US 3423772 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 28, 1969 D. N. MAINGUY ,42 ,772
MULTI-PURPOSE FURNITURE UNIT Filed Aug. 29, 1967 DONALD NEVILLE MAINGUY BY m asuufgwwtckg UJ7 mi.
ATTORNEYS Jan. 28, 1969 D. N. MAINGUY MULTI-PURPOSE FURNITURE UNIT Sheet Filed Aug. 29, 1967 INVENTOR DONALD NEVILLE MAlNGUY Q? u M 9 mmwq, a5 Mk1) w ATTORNEYS Jan. 28, 1969 D. N. MAINGUY MULTIJURPOSE FURNITURE UNIT INVENTOR 55$ wwQ-Qn mum DONALD NEVILLE Mmucuv was Filed Aug. 29, 1967 ATTORNEYS Jan. 28, 1969 D. N. MAINGUY 3,423,772
MULTI-PURPOSE FURNITURE UNIT Filed Aug. 29, 1967 INVENTOR DONALD N EVILLE MAINGUY ATTORNEYS 3,423,772 MULT I-PURPOSE FURNITURE UNIT Donald N. Mainguy, Montgomery, Ala., assignor of onehalf interest to John S. Andrews, Grenada, Miss., Filed Aug. 29, 1967, Ser. No. 664,000 US. Cl. 2 I 14 Claims Int. Cl. A47b 83/00, 85/00, 87/00 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A convertible furniture unit having a hinged master panel inserta'ble in various positions on a base unit; for selectively proyiding a table, bed, desk, love seat, easel or drafting table. The master panel is comprised of plural planar portions each having recessed extendable legs mounted thereon. I
Background of the invention This invention relates to the field of furniture, and more particularly to the field of convertible furniture in which a single furniture unit is convertible to a plurality of useful forms of furniture. 1-
Those skilled in the art of furniture manufacture have long sought to provide furniture that is convertible from one mode to another. Probably the most well known fdrm of such convertible furniture are chairs and couches which are convertible'into beds. However, the prior art is replete with other examples of convertible furniture which provide a plurality of selective functions. Unfortunately, most of the known forms of convertible furniture suffer from one or more of the defects of being cumbersome, complicated, difficult to convert from one form to another, expensive and being convertible only to a limited number of fori'ns. Most of the known forms of convertible furniture include complicated structure such as plural latches, springs, levers and the like which are expensive to manufacture and assemble and are also prone to eventual wearing out if they are used a considerable number of times. Therefore, it is apparent that the prior art does not provide any convertible furniture which is convertible gto a large number of useful forms while remaining simple in constructioii, easy to operate and economical to manufacture and maintain.
Summary of the invention This invention comprises a furniture unitconsisting of a primary or base unit formed of first and second piers connected. along their rear edge by a bridge member to provide a substantially U-shaped member. Inwardly facing side walls of each pier are provided with two respective paired recessed areas into which a main panel can be inserted in various modes of orientation to provide different furniture forms. The primary panel consists of first and second planar parts which are hinged along a longitudinal edge portion and are movable from a folded stacked relationship to an extended coplanar relationship. Each of the planar parts includes foldable legs which can be folded inwardly into a recess in the planar parts and can be extended outwardly in generally perpendicular relation to the planar parts. When the legs are folded in wardly to their recessed position, the planar parts can be folded together in stacked relationship so that the legs are in opposed relation and are not visible from either sideof the folded primary panel. The primary panel is receivable in a recess in the top of each of the inwardly facingsides of the pier elements, and when th-usly received, the furniture unit can be used as a desk, drafting table, or an easel. Moreover, one of the planar parts can be foldedoutwardly with its legs extended to engage the floor so as to provide a table structure. When the primary panel is inserted in the lowermost slots formed in the side itd States Pat 0 walls of the piers, the furniture unit is then convertible into either a bed or a small couch or love seat. Four cushions are provided to form the seat and back of the' love seat or to alternatively form a mattress when the device is in the bed formof'assembly.
Therefore, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved furniture unit that is convertible to a plurality of useful furniture forms.
Yet another object of this invention is the provision of a new and unobvious furniture unit that is convertible into a bed, desk, table, easel, drafting table or c'ouch.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a new and unobvious furniture unit of simple, rugged and economical design.
Still another object of this invention is the provision of a new and unobvious item of furniture.
Description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is an exploded perspective view of the various elements of a preferred embodiment of the invention; r
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view illustrating the preferred embodiment in a desk form of'assembly;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken'along lines 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view illustrating the preferred embodiment in a love seat or small couch form of assembly;
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 55 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment illustrating the unit in a bed form of assembly;
FIGURE 7 is a sectioiial view taken alOng lines 7-7 of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment illustrating it its table form of assembly;
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view taken along lines 9-9 of FIGURE 8;
FIGURE 10 is a perspective view illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention in its easel form of assembly; and
FIGURE 11 is a sectiqpal view taken along lines 3-3 of FIGURE 2 but illustrating the parts in a different operative relationship which provides a drafting table form of assembly. .3
Description of the preferred embodiment The preferred embodiment of the invention consists of a U-shaped base unit which is formed of first and second end piers 20'and 22 which are connected together along their rear portions by a bridge member 24. Bridge member 24 is connected to the respective piers by conventional connector elements 26' which are receivable in female portions 28 of the perspective piers. This construction provides for complete disassembly of the invention if desired. However, it should be understood that the bridge could be permanently attached between the pier members to provide a permanent structure if deemed necessary.
Bridge member 24 has a sloping forward surface 30 which is interrupted by a slot 32 extending rearwa-rdly from surface 30 toward the rear of the bridge member.
Each of the piers 20 and 22 is provided with a plurality of adjustable floor engaging legs 34 and the second pier member 22 isalso provided with a plurality of recess or groove 44 which is in exact alignment with groove 42. The lower portion of inwardly facing side walls 38 and 40 are similarly provided with aligned slots or channels 46 and 48 respectively which also provide support surfaces.
A removable horizontal shelf 50 is supported by pins or other conventional attachment means 52 extending from walls 38 and 40 and positioned immediately forward of the front wall 30 of bridge 24 beneath slots 46 and 48. j
A supplemental shelf 52 having a length slightly less than the distance between the innermost vertical surfaces of slots 48 is also provided for a purpose to be discussed hereinafter. Shelf 52 is of a thickness less than the width'of slots 46 and 48 and is therefore insert'able therein.
A primary panel 54 consisting of first and second planar parts 56 and 58 respectively is dimensioned to be supported in slots 46 and 48 or channels or grooves 42 and 44. Planar parts 56 and 58 are connected along one edge by hinges 60 and are foldable to a vertical stacked relationship illustrated in FIGURE 2 or can be extended outwardly to a coplanar extended relationship illustrated in FIGURES 6, 7 and 9. Planar parts 56 and 58 are of identical size and are slidably receivable in recesses 42 and 44 or alternatively in recesses 46 and 48. Planar parts 56 includes a pair of foldable legs 62 which are hingedly mounted within recesses 64 on one side of the planar part. The legs 62 are pivotable between a folded position illustrated by the leftmost leg in FIGURE 1 and an extended position illustrated by the rightmost leg in FIGURE 1. In the folded position, the legs 62 are fully within their respective recesses 64, and in their extended position, the legs are in substanially normal or perpendicular orientation to the plane of part 56. The
legs are maintained in their extended position by means of a latch or other conventional latch means 66.
Similarly, panel part 58 is provided with a plurality of shorter legs 68 which are also receivable in respective recesses 70 on one side of the planar part. Legs 68 are also hingedly mounted and include latch members 66 in the same manner as legs 62. Legs 68 are similarly movable between a folded position entirely within the confines of their respective recesses 70 and to an extended position oriented substantially normal to the planar part 58. It will be noted that legs 62 are considerably longer than legs 68 for the reasons which will become apparent hereinafter. It should also be noted that when all of the legs are folded to their recessed position, panel parts 56 and 58 are then foldable to their stacked position illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3 without any obstruction from the folded legs. v
Four covered cushions 72, 74, 76 and 78 are provided for various purposes to be discussed hereinafter. Cushions 72 and 74 are mated together by a hinged cover and cushions 76 and 78 are similarly mated together.
As was noted previously, this invention provides a plurality of different furniture modes or forms. The first mode is that of a desk and is illustrated in FIGURES I and 2. In this mode, the primary panel 54 is folded over to provide a stacked relationship of planar parts 56 and 58 with the legs being folded to their recessed position. The primary panel is then inserted in upper channels or grooves 42 and 44 and is supported therein. The upper surface of planar part 56 is coplanar with the upper surface of piers 20 and 22 and bridge24. Cushions 72, 74, 76 and 78 are stored onshelf 50 in the 'manner illustrated in FIGURE 3. It,'therefore, 'will be obvious that the device, when assembledin this manner; provides a desk construction. f 1 i A second mode consisting'of 'a'n easel constructionis illustrated in FIGURE 10. In this assembly mode, planar part 58 is supported in channels 42a nd 44 with the hinges 60 being oriented adjacent the forwardedge of l.'.l=1)'I"'- t e de i e,
Legs 62 are folded outwardly to an intermediate position-so that their lower ends rest upon the lower end of the folded legs 68 within their respective recesses of panel part 58.
The device is converted to a third form consisting of a drafting table by placing planar part 56 in recesses 40 and 44 as shown in FIGURE 11. Planar part 58 has its respective rearward leg 68 open to its extended position so that planar part 58 is held in an inclined position as illustrated in FIGURE II.
A table mode of assembly is provided by placing panel part 58 in recesses 42 and 44 with the leg sides of the panel part facing downwardly as illustrated in FIGURES 8 and 9. Legs 62 are extended to their latched position to provide support for panel part 56 which is retained in planar relationship with panel part 58 as best illustrated in FIGURE 9.
Conversion of the subject invention to a bed is achieved by inserting the supplemental shelf 52 in the rearward portion of slots 46 and 48 and in slot 32 and inserting panel part 56 into the forward portion of slots 46 and 48 as illustrated in FIGURE 7. Panel part 58 is supported in aligned coplanar relation with panel part 56 by virtue of the fact that legs 68 are latched in their extended position as shown. The cushions 72, 74, 76 and 78 are then placed on top of panel parts 56 and 58 to provide a combinational maltress surface. If the bed is to be used for persons of short stature, such as children for example, it is not necessary to insert supplemental shelf 52 and only three cushions will provide adequate length for the occupants of the bed.
FIGURES 4 and 5 illustrate the love seat or small couch mode of assembly. To achieve this embodiment, panel parts 56 and 58 are folded together so that the sides having the legs mounted thereon face each other and are then inserted in the lower slots 46 and 48.
Cushions 78 and 76 are then oriented in a substantially vertical stacked array of cushions 72 and 74 are oriented in a edge stacked orientation as shown in FIGURE 5 to provide the love seat configuration.
Therefore, it will be obvious that the preferred embodiment of this invention enables the provision of a bed mode, a love seat mode, a table mode, a desk mode, an easel mode and a drafting table mode of assembly with all of the modes being easily assembled in a rapid manner. Moreover, the instant invention is simple and rugged in construction and can be constructed at a minimum of cost. There are essentially no movable parts to wear out or cause maintenance problems.
While only a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated, it will be understood that other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art but which will not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims. Therefore, the scope of this invention is to be determined by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is: I
l. A multi-purpose furniture unit convertible to plural functional forms, said unit comprising first and second spaced pier units forming opposite sides of said unit and having opposed inwardly facing side walls, a generally vertical bridge member connected to the rear side of said pier units for maintaining said pier units in relative fixed spaced relation so that inwardly facing side walls are in generally parallel vertical planes, an upper channel in said inwardly facing walls of said first pier unit, an upper channel in said inwardly facing wall of said second pier unit. said upper channels being aligned with respect to each otherto receive a folded master panel formed of first and secondhingedly connected planar parts receivable within said slots to provide a flat desk top surface by mutual cooperation with the top surfaces of said piers and said bridge and first and second aligned lower slots for receiv'-' ing one of said planar parts when said,p|anar parts are positioned in an unfolded substantial coplanar array to provide a planar support surface for cushion means supported thereon to provide a bed construction.
2. The furniture unit of claim 1 wherein said planar parts of said master panel are hingedly connected along an edge portion and are of substantially equal size and shape.
3. The furniture unit of claim 2 wherein each of said planar parts of said master panel includes a pair of legs hingedly mounted within recessed portions of said planar parts and movable to an extended latched position in perpendicular orientation to their respective planar parts with the recesses being located in adjacent opposed interior sides of said planar parts when said planar parts are in their folded position and wherein the legs mounted within said second planar parts are of relatively short length so as to support said second planar parts in horizontal alignment with said first planar part when said first planar part is inserted in said aligned lower slots to provide a bed form of assembly.
4. The furniture unit of claim 3 wherein said foldable legs mounted on said first planar part are of substantial length so as to enable supporting of said first planar part in coplanar aligned array with said second planar part when said second planar part is supported in said upper channels so that said first planar part provides a table function.
5. The furniture unit of claim 4 wherein said cushion means comprises four covered cushions.
6. The furniture unit of claim 5 wherein said bridge member includes a sloping front face which has a slot aligned with said lower slots.
7. The furniture unit of claim 6 wherein said cushions are rectangular and have a width equal to the distance between said inwardly facing side walls.
8. The furniture unit of claim 7 wherein said cushions are hingedly paired together.
9. The furniture unit of claim 4 additionally including a horizontal shelf unit extending between said piers adjacent said bridge member below said lower slots for storingly supporting said cushion means.
10. The furniture unit of claim 9 wherein the width and thickness of said cushions is such that three of said cushions are receivable in edgewise stacked array on said shelf and a fourth cushion is receivable upon the top of the edgewise stacked array in a horizontal orientation beneath said master panel when said master panel is supported in said upper channels.
11. A multi-purpose furniture unit convertible to plural functional forms, said unit comprising first and second spaced pier members forming opposite ends of said furniture unit and connected along their respective rear edges by a vertically oriented bridge member so that inwardly facing opposed walls of each pier member are in spaced parallel relationship with respect to each other and horizontally aligned support surfaces adjacent the top of each of said walls for receiving a foldable master panel consisting of first and second rectangular planar parts hinged along a longitudinal edge with said first rectangular part including a pair of legs hingedly mounted in a recess within said parts but being movable to an extended position substantially normal to said first planar part so that said second planar part can be supported on said upper support surfaces and said legs will extend downwardly to engage the floor upon which the unit is mounted to maintain the first planar part in substantially horizontal aligned array with the second planar part.
12. The furniture unit of claim 11 additionally includ-' ing lower horizontally aligned support surfaces on said inwardly facing walls for receiving said first planar part of said master panel and a pair of legs mounted in a recess in said second planar part and movable to an extended position normal to said second planar part so that when said first planar part is supported by said lower support surfaces, said extended legs on said second planar part provide a support engaging the supporting floor to maintain the second planar part in aligned horizontal array with the first planar part to provide a bed surface for receiving cushioned mattress elements.
13. The device of claim 12 additionally including a supplemental shelf insertable on said lower supporting surfaces and wherein said bridge member includes a forward sloping surface and a first horizontal shelf unit extends between said pier members adjacent said bridge member, forward sloping surface below said lower supporting surfaces and wherein said cushion elements comprise four rectangular cushions dimensioned so that their longest dimension is approximately equal to the spacing between said inwardly facing walls and the total sum of the widths of said cushions is equal to the sum of the total length of said first and second planar parts when such are oriented in horizontal array to form a bed function plus the width of said supplemental shelf and wherein two opposite cushions can be oriented in substantially vertical orientation against the forward surface of said bridge member and two of said cushions can be oriented in stacked vertical array on said first horizontal shelf to provide a small couch arrangement mode.
14. The furniture unit of claim 12 wherein one of said pier members is substantially wider than the other of said pier members and said one of said pier members includes drawer members mounted for movement therein.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,580,784 l/1952 Hoppe 3l2-228 2,768,389 10/1956 Caroleo 5-2 3,082,435 3/ 1963 Philips et al 5-2 3,337,879 8/1967 Humphrey 53 CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R. 56; 297440