US 3404916 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 8, 1968 D. ROWLAND 3,404,916
COMPACTLY STACKABLE CHAIR Original Filed Feb. 19, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR 0A wo L- ROWLAND A i ZMMAMLM 1968 I D. L. ROWLAND 3,404,916
COMPACTLY STACKABLE CHAIR Original Filed Feb. 19, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 6 i v i 1 I *4 i 7 l 41 T 0 I I ll DAVID' L. ROWLAND 1N VEN TOR ATTORNEY States Pa tent [COMPACTLY STACKABLE CHAIR David L. Rowland, 49 W. 55th sc, "New York, NY. 10019 Original application Feb. 19, 1965, Ser. No. 441,947.
- Divided and this application Jan. 12, 1966, Ser.
. 2.Claims. chew-239 This application is 'a division of application Ser. No. 44:1.,94:7, fild Feb. 19, 1965, Patent NO. 3,278,227, which was a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 240,496, filed Nov. 28, 1962. and now abandoned.
This. invention relates to a compactly stackable chair. More particularly, the invention relates to nonfolding, sturdy,.and-lightweight chairs which are adapted to be joined together in rows, and the rows are stackable upon one another in a compact manner.
The use of large numbers of removable chairs for audience seating at a great variety of public gatherings has presented problems which heretofore have not been solved satisfactorily. One problem is how to provide a chair that can be stored in a minimum amount of space and is also quickly and simply set in position for use. Since they store fairly compactly, numerous types of folding chairs have been used, with varying degrees of success. But the fold- I folding chairs.
Another problem arose in providing removable seating of sufiicient strength and durability. Since the chair must be capable of accommodating a wide range of weights and'sizes with a large margin of safety, it became conventional to construct the chair of relatively heavy and cumbersome material. But ease in handling is important in its effect on the efiort and time of setting up and taking down the chairs Therefore, another object of my invention is to provide a strong, exceptionally durable chair which is also remarkably easy to handle.
While nonfolding chairs have been used for seating large audiences, and while some chairs of this type have been designed to stack or nest upon one another, a severe problem encountered with. them was that they required an excessively large space for storage; usually the frame was too large and otherwise was designed so that, although the chairs were stackable, only a few could be stacked successfully in one pile without falling over. Often there was a three or four inch vertical interval between chairs so that a stack of less than ten chairs was more than four feet high. Another and very important object of my invention is to provide chairs which can be easily and safely placed into an extremely compact and stable stack.
Discomfort is another problem that has long confronted the designers of removable, stor-able chairs. Because they were designed primarily to fold or to achieve compactness in storage, chairs of this type have been quite uncomfortable, especially when used continuously for even moderate periods of time. It is an object of this invention to provide a comfortable uncushioned chair.
When chairs are used in outdoor theatres and stadia, they are subject to the damaging effects of rain and other liquids falling therein. In this invention the chair sheds liquids readily and completely, thereby reducing the potential damage from this source of trouble.
These and other objects of theinvention are accomplished by providing a stacking chair which is compact,
r: A we simple in construction, light in weight, strong, and durable.- The frame of my new chair is of minimal bulk, and when these chairs are stacked, corresponding frame members are immediately adjacent each other, ratherthan being separated by useless empty space. The present invention makes it possible to stack forty chairs into an approximately four-foot-high space formerly required for fewer than ten chairs of previous designs. In larger quantities the net occupation of space is 1.75 chairs per cubic foot (i.e., 350 chairs will go into 200 cubic feet). Moreover, the chair of this invention is of simple construction; so simple that no skill in handling chairs is necessary to maneuver it. My new chair is so compact and easy to handle that large quantities can be carried on dolly carts with a minimum of effort. It is possible for two men to stack or unstack and put in place approximately one hundred of my chairs a minute.
As a result of a thorough study of seating comfort, I provide a maximum of comfort for both slouching loungers and upright sitters. It is appropriately suited to auditoriums and theatres and other places where people must sit for hours at a time. While the seat is shaped for comfort, it also has been sculptured to allow water to drain, so that no puddles form when it rains, a feature making my chair especially useful in out-door areas.
These and other highly desirable features provided by the present invention are more fully described by the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a chair embodying the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the chair showing the individual parts thereof.
FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the chair of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view in section of the connectors on the rear legs of the chair of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a view in section of a connection portion where two chairs of FIG. 1 are joined together.
FIG. 6 is a view in side elevation of three chairs of the type of FIG. 1 stacked on each other, illustrating the dimensions and the spacing by the glides.
The chair 200 illustrated in the drawing includes two frame components 201 and 202 that are quite similar, though not identical. They may each be made principally by bending a single long thin metal rod to provide a respective upper back-supporting portion 203, 204, a rear leg portion 205, 206, a bottom rail 207, 208, an insetting connecting portion 209, 210, a front leg 211, 212, and an upper side rail 213, 214. A stiffening (and connection member) 215, 216 may be welded to each rear leg 205, 206 extending above and below the upper side rail 213, 214. Forward glides 217, 218 may also be connection members and are mounted on the bottom rails 207, 208, as are rear glides 219, 220.
The frame components 201 and 202 are preferably joined together by a forward bracing rail 221 and a rear rail 222. The rail 222 may be swailed in the center at 223 to follow the swail 224 of a seat 225 and to help to support it. The forward bracing rail 221 is preferably welded across the front legs 211 and 212 slightly below their halfway height. The rear rail 222 is preferably welded to the rear legs 205 and 206, and the side rails 213 and 214 (which are inset from the rear legs 205, 206) are preferably welded to the rear rail 222.
The seat 225 may be secured by rolling, by screws, or by any other suitable means to the rear rail 222 and the side rails 213 and 214. The seat 225 and a back 226, which is secured to the portions 203 and 204, may be made from sheet metal, fiberglass, plywood, or other suitable material.
One interesting feature is that the forward rail 221 is preferably made from rod stock having a different thickness from that of the components 201 and 202. Furthermore, it is preferable to make the rail 221 somewhat thinner than the components 201 and 202. The difference in thickness need not be great, but is significant so that it will have a different period or frequency of vibration. It was found that when the rail 221 was exactly the same thickness as the stock of the components 201 and 202 a peculiar thing happened under some circumstances. Usually, it was satisfactory, but when a chair was dropped on a front corner 209 or 210, it bounced back from a hard floor, and the junction of the rail 221 to one or both of the legs 211 and 212 snapped apart in the air. The difiiculty was apparently due to the parts having the same natural frequency of vibration. At any rate, the problem was solved when the member 221 was made from thinner rod stock than the legs 211 and 212. For example, when the legs are in diameter, the rail 221 may be in diameter. The fact that the total strength of the chair is increased by decreasing the thickness of one of the reinforcing members is rather astonishing, but so it has worked out in practice.
The stiffening members 215 and 216 may comprise flat strips welded to the legs 205 and 206 and for the purpose of connecting chairs together side by side, the member 215 may be provided with two openings 230 and 231, well spaced apart, while the member 216 is provided with two studs 232 and 233, that fit into and extend through the openings 230 and 231 of an adjacent chair. The lower stud 232 may be, and preferably is cylindrical, but if both studs 232 and 233 are cylindrical, it has been found that a heavy and wiggly man can, without really trying, detach this chair from the adjoining chair. This problem is solved by making the upper stud 233 in the shape illustrated having a slender reduced neck 234 and an outer button-like portion 235. As shown in FIG. 5, the result is that weight and push that would tend to dismount the cylindrical stud 232 from its opening 230 will instead tighten the edge 236 of the opening 231 down on the neck 234. The chairs will thus not come apart accidentally, though they are easily released on purpose. Junction and disconnection is achieved in the manner described in the parent application Ser. No. 441,947.
As illustrated in FIG. 6, stacking individual chairs is an easy process. The potential upper chair 200B is placed above, but slightly forward of, the potential lower chair 200A, with the side rails 213 and 214 and the bottom rails 207 and 208 of the upper chair 200B directly over the same rails, respectively, of the lower chair 200A. Therefore, as the chairs are stacked one on top of another, the rear legs 205, 206 and the bottom rails 207, 208 of the upper chair 200B straddle the side rails 213, 214 and the front legs 211, 212 respectively, of the lower chair 200A. The upper chair 200B is then lowered down and back to contact the lower chair 200A. When the upper chair 200B comes to rest on the lower chair 200A in the most compact position, the glides 217, 218, 219,.
220 of the upper chair 200B are resting snugly on the same members, respectively, of the lower chair 200A.
A thirdchair 200C may, similarly beadde ,d, 'and' so on. The only space between the stacked chair frames is the amount D by which the glides are higher than the frame thickness T, with the result that the chairs occupy the very minimum of storage space. In quantities above ten, my chair design enables more chairs to be placed in a given volume of storage space than has ever before been achieved with either folding or stacking chairs. For instance, forty of my chairs can be put in astack about four feet high. I v
To those, skilled in the art to which this invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The disclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.
1. A stackable lightweight chair comprising frame means providing (1) a pair of substantially parallel members each bent to provide a side rail, a front leg, a bottom rail, and a rear leg, said bottom rail being joined by an offsetting portion to the bottom of said front leg, (2) a front reinforcing member extending between and welded to said front legs, and (3) a reinforcing member welded to the rear legs and side rails and connecting the rear legs to each other and spacing them from the side rails, seat and back members secured to and carried by the frame means of each said chair, and means for stiffening each said rear leg including a frame portion enlarged in cross-sectional area, extending laterally of said frame a substantial distance both above and below the connection between said rear legs and said rear reinforcing member, said front reinforcing member being different in thickness from said front legs, positioned below said side rails and providing a different natural frequency of vibration thus constituting a vibration damper, thereby protecting the welded assembly from breakage due to the development of vibrations when a chair is dropped or struck a hard blow.
2. The chair of claim 1 wherein said front reinforcing member is thinner than said front legs.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,989,426 1/ 1935 Pollak 297239 2,888,775 6/1959 Thoeming 248188.9 3,080,194 3/1963 Rowland 297239 3,273,922 9/1966 Rasor 297-450 FOREIGN PATENTS 122,774 11/1946 Australia.
503,149 5/1951 Belgium.
547,406 5/ 1956 Belgium. 1,020,112 11/1952 France.
467,446 6/ 1937 Great Briatin.
869,687 6/ 1961 Great Britain.
FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Primary Examiner.