood that enlargement 126 may be, but is not necessarily continuous. Extension along flange 124 far enough to adequately secure member 122 to frame 12, is sufficient.
Another form of seat member 222 is illustrated in FIG. 7. Member 222 includes an enlargement 226 on downturned flange 224 and a second enlargement 225 on the bottom surface of member 222 in position to cooperate with enlargement 226 in clamping member 222 to frame 12. The enlargement 226 may :be substantially similar to enlargement 126 and it is contemplated that enlargement 225 will extend around member 222 in the same manner as enlargement 226. The enlargements 126, 225 and 226 may be molded on members 122 and 222 respectively and obviate the use of grippers 26.
Chair 10 may be provided with modified stacking feet 132 as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Feet 132 may be secured to legs 14 in the manner discussed with respect to feet 32, or they may not have laterally extending knobs and be secured directly to the underside of the seat member by any suitable means. The feet 132 may extend forwardly from the Zone of attachment of legs 14 as shown in FIG. 10 to insure that the center of gravity of each stacked chair is to the rear of the weight-bearing bottom surface 136 of the foot. Thus, any inclination of the chairs to tilt will be toward the upright back portion of the chair upon which it is stacked. The back portion supports the upper chair and even a very tall stack of chairs will be quite stable without any tendency to tip over.
It should be noted that feet 132 are provided with a forward and downwardly extending web portion 134 which portion carries the weight of the stacked chair and also serves as a guard to cover the upper ends of legs 14. Without such a guard, the open ends would be somewhat unsightly, dangerous and open to having foreign materials enter the tubular legs 14.
A modified form of hook means 115 is shown in FIG. 11 and includes a brace 117 secured to and extending between each of the hooks116. Hook means 115 may be formed from a unitary piece of strap metal, suitably shaped and secured to legs 14 by welding or other suitable means. The brace serves to keep legs 14 from spreading and keeps hook 116 in proper position for use in securing two chairs together.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A chair comprising:
a frame including:
a bottom having a forwardly and downwardly bowed front and a pair of spaced sides extending rearwardly from said front,
said sides sloping upwardly and converging as said front is approached, a rear having a top and a pair of spaced uprights depending from said top, said uprights being tilted rearwardly and converging as said top is approached, and a pair of arcuate corners between the sides and their corresponding uprights, said sides and said uprights each being substantially straight; a separate V-shaped leg structure for each side respectively, said structures being rigid at the apexes thereof to corresponding sides between said front and said corners, each structure having a pair of downwardly diverging legs spaced laterally outwardly in their entireties beyond their corresponding sides; a support on the frame having:
a seat resting on said bottom, a back bearing against said wear, an intermediate portion between the seat and the back, and a flange on the support at the periphery thereof overlapping the frame; and means holding the support against displacement from the frame, said frame and said leg structures being open between said sides, between said apexes, between said uprights and between said corners whereby the support hangs hammock-like within the frame, said support being flexible whereby the same yields to the weight of a user of the chair resting against said seat, said back and said portion, causing the support to tend to conform to the seated posture of said user. 2. A chair as set forth in claim 1: said rear being bowed, said intermediate portion bearing against said corners,
and said portion having a concavity in the front face thereof extending between said corners to preclude a line of demarcation between the back and the seat.
3. A chair as set forth in claim 1:
said frame being continuous,
said bottom being U-shaped and having its sides substantially parallel,
said sides being integral with said front,
said rear being U-shaped and having its uprights substantially parallel,
said uprights being integral with said top and said corners integrally interconnecting the sides with corresponding uprights.
4. A chair as set forth in claim 1:
said support being in one piece,
said flange being continuous and integral with the support throughout the periphery thereof,
said means for holding the support against displacement from the frame cooperating with the flange, and
said concavity extending continuously between said comers.
5. A chair as set forth in claim 1:
each of said legs having a lateral extension at its uppermost end projecting inwardly beneath the corresponding sides,
the extensions being secured to the lower surfaces of said sides and terminating at the inner surfaces of said sides.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,390,878 12/1945 Greitzer 297-452 X 2,788,846 4/1957 Hauser 297457 X 2,990,007 6/1961 Kessler 297-457 X 3,054,643 9/ 1962 Militano 297440 3,061,374 10/ 1962 Grosfillex 297440 3,146,028 8/ 1964 Grosfillex 297-440 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
CASMIR A. NI JNBERG, Examiner,