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Publication numberUS3521929 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1970
Filing dateNov 9, 1967
Priority dateNov 9, 1967
Also published asDE1807901A1, US3576059
Publication numberUS 3521929 A, US 3521929A, US-A-3521929, US3521929 A, US3521929A
InventorsMaxwell E Pearson
Original AssigneeArt Metal Knoll Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Furniture construction
US 3521929 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1970 M. E. PEARSON FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Filed Nov. 9, 1967' 5 Sheets-Sheet l I N VE NTOR. MAXWELL [T pA/QSO/V A rro AA/EV July 28, 1970 'M. E. PEARSON I 3,

FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Filed Nov. 9, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet z July 28, 1970 M. E. PEARSON FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed NOV. 9, 1967 July 28, 1970 v E. PEARSON 3,521,929

FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Filed Nov. 9, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 4.

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July 28, 1970 M. E PEARSON FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION 5 SheetsSheet 5 Filed Nov. 9, 196'? United States Patent 3,521,929 FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Maxwell E. Pearson, East Greenville, Pa., assignor to Art Metal-Knoll Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 9, 1967, Ser. No. 681,803 Int. Cl. A47c 1/12; 7/02 US. Cl. 297454 20 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A chair or similar article of furniture employing molded shells which mate to complete an integral shell. Two shells are employed: a perimeter shell having an aperture therein and a center shell that mates with the perimeter shell so as to close off the aperture in the perimeter shell. The two shells are advantageously molded first as one piece which is then cut into the two shells. Each shell is separately upholstered with upholstery connections being located along an edge portion of the shell. The two shells are thereafter joined together along the edge portions; upholstery connections along the edge portions are concealed between the joined-together portions.

The mating shells may incorporate flanges along the edges thereof which abut in joining the shells together. In such a case, and when one flange presents an outwardly exposed surface, a doubled-over piece of upholstery may be employed to cover the exposed surface. The doubling over of the upholstery conceals the upholstery connections into the exposed surface as well as the fastening elements used to join the two shells together. A free edge of the doubled-over upholstery is then tucked between the abutting flanges to complete the upholstery. Alternatively, an extrusion may be employed as a spacer between the abutting flanges of the two shells, with a portion thereof extending over the outwardly exposed flange surface. The extrusion may have upholstery adhered thereto, and thus conceals the upholstery connections and the fastening elements used to join one shell to the other.

The upholstery for the perimeter shell is a machinesewed fabric envelope, eliminating all hand-stitching except for the sewing of a small flap under the front of the shell.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to articles of furniture and, in particular, to the making of an upholstered article of furniture.

The present invention is directed particularly to the making of an upholstered article of furniture, such as a chair, in which all of the upholstered connections are concealed. The invention involves the utilization of shells which together form the article of furniture. For example, in the making of a chair, two mating shells are employed, namely, a perimeter shell having an aperture therein and a center shell which closes off the aperture in the completed chair. The perimeter and center shells may be molded separately, or a single integral shell may be molded and then cut or severed into the distinct perimeter and center shells. The molding of a single integral shell which is then cut or severed into the perimeter and center shells is preferred, since only one molding tool is needed in the molding process. The separate shells are then separately upholstered, and upholstery connections are employed along edge portions thereof. In this fashion, when the separately upholstered shells are joined together to complete the article of furniture, the connections along the edges thereof are concealed between the joined edges.

The shells may include flanges along the edges thereof which abut in joining the shells together. One of the flanges will be exteriorly exposed. In such a case, the exposed surface of the flange may be covered by a doubled-over piece of upholstery, the doubling over of which conceals the upholstery connections into the exposed surface as well as the fastening elements used to join the two shells together. The free edge of the upholstery may then be tucked between the flanges to complete the upholstering of the article. By this technique, all upholstery and shell fastening connections may be concealed from view. Typically, upholstery connections on the bottom of a chair, for example, are visible. in the present invention, all connections may be concealed, providing a much better over-all appearance for the entire article.

Alternatively, an extrusion may be employed extending between the abutting flanges of the shells and serving as a spacer for the flanges. The extrusion may include a wedgeshaped edge portion which makes contact with both shell flanges for the entire length of the abutting flanged surfaces. The wedge-shaped configuration prevents the extrusion from being pulled out after tightening of the fastening elements joining the two flanges together. The extrusion includes a flexible portion thereof extending over the exteriorly exposed surface of one of the flanges, so as to cover all fastening elements employed to maintain the two shells together, as well as upholstery connections into the surface. The extrusion may advantageously have an upholstery material adhered thereto so as to render it unnoticeable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair embodying the invention.

FIG. 1A is a bottom view of a part of the chair of FIG. 1, to an enlarged scale.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an integral chair shell forming a part of the chair of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of two shells forming the integral shell of FIG. 2.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are sectional views of the chair shell respectively shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, taken respectively along the section lines 44 and 5-5 of these figures.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are sectional views of the chair shells shown in FIG. 3, with upholstery attached thereto.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are sectional views of the parts of thechair shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, taken respectively along section lines 8-8 and 99 of those figures and showing the details of upholstery connections.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the completed chair. FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the chair shown in FIG.

10, taken along the section line 11-11 in FIG. 10.

a further upholstery technique in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 14 and 15 are sectional views similar to FIG. 12, to an enlarged scale, showing an alternative form of construction employing a vinyl extrusion separating the abutting shells.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, an article of furniture, namely, a chair 20, is shown embodying the invention. The chair includes a seat support 22, a back support 24, and arm rests 26a and 26b. The chair is supported by a vertical spindle 28 terminated at its lower end by a base 30. The chair 20 is covered by upholstery 42 and 52.

FIG. 2 illustrates an integral chair shell 34 employed in making the chair of FIG. 1. The chair shell 34 may be made of any suitable material; e.g., the shell may be molded from sisal-reinforced plastic. The integral shell 34 includes two distinct parts: a perimeter shell 34a and a center shell 34b (see also FIG. 3). The integral chair shell 34 shown in FIG. 2 may be molded to the shape shown in FIG. 2 and subsequently cut or severed along line 36 to produce the perimeter and center shells 34a and 34b, or the perimeter and center shells may be separately formed. Either technique of producing the distinct shells may be employed, although the technique of forming a single complete shell and then cutting it into two distinct shells is the most advantageous technique from the standpoint of reducing production costs. In particular, when the chair is molded in one piece and then cut apart intotwo separate shells, only one molding tool is required. Separate molding tools would be needed in the event that the shells were separately molded, thereby increasing the cost of the operation substantially by requiring an additional molding tool.

The perimeter shell 34a includes an inner peripheral edge 34a that defines aparture 35 in the perimeter shell and an outer peripheral edge 34a". The center shell 3412 includes an outer peripheral edge 34b. When the perimeter and center shells are cut from a single shell molded to the shape shown in FIG. 2, the single shell should include a portion 38 thereof (see FIG. 4) that forms an angle with the adjacent parts of the shell. The single shell is then severed by cutting throughout the angled part 38 (cut 36) to produce the two separate shells 34a and 34b shown in FIG. 3. The angled portion of the single shell thus creates flanges 38a and 38b (FIG. along the edges of the respective shells. In particular, the flange 38a is formed along the inner peripheral edge of the perimeter shell 34a, and the flange 38b is formed along the outer peripheral edge of the center shell 34b. The flanges 38a and 38b abut, as shown in FIG. 11. By providing the angled part 38 in a single shell which is thereafter severed to produce the perimeter and center shells, provision is made so that the perimeter and center shells may thereafter be joined together along the edge flanges 38a and 38b. Without such an angled part of the shell, about which the cut is made, the perimeter and center shells would have no overlapping portions about which they could be rejoined. On the other hand, if separate perimeter and center shells are independently molded, then angled flanges need not be employed, since the parts may be molded to insure that the edge portions thereof overlap to provide for the joining together of the shells to complete the article of furniture.

In any event, the perimeter and center shells are separately upholstered, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. Typically, a padding material 40 is positioned over the upper surface of center shell 34]), and an upholstery material 42 (pieces 42a and 42b) covers both the shell 34b and the padding 40. A stiffener element 44 may be employed inside the upholstery 42 in the region in which the back support 24 joins the seat support 22. The stiifening element 44 may be retained in place by a strip of fabric 46 which is stitched to the upholstery piece 42b.

The upholstery 42 may be secured to the center shell 34b along the outer edge portion of flange 3% by staples 48, as shown in FIG. 8. Typically, the edges of the upholstery pieces 42a and 42b overlap along the underside of flange 38b. Staples 48 are driven through the upholstery pieces and into the flange 38b to maintain the upholstery in place.

Similarly, as shown in FIG. 7, the perimeter shell 34a is upholstered by the use of a padding material 50 and an upholstery material 52. The upholstery material 52 may be seceured to the shell 34a along the flange 38a by staples 54 shown in FIG. 9. In particular, one edge 52a of the upholstery material may be secured to an upper surface of the flange 38a, while another edge 52b may be secured by the staples to an under surface of the flange. Alternatively, either of the upholstery edges 52a and 52b could pass around the inner edge 34a of the perim eter shell and underlap or overlap the other upholstery edge.

The upholstery for the perimeter shell 34a is typically a machine-sewed fabric envelope which is easily slipped over the shell and padding material 50. The machinesewing eliminates all hand-stitching except for a small flap under the front of the seat section 22. In particular, referring to FIGS. 1 and 1A, stitching 80 may be employed to create the envelope 52 of upholstery material used to cover the perimeter shell. A small flap 520 of material is left unsewed under the bottom of the chair, which may be stitched by hand as at 80a and 80b to complete the envelope. The ability to provide for machinesewing of almost all of the upholstery material for the perimeter shell 34w permits appreciable savings in labor needed to complete the assembly of the chair.

The separately upholstered perimeter and center shells are joined together as shown in FIGS. 10' and 11. Particularly, the flanges 38a and 38b abut with upholstery material therebetween, as shown in the figures. The shells may be secured together by any number of connections along the flanges, one of which is shown in FIG. 12. Each connection may employ a screw 60, the head of which is seated against a washer 62 positioned against the flange 38a of the perimeter shell. The screw passes through the flange 38a and through the flange 38b of the center shell, and is secured in place by a threaded fastening element 64 in the flange 38.

The screw used to join together the perimeter and center shells 34a and 34b may be covered by upholstery material, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. A strip of upholstery material may be employed for this purpose, one edge of which is positioned over the screws 60 and held in place by a cardboard or similar strip 72 of reinforcing material which is held in place by staples 74 that pass through the cardboard strip and upholstery strip 70 into the flange 38a. The upholstery strip 70 is then doubled over to conceal the staples 74 and cardboard strip 72, and free end 70a of the strip may be tucked into the joint between the flanges 38a and 38b, as shown in FIG. 12, to be sandwiched between the fabric pieces 42a and 52a. The tucking of the edge 70a may be completed by use of a screw driver or any other suitable instrument, and is done after the upholstered I perimeter and center shells have been completely fasvents the extrusion from being pulled out when screws 60 fastening together the shells are tightened. In this regard, the extrusion 82 includes a series of openings therein, through which the screws 60 pass. The extrusion includes an edge portion 82b which extends over the outer surface of the flange 38a of the perimeter shell 34a. The edge portion 82b thus covers all the screws 60 as well as the upholstery connections into the flange 38a. There is sufficient flexibility in the extrusion edge portion 82b to permit it to be pulled back in order to gain access to the screws 60. Advantageously, an upholstery fabric 84 is glued to the outer surface of the extrusion 82 so as to cover the extrusion. Such an upholstery piece eliminates the need for tacking a strip of upholstery, such as strip 70 in FIG. 12, to the perimeter shell and tucking the loose flap between the flanges of the two shells, as explained above in connection with FIG. 12.

Additionally, FIGS. 14 and 15 show paddings 86 and 88 of foam or other material between the shells and the upholstery material on the outer surfaces of the shells. For example, the foam material 88 is positioned between the upholstery 42b and the center shell 34b. Such foam or padding material provides a soft resilient touch to the outer surface of the chair; in the other figures of the application, the upholstery material is shown directly against the outer surfaces of shells 34a and 34b.

It will be noted that the present invention involves an article of furniture in which connections of upholstery material to the corresponding shells are concealed by locating the connections between abutting edge portions of the shells or by employing a doubled-over strip of upholstery material or an extrusion. A unique shell construction has been provided involving mating perimeter and center shells, wherein the center shell covers an aperture in the perimeter shell.

The invention should not be deemed limited to the specific embodiments shown in the drawings. For example, although an armchair has been shown, the inven tion is eminently suitable for an armless chair and other items of furniture.

I claim:

1. An article of furniture formed from mating shells, wherein the improvement comprises:

(a) a perimeter shell having an aperture therein; and

(b) a center shell that mates with the perimeter shell,

so as to close the aperture in the perimeter shell.

2. An article of furniture as defined in claim 1, wherein the perimeter shell has an inner peripheral edge portion that bounds the aperture in the shell, the center shell has an outer peripheral edge portion, the edge portions of both shells abutting with each other in the assembled article of furniture.

3. An article of furniture as defined in claim 2, including upholstery on the perimeter and center shells, connections of upholstery to each shell being concealed between the abutting outer peripheral edge portion of the center shell and the inner peripheral edge portion of the perimeter shell.

4. An article of furniture as defined in claim 3, wherein the upholstery on the perimeter shell comprises an en velope having a loose flap at an edge section thereof which may be sewed to adjacent upholstery material of the envelope after the envelope has been placed over the perimeter shell.

5. An article of furniture as defined in claim 1, wherein the mating perimeter and center shells are formed from a unitary shell structure which is severed to provide two separate shells.

6. An article of furniture as delned in claim 1, wherein the mating perimeter and center shells comprise a chair shell.

7. An article of furniture as defined in claim 6, wherein the center shell comprises a seat and back support of the chair.

8. An article of furniture as defined in claim 7, wherein the perimeter shell has portions thereof comprising parts of the seat and back support of the chair.

9. An article of furniture as defined in claim 8, wherein said perimeter shell has portions thereof comprising arm rests of the chair.

10. An article of furniture as defined in claim 2, wherein the inner peripheral edge portion of the perimeter shell is formed from a flange extending at an angle with respect to the adjacent part of the perimeter shell, the outer peripheral edge portion of the center shell is formed from a flange extending at an angle with respect to the adjacent portion of the center shell, the flanges of the perimeter and the center shells abutting each other with upholstery therebetween, and connection of the upholstery to the respective shells being positioned between the abutting flanges so as to be hidden by the flanges.

11. An article of furniture as defined in claim 10, wherein one of the abutting flanges presents an outwardly exposed surface with respect to the article of furniture, said outwardly exposed surface being covered by upholstery which is secured by connections through the upholstery and through the surface into the associated flange, the upholstery being doubled over to conceal said connections into the surface, and a free edge of the doubled-over upholstery being tucked into the space between the abutting flanges.

12. An article of furniture as defined in claim 2, wherein the inner peripheral edge portion of the perimeter shell is formed from a flange extending at an angle with respect to the adjacent part of the perimeter shell, the outer peripheral edge portion of the center shell is formed from a flange extending at an angle with respect to the adjacent portion of the center shell, the flanges of the perimeter and the center shells abutting each other, and a spacing element positioned between the abutting flanges and having an edge portion thereof which extends over the outwardly exposed surface of one of the abutting flanges.

13 An article of furniture as defined in claim 12, wherein the spacing element has a wedge-shaped edge thereof between the abutting flanges to maintain the spacing element in position when the flanges are tightened against each other.

14. An article of furniture as defined in claim 12, wherein the spacing element is of extruded vinyl.

15. An article of furniture as defined in claim 12, wherein the spacing element includes an upholstery material adhered thereto on an outer surface thereof.

16. An article of furniture comprising abutting flanges of two shells, one of the abutting flanges presenting an outwardly exposed surface with respect to the article of furniture, the outwardly exposed surface being covered by upholstery which is secured by connections through the upholstery and through the surface into the associated flange, the upholstery being doubled over to conceal said connections into the surface, and a free edge of the doubled-over upholstery being tucked into the space between the abutting flanges.

17. An article of furniture, comprising abutting flanges of two shells, one of the abutting flanges presenting an outwardly exposed surface with respect to the article of furniture, a spacing element positioned between the abutting flanges and having an edge portion thereof which extends over said outwardly exposed surface.

18. An article of furniture as defined in claim 17, whereing the spacing element includes a wedge-shaped edge thereof between the abutting flanges to maintain the spacer in position when the flanges are tightened against each other.

19. An article of furniture as defined in claim 17, wherein the spacing element is of extruded vinyl.

20. An article of furniture as defined in claim 17, where- References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1958 Collins et a1. 297--458 8/1963 Baermann 297455 8 3,139,308 6/1964 Hershberger et a1. 297-461 3,182,377 5/1965 Ho'ven et a1. 2991.1 3,298,741 1/1967 Lepard et a1 297-455 CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 297452

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2824602 *May 10, 1956Feb 25, 1958Goodyear Aircraft CorpSeat structure
US3101218 *Feb 23, 1961Aug 20, 1963Prestige Furniture CorpMultiple seating
US3139308 *Aug 15, 1963Jun 30, 1964O D Bending And Equipment CorpChair seat construction
US3182377 *Nov 29, 1963May 11, 1965American Seating CoTheater chair backs and method of cushion assembly
US3298741 *Jan 3, 1966Jan 17, 1967Jr Harold J LepardSeating article
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3797885 *Jun 28, 1972Mar 19, 1974Prestige Furniture CorpSeat type article of furniture and method of manufacturing
US3833260 *Jul 27, 1973Sep 3, 1974Coach & Car Equip CorpSeat and back cushion assembly
US3851920 *Jul 23, 1973Dec 3, 1974All Steel IncShell chair construction
US3964789 *Jul 12, 1974Jun 22, 1976Steelcase, Inc.Chair
US4466665 *Jan 25, 1982Aug 21, 1984Robert AronowitzChair having adjsutable, cantilevered lumbar-supporting arm
US4792189 *Feb 4, 1988Dec 20, 1988Sears Mfg CoSeat assembly
US5067772 *Mar 29, 1990Nov 26, 1991Michigan Seat CompanyFoam seat with insert
US5415461 *Oct 29, 1993May 16, 1995Sakamoto; AliceFurniture construction
US6213557May 12, 1998Apr 10, 2001Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVehicle seat assembly with thermoformed fibrous suspension panel
US6409269Nov 2, 2000Jun 25, 2002Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVehicle seat assembly with thermoformed fibrous suspension panel
US7625044 *Sep 17, 2007Dec 1, 2009Pro-Cord S.P.A.Chair backrest with integral lumbar support
US7850246 *Feb 19, 2009Dec 14, 2010Ford Global Technologies, LlcShingled thin seat construction for vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/452.14, 297/452.17, 297/452.59, 297/452.55, 297/DIG.200
International ClassificationA47C3/12, A47C7/18, A47C7/02, A47C5/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47C5/12, Y10S297/01, Y10S297/02, A47C7/02, A47C7/18, A47C3/12
European ClassificationA47C3/12, A47C7/18, A47C7/02, A47C5/12