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Publication numberUS3407001 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1968
Filing dateJan 25, 1967
Priority dateJan 25, 1967
Publication numberUS 3407001 A, US 3407001A, US-A-3407001, US3407001 A, US3407001A
InventorsLawrence D Minsker
Original AssigneeLawrence D. Minsker
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article of furniture
US 3407001 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 22, 1968 L. D. MINSKER ARTICLE OF FURNITURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 25, 1967 INVENTQR. Lawrence D. Mmsker ATTORNEYS Oct. 22, 1968 D. MINSKER 3;407,001

ARTICLE OF FURNITURE Filed Jan. 25, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 3,407,001 ARTICLE OF FURNITURE Lawrence D. Minsker, Beringsvej 2, Copenhagen, Denmark Filed Jan. 25, 1967, Ser. No. 611,641 13 Claims. (Cl. 297-445) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A prefabricated or knockdown article of furniture which includes a seating member fabricated from a resilient plastic material and a base for supporting the seating member. .The seating member includes an inclined backrest portion which is connected to a seat portion. The base includes at least one upstanding post having an innited States Patent 0."

clined top edge conforming to the inclination of the backrest portion which engages and resiliently supports the same to substantially eliminate undue pressures on the back of the person using the article.

r The present invention relates generally to an article of furniture and, more particularly, pertains to prefabricated or knockdown chairs and the like.

The continuing development of different plastic materials has made substances available to furniture manufacturers which combine the advantageous properties of great resiliency, great elasticity and light weight. For example, materials having these properties have been utilized with widespread commercial success in recent years to provide so-ealled contoured seats. These seats usually include a seating member having integral seat and backrest portions which follow the natural curvature of portions of the body when the body is at rest to position and support the body so that the occupant of the seat remains in a relaxed attitude.

However, a problem has been encountered in attempting to provide a base for the seating members which adequately supports the seating member and simultaneously preserves the resilient and elastic properties of the plastic material. For example, the backrest portion of such seating members must be supported otherwise it may break away from the seat portion when pressure is applied thereto, as when a person leans back against this portion of the seat. Presently, relatively rigid members are used which extend along the backrest portion for a substantial length to provide the required support for the backrest portion. However, these members decrease the natural elasticity and resiliency of the plastic seat thereby causing undue and uncomfortable pressures to be applied to the occupants back and neck.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a chair which includes a plastic seating member having a backrest portion which is resiliently and flexibly supported by a base to reduce discomforting pressures which may be experienced by the occupant of the chair.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an article of furniture which may be manufactured easily and economically.

A further object and feature of the present invention resides in the novel details of construction which provide a prefabricated or knockdown chair having a seating member and a base section which are easily and quickly assembled to provide a durable article of furniture with a highly aesthetic appeal.

In furtherance of the foregoing objects, the chair of the present invention includes a seating member and a base therefor. In practice, the seating member is fabricated from a flexible and resilient plastic material and the base is fabricated from wood or a similar material which has a limited degree of flexibility and resiliency.

3,407,001 Patented Oct. 22, 1968 The base comprises a plurality of easily interconnected elongated members having spaced upstanding posts. The seating member rests upon the top surface of the posts and includes a seat portion and backrest portion which is inclined upwardly and outwardly from the seating portion. The posts are provided with respective seating member supporting surfaces on their top edges. The surface of at least one of these posts conforms to the inclination of the backrest and engages and supports the same. Since the top edge only of the one post engages the back rest, the post remains relatively flexible throughout its length. Hence, when the chair is occupied, both the backrest portion and the one post flex rearwardly when pressure is applied thereto by the occupant to provide a comfortable chair which is simple in both construction and assembly.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the chair illustrated in FIG. 1, illustrating the relationship between the post supporting the backrest of the chair and the backrest;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view illustrating the location of the supporting posts relative to the seat portion of the chair;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the chair shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a chair illustrating a modified embodiment of the base section;

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of another modified embodiment of a chair constructed according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the chair shown in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the chair shown in FIG. 6.

Referring to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1-4 a chair designated generally by the reference numeral 10, which is constructed in accordance with the present invention. The chair 10 comprises a seating member 12 which, in practice, is fabricated from a flexible and a resilient plastic material, and a base 14 which supports the seating member 12 to provide a so-called modular or knockdown seat construction of a contoured chair having a highly aesthetically pleasing design.

The seating member 12 includes a seat portion 16 which is inclined downwardly from the front to the rear of the chair 10, as shown in FIG. 2. Integrally formed with the seat portion 16 is a backrest portion 18 which is inclined upwardly and rearwardly from the seating portion 16. The integral backrest portion 18 and the seat portion 16 merge smoothly together at a curvilinear portion 20 which is provided with a relatively large radius of curvature. The particular slope or inclination of the respective portions which comprise the seating member 12 are designed to produce a state of muscle relaxation in the body so that a person sitting in the chair 10 is relaxed as well as supported by the chair.

As noted hereinabove, the seating member 12 is fabricated from a relatively flexible and resilient plastic material so that the backrest portion 18 will flex rearwardly when pressure is applied thereto as when the occupant of the seat leans against the backrest portion 18. However, because of the inherent weakness of the plastic materials of the type contemplated for use in the chair of the present invention, the backrest portion 18 must be adequately supported by external means. That is, the rearwardly directed forces produced by the occupant of the chair 10 gives rise to a torque about the curved portion 20 which may cause the backrest portion 18 to separate or otherwise break away from the seat portion 16. As noted hereinabove, the chairs of the prior art have utilized rigid members which extend along the backrest portion 18 to provide such support. However, these constructions substantially eliminate the benefits obtained by utilizing a flexible and resilient material for the seating member 12. More specifically, when a person occupies a prior art chair construction, the supporting members restrain the movement of the backrest portion and do not permit the backrest to flex. Accordingly, undue and uncomfortable pressures are applied to the back of the person. Thus, after relatively short intervals of time the occupant of the chair must change his position or his seat in order to eliminate the strain produced by such pressures.

In accordance with a feature of the present invention, the base 14 flexibly supports the seating member 12 so that a backrest portion 18 will be adequately supported to eliminate the possibility of fracturing of the seating member. Moreover, the flexible and resilient properties of the material comprising the seating member 12 will still be retained thereby to eliminate the cause of the body strain described hereinabove.

More particularly, the base 14 includes elongated members designated by the respective reference numerals 22 and 24 in FIGS. 1 to 4. Approximately centrally located in the member 24 is a slot 26 (see FIG. 4) which extends to the upper edge of the member 24. Similarly, a slot 28 is approximately centrally located in the member 22 'which extends to the lower surface of this member. The slots 26 and 28 are sized and positioned to interengage each other and to position the members 22 and 24 with respect to each other so that they form an X.

Upstanding from the ends of the member 22 are front and rear support posts designated by the respective reference characters 30 and 32. Similarly, upstanding from the ends of the member 24 are front and rear support posts respectively designated by the reference numerals 34 and 36. The posts 30 and 34 are coplanar and are of equal height and are located at the front of the chair 10. Likewise, the posts 32 and 36 are coplanar and are of equal height and are located at the rear of the chair 10. However, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the rear posts 32 and 36 are longer than the respective front posts 30 and 34 and extend beyond the top edges of the posts 30, 34 to engage the back-rest portion 18 above the plane of the seat portion 16. The top edges of the posts 30-36 are provided with seat supporting surfaces 38-44 upon which the seat section 12 rests.

More specifically, the seat supporting surfaces 38 and 40 are provided on the respective top edges of the front posts 30 and 34 and are inclined downwardly rearwardly at the same angle of inclination as the seat portion 16 of the seating member 12. The surfaces 38 and 40 engage the undersurface of the seat portion 16 adjacent the front end thereof to support the same, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.

In a like manner, the rear posts 32 and 36 are provided with the respective seat supporting surfaces 42 and 44 on their top edges. The seat supporting surfaces 42, 44 are inclined at an angle corresponding to the angle of inclination of the backrest portion 18 of the seating member 12. Additionally, the rear posts 32 and 36 are sized and positioned so that the seat supporting surfaces 42 and 44 engage the backrest portion 18 at a point spaced above and adjacent to the curved portion 20 of the seating member 12. Thus, as shown clearly in FIGS. 1 and 2, the backrest portion 18 of the chair extends outwardly beyond the posts 32 and 36 so that the seating member 12 is adquately supported by the posts. Moreover, it is particularly emphasized that the posts 32 and 36 do not extend upwardly along the length of the backrest portion 18 but engage the same at a point adjacent the bottom edge thereof.

As noted hereinabove, the base 14 may be fabricated from wood or a similar material having some degree of flexibility and resiliency. Thus, when a person occupies the chair 10 and leans rearwardly against the backrest portion 18 of the seating member 12, the backrest portion will flex rearwardly since the upper section of the backrest is not constrained from movement. Additionally, the posts 32 and 36 'will similarly flex rearwardly to some degree because of their inherent flexibility. Hence, no concentrated or discomforting pressures will be applied to the back of the person due to the lack of flexibility of the chair.

In addition to the above, the rear posts 32, 36 produce a counter-torque about the curved portion. 20 of the seating member 12 to prevent the backrest portion 18 from bending rearwardly beyond the elastic limit of the material comprising the seating member 12 to prevent damage to the same. Moreover, the Weight of the person occupying the chair 10 will cause the backrest portion '18 to firmly seat on the seat supporting surfaces 42 and 44 of the respective rear posts 32 and 36 because of the downwardly rearwardly inclination of the seat portion 16. Thus, the chair will provide a light weight and sturdy support of the person using the same.

The seating member 12 may be provided with contoured pillows 17 and 19 which are adapted to be placed against the seat portion 16 and the backrest portion 18 respectively, of the chair 10 to further add to the comfort of the person occupying the chair.

In assembling the chair 10, the elongated members 22 and 24 are interconnected at the slots 26 and 28 so that the members 22 and 24 form an X, as noted hereinabove. Appropriate fastening means (not shown) may be provided to aflix the members 22 and 24 in place. With the members 22 and 24 interengaged, the front posts 30, 34 and the rear posts 32, 36 will be located in the positions shown in FIG. 3. The seating member 12 is then placed on the posts -36 so that the curved portion 20 is located adjacent the rear posts 32 and 36. In order to facilitate the location of the seating member 12 on the posts 30-36 and to prevent relative sliding movement therebewteen, the undersurface of the seat portion 16 may be provided with recesses (not shown) which are positioned to receive the seat supporting surfaces 38, 40 of the posts 30, 34. Similarly, the rear surface of the backrest portion 18 may be provided with spaced recesses 43 and 45 positioned to receive the seat supporting surfaces 42 and 44 of the respective posts 32 and 36. Moreover, fastening means such as an appropriate adhesive may be provided to affix the seating member 12 on the posts 30- 36 so that the seating member and the base 14 cannot be separated after the chair has been assembled. Thus, it will be noted that the seat 10 may be assembled easily and quickly to provide a modular chair which is both comfortable and highly pleasing to the eye.

FIG. 5 illustrates a chair, designated generally by the reference numeral 46, which includes a modified embodiment of the base 14 shown in FIGS. 1-4. Similarly to the chair 10, the chair 46 includes a seating member 12 having a seat portion 16 and an outwardly upwardly inclined backrest portion 18 which are interconnected by a curved section 20. The seating member 12 of the chair 46 is supported on a base 48.

The base 48 is similar to the base 14 in that it includes respective front posts 50 and 52 which engage and support the seat portion 16, and respective rear posts 54 and 56 which engage and support the backrest portion 18 in a manner similar to the posts 30-36. Additionally, the top edges of the posts 50-56 are provided with seat supporting surfaces which engage and support the seating member 12 in the manner described hereinabove with respect to the chair 10. However, in contradistinction to the base 14, the posts 52 and 54 are interconnected by an elongated member 66 which is positioned intermediate the ends of these posts. Similarly, the posts 50 and 56 are interconnected by an elongated member 68 which is located intermediate the ends of these posts. The respective elongated members 66 and 68 are provided with complementary formed slots (not shown) which are adapted to interengage each other to position the elongated members 66 and 68 in the form of an X.

The chair 46 may be assembled in the same manner as the chair to provide a contoured chair which is both comfortable and highly pleasing aesthetically. That is, since the posts 54 and 56 engage the lower portionof the backrest 18, the backrest will remain adequately supported and still be flexible to substantially eliminate undue pressure on the occupant of the chair. Additionally, the. location of the elongated members 66 and 68 provide a sturdy base constructionfor the chair to support individuals of relatively heavy weight.

A further modified embodiment of a chair constructed according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 6-8 and is designated generally by the reference numeral 74. The chair 74 includes a seating member 76 and a base 78. As noted hereinabove in conjunction with the chairs 10 and 46, the seating-member 761's fabricated from a flexible and resilient, plastic material. Additionally, the member 76 includes a substantially horizontally extending seat portion 80, a rearwardly and downwardly inclined seat portion 82 and an upwardly and outwardly inclined backrest portion 84 which is connected to .the portion 82 byacurvedportion 86. a

The base 78 includes elongated members 88 and 90. As shown in FIG. 8, the member; 88 is provided with an approximately centrally located slot 92 which extends to the upper edge of the member. Similarly, the member 90 is provided with a complementary formed approximately centrally located slot 94 which extends to the lower edge of the member. The walls defining the slots 92 and 94 are sized and positioned so that when the slots 92 and 94 are interengaged the members 90 and 88 will be perpendicular to each other.

Upstanding from the respective ends of the member 88 are a front post 96 and a rear post 98. Similarly, the member 90 is provided with opposed upstanding posts 100 and 102 at its respective ends. Each one of the posts 96- 102 is provided with a seat supporting surface on the top edge thereof. The seat supporting surface 104 of the post 98 is inclined upwardly outwardly or rearwardly complementary to the inclination of the backrest portion 84 of the seating member 76. Additionally, the post 98 is higher than the post 96 so that the seat supporting surface 104 extends beyond the seat supporting surface of the post 96. In a like manner, the seat supporting surfaces 103 and 105 of the respective posts 100 and 102 are inclined complementary to the inclination of the seat'portion 82.

The member 90 is sized so that the seat supporting surfaces 102 and 105 of the respective posts 100 and 102 engage the undersurface of the seat portion 82 adjacent its side edges. Recesses (not shown) may be provided on the seating member 76 which are adapted to receive the posts 100 and 102 to prevent relative sliding movement therebetween. Similarly, the post 96 is adapted to be received in a recess (not shown) on the seat portion 80 and the post 98 is adapted to be received in a recess 107 (FIG. 8). As shown in FIG. 7, the seat supporting surface 104 engages the backrest portion 84 at an area spaced above the curved section 86 and located approximately midway between the side edges of the chair.

The chair 74 may be assembled in a manner similarly to the chair 10. Accordingly, the chair 74 will similarly provide a so-called modular contoured chair having a backrest portion which remains flexible and resilient to eliminate uncomfortable back pressures. Moreover, the backrest portion is adequately supported by a base which will prevent damage or excessive bending of the backrest portion 84 beyond the elastic limit of the material comprising the seating member 76.

A seat portion pillow 106 and backrest portion pillow 108 may be provided to add to the comfort of the occupant of the chair. The pillow 106 is contoured to match the curvature of the seat portions and 82 and the backrest pillow 108 is contoured complementary to the inclination of the backrest 84 so that these pillows will lie flat against their respective supporting portions to provide further comfort for the occupant of the chair.

Accordingly, an easily assembled chair has been described in which the seat section of the chair may be fabricated from a flexible and resilient material which may be adequately supported on a base while retaining the flexible and resilient properties of the backrest portion of theseat section so that no undue or uncomfortable pressures are applied to the occupant of the chair.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described herein, it will be obvious that numerous omissions, changes, and additions may be made insuch embodiments-without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, although the seating member has been described as being fabricated from a flexible and resilient plastic material, it readily will be obvious that any material-having these properties such as molded plywood and the like may be used.

What is claimed is: k i1. An article of furniture including a seat fabricated from a flexible and resilient material for supporting a body and a base therefor; said base comprising a plurality of elongated members interconnected in a pre-selected angular relationship to each other, at least one upstanding post connected to each one of said plurality of members, each one of said posts having a respective seat supporting surface on its respective top edge adapted to receive said seat thereon; said seat including a seat portion, and an upwardly and outwardly inclined backrest portion connected to said seat portion; the seat supporting surface of at least one of said posts conforming to the inclination of said backrest portion and engaging said backrest portion at a place spaced above the bottom of said backrest portion whereby said backrest portion is supported by the inclined surface on the top edge of said one post.

2. An article of furniture according to claim 1, in which said plurality of elongated members comprises two members which are oriented angularly to each other, one of said two elongated members mounting a pair of spaced upstanding posts sized and positioned to engage the underside of said seat portion adjacent the side edges of said seat portion.

3. An article of furniture in accordance with claim 1, in which said backrest and seat portions are integral, said one post extending beyond the upper surface of the other posts to engage said backrest portion at a place spaced above the seat supporting surfaces of said other posts.

4. An article of furniture in accordance with claim 3, in which said seat portion is inclined downwardly rearwardly, and a curved portion interconnecting said seat portion and said backrest portion, said curved portion being spaced inwardly and adjacent to said one post.

5. An article of furniture in accordance with claim 4, including a seat pillow conforming to the contours of said seat portion and abutting said seat portion, and a backrest pillow conforming to the inclination of said backrest portion and abutting said backrest portion.

6. An article of furniture as in claim 1, wherein said plurality of elongated members comprise two in number,

means for connecting and positioning said two elongated members so they define an X, each of said elongated members mounting a pair of spaced posts,

one post from each of said pair of posts being positioned to form front supports for said seat,

the other post from each of said pair of posts being positioned to form rear supports for said seat,

the seat supporting surfaces of said other posts conforming to the inclination of said backrest portion and engaging said backrest portion at a place spaced above the bottom of said backrest portion, whereby said backrest portion is supported on the inclined surfaces of the top edges of said other posts.

7. An article of furniture as in claim 6, and a plurality of recesses in said seat sized and positioned to receive respective ones of said posts to prevent relative sliding movement therebetween.

8. An article of furniture as in claim 6, in which the seat supporting surfaces of said front supports are inclined rearwardly downwardly and conform to the inblination of said seating portion, said front post engaging aid seating portion adjacent the front edge thereof to support said seating portion on the enclosed seat supporting surfaces.

9. A chair including a seat fabricated from a flexible and resilient material for supporting a body and a base therefor; said base comprising at least two elongated members,

connecting means for connecting together said elongated members and for positioning said members in a preselected angular relationship with respect to each other,

and a pair of upstanding posts connected to each one of said elongated members,

each one of said posts having a seat supporting surface on its top edge; said seat including a seat portion,

and a backrest portion connected to said seat portion and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom; at least one of said posts engaging said backrest portion on its seat supporting surface at a place 8 spaced below the top of said backrest portion so that said backrest portion extends outwardly from said one post,

whereby said backrest portion is supported on the top edge of said one post.

10. A chair as claimed in claim 9, in which said elongated members are spaced intermediate the ends of said pairs of posts.

11. A chair as in claim 9, in which said connecting means comprises complementary formed slots in said elongated members interengaged with each other.

12. A chair as in claim 9, and a plurality of recesses in said seat in one-to-one correspondence with said posts, said recesses being positioned to receive a different one of said posts therein to prevent relative sliding movement between said posts and said seat.

13. An article of furniture as in claim 8, in which said seat portion is inclined downwardly rearwardly.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,628,668 2/1953 Basile 297442 X 2,632,498 3/1953 Curtis 297442 X 2,728,382 12/1955 Baranski 297218 3,082,037 3/1963 Anderson 297440 3,133,765 5/1964 Kramer 297-445 3,284,136 11/1966 Harrison 297445 X 3,330,600 7/1967 Robertson 297452 X CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2628668 *Apr 20, 1949Feb 17, 1953Gennaro J BasileDemountable chair
US2632498 *Jul 10, 1951Mar 24, 1953Curtis Philip CKnockdown chair
US2728382 *Oct 13, 1951Dec 27, 1955Baranski George JUpholstered chair
US3082037 *Oct 19, 1960Mar 19, 1963Howard W AndersonLock-joint chair
US3133765 *Aug 30, 1962May 19, 1964Ion CorpChair
US3284136 *Apr 19, 1965Nov 8, 1966Pel LtdArticles of furniture
US3330600 *Jun 2, 1966Jul 11, 1967North British Rubber Co LtdSeat cushions
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3729229 *Oct 7, 1970Apr 24, 1973L MinskerModular furniture
US4089560 *Jul 18, 1977May 16, 1978John J. Posta, Jr.Seat device
US4974906 *Oct 18, 1989Dec 4, 1990Hines John DReady-to-assemble chair
US5951110 *Oct 17, 1997Sep 14, 1999Irwin Seating CompanyContoured plastic seat back
US6033027 *Apr 15, 1999Mar 7, 2000Irwin Seating CompanySeat back with corner indentations
US6042187 *Apr 15, 1999Mar 28, 2000Irwin Seating CompanySeat back with aperture identifiers
US6168239Apr 15, 1999Jan 2, 2001Irwin Seating CompanySeat back with shaped internal ribs
US8454088Feb 27, 2012Jun 4, 2013Chameleon Chairs LLCModular stackable furniture systems
DE202012009179U1Sep 25, 2012Nov 9, 2012Vitra Patente AgStuhlkonstruktion
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/448.2, 297/440.13, 297/452.14, 297/440.15
International ClassificationA47C4/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47C4/03, A47C4/028, A47C4/021
European ClassificationA47C4/02C, A47C4/02U, A47C4/03