US 3368842 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 13, 1968 N. POLSKY FOLDING TABLET ARMCHAIR Filed Jan. 23, 1967 WVENTOR. NUIZMIZIY 1 01.576
United States Patent Ofiice 3,368,842 Patented Feb. 13, 1968 3,368,842 FOLDING TABLET ARMCHAIR Norman Polsky, Prairie Village, Kans, assignor to Fixtures Manufacturing Corporation, Kansas City, Mo., a corporation of Missouri I Filed Jan. 23, 1967, Ser. No. 610,864 10 tjlaims. (Cl. 297-162) ABSTRACT OF THE DICLGSURE A folding tablet armchair wherein the chair has a tablet assembly forming a convertible desk chair in which the tablet is pivotally mounted on an arm whereby when the tablet is in desk position it is swingable from a horizontal tablet position to a vertical position for access of a user to the seat. The arm is pivotally mounted on the chair whereby when the tablet is in a vertical position said arm is swingable rearwardly to a storage position in which the pivotal axis of the tablet is substantially vertical whereby said tablet is swingable to an upright position behind the chair thereby being out of the way and taking up a minimum of space. The pivotal mounting of the arm, said arm and the tablet have cooperative stop portions to limit the swinging of the arm and tablet to the selected positions.
Desk chairs such as are used in schools, auditoriums and the like have the tablet secured to a supporting structure of the chair to provide a work surface suitable for writing and holding articles such as books and the like. When the tablet and the support are rigid ditficulties are presented in the movement of a person to and from the chair seat. Convertible chairs have been heretofore utilized wherein the tablet is removable or is swingable to a generally upright position for providing access for seating oneself in the chair. There also have been structures wherein the tablet is swingable downwardly to a position beside the chair, however, in such structures, there must be substantial space between the chairs for the movement of the tablet or the mounting devices are bulky or difiicult to operate or there is looseness and lack of stability for some uses such as writing and the like.
The principal objects of the present invention are to provide a tablet armchair that is convertible from a desk chair to an open chair with the tablet stored in an out-of-the-Way little space consuming position; to provide such a structure wherein the tablet is carried on an arm that is swingable about a horizontal axis substantially transversely of the seat from a forward position to a storage position; to provide such a structure wherein the tablet is pivotally mounted on the arm and movable from a horizontal writing position to a .vertical position, the arm being swingable to a storage position when the tablet is in said vertical position; to provide such a structure wherein when the arm is swung to storage position the tablet is then swingable to an upright position behind the chair and closely adjacent thereto; to provide such a structure wherein the tablet, tablet arm and arm mounting have cooperative stops for limiting swinging movement of the arm and tablet to the selected positions for use and storage; to provide such a structure wherein the tablet is swingable from a horizontal position to an upright position for facilitating access for seating oneself in the chair, the tablet then being swingable to a horizontal writing position all with the arm remaining stationary; and to provide a convertible desk chair structure that is economical to manufacture, that is sturdy wherein the tablet is without undesired movement when weight is applied thereto as in normal usage.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and examples certain embodiments of this invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a folding tablet armchair embodying the present invention and with a tablet in work service position.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the chair with the tablet swung to an upright or vertical position for access to and from the chair.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the chair with the arm swung from a position shown in FIG. 2 to a rearward position.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the chair viewed from the rear with the tablet swung to a position at the rear of the chair for storage.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view through the arm mounting structure taken on the line 5-5, FIG. 7.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view through the arm mounting housing taken on the line 6-6, FIG. 7.
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view through the arm mounting taken on the line 7-7, FIG. 5.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of the mount-' ing of the tablet on the arm.
Referring more in detail to the drawings:
The reference numeral 1 generally designates a chair and tablet structure considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention which in brief is directed to a convertible desk chair and more particularly to a mounting of a tablet on a chair for movement of the tablet from a horizontal Work position to a substantially upright storage position substantially behind and adjacent to the chair seat and back rest and wherein the tablet during transposition between the work position and storage position is swingable on the arm from a horizontal work position to a vertical position for access to the seat and is then swingable With the arm to a rearward position with the movement being substantially in a vertical plane alongside of the chair and then the tablet is swingable to said storage position which is substantially the return of the tablet to its original position relative to the arm.
In the illustrated structure, the convertible desk chair has a base structure 2 mounting a seat 3 and a back rest 4. While the seat and back rest may be of any desired structure, it is illustrated as a shell of fiber reinforced synthetic resin molded to the desired shape and configuration. As illustrated, it consists of a body member 5 in the form of a one-piece seat and back rest.
The base or supporting frame 2 may be of any suitable leg arrangement, however, in the illustrated structure, it includes a front standard 6 and a rear standard 7 with each being substantially identical to the other. Each is formed from a single piece of tubular metal with the front structure or standard including two legs 8 and 9 joined at the top by a cross piece 10 so the standard is generally U-shaped. The rear standard 7 includes two rear legs 11 and 12 connected by a corresponding top cross piece 13. The cross pieces 10 and 13 extend under the seat 3 of the body 5 and is suitably secured thereto whereby the seat is supported by the standards with the front legs extending downwardly and forwardly and the rear legs extending downwardly and rearwardly.
To form a desk chair, a tablet 14 is carried onan arm 15 which in turn is supported by a mounting structure 16 suitably secured to the chair and supporting struture at one side thereof. The tablet 14 is generally fiat and has an upper work surface 14'. While the tablet may have any desired peripheral shape, in the illustrated structure, the forward portion is wide with substantially parallel opposed side edges 17 and 17, the side edge 17 being positioned at the side of the chair with the edge 17 forwardly of the mid-portion of the chair. The enlarged forward portion has a rearward extension 18 that would be approximately at the side of a person seated in the chair when in work position. The tablet is mounted on a bracket member 19 which is illustrated as an L- shapcd tubular metal member with one portion 20 adjacent to but spaced inwardly from a forward edge 21 of the tablet and secured to said tablet whereby said bracket engages the undersurface 22 of the tablet. The other portion 23 of said bracket is adjacent to and spaced inwardly of the edge 17 of the tablet and extends rearwardly from the portion 29, said bracket portion 23 being rotatably mounted on a horizontal portion 24 of the arm 15. In the illustrated structure, the portion 23 mounts a shaft 25 that extends into and is rotatably mounted in the bore 26 of the forward substantially horizontal portion 24 of the arm 15.
The arm 15 is also preferably formed of tubular metal and includes a downwardly and rearwardly inclined portion 27 terminating in a hub 28 rotatably mounted in the mounting member 16. The shaft 25 is retained in the arm portion 24 by a spring 29. The arm portion 24, shaft 25 and bracket portion 23 are arranged coaxially on a horizontal axis when in forward or work position whereby the tablet is rotatable about said horizontal axis from a work position as illustrated in FIG. 1 to an upright or substantially vertical position as illustrated in FIG. 2. This rotative movement is limited by a lug or screw 30 engaging an abutment or shoulder 31 on the arm portion 24 when the tablet is in the upright position. Downward rotation of the tablet from the work position is prevented by means of an abutment or lug 32 on the arm portion 24 being engaged by a stop end 33 of an arcuate portion 34 that closely engages the arm portion 24 that has a bar portion 35 engaging the undersurface of the tablet and secured thereto by a fastening device 35. It is preferred that the arcuate portion 34 be located whereby it extends over the abutting portions of the bracket portion 23 and the arm portion 24. There is some friction in the engaging parts of the portions 20 and 24 whereby the tablet tends to remain in vertical position until moved.
The mounting structure 16 is in the form of a housing with laterally spaced side plates 36 and 37 and having connected top wall 38, bottom wall 39, rear end wall 40, and front wall 41. The top, bottom and end walls are preferably integral with one of the plate members and in the illustrated structure, is integral with the plate 36. The plate 37 is preferably secured to the legs 8 and 11 to mount the housing thereto and may be clamped or otherwise secured, but is illustrated as being by welding 42. The plate portion 36 has a post 43 extending therefrom and terminating in spaced relation as at 44 from the plate 37 with said plate 37 being secured relative thereto by means of a suitable fastening device such as a screw 45 threaded into a threaded bore 46 in the post. Edge margins of the plate 37 are preferably recessed to receive adjacent edges of the top, bottom and end walls of the housing as at 47 for maintaining the relative positions. The top and bottom walls have openings 48 and 49, respectively, with the arm portion 27 extending through the opening 48 with the hub 28 mounted between the plate portions 36 and 37. The hub preferably has opposed flat faces 49 engaged with inner faces of the plate portions to provide some friction to retard swinging movement of the tablet and arm whereby some force must be applied to move same from work to storage position. The top wall forming the ends of the opening 48 present edges 50 and 51 which are engaged by the arm portion 27 when said arm is in the forward position and rearward position, respectively. The hub is provided with a trunnion 52 rotatably mounted in suitable bearing openings 53 in the plate portions 36 and 37. In the structure illustrated, the trunnions are a form of shaft that extends through the hub and is secured thereto by a set screw 54. To form additional stops to limit rotative movement of the hub and arm, the hub is provided with a lug or stop member 55 that cn gages the forward edge 56 defining the bottom opening 49 in the bottom wall whereby said edge or stop 56 limits rearward movement of the arm. The lug 55 and post 43 are so arranged whereby the lug will engage said post or other suitable stop in the housing when the arm is in the forward position engaging the edge thereby providing a double stop arrangement for cooperating in limiting the swinging movement of the arm between work and storage positions. The arm 15 when swung rearwardly positions the portion 24 at the side and rearwardly of the back rest whereby the tablet may then be swung to a substantially upright storage position rearwardly of and adjacent to said chair, as illustrated in FIG. 4.
The mounting for the tablet arm 15 has structure tending to resist swinging movement thereof except when force is applied thereto to effect desired movement. It is preferred that this resistance be provided by a friction between an arm portion and its mounting. In the structure illustrated, there is a frictional engagement between portions of the housing and the arm hub 28, as for example, between end faces 49 of the hub and the side plates 36 and 37 of the housing. The post 43 is integral with the housing wall or plate 36 and extends toward the plate portion 37 terminating short or in spaced relation thereto to permit movement of the adjacent part of said plate portion toward said post. The length of the hub 28 and mounting of the plate portion 37 is such that the opposed faces 49 of the hub engage the inner faces of the plates 36 and 37 and the screw 45 draws the plate portion 37 toward the hub to cooperate with the plate portion 36 and provide a clamping action increasing the friction between the housing and the arm hub 28 for desired resistance to swinging movement of the arm. With this structure, even with the arm 15 up and the weight of the tablet tending to swing the arm downwardly, the friction may be sufiicient to hold the arm against movement until additional force is applied thereto. This eliminates possibility of injury or damage that could result if the arm 15 was free swinglng.
The tablet chair may be either right handed, as illustrated in FIG. 1, or left handed, also the chairs are relatively light in weight and can be easily moved to desired positions, as for example, rows where the chairs are substantially side by side.
With the tablet arm 15 in the position as illustrated in FIG. 1, a person desiring to enter the chair may grasp the tablet 14 and swing same upwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 2 providing access whereby the user may easily enter and be seated on the seat 3, then the tablet arm may be swung to the horizontal position whereby the user can use the work surface 14'. If it is desired to move the tablet arm out of the way to provide a free and open chair, the tablet 14 is grasped and swung upwardly to a substantially vertical position as illustrated in FIG. 2, then while in this position, the arm is swung rearwardly until the arm engages the edge 51 of the top wall 38 of the mounting housing and the stop engages the edge 56 of the bottom wall 39. In this position, the arm portion 24 is substantially on a vertical axis with the stop member 30 engaged with the shoulder 31 whereby the arm and tablet are in the position illustrated in FIG. 3, then the tablet is swung on the axis of the arm portion 24 until the stop edge 33 engages the stop 32 at which position the tablet is substantially as illustrated in FIG. 4 wherein it is adjacent to and behind the seat in an out-ofthe-way position and consuming a minimum of space. When it is desired to use the tablet for a writing table the movements are reversed whereby the tablet 14 is swung outwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 3 and the arm is then swung forwardly until it engages the "stop edge 50 and the stop lug 55 engages the stop surface or post 43. This prevents further forward movement of the arm and then the tablet 14 is swung downwardly to a horizontal position wherein the edge 33 engages the stop 32 to prevent further downward swinging movement of the tablet. In this position, weight applied to the tablet as in normal usage will hold both the arm 15 and the tablet 14 in the position for working on the work surface 14. The tablet may be raised for the person to leave the seat and then the chair may be left with the tablet 14 in work position as shown in FIG. 1 or in storage position as shown in FIG. 4.
The chair structure and tablet mounting is such that the chairs may be arranged in a row in close side by side relation and connected together in a gang without interference with the movement of the tablet from work position to storage position. While the chair structure may be connected to an adjacent chair in any suitable manner, in the illustrated structure, brackets or connector clips 58 are mounted on the housing 16 and spaced apart with the spacing substantially corresponding to the leg spacing at the same height. The clips 58 are channel shaped and inclined at the same divergent angle as the legs and open inwardly as at 57. To connect adjacent chairs in gangs one chair is raised, moved to position the housing 16 substantially against the legs 9 and 12 of the next adjacent chair at the narrower portion, and then as the chair is lowered, the clips 58 embrace said legs 9 and 12 as said chair comes to rest on the floor. The'gang may be disconnected by reversing the relative movement of said chairs. When connected the adjacent chairs do not impede movement of the arm 15 or the tablet 14.
It is to be understood that while I have illustrated and described certain forms of my invention, it is not to be limited to the specific forms or arrangement or parts herein described and shown except insofar as such limitations are included in the claims.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A convertible desk chair comprising,
(a) a base, including a seat,
(b) an arm,
() means pivotally mounting said arm on the base for swinging movement on a horizontal axis that extends transversely of said seat,
(d) a tablet mounted on said arm with a pivotal connection having a front to rear pivotal axis with respect to said seat, said tablet being pivotal about said axis laterally with respect to said seat from a horizontal use position to a second generally vertical position,
(e) said arm being swingable rearwardly when the tablet is in a vertical position to position the pivotal axis of the tablet rearward relative to said seat whereby the tablet is then swingable about said axis toward the rear of the seat to position said tablet in a position substantially transverse of and behind said seat.
2. A convertible desk chair as set forth in claim 1 wherein said tablet has portions cooperatively engaged with said arm to maintain its vertical position until pur posely shifted to its horizontal position, and when said arm is swung rearwardly the pivotal axis of the tablet is substantially vertical whereby the tablet is then swingagle to a substantially vertical position behind the rear of the seat for storage.
3. A chair construction as set forth in claim 1 wherein the means pivotally mounting the arm on the base includes,
(a) a housing with laterally spaced side plates and a top wall,
(b) an enlarged hub mounted on the arm at the lower end thereof, said hub being in said housing between said side plates,
(0) trunnions extending from said hub and rotatably mounted relative to said side plates for swinging movement of said arm,
(d) said top wall of the housing having an elongate opening therein through which the arm extends from the hub,
(e) cooperative stop means on the housing and arm and hub for engagement at the extremities of forward and rearward swinging movement of the arm to limit said movement.
(f) said housing and arm having cooperative engaged portions resisting swinging movement of said arm between said forward and rearward extremities.
4. A chair construction as set forth in claim 3 wherein said stop means includes a stop member on said hub spaced from said arm, and spaced means in said housing forming abutments cooperating with said stop member for cooperative engagement at the forward and rearward swinging movement of the arm to limit said movement.
5. A chair construction as set, forth in claim 4 wherein the hub member is secured to said shaft and the housing plates have bearing openings rotatably mounting said trunnions and the hub has side faces engaged with said plates to limit lateral movement of the hub.
6. A chair construction comprising,
(a) a body member providing a seat and back rest,
(b) aligned leg members front and rear for supporting said seat,
(0) an arm alongside of the seat and having a lower end,
(d) means mounted on the front and rear legs at one side of the seat pivotally mounting said lower end of said arm on a horizontal axis generally transverse to said seat for swinging movement of said arm,
(e) a tablet movable between a generally horizontal work position and a retracted generally vertical storage position,
(f) means mounting the tablet for movement between the two described positions including a shaft journal'led on the arm for movement about a generally horizontal axis substantially normal to the first named axis so that the tablet is movable approximately ninety degrees to a vertical plane,
(g) said arm being swingable approximately ninety degrees rearwardly to position the tablet rearward of said back rest with the tablet swingable through ninety degrees on said mounting means to an upright storage position behind the back rest.
7. A chair construction as set forth in claim 6 wherein the means mounted on the front and rear legs at one side of the seat and pivotally mounting the lower end of the arm includes,
(a) an elongate housing with laterally spaced side plates and top, bottom and end walls integral with one side plate with the other side plate being removably reconnected thereto,
(b) an enlarged hub mounted on the lower end of said arm and positioned in said housing between said side plates,
(0) trunnions extending from said hub and mounted in said side plates for cooperation with the hub in the pivotal mounting of the arm,
((1) said top wall of the housing having an elongate opening therein through which thearm extends from the hub with said top wall having portions defining ends of the opening engaged by the arm at the ex tremities of its forward and rearward swinging movement to form limiting stops therefor.
8. A chair construction as set forth in claim 7 and including (a) means on said hub forming a stop member spaced from said arm,
(b) spaced means in said housing forming abutments cooperating with said stop means on the hub for cooperative engagement at the forward and rearward swinging movement of the arm to limit said movement. 9. A chair construction as set forth in claim 6 wherein the shaft journalled on the arm and the means mounting the tablet include a substantially L-shaped member secured under-the tablet adjacent the forward portion thereof with a rearward portion adjacent one edge terminating in the shaft journalled on the arm, said arm and shaft having cooperative stop means to limit further swinging movement from a horizontal position of the tablet to a vertical position when said tablet is in the vertical position and cooperative means on the tablet and arm for engagement when 'the tablet is in horizontal position to limit further downward rotation movement of said tablet and support the tablet in horizontal position.
10. A chair construction as set forth in claim 8 wherein the rear legs are rearwardly canted and the front legs are forwardly canted with said legs extending laterally outwardly of said seat, and including,
(a) spaced connectors associated with said housing and adapted to connect with an adjacent chair forming a gang with the housing therebetween.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain. Italy..
JAMES T. MCCALL, Primary Examiner.