US 3348880 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D. T. SWANN ADJUSTABLE BACK SUPPORT CUSHIONS Oct. 24, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 14, 1966 INVENTORQ Dav/'0 T dwaxm ATTORNEY Oct. 24, 1967 D. T. SWANN 3,
I ADJUSTABLE BACK SUPPORT CUSHIONS Fi'id April 14/ 1966 2 Shets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Dav/0 7. Swarm ArroR/vlsy United States Patent 3,348,880 ADJUSTABLE BACK SUPPORT CUSHIONS David T. Swann, 16309 Harvard Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44128 Filed Apr. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 542,554 1 Claim. (Cl. 297-230) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE There is disclosed herein a back supporting cushion having separately inflatable chambers disposed horizontally at diflerent levels for selectively supporting different portions of a users back.
This invention relates to pneumatic cushions and more particularly to an inflatable back-supporting cushion adapted to provide selective localized support to dilferent portions of a persons back as needed or desired.
Because individuals vary in size, weight, and posture, it is not possible to provide a standardized backrest portion for a chair or seat which is equally comfortable for all persons. Additionally, many people are susceptible to extreme fatigue and considerable pain when required to sit for long periods of time with their backs in the same position without localized support to olfset and relieve individual back ailments.
It is an important object of this invention to provide a backrest cushion which is adapted to provide l ctgve, localized support to different regions of a persons ack.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a backrest cushion which comprises a plurality of individually inflatable chambers whereby the contour of said cushion can be varied to provide support for selected areas of a persons back.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a backrest cushion of the type referred to which is adapted to be provided as a separate unit for detachable mounting to the backrest of any ordinary chair or seat.
Still another object of this invention is to provide such a backrest cushion which is readily adapted for mounting inside the backrest of a chair or seat.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a backrest cushion having the above characteristics which is especially adapted for use on or in the backrest portion of an automobile seat.
Further objects of the invention and the invention itself will become readily apparent from the following description thereof, reference being made throughout to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an automobile seat having the backrest cushion of this invention detachably mounted thereto;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the backrest cushion alone as seen primarily from the rear thereof;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical section taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the backrest cushion of this invention;
FIGURE 5 is a horizontal section taken along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURES 6, 7, and 8 are side views of an automobile seat and driver showing, diagrammatically, the backrest cushion of this invention inflated in various ways;
FIGURE 9 is a top plan view of an automobile seat, driver, and the backrest cushion of this invention; and
FIGURE 10 is a side plan view of a modified automobile seat showing the backrest cushion of this invention built into the backrest of said seat.
Referring now to the drawings in all of which like parts are designated by like reference numerals, and referring particularly to FIGURES 1-3, the backrest cushion of this invention is generally shown at 20 detachably mounted to the backrest 11 of an automobile seat 10. Said cushion extends from a seat portion 12 of said seat 10 upwardly in front of said backrest and projects a short distance above an upper edge 13 of said backrest.
In the form of the invention herein illustrated and described, the backrest cushion 20 comprises three chambers, an upper chamber 22, a middle chamber 23, and a lower chamber 24. The chambers 22 and 23 are divided horizontally by a flexible wall 25, and thechambers 23 and 24 are divided by a flexible wall 26. The wall means 21 and the horizontal walls 25 and 26 are preferably made from rubber, flexible plastic, or other suitable flexible material.
As well shown in FIGURES 3-5, the chambers 22, 23, and 24 are provided with generally semicircular, vertically extending, forwardly projecting protuberances 27 which project forwardly of the main body 28 of each chamber.
The upper chamber 22 is also provided with a generally semicircular, horizontally extending, forwardly projecting protuberance 29 the laterally directed ends of which join the vertically extending protuberances 27 at the sides of the chambers to provide a continuous, resilient ridge along the sides and across the top of the backrest cushion 20.
As.well shown in FIGURES l-4, the protuberance 29 is provided with a rounded recess 30 midway between the sides of the backrest cushion 20 in the area where the base of the neck of the person seated -on the seat 10 would normally be disposed. Said recess 30 is adapted to fit over the base of a persons neck at the upper part of the back to relieve fatigue in the upper part of the neck.
Each chamber 22, 23, and 24 is airtight with respect to its adjacent chamber. Said chambers 22, 23, and 24 ar provided with individual inflating valves 32, 33, and 34, respectively, which enable the user to inflate each chamber the desired amount without regard to the pressure in the other chambers.
As best shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, means are preferably provided for detachably mounting the backrest cushion 20 to the backrest 11. As herein illustrated, said means comprise a pair of inverted, U-shaped hooks 36 made of steel rods or the like formed to provide downwardly projecting, elongated legs 37 disposed lengthwise against the back of the cushion 20 adjacent to the upper chamber 22. The upper end of each leg 37 carries a substantially honzontally disposed, rearwardly directed web portion 38 the rearwardly projecting end of which carries a downwardly projecting relatively shorter leg 39.
Mounting pockets 40 are secured to the rear surface of the backrest cushion 20 at the back of the chamber 22, each said mounting pocket comprising a vertically elongated strip of sheet material secured in any suitable manner along its side and bottom edge portions 41 and 42, respectively. The upper edge of each pocket 40 is unattached andaifords an opening into which the leg 37 of a hook 36 is inserted. With the legs 37 seated in said pockets, the backrest cushion 20 is hooked onto the back rest 11 with the web portions 38 projecting over the upper edge 13 and the shorter legs 37 projecting downwardly behind said backrest. The pockets 40 may be made of a flexible material such as cloth or may be made of thin sheet metal or heavy plastic, thereby affording a certain rigidity to the upper portion of the backrest cushion 20.
It will be readily understoodthat With all three chambers 22, 23, and 24 inflated and the backrest cushion 20 mounted to the backrest 11, as illustrated, a person seated in the seat 10 is provided with a comfortable back and lower neck support which greatly increases the comfort of driver or passenger. As illustrated in FIGURE 9, th side protuberanoes 27 project forwardly a short distance on either side of the person thereby reducing the tendency of the body to sway sideways and further adding to the comfort of the person by reducing fatigue. The side protuberances also assist in maintaining the cushion in erect positioning during use. FIGURES 6, 7, and 8 illustrate the manner in which the chambers 22, 23, and 24 can be inflated different amounts to provide localized support to the back to meet the requirements of different persons. In FIGURE 6, the upper chamber 22 is inflated more than the chambers 23 and 24 thereby providing localized support in the region of the upper spine, shoulders, and lower neck. In FIGURE 7, the middle chamber 23 is relatively more inflated to give support to the small of the back. In FIGURE 8, the lowerv chamber 24 is inflated more than the two upper chambers to provide relief in th sacroiliac region of the back. Thus, by selective controlled inflation of the separate chambers by the user, the most comfortable contour and support of the particular users backcan be achieved.
FIGURE 10 shows a modified seat 10 wherein a backrest cushion 20' is built into a backrest 11'. of said seat. The cushion 20" comprises three chambers 22, 23, and 24 separately inflatable by valves 32", 33', and 34, respectively. The backrest 11 is preferably covered with a stretch fabric or the like whereby the cover will conform exactly to the shape of the backrest cushion 20'.
Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been illustrated and described in relation to an automobile seat, it will be readily appreciated that the invention could be used in watercraft, aircraft, or in any chair, sofa, or the like.
It will be readily understood that many changes in the details of the invention as herein described and illustrated may be made without, however, departing from the spirit thereof or the scope of the appended claim.
What is claimed is:
A backrest cushion for providing selective, localized support to a persons back from the hips to the base of the neck comprising flexible wall means defining three inflatable and substantially expandable chambers divided by horizontal flexible walls and adapted to be disposed i front of the backrest of a seating means, the lower chamber being located in the sacroiliac region of the back, the middle chamber being located at the small of the back; and the upper chamber being located in the region of the upper spine, shoulders, and lower neck, means for separately inflating each chamber whereby to provide selected, localized support to the back at different levels, said flexible wall means defining vertically extending protuberances at the lateral edges of said chambers, the upper chamber being provided with a horizontally extending protuberance disposed across the top edge of said upper chamber which joins said vertically extending protuberances so that a continuous resilient ridge is provided along the sides and across the top of the cushion to provide lateral support against sidewise movement and rearward support at the base of the neck of a person seated against said cushion, said protuberance disposed across the top edge of said upper chamber being provided with a rounded recess shaped to receive the lower neck portion of a person seated against said backrest cushion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,605,818 8/1952 Dabbs et al. 297231 2,838,099 6/1958 Warner 297231' 3,093,407 6/1963 Wilson 2974 3,099,892 8/1963. Feinerrnan 297-460 3,161,436 12/1964 Hood 297-460 3,165,355 1/1965 Hitchcock et al. 297-284 3,192,541 7/1965 Moore 297284 FOREIGN PATENTS 414,131 8/1934 Great Britain.
754,248 8/ 1956 Great Britain.
847,192 9/1960 Great Britain.
FRANCIS K. ZUGEL. Primary Examiner.