US 3387887 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 11, 1968 R. E. K. JAKOBSEN 3,387,387v
} CHAIR Filed June 9, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l ffoer'f ff isr d/aJen LVVENTOR ATTORNE Y June 11, 1968 R. E. K. JAKOBSEN 3,387,887
' CHAIR Filed June 9, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 fioer/ f. @r (fa/4051M INVENTOR Y MZM ATTOR NE Y Unite 3,387,887 CHAIR Robert E. Kjer .ialtobsen, Los Angeles, Caiih, assignor to Schiumberger Limited (Schlnrnbergcr N.V.), Houston, Tex., a corporation of the Netherlands Antilles Filed June 9, 1966, Ser. No. 556,352 9 Claims. (Cl. 297445) ABSTRAQ'JT OF THE DHSCLGSURE This invention pertains to a chair and, more particularly, to a chair having a freely suspended seat portion.
Two factors of vital importance in the manufacture of furniture, including chairs, are comfort and cost. Normally, in order to obtain comfort in a chair, some sort of resilient means such as cushioning or springs are provided between the supporting frame work and the seat of the chair. These techniques are intrinsically expensive due tothe cost of providing the cushioning material or springs and the covering therefor. It has been found that the disadvantages stemming from these factors may be overcome by suspending the seat of a chair on a frame which is constructed in such a manner as to provide a resilient or springing action. Such a construction provides a comfortable chair which, due to its simplicity, is also in expensive.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved suspended seat chair which is comfortable and inexpensive.
With these and other objects in view, the present invention contemplates a chair having a suspended seat construction and, more particularly, to a chair having a flexible frame formed by two parallel mirror image frame members each having a substantially U-shape and joined to one another in such a manner as to permit the resilient suspension of a seat thereon. The two parallel frame members are connected between floor-engaging portions by a bowed member which permits limited transverse movement between the parallel portions. A curved seating portion of the chair including a seat and back is suspended between the two upright portions of the U-frame with a substantial portion of the seat being generally unsupported along its length by the frame to permit transverse flexing of the seat within the frame. Tensile load factors are carried through the integral members of the seat itself.
A complete understanding of the invention may be had by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings illustrating an embodiment thereof, wherein:
FIGURE 1 shows a rear perspective view of a chair embodying the present invention;
FIGURE 2 shows a side perspective view of a frame for the chair;
FIGURE 3 is a bottom perspective view of the seating portion of the chair; and
FIGURE 4 is a bottom perspective view of the chair.
FIGURE 1 shows an assembled chair having a bowed States Patent 0 Patented June 11, 1968 See seat assembly 12 positioned on a frame assembly 14. The seat assembly is covered with a material such as plastic, leather, etc. having a deeply embossed face to the seat portion 15 and back portion 17 of the seat assembly The seat assembly is rounded and turned over at the top 18 of the back portion and at the leading edge 19 of the seat portion. Additionally, cushioning material may be permanently attached to the inside of the front cover material to maintain the patterned effect.
Referring next to FIGURE 2 of the drawings, the frame assembly 14 is shown comprised of a pair of side frame members 21 and 22. Each of the side frame members has a horizontal floor-engaging portion 26 with front and rear upright portions 23 and 24, respectively. The front upright portions 23 are bent back at their upper ends to form bent portions 23a. These bent portions 23a are inclined inwardly at an angle (a) to converge toward one another. The bent portions 23a of the front uprights are bridged by a U-shaped cross member 26 having portions 26a coextending with portions 23a of the side frame members, the portions 26a and 23:; being joined by a weld or the like. The rear upright portions 24 converge inwardly to meet at a point 25 where they are welded or otherwise connected to one another. At the point of connection 25, each of the rear upright portions is bent to flare outwardly to form horizontal back support members 27. An opening 28 is formed in each of the back support members for purposes to be described hereinafter. The floor-engaging portions 29 of the side members are connected midway along their length by means of a bowed cross brace 31. The bowed or curved cross brace permits some transverse spreading of the frame but prevents permanent distortion.
FIGURE 3 shows the frame work for the bowed seat assembly 12. The seat and back may be constructed from a flat one-eighth inch plywood sheet 36 which may be bowed and then riveted or fastened by other means to a complementarily bowed frame 37. The bowed frame 37 is comprised of longitudinally preformed side members 38 connected at their ends by upper and lower crossframe members 39 and 41, respectively. It is noted that portions of the plywood sheet 36 may be extended beyond each side of the frame as at 42 to provide shape to the seating portion. A pair of hook-shaped members 43 are welded or otherwise attached to the upper crossframe member 39. The books, of course, can be made as an integral part of the member 39. Upper and lower framing members 40 and 44 are attached to the plywood sheet 36 above and below the cross-frame members 39, 41, respectively. The framing members 43 and 44 may be made of wood or the like and provide a form for the seat assembly covering.
FIGURE 4 shows a bottom perspective view of the assembled chair. The cross member 26 of the chair frame is attached to the seat assembly by means of angle brackets 46 having a portion which conforms to the rounded shape of the cross member 26 and a flat portion which may be screwed or otherwise attached to cross member 41. The angle brackets 46 may be spot-welded or otherwise attached to the cross member 26, The plastic or leather covering which is applied to the seat assembly covers both the top and bottom surfaces of the seat.
The chair which has been described consists of two flexible parts, i.e., a flexible seat unit 12 and a flexible frame 14. The flexible frame and seat unit are attached to each other in such a manner that a downward load on the seat and a backward thrust against the back of the seat resulting from various sitting positions, counteract each other. It should be noted that the rear upright members 24 of the frame are inclined backwardly at an angle (19) as shown in FIGURE 2. This backward inclination of the 3 frame thrusts against the tendency of the frame to bend forward when a person sits in the chair. The frame therefore acts as a large spring. The bowed horizontal support 31 which connects the side frame members permits a limited spreading of the frame in a transverse direction due to loads on the seat. The rear upright members 24 converge toward one another to prevent side sway of the back at the point of connection 25. The back portion of the seat assembly is attached to the frame at the top by the two hooks 43 which are shaped in such a way as to project into the openings 28 in the back support members 27.
As shown in FIGURE 3, the structure of the seat assembly is designed to allow lateral flex in the seat and back by avoiding all but peripheral support of the plywood sheet 36 by using the open frame 37. This open type of support avoids any pressure points which would otherwise be transmitted through the relatively thin flexible construction of the seat. The construction of the relatively thin plywood sheet over the preformed metal frame maintains the basic curve of the seat while permitting flexible change of the seat in response to a person sitting thereon. The cross support at the front of the seat by frame cross member 26 maintains the front of the seat relatively flat.
While a particular embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it is apparent that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects and, therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to c-over all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In a chair assembly having a seating portion comprised of a back and seat, the combination of means for supporting said seating portion, which means comprises: frame means having a pair of substantially U-shaped side frame members spaced transversely of one another, said side frame members being joined along portions forming the front and back upright portion of their U-shape, a laterally flexible cross brace connected between the spaced frame members at floor-engaging portions, and means for joining the respective upright portions of the U-shape frame means respectively to one another.
2. The chair of claim 1 wherein said back upright portion on each of said side frame members is bent outwardly of the side frame to extend substantially parallel to said cross brace.
3. The chair of claim 1 wherein the joining means for the front upright portions of said side frame members comprises a U-shaped member lying substantially in a plane parallel with the seat of said chair.
4. The chair of claim 1 wherein said rear upright portions of said side frame members converge from a spaced configuration to a point adjacent the top of the chair back where they are joined to one another.
5. The chair of claim 9 wherein said foundation member isconstructed of plywood which is curved to fit said frame member.
6. A chair comprising: mirror-image frame parts ar-,
ranged to respectively form a floor-engaging base portion, a forward portion and a rearward portion each extending upwardly from the base portion, means for connecting said parts to one another toform a unitary assembly, a. unitary seat and back member connected to said forward l and rearward portions, and a resilient, laterally flexiblet member connected between said base portions.
7. The chair according to claim 6 wherein said base portions are spaced apart a distance generally equal to the said forward portions from one another a distance generally equal to the given width of said first end portion, said rearward portions being connected to one another and having upwardly extending parts thereof at a second location spaced above said first location, said outwardly extending parts having an overall length generally equal to the given width of said second end portion, and means for connecting said seatingmember to said forward and rearward portions at said first and second locations.
9. A chair seat and backrest assembly comprising: a body support foundation made of sheet material which is relatively rigid but which is deformable to some extent 1 by the weight of a person supported thereon; a generally rectangular frame member which is preformed to have the desired longitudinal curvature of a seat and backrest for a chair, said foundation being attached to said frame member with said frame member extending generally about the periphery of said foundation on the under side thereof so that said foundation assumes substantially the same longitudinal curvature as said frame member; and means for conneoting at least one end of said assembly to a chair base.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,542,931 2/1951 Lightfoot 297-457 X 2,544,800 3/1951 Michaelis 297-457 X 2,684,709 7/1954 Schawinsky 297-457 457 X 2,712,349 7/1955 LeVoir 297-441 2,723,712 11/1955 Yellen 297-441 3,152,836 10/ 1964 Swan 297-445 3,230,012 1/1966 Beckman et al 297-445 3,310,343 3/1967 Schultz 297-457 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,181,104 6/1959 France.
CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.