US 3376066 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A nl 2, 1968 H. E. KERNES 3,375,066
HORIZONTALLY ADJUSTABLE ARMREST FOR INVALID WHEELCHAIRS Filed Oct. 31, 1966 United States Patent Office 3,376,066 Patented Apr. 2, 1968 3,376,066 HORIZONTALLY ADJUSTABLE ARMREST FOR INVALID WHEELCHAIRS Harmon E. Kernes, Toledo, Ohio, assignor to Howmet Corporation, Archbold, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 31, 1966, Ser. No. 590,628 4 Claims. (Cl. 297-417) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An invalid wheelchair having armrest assemblies which are horizantally adjustable for facilitating the entering and leaving of the wheelchair from either side thereof.
Among the desirable features of invalid wheelchalrs is the ability of changing the profile of the armrest portion of the wheelchair to enable the same to be positioned closely adjacent to a desk or table; or in certain instances completely to remove the obstruction presented by the armrest assembly to permit the invalid to move or be moved laterally off from the wheelchair to an adjacent bed or the like without and transverse obstruction.
An object of the invention is to produce an invalid wheelchair having an armrest mechanism which enables an invalid to position the armrest mechanism at an intermediate point or position relative to the side frame of the wheelchair to permit the wheelchair to be rolled under an adjacent desk or table; or at a position completely eliminating and transverse obstruction allowing the invalid to readily move or be moved laterally off of the wheelchair seat onto an adjacent bed or the like.
Another object of the invention is to produce an invalid wheelchair having a horizontally adjustable armrest assembly which may be readily and economically manufactured.
The above and other objects of the invention may be achieved by a wheelchair having a pair of spaced apart side frame members, each of said side frame members including a vertically disposed front tube, a readwardly spaced vertically extending pusher tube, and a horizontally disposed tube extending between said front tube and said pusher tube which assembly includes a horizont'ally adjust-able armrest frame assembly consisting of an upper generally horizontally disposed armrest frame member including an armrest at substantially elbow heighth when the user is seated in the wheelchair, a lower frame member disposed in spaced relation below the upper fram member, and frame means interconnecting the upper and lower frame members; bracket means affixed to the pusher tube of the side frame member for slidingly supporting the armrest frame assembly during horizantal shifting movement; and means associated with the seat tube of the side frame for selectively positioning the horizontally adjustable armrest frame assembly relative to the horizontally extending tube.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent from reading the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention when considered in the light of the acompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an invalid wheelchair assembly incorporating the concepts of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the wheelchair assembly illustrated in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the wheelchair illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2.
Referring to the accompanying drawings wherein simil-ar reference numerals designate similar parts throughout the description, the embodiment of the invention comprises a wheelchair which when not in use may be folded or compacted to occupy a relatively small amount of space, to make it adapted for storage or traveling purposes. When it is desired to be used, the wheelchair may be readily unfolded by moving the side frame elements apart, or away from one another. The wheelchairs of this general type are well known in the art and reference is made by way of example to United States Patent 2,561,616 entitled Convertible Wheel Chair which issued July 24, 1951.
The improved invalid wheelchair consists primarily of two laterally spaced side frames A, preferably formed of a metal tubing. Each of the side frames A includes a front vertically dis-posed rail or tube 10 on the lower end of which is mounted a front caster wheel 12. At the rear of each of the side frames is a vertically disposed pusher rail or tube 14 on which a large or drive wheel 16 may be mounted. If desired, the position of the drive wheel and caster wheels may be reversed, whereby the drive wheel may be mounted on the front tube 10 and the caster wheel mounted at the bottom of the rear tube 14. A horizontally disposed tube 18 is provided by extending the tubing forming the front vertically disposed tube 10 upwardly and then bending. the tubing rearwardly, forming a bend and welding or otherwise securing the free end thereof to the rear vertically disposed pusher tube 14.
The two side frame members A are collapsibly or foldably connected to one another by a pair of identical X- braces, the members of which are indicated by 20 and 22. The lower portion of each of the side frame is formed by horizontal bottom tubes 24. The lower ends of the X-brace members 20 and 22 are pivoted to the longitudinally extending tubes 24 which fit between portions of the respective side frames.
The members 20 and 22 of the X-braces are pivotally connected to each other at approximately their centers by a suitable pivot bolt 26 and each member at its top has rigid therewith the longitudinally extending seat bar or tube 28 to which a flexible seat 30 may be secured. The upper portions of the rear vertically disposed pusher bar 14- are connected together by a flexible fabric backrest 32. Further, the rear pusher tubes 14 are slightly inclined rearwardly and at the uppermost free ends are bent rearwardly to provide handle parts 34 to be grasped to trundle the chair from place to place.
In accordance 'with the invention, a horizantally adjustable armrest frame assembly is provided which consists of an upper generally horizontally disposed armrest frame member 36, including a padded armrest portion 38 which is at substantially elbow heighth when the user is seated in the wheelchair. A lower frame member 40 is disposed in spaced relation below the upper frame member 36 and vertically extending frame members 42 and 44 are provided to interconnect the respective ends of the upper and lower frame members 36 and 40, respectively.
A bracket 46 is afiixed to the pusher tube 14 of the side frame member A for sliding supporting the upper armrest frame member 36 during any horizontal shifting movement, as will be explained in greater detail hereinafter.
Another bracket 48 is afiixed to the pusher tube 14 of the side frame A in spaced relation below the bracket 46. The bracket 48 encircles the lower frame member 40 of the armrest frame assembly and adequately supports the frame member 40 during any horizontal shifting movement.
A collar 50 is welded or otherwise secured to the inner peripheral surface of the lower armrest frame member 40 and is adapted to encircle, either partially or wholly, the tube 18-for sliding engagement therewith. A'plungermember 52 is adapted to extend through the collar 50 to selectively engage apertures 54 which are formed in spaced positions along the, upper peripheral surface of the tube "18. The, plunger member 52 may typically be comprised of a threaded shaft .which isin threaded engagement with a threaded aperture in the collar 50. Also, the plunger member 52 could be formedof a spring biased shaft which is normally biased downwardly toward the apertures 54 in the tube 18.
In operation, the armrest frame assembly is normally in the forward position illustrated in FIGURE 1. How ever, when the user desires to move the wheelchair to a desk or table, the plungermember 52 is lifted out of engagement with the frontmost aperture 54 of the tube 18 and the armrest frame assembly is moved rearwardly, whereupon the upper and lower frame members 36 and 40, respectively, are slidingly supported by the brackets 46 and 48. The lower framemember 40 is also slidingly supported by the collar 50. When the plunger member 52 is in alignment with the intermediate one of the apertures 54, the plunger member 52 is lowered establishing a fixed relationship between the armrest frame assembly and the respective side frame A.
In the event the invalid isdesirous of moving or being moved off from the wheelchair, theplunger member 52 is once again raised and the armrest frame assembly is moved rearwardly until it substantially entirely clears the transverse obstruction and the collar 50 abuts against the bracket 48, asillustrated in dottectlines in FIGURE 2.
In accordance with-the provisions of the patent statutes I have explained the principle and mode of operation of my invention and have illustrated and described .what I .now consider, to represent its best embodiment. How- .ever, I desire to have itunderstood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated anddescribed.
What I claim is:
1. A wheelchair having a pair of spaced apart side frame members, each of said side framemembers including a vertically disposed front tube, a rearwardly spaced vertically extending pusher tube, and a horizontally disposed tube extending between said front tubeand pusher tube, the improvement comprising:
A horizontally adjustable armrest frame assembly, said armrest frame assembly consisting of an upper generally horizontally disposed armrest frame member including an armrest at substantially elbow heighth when the user is seated in said wheelchair, a lower frame member disposedin spaced relation below said upper frame member, and frame means interconnecting said upperand lower frame members;
upper and lower spaced apart bracket members afiixed to the pusher tube of said side frame member for slidingly supporting the upper and lower frame members respectively of said armrest frame assembly during horizontal shifting movement; and
means associated with the seat tube of said side frame for selectively positioning said horizontally adjustable armrest frame assembly relative to the horizontally extending tube.
2. The invention defined in claim 1 wherein said means associated with the horizontally disposed tube of said side frame assembly includes a collar at least partially encircling said tube, said collar being fixedly engaged with the lower frame member of said armrest frame assembly.
3. The invention defined in claim 2 wherein said collar is provided with a plunger member extending through an aperture in said collar.
4. The invention defined in claim 3 wherein the horizontally disposed tube extending between the front and pusher tubes of said frame is provided with a series of longitudinally. spaced apertures for receiving the inner end of said plungerv means for selective adjustment of said armrest frame, assembly relative to a respective one of said side frame members.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,786,214 3/1957 Armstrong 5-331 3,104,402 9/ 1963 Johnson 533l 3,140,119 7/1964 Offner 297417 3,179,957 "4/ 1965 Norton a- 5331 3,244,453 4/1966 Fox 297-4l6 CASMIR A. NUMBERG, Primary Examiner.