US 3494662 A
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Feb. 10, 1970 G. E. scaAFEna; EfAL 9 9 5 FURNITURE ASSEMBLY 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 1 Filed Nov. 1. 1967 1970 G. E. SCHAEII-ER'EITAL v 3,494,662
' FURNITURE ASSEMBLY Filed Nov. 1, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,494,662 FURNITURE ASSEMBLY George E. Schaefer, Muskegon, and Robert I. Anderson,
Spring Lake, Mich., assignors to Brunswick Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 1, 1967, Ser. No. 679,692 Int. Cl. A47c 15/00; A47b 83/ 02, 39/00 U.S. Cl. 297248 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A furniture supporting apparatus including a pair of flat, elongate support bars that are positively retained in spaced parallel relationship with one another by retaining brackets which have insert tabs received between the bars and holding tabs positioned outwardly of the bars. The support bars are carried by a plurality of pedestal legs, and a variety of articles of furniture are mounted on the support bars.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The furniture assembly of the present invention has particular utility in bowling alleys, and the like, where it is necessary to provide versatile seating arrangements and varied table structures for supporting glasses, bottles and the like. Prior art furniture assemblies that have been used for this purpose have not been entirely satisfactory, in that once installed, they have provided a relatively permanent assembly which has been difficult, if not impossible, to alter when desired. Furthermore, known furniture assemblies have been relatively expensive to initially fabricate and to install.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The furniture assembly of the present invention obviates the problems noted above by providing an extremely light weight structure, which utilizes a minimum number of parts to provide a stable and sturdy construction. The novel furniture arrangement that is disclosed in detail hereafter is extremely simple to assemble and disassemble in a minimum amount of time, so that the furniture arrangement can be changed as desired to meet varying needs. Furthermore, the present invention utilizes a minimum number of parts, many of which are interchangeable, so that a wide variety of furniture ensembles can be created.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a first furniture arrangement or ensemble embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan similar to FIG. 1, and illustrating a further furniture arrangement or ensemble;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top plan view similar to FIGS. 1 and 2, and illustrating another furniture arrangement or ensemble;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view similar to FIGS. 13, and illustrating still another furniture arrangement or ensemble;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view through a furniture assembly, such as those shown in FIGS. 1-4, and illustrating a supporting leg in side elevation;
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken generally along line 66 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view through a furniture assembly, such as those shown in FIGS. 1-4, and illustrating a seat in side elevation;
FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view through a furniture assembly, such as those shown in FIGS. 1-4, and illustrating a table in side elevation;
' 3,494,662 Patented Feb. 10, 1970 DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many dilferent forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail only preferred embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention to the embodiments illustrated. The scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.
The furniture assembly of the present invention includes a pair of elongate, thin, flat support bars or members 11 and 12, which are disposed on edge in spaced parallel relationship with one another, as can be best seen from FIGS. 5, 7, 8 and 10. In the arrangements illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the support bars 11 and 12 are rectilinear throughout their length, while in FIGS. 3 and 4 the ends of the support bars are offset with respect to one another. The ends of the support bars 11' and 12 of FIG. 3 are disposed at an angle with respect to the central portion thereof, and in FIG. 4; two sets of support bars 110, 12a and 11a, 12a are disposed at right angles with respect to each other, and the two sets are connected by means to be hereafter described. A wide variety of articles of furniture can be mounted upon the support bars, and the various arrangements illustrated in FIGS. 14, to be hereafter described, are for purposes of example only.
Each furniture arrangement or ensemble includes at least two pedestal-like support legs 13 that are spaced from one another, and which carry the support bars 11 and 12. As canbe best seen in FIG. 5, the legs 13 are shaped like the form of an inverted T, and include a central vertical upright 14 having a central projection 15 at the upper end thereof. Projections 15 engage the facing surfaces of support bars 11 and 12, and cooperate with means to be hereafter described to retain the support bars 11 and 12 in spaced parallel relationship with respect to one another. The upper end of upright 14 is provided with horizontally disposed shoulders 16 at opposite sides of projections 15, and shoulders 16 provide seating surfaces upon which the lower edges of support bars 11 and 12 rest. An internally threaded hole 17 is provided centrally of upright 14 for reception of a bolt 18 to securely clamp the support bars 11 and 12 to the legs, as will hereinafter appear. Leg 13 includes a pair of foot portions 19 and 20 that extend laterally outwardly from opposite sides of the lower portion of upright 14, and supporting means are provided on foot portions 19 and 20 for engagement with a floor or the like. For semi-permanent installations, the floor engaging means may take the form of threaded glides 21, and for more permanent installations, concrete bolt assemblies 22 may be used.
The means for retaining support bars 11 and 12 in spaced parallel relationship includes a plurality of retaining brackets 23 that are provided at spaced positions along the length of the support bars. Each retaining bracket 23 includes a fiat base 24 which spans the support bars 11 and 12, and a spacing tab 25 that extends generally perpendicular with respect to base 24 and which is inserted between the support bars 11 and 12. The spacing tabs 25 of the retaining brackets engage the facing surfaces of support bars 11 and 12, and cooperate with the projections 15 of the legs 13 to retain the support bars spaced and parallel. Each retaining bracket 23 further includes a pair of holding and aligning tabs 26 that extend generally perpendicularly with respect to base 24,
and which embrace the outer surfaces of support bars 11 and 12. The base 24 of each retaining bracket 23 is provided with a clearance hole; and as is clear from FIG. 5, a retaining bracket 23 is positioned in alignment with each leg 13, with the shank of the bracket holding bolt 18 passing through the clearance opening in the base 24. As is clear from FIGS. 7 and 8, at least one retaining bracket 23 is positioned under each furniture article, and the retaining brackets associated with the furniture articles retain the lower positions of the support bars 11 and 12 spaced from and parallel with one another, while the retaining brackets associated with the support legs 13 retain the upper edges of the support bars spaced from and parallel with one another.
The means for mounting the various furniture articles upon the support bars will be best understood from FIGS. 7, 8 and and, with reference to FIG. 7, the mounting means is illustrated as including two laterally spaced straps 27, although the present invention contemplates that more or less straps may be used.'Straps 27 include a horizontally disposed central portion 28 which rests upon the upper edges of support bars 11 and 12, and inclined intermediate portions 29 and 30 that extend upwardly from central portion 28. A pair of horizontally disposed mounting portions 31 and 32 extend outwardly from the ends of inclined portions 29 and 30, and mounting portions 31 and 32 include clearance openings through which bolts 33 pass to secure an article of furniture, such as a seat, to the straps 27. The straps 27a illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 10 are similar to that illustrated in FIG. 7, in that they include a horizontally disposed central portion 28a resting upon the upper edges of support bars 11 and 12, and horizontally disposed mounting portions 31a and 32a which have clearance openings that receive bolts 33a therethrough. However, straps 27a include only a single inclined intermediate portion 29a, in that the opposite intermediate portion 30a is vertically disposed.
The central portions 28 and 28a of the straps 27 and 27a have internally threaded openings for reception of the externally threaded shank of a bolt 34. As is shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 10, bolts 34 pass upwardly between the support bars through the clearance openings in the base 24 of retaining brackets 23, and the externally threaded ends of the bolts 34 are threadably received in the internally threaded openings in the mounting straps. The heads of the bolts 34 bear against the lower surface of the base 24 of the retaining brackets, and a washer and lockwasher are preferably interposed between the heads of the bolts 34 and the lower surface of the retaining bracket base.
When it is desired to have the ends of the support bars offset with respect to one another at a relatively large angle, as for example at 90 as shown in FIG. 4, it s impractical to bend the support bars as illustrated in FIG. 3, and two separate sets of support bars 11a, 12a and 11a, 12a are utilized. The means for clamping the sets of support bars to one another will be best understood from FIGS. 9 and 10; and as shown therein, a pair of generally triangularly shaped clamping plates 36 and 37 span the junction between the pairs of support bars. A first pair of bolts 38 extend upwardly between a first pair of support bars 11a and 12a, and bolts 38 pass through clearance openings adjacent the base of the clamping plates 36 and 37. Nuts 39 are threaded upon the externally threaded shanks of bolts 38 and urged the clamping plates 36 and 37 toward one another. A second pair of bolts 40 extend upwardly between the second pair of support bars 11a and 12a, with one bolt 40 passing through a clearance opening adjacent the apex of each clamping plate, and with the other bolt 40 passing through a clearance opening disposed generally centrally of each clamping plate. Nuts 41 are threaded onto the externally threaded shanks of bolts 40, and when tightened, cooperate with nuts 39 to draw clamping plates 36 and 37 tightly against the support bars to positively retain the sets of support bars against movement relative to one another. A retaining bracket 23 is preferably provided adjacent the junction between the sets of support bars, with the base 24 being positioned against the outer surface of support bar 12a of one set, and with the spacing tab 25 being inserted between the support bars 11a and 12a of the other set. The retaining tabs 26 of the bracket 23 embrace the outer surfaces of the support bars 11:! and 12a, of the other set, so that the support bars are positively retained in spaced, parallel relationship with respect to one another.
A wide variety of furniture articles can be mounted upon the above described support structure, and the arrangement that have been illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 are merely exemplary. In the arrangement of FIG. 1, a pair of contour seats 41, molded of plastic, reinforced With glass fibers or the like if desired, are mounted adjacent one another on support bars 11 and 12 by straps 27. In FIG. 2, a circular table 42 is interposed between a pair of contour seats 41, and is mounted on the support bars 11 and 12 by straps 27. In FIG. 3, a generally triangularly shaped table 43 is mounted at the apex of inclined support bars 11 and 12', with a plurality of contour seats 41 being provided on opposite sides of the table 43. In FIG. 4, an oblong table 44 is provided at the junction of the sets of support bars 11a, and 12a and 11a and 12a, and a contour seat 41 is provided at each side of the oblong table 44. Each of the tables 42-44 may be provided with a plurality of circular openings 45 for reception of a bottle, glass or the like. The tables also each preferably include enlarged oblong openings 46 for an ash tray or the like.
1. A furniture assembly comprising: at least two spaced legs each having a relatively flat top surface and having a lower end portion adapted to rest on a support surface; a pair of support bars having a length at least as great as the distance between said legs and resting on said top surfaces; means for mounting said support bars on said top surfaces of said legs in spaced parallel relationship with one another; said means including at least one retaining bracket having an insert portion received between and engaging the facing surfaces of said support parts; two spaced parallel tabs on said retaining bracket embracing the outer surfaces of said support bars for engagement with the outer sides of said bars for holding said bars against said insert portion in spaced parallel relationship; means connecting each said retaining bracket to the top surface of said legs; at least one furniture article; and means for mounting said article on said support bars.
2. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said support bars are thin, flat members disposed on edge.
3. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein a plurality of retaining brackets are provided at spaced positions along said support bars.
4. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein at least one of said retaining brackets is provided at the top of said support bars and at least one of said retaining brackets is provided at the bottom of said support bars.
5. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said means for mounting said articles on said support bars includes at least one fastener for each article of furniture, each fastener extending upwardly between said support bars.
6. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said support bars are rectilinear throughout their length.
7. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein a second pair of support bars are disposed at an angle with respect to said first mentioned pair of support bars.
8. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 7 wherein said angle is a right angle.
9. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 8 includ- 6 ing means securing said second pair of support bars to References Cited said first mentioned pair of support bars.
10. A furniture assembly as set forth in claim 9 Where- UNITED STATES PATENTS in said securing means includes first and second clarnp- 3,230,005 1/ 1966 Staples X ing lates disposed above and below the junction of said pair: of support bars, with a first pair of spaced fasteners 5 JAMES MCCALL Pnmary Exammer being positoned between the support bars of said first pair U S C1 X R and secured between said clamping plates, and with a sec- 0nd pair of spaced fasteners being positioned between 297135, 232; 298--188 the support bars of said second pair and secured between 10 said clamping plates.