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Publication numberUS3567280 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 2, 1971
Filing dateOct 16, 1968
Priority dateOct 16, 1968
Publication numberUS 3567280 A, US 3567280A, US-A-3567280, US3567280 A, US3567280A
InventorsBradshaw Bruce E
Original AssigneeJamestown Lounge Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recliner chair or similar article of furniture
US 3567280 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 2, H W 3,567,280

RECLINER CHAIR OR SIMILAR ARTICLE OF FURNITURE Filed Oct. 16, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 I N VEN TOR.

T; IIIE. 8 5 690944 M m 1971 B. E. BRADSHAW RECLINER CHAIR OR SIMILAR ARTICLE OF FURNITURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 16, 1968 2 La 0H Tm E J m M z. & w w w 3 f w Q, M M 1 w 5 j l w w w m mw a i ..5 a

AUOF/WS S Ma l-ch 9 B. E. BRADSHAW RECLINER CHAIR OR SIMILAR ARTICLE OF FURNITURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 16, 1968 I INVENTOR. 5/eua5 5599415194 B. E. BRADSHAW 2 March 2, 1971 RECLINER CHAIR OR SIMILAR ARTICLE OF FURNITURE 4 Sheets-Sheet A Filed Oct. 16, 1968 I N VENT OR. 5am: p/qm/mu 3,567,280 RECLINER CHAIR R SIMILAR ARTICLE OF FURNITURE Bruce E. Bradshaw, Ellicott, N.Y., assignor to Jamestown Lounge Company, Jamestown, N.Y. Filed Oct. 16, 1968, Ser. No. 768,057 lint. Cl. A47c 1/032 US. Cl. 297-318 19 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Lounge-type recliner chair having fully upholstered back and seat hingedly connected together and mounted for limited slidable movement as a recliner unit on a wholly independently upholstered main chair frame which includes a fixed seat frame and a high, fully upholstered wing-back. Slidable seat portion of the recliner unit rides on arcuately-shaped matched maple slider elements of the fixed seat frame, and the slidable back portion of the recliner unit has a rearwardly projecting pair of slide follower elements which ride on respectively associated back slide elements which are in direct rearward alignment With the former. See specification for different seat slider and back slider arrangements, all of which provide that the seat slider elements project downwardly, and the back slider elements project only rearwardly, there being no laterally projecting connections between the recliner unit and the fixed chair frame.

This invention relates to upholstered seating furniture as may be found in the home, office and similar places, and more particularly to lounge chairs and the like which are of the recliner type.

Although it was made during attempts to achieve a satisfactory lounge chair and therefore will be described with relation to chairs, the invention may be useful in connection with other seating furniture such as sofas and the like.

As distinguished from fully reclining furniture having backs which recline virtually to a horizontal position, the present invention contemplates recliner-type furniture having a seat and back unit capable of only limited movement between a comfortable upright or normal seating position and a lounging position wherein the seat is moved only a short distance forwardly and upward at its forward end, and the back is moved only a short distance downwardly and outward at its lower end.

Recliner type chairs of this general type are known. See, for example, Gell US. Pat. No. 1,414,637; Mcdnick US. Pat. No. 2,473,895; Caldemeyer et al. US Pat. No. 2,658,561; and Black et al. US. Pat. No. 3,039,821. However, such chairs have required departures from conventional styling and upholstering techniques, and are therefore generally considered to be unattractive, or to involve limitations upon their use. For example, where attempts have been made to include a relatively high fixed back in a chair having a recliner back and seat unit, the fixed back has either not been upholstered, or not fully upholstered without inclusion of folds or accordion pleats of the upholstery to accommodate the movement between the slidable back and seat unit and the main frame, and it has not been apppreciated that the latter can be done. Consequently, the most acceptable of prior fully upholnited States Patent stered recliner chairs do not include a high fixed back but, rather, have either a very low fixed back which is not visible from the front of the chair, or no back other than that which reclines. In either case, the back reclines rearwardly at its upper end to a position beyond the original line at the rear of the chair, thus requiring that the chair be initially spaced or moved away from any wall, lamp or the like which is behind it, to permit movement of the back to its canted reclining position. Moreover, fully upholstered back wings of the chair, to remain in fixed position regardless of whether the chair is reclined or not and as might be desirable as a matter of style, have necessarily been omitted. For these and other reasons it is generally believed that recliner type chairs cannot be made to wholly simulate conventional, fully upholstered dress furniture of virtually any styling, or any as might be found in quality-decorated living rooms, ofiices and similar places. It is thought that recliner chairs detract from elegant overall appearance when placed in such rooms or offices. As a result, currently available recliner chairs are either not acquired by those who would otherwise purchase them, or are more often relegated to family rooms or playrooms where their appearance is compatible with the remaining furniture equipment in the room.

It is intended by the present invention to provide a lounge-type recliner chair or similar article of furniture which is constructed and fully upholstered such that, in general appearance, it seems to be nothing other than a conventional first-quality, non-reclining type lounge chair. Chairs incorporating the present invention are suitable for placement in even the most elaborately decorated quarters such as living rooms, ofiices, and elsewhere, yet have initially unnoticed reclinability. In addition, the recliner arrangement and construction is intended to be usable in connection with virtually every traditional or contemporary chair styling or design as may be desired, including chairs having fully upholstered wing backs, cushiontype backs which flare outwardly at their upper ends, re movable cushions, and other conventional features.

It is further contemplated that no hand-operated or similar mechanism will be incorporated for causing the chair to recline and resume its normal upright position, as would detract from its appearance. Rather, its movable seat and back will be responsive to mere shifting of weight by the seated person. Its normal seating, intermediate, and lounging positions will be retained for so long as desired, even though the feet of the occupant may be off the floor, as when the legs are folded on to the seat beneath the body as is sometimes a practice especially of women.

Of course, the furniture is intended to be very comfortable to sit in whether or not its recliner feature is utilized, and it must function smoothly and noiselessly when moving between its upright and reclined positions. Its recliner construction must not be too costly for prac tical manufacture, and must be strong such as to provide long life free of service or repair. Yet, if worn or broken, its frame and upholstery should be susceptible to convenient repair by ordinary furniture repairmen using conventional techniques.

Briefly describing the invention in its preferred embodiment, the chair has an upholstered base unit providing a fixed seat frame, a fully upholstered high fixed back including conventional upholstered wings, and conventional arm rests styled and upholstered as desired. What would initially appear to be the ordinary, fully upholstered back cushion and seat are actually parts of a recliner unit which is mounted for slidable movement on the main chair or base unit. The recliner unit is slidable between an upright or normal seating position in which the chair as a whole appears to be a conventional non-reclining lounge chair, and a reclined or lounging position in which the movable seat has moved some five to eight inches or so in the forward direction as well as somewhat upwardly at its forward end, and the movable back has moved a few inches downwardly and outward at its lower end. The movable seat and back are connected by concealed hinges joining the lower end edge of the back to the rearward end edge of the seat, and the thus formed recliner unit is slidably mounted on the base unit. There is no connection between the upholstery on the base unit and that on the recliner unit.

The mounting is via a pair of arcuately concaved, longitudinally extending maple seat slides respectively disposed adjacent the opposite sides of the fixed seat frame of the base unit, and a pair of nylon surfaced back slides which extend vertically downward from the top rail of the fixed back at the opposite sides thereof and having the same configuration and angle of rearward inclination as the fixed back posts. The slidable seat has a pair of downwardly projecting and matching maple slider elements which rest on the slides of the fixed seat frame, a number of alternative arrangements being provided towards retention of the slidable arrangement and for preventing upward tilting of the rear of the slidable seat as might otherwise occur responsive to downward force applied on its extending forward end when the recliner unit is in its lounging position. The slidable back has a pair of slider elements which project rearwardly beyond the general plane of its back surface at respective side locations adjacent its top end, these being in sliding engagement with the aforementioned pair of back slides on the fixed back which are aligned directly rearward thereof. The area of sliding contact at the back slides is minimal, virtually either line contact or point contact being provided depending upon the available alternatives as will be described. The alternative back slide arrangements each provide means for preventing lateral movement of the slidable back, and for permitting assembly and disassembly of the slide connection and constraining against accidental disconnection during use. For example, in the presently preferred embodiment the fiat though concavely surfaced back slides have vertically extending key-slots which receive respective rearwardly projecting guide and retainer elements of the slidable back, as will be seen. The fixed back is fully and conventionally upholstered, the upholstery extending over its top rail from behind the independently upholstered slidable back of the chair, and its referred to back slides remaining exposed.

In one embodiment to be described, the fixed back has conventional, laterally projecting wing portions, the side edges of the slidable back flare outwardly in the upward direction, the arms of the chair are fully upholstered, and the soft slidable seat appears to be only a massive cushion which somewhat overhangs at the front of the chair. In another, the upholstered wing portions of the fixed back fit closely to a more formal slidable back whose sides taper inwardly towards its upper end, and the slidable seat initially appears to be a portion of the fixed seat frame, there being a fully upholstered and reversible seat cushion on the slidable seat and styled conventionally for vertical alignment therewith at its front end.

It will be noted that, insofar as the seat slide and back slide elements project outwardly from their respectively associated slidable seat or slidable back, they do so only in the downward or rearward direction, respectively, as distinguished from any lateral projection to connection with any part of the fixed base unit. Moreover, the disposition of these respective seat and back slide arrangements is such that they are within the lateral boundaries of the slidable seat and back elements with which they are associated.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be more fully apparent from the following detailed description of several embodiments thereof, wherein reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fully upholstered recliner chair in accordance with the invention, its reclined or lounging position being indicated by the dotted line showing;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view in perspective of the chair of FIG. 1, its upholstery covering being broken away in several places to illustrate certain features;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the chair of FIG. 1, stripped of its upholstery covering, and its recliner seat and back unit being in its upright or normal seating position;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 3, but showing its recliner unit in its reclined or lounging position;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of only the skeleton framework of the chair;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged and fragmentary perspective illustration of a preferred seat slide arrangement, and FIG. 6A is a similar illustration of a modified form of this preferred arrangement;

FIG. 7 is a similarly enlarged fragmentary perspective view of an alternative form of seat slide arrangement;

FIG. 8 is a similarly enlarged fragmentary perspective view of another alternative form of seat slide arrangement;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view in cross section of the chair of FIGS. l5, the section being taken as generally indicated by lines 99 in FIG. 4, the upholstery springs being omitted for clarity, and the lounging position of its recliner unit being indicated by the dotted line showing;

FIG. 9A is an exploded and fragmentary view in perspective, to an enlarged scale, of the back slide arrangement incorporated in the chair of FIG. 9;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9A of an alternative back slide arrangement; and FIG. 10A is an enlarged and fragmentary cross-sectional illustration to further explain a feature of the back slide arrangement of FIG. 10;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIGS. 9A and 10 of another alternative form of back slide arrangement; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a fully-upholstered recliner chair in accordance with the invention to illustrate the variety of styling as may be achieved, its reclined or lounging position being indicated by the dotted line showing.

Referring to the drawings, a fully upholstered recliner chair in accordance with the invention is generally indicated by reference numeral in FIGS. 1 and 2, and by reference numeral 21 in FIG. 12. In general and in either embodiment, the chair has a fixed base unit indicated generally by numeral 22, and a recliner unit indicated generally by numeral 23. The fixed base unit 22 includes an exteriorly upholstered fixed seat frame indicated generally by numeral 24, integrally constructed front legs 25 and back legs 26, integral arms 27, and an integrally formed high fixed back 28 having somewhat laterally projecting wings 29. It will be noted that the top edge 28a of the fixed back 28 is at a substantial height above the arms 27 and may be as high as desired, preferably head-high as shown. The recliner unit 23 includes a fully upholstered slidable back 30 and a fully upholstered slidable seat 31 whose respective frames 32 and 33 (FIGS. 3-5 and 9) are hingedly connected together by hinges 34 for unitary movement of the slidable back and seat when mounted on the base unit 22 in manner as will be described. When mounted, the recliner unit 23 has limited slidable movement between its upright or normal seating position as indicated by the full line showings in FIGS. 1, 9 and 12, and its reclined or lounging position as indicated by dotted lines L in the same figures.

In the preferred embodiments being described, the fixed seat, fixed back and arms are fully upholstered in accordance with high-quality, dress-furniture styles and standards, although some of the upholstery, particularly at the arms, may be omitted in accordance with other conventional styling. For example, the legs 25 and 26 may be concealed by a conventional skirt 35 as illustrated in FIG. 12, whereas the skirt is omitted from the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1. In any event, it will be noted that either of the recliner chairs 29 or 21 in its normal seating position is virtually indistinguishable from any high quality, fully upholstered, non-reclining chair.

Regarding differences of styling which can be achieved, in the embodiment of FIG. 12 the fully upholstered wings 29 of the fixed back are more closely fitted to, and curve more snugly around the upwardly narrowing, tapered side edges 30a of the slidable back than do the back wings in the FIG. 1 embodiment which have more outward flare and generally looser conformance to the upwardly broadening taper of the side edges of the slidable back. Moreover, in the more formal chair embodiment of FIG. 12 the slidable seat 31 includes a removable, fully upholstored and reversible cushion 31a placed thereon as shown, the underlying slidable seat 31 having more boxlike construction and being upholstered with included piping 3111, as indicted, to give the appearance of being a part of the fixed seat frame 24 when the recliner unit 23 is in its normal seating position. Thus the chairs 20 and 21 are only illustrative examples of the virtually infinite styling variations in recliner chairs as are made available by this invention. Styling variations are accommodated by the construction and manner of mounting of the recliner unit on the base unit and the manner of upholstering, as will be described. That is, under virtually any styling conditions, interference is minimized between the upholstered recliner unit and the upholstered seat, back and arms of the base unit during movement of the recliner unit between its normal seating and lounging positions. Moreover, the recliner unit when in its upright position rests on the fixed base in accordance with conventionally accepted parameters of comfortable lounge chair design, and the mounting is constructed and accurately balanced to afford positioning and retention of the recliner unit in its intermediate and lounging positions responsive to very normal shifting of weight by the seated person in assuming a correspondingly normal lounging position.

Referring now to the details of the chair construction, FIG. shows in exploded relation the skeleton framing on which the base unit 22 and the recliner unit 23 are made. The recliner unit includes the slidable back frame 32 and the slidable seat frame 33, which are connected by hinges 34 as aforesaid.

The frame 32 of the slidable back 30 includes a top rail 37, bottom rail 38, and a pair of side uprights 39, the lower ends 39:: of the uprights being canted or arcuately recessed at their forwardly facing sides as shown, to provide clearance for the cushioning springs and upholstery of the slidable seat 31. Adjacent their respective upper ends 3%, each of the uprights 39 has a rearwardly projecting slider portion, which for greater clarity will be referred to herein as a back slide follower element 40, presenting a slide follower surface 4011 (FIG. 9A) of limited area. The top rail 37 may be curved as shown, and its ends may project laterally as at 37a or not, depending upon the furniture styling. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, longitudinally extending back springs 41 are attached between the top rail 37 and bottom rail 38, these being laterally braced by springs 42 and tie cords 42a, and supported to desired shape at their lower ends by a cross spring 43 and tie cords 43a. Padding and upholstery covering material 44 (FIG. 2) extends over the top rail 37 and is attached to the back frame and springs. It will be noted that suflicient side padding, supported by top rail extensions 37a, is included at the top of the slidable back such that its side edges 30a flare outwardly, as previously mentioned.

Referring again to FIG. 5, the frame 3 3 of the slidable seat 31 includes a front rail 46, back rail 47, and a pair of side rails 48 which extend generally in the longitudinal (i.e., forward-rearward) direction of the chair. A pair of parallel, laterally spaced apart seat slide follower elements 49 extend longitudinally and are attached to project downwardly below the seat frame 33, preferably at the u-ndersides of the respective side rails 48 as shown. The seat slide follower elements 49 are arcuately convex along their respective lengths in the downward facing direction as seen in FIGS. 5 and 9 and as more clearly shown by FIGS. 6 and 6A, each presents a downwardly facing seat slide follower surface 4%. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, conventional longitudinally extending spring supports 50, attached between the front and back rails 46, 47, support a seat spring formed by coil springs 51, spring frame 52 and suitable spring ties 53. The seat frame and springs have padding and upholstery covering 54 as illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 also shows the main frame of the base unit 22 as including a front rail 55, back rail 56, and a pair of side rails 57 which, as joined together by the pair of front uprights 58 whose lower ends form the front legs 25 and the pair of back uprights 59 whose lower ends form the back legs 26, provide the fixed seat frame 24 of the chair. The fixed seat frame 24 further includes a pair of parallel, laterally spaced apart and longitudinally extending seat slide elements 60, presenting respective upwardly facing seat slide surfaces 60a as most clearly seen in FIGS. 6 and 6A. The seat slide elements 60 underlie and receive the respective seat slide follower elements 49 in slidable engagement, the slide elements 60 preferably being attached adjacent to the respective side rails 57 as shown, although they might be spaced therefrom to be more centrally located under the slidable seat 31 if desired, in which case the slide follower elements 49 would be correspondingly located. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 5 and 9, the seat slide surfaces 6011 are arcuately concaved along their respective lengths in their upward facing direction, the radius of curvature (not shown) being and centered slightly rearward of the imaginary transverse centerline plane of the seat frame 24 as will be understood from FIG. 9. Of course, the radius of longitudinal curvature of the downwardly facing and matching seat slide follower surfaces 49a is the same and, as indicated in FIG. 6, a longitudinally extending tongue and groove arrangement 62 is provided at the interface between the cofacing slide surfaces 49a and 60a to guide their longitudinal sliding movement and prevent lateral displacement of the surfaces. In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 6, a tongue 62a of semi-circular configuration is integrally formed along the centerline length of the surface 60a, and a cofacing groove 6212, having circular curvature of slightly greater radius but having slightly lower height than that of the tongue 62a, is integrally formed along the length of the surface 4%. Thus, sliding contact between the surfaces 49a and 60a is primarily along the line of contact between the tongue 62a and the groove 62b. Of course, the tongue and groove arrangement might be reversed to provide the tongue on the downwardly facing surface 49a. An alternative arrangement shown in FIG. 6A provides an upwardly facing groove 620 of the surface 60a, having the configuration of its .opposed groove 62b of the surface 49a, and a nylon rod 63 therebetween, the rod having diameter corresponding to the radius of the tongue 62a.

The back frame for the high fixed back 28 is formed by the back uprights 53 and a top rail 65, these members being suitably shaped in accordance with the chair styling. Arm rails 66 extend longitudinally between the upper ends of the front uprights 58 and the back uprights 59 as shown, and together the front uprights and arm rails form an arm frame, generally indicated by numeral 67, which may be upholstered or not according to styling. Wing rails 68 extend respectively between the ends of the top rail 65 and appropriate locations along the lengths of the respective arm rails 66, the lower ends of the wing rails being attached atop the filler blocks 69 as shown. A pair of parallel, vertically extending back slide elements 70, presenting respective forwardly facing back slide surfaces 7012, are respectively attached adjacent to the back uprights 59 immediately below the top rail 65 in the manner indicated. The fixed back 28 has pading and upholstery covering 71 (FIG. 2) which extends over the top rail 65 from its forwardly facing side and down to the back rail 56 at the rear of the chair.

The surface generating elements of the flat back slide surfaces 7011 are perpendicular to the imaginary longitudinal centerline plane of the chair, to prevent binding as the slide follower surfaces 40a slide thereon when the chair is assembled, the slide follower surfaces 40a also extending perpendicular to the longitudinal centerline plane. Moreover, in its forwardly facing direction each back slide surface 70a has configuration and angular inclination conforming with that of the uprights 59. For example, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, it will be noted particularly from FIG. 5 that the forwardly facing edges 59a of the uprights 59 have arcuately concaved configuration, and incline rearwardly towards their upper ends. Accordingly, the respective slide surfaces 70a have the same configuration and inclination. Thus, it will also be understood that the back slide surfaces 700 might be formed directly on the respective forwardly facing edges 59a of the back uprights 59, if the chair styling would permit, so that the additional elements 70, as such, may be eliminated. In any event, both the back slide follower surfaces and the back slide surfaces a should be formed from suitable hard and wear-resistant materials which slide freely with respect to each other. In the preferred embodiment, and with particular reference to FIG. 9A, the side rail 39 and therefore its integrally formed slide follower element 40 of the slidable back frame 32 is of hardwood or semi-hardwood, preferably maple, having closely grained, high density grain structure, and the back slide surface 70a is formed by a sheet of nylon material, as generally indicated by numeral 72, which is attached to the back slide element 70 as by screws 72a. Of course, the back slide element 70 may be of maple or similar hardwood such that the sheet of nylon 72 may be eliminated, yet the then integrally formed slide surface 70a will have the desired characteristics.

However, the provision of a nylon guide plate such as the sheet 72 facilitates inclusion of a retainer and guide construction of the back slide ararngement as will now be described. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 9A, it is seen that a common wood screw 73 is threaded into and projects a distance rearwardly from each back slide follower surface 40a and that, when the chair is assembled (FIG. 9) the screw head 73a projects into a vertically extending groove 74 of the back slide element 70 behind the nylon sheet 72, the body of the screw 73 being slidably within the vertically extending slot 75 of the sheet 72 which is narrower than the diameter of the screw head 73a. The extent of rearward projection of the screw 73 is such that, considering any curved configuration of the slide surface 70a, it will not bind against the rearward surface of the sheet 72 as the slidable back of the chair moves between its normal seating and lounging positions, as indicated in FIG. 9. A keyhole 75a, for receiving the screw head 7311 during chair assembly, is formed at either end of the slot 75, preferably its lower end as shown, the slot 75 being elongated beyond the normal range of sliding movement of the slidable back such that the keyhole 75a is outside the range of such movement. Thus, after assembly of the back slide arrangement the screw head 73!: is not at any time aligned with the keyhole 7511 as might permit accidental disengagement of the slidable back from the fixed back of the chair. Rather, the screw head 73a, being at all times behind the narrow slot 75, retains as well as guides the slidable connection, preventing lateral displacement of the sliding surfaces and constraining the slide follower element 49 against lifting displacement.

In a somewhat similar but alternative arrangement as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 10A, each back slide surface 70a is formed by the sheet 72 of nylon (actually, graphiteimpregnated nylon) material, and the back slide element is in all other respects the same as the back slide element 70 of the previously described preferred embodiment except that it is integrally formed in one of the back rails 59 of the fixed back of the chair. However, the rearwardly projecting slide follower element of the slidable seat frame 32, is provided by a shaft 76 which is attached to and projects a distance rearwardly from the side rail 39 of the slidable seat frame. The slide follower surface is virtually a point-contact surface formed by the innermost flange 77 of a dual-flange element generally indicated by numberal 78 which is attached to the rearwardly projecting end of the shaft 76, as illustrated in enlarged detail in FIG. 10A. The outermost flange 79, which is spaced rearwardly of the flange 77 a distance corresponding to the thickness of the guide plate sheet 72 and its intended clearance behind the sheet 72 for the purposes as previously described, serves as a slide retaining flange in the manner of the screw head 73:: of the previously described embodiment and as will be apparent without further description. The dual-flange element 78 is preferably made of nylon for good wear resistance and smooth sliding engagement with the slide surface 70a.

In still another alternative arrangement as illustrated in FIG. 11, each back slide element 80 is provided by a vertically extending, arcuately concaved nylon or nylonjacketed rod which is attached between the top rail 65 and a cross rail 81 of the fixed back, as shown. Each back slide follower element 82 is in the form of an elongated solid nylon rod which is appropriately attached to its associated side rail 39 of the slidable back frame 32, to project a distance rearwardly thereof to sliding engagement with the back slide element 80 via its loose fitting diametral slide aperture 82a as shown. A rearwardly projecting slot 82/) which is somewhat narrower than the back slide element 80, permits connection and disconnection of the slide follower element 82 in view of the resiliency of the latter, yct retains the slidable engagement against accidental forward separation during normal use. The line of interface between the aperture 820 and the back slide element 80 when the two are in sliding engagement provides a vertically disposed, very narrow area of sliding surface contact.

It will be noted that, in all of the described back slider arrangements, the back slide surfaces are disposed directly rearward of the slide follower surfaces of the slidable backs. Moreover, in all embodiments the rearwardly projecting back slide follower elements project rearwardly from the normal line of the rearward side of the slidable backs a distance such that, as the slide follower elements engage their associated back slide elements, there is little or no rubbing or other interference between the slidable back and the upholstery covering 71 of the fixed back 28, or between the fully upholstered slidable back 30 and any other features of the chair such as the wings 29. In the embodiment being described, this distance is A, although the distance may vary depending upon the upholstery thickness on fixed back, wings, etc. The aforementioned conforming configuration and inclination of the back slide surfaces with that of the back uprights of the fixed back is believed to contribute to the avoidance of such interference as the slidable back moves between its respective upright and reclining positions. Furthermore, whether the back slide elements are more widely or more narrowly spaced apart in lateral direction than the seat slide elements, their rearward alignment with the slidable back slide follower elements is always maintained. It should also be noted that the avoidance of any later- 9 ally outward projecting connecting elements in the back slider arrangement permits the fixed back 28 of the chair to have any desired styling.

With reference to the preferred embodiment, the recliner unit 23 is assembled to the fixed base unit 22 by first mounting the slidable back 30 on the fixed back 28 by passing the screw head 72a (FIGS. 9 and 9A) through the keyhole openings 75a, and thereafter resting the seat slide follower elements 49 of the slidable seat 31 on their respective associated seat slide elements -60 of the fixed seat frame 24, and then connecting the seat retainer and guide means as generally indicated by reference numeral 85 (FIG. 9) as will now be described. However, it should first be noted that a rubber or soft plastic bumper 86 is attached to each of the back uprights 59 of the fixed base unit in rearward alignment with the back rail 47 of the slidable seat frame 33, the bumper 86 serving as the principal back stop when the recliner unit 23 is moved to its upright or normal seating position.

As best seen in FIGS. and 9, a seat retainer and guide means 85 is provided between each seat slide element 60 and its associated slide follower element 49. Each is provided by a laterally extending recess of the seat slide element 60, by which is formed a downwardly facing surface 87, a rearwardly facing forward stop 88, and a forwardly facing rearward stop 89 as defined by surfaces of the recess. A rubber or soft plastic bumper 90 is attached to the forward stop 88. A downwardly projecting steel bracket 91, which is attached as by screws 92 to the associated seat rail 48 of the slidable seat frame 33, carries a lateral shaft 93 which projects into the aforementioned recess and mounts a nylon roller 94 in rolling engagement with the downwardly facing surface 87. This roller engagement prevents tipping of the slidable seat 31 especially when in its extended lounging position as indicated by dotted lines L, as would otherwise occur responsive to downward force exerted on the forwardly projecting edge of the slidable seat during normal usage of the chair. In this connection, it will be noted that the forward stop 88 is located approximately midway along the length of its associated seat slide element 60, so that the restraining action is effected within the area of the rearwardmost portion of the seat, and that the downwardly facing surface 87 has arcuately convex configuration paralleling the arcuately concaved configuration of the seat slide surface 49a, so as to assure roller engagement at all times during the movement. As the recliner unit 23 moves between its normal seating position and its lounging position, the slidable seat 31 moves forwardly a distance of about 5% while at the same time the slidable back 23 moves vertically about 2 /2" in the preferred embodiment being described. Accordingly, the rearward stop 89 is spaced rearwardly of the forward bumper 90 a distance to permit the required distance of travel of the roller 94. The rearward stop 89 is preferably located such that it is not immediately abutted by the wheel 94 when the slidable seat 31 moves to its rearward position but, rather, serves only as a positive stop in the event of considerable compression of the bumper 86 which serves as the primary rearward stop as aforesaid. However, the primary forward stop is the bumper 90 against which the wheel 94 abuts when the slidable seat 31 moves to its forwardrnost position.

An alternative seat slider arrangement is somewhat diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 7. This arrangement incorporates the same seat retainer and guide means provided by the downwardly facing surface '87, rearwardly facing forward stop 88, and forwardly facing rearward stop 89 of the seat slide element 60, and the bracket 91 and wheel 94 of the seat slide follower element 49, exactly as described in connection with the preferred embodiment. However, in place of the tongue and groove arrangement 62 of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 6, the seat slider arrangement of FIG. 7 provides a longitudinally extending centerline groove 96 along the rearward half of the seat slide surface 60a, and a similar groove 97 along the forward half of the seat slide follower surface 49a, in which respective rollers 98, 99 of the respectively opposite elements are in rolling engagement. The roller 98 and the roller 99 are each located adjacent to the other end of the element on which it is mounted, and thus the aforesaid distance of movement of the seat slide follower element 49 with respect to the seat slide element 60 is accommodated.

In still another alternative seat slider arrangement as illustrated in FIG. 8, the bracket and wheel type seat retainer and guide arrangement of the previously described alternatives is eliminated. Rather, the slide follower element 49 is guided and retained in its engagement with the slide element 60 by a downwardly projecting bolt 100, attached to the slide follower surface 49a and which is in sliding enagement with the longitudinally extending slot 101 of the slide element 60, its laterally projecting bolt head 100a being wider than the slot 101 so that the bolt head slidably engages the arcuately convex underside surface 60b of the slide element 60. The slot 101 has length to permit the required forward and rearward movement of the slidable seat 31, the forward end 102 of the slot 101 serving as a forward stop for the bolt 100. The forward stop 102 is located about midway along the length of the slide element 60, and the rearward stop 103 is provided by the rearward end of the slot 101 is appropriately spaced rearwardly thereof, for reasons as previously described.

In all of the described embodiments the seat slide surfaces 40a and 60a are preferably of hardwood or semihardwood material, such as maple, whose density and grain structure is such that, rather than deteriorating through wear, these sliding surfaces actually become smoother and therefore more freely slidable with use. Any ordinary wood lubricant may 'be applied on these surfaces when initially assembled, if desired.

Thus, a recliner chair, including several modifications thereof, has been described which achieves all of the objects of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A recliner chair or similar article of furniture, comprising a base unit and a recliner unit mounted for slidable movement between a normal seating position and a lounging position on said base unit, said base unit comprising a fixed seat frame, a pair of fixed arm rest frames, and a high fixed back frame having a top rail at a height above that of said arm rest frames, and said recliner unit comprising a slidable seat including a frame, a slidable back including a frame, and hinge means connecting said slidable back and slidable seat, said fixed seat frame including elongated seat slide means extending between its forward and rearward ends and presenting a seat slide surface which, along its length, is arcuately concave in the upward facing direction, and said slidable seat frame having downwardly projecting slide follower means in cofacing relation with and movable along said fixed seat frame slide surface, stop means for limiting said movement of the recliner unit and for preventing lifting of the rearward end of said slidable seat as would otherwise occur responsive to downward force on the forward end thereof when said recliner unit is in its said lounging position, and said slidable back frame including a top rail and slide follower means projecting a distance outwardly from said slidable back only in the rearward direction and substantially adjacent to its said top rail, said fixed back frame further including back slide means substantially adjacent to its said top rail and presenting a vertically extending and forwardly facing back slide surface in rearward alignment with said slide follower means of the slidable back frame and receiving the latter in slida'ble engagement therewith, said top rail of the slidable back having height whereby it is substantially adjacent to said fixed back top rail when said recliner unit is in its said normal seating position, and said fixed back having fitted upholstery-cov- 11 ering extending over its said top rail, said slidable back having fitted upholstery-covering extending over its said top rail and independent of any connection with said upholstery-covering of the fixed back.

2. An article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said high fixed back frame includes means defining respective wing portions at the opposite sides thereof, each of said wing portions also having fitted upholstery-covering thereover which is independent of any connection with said upholstery-covering of said slidable back.

3. An article of furniture according to claim 2 wherein said upholstered slidable back has side edges which flare outwardly with respect to each other in the upward direction.

4. An article of furniture according to claim 2 wherein the forward end of said fixed seat frame has fitted upholstery-covering and, when said recliner unit is in its said normal seating position, said upholstery-covering of the slidable seat as it extends over the forward end thereof is in substantially vertical alignment with said upholstery-covering on said forward end of the fixed seat frame and has means wherby said slidable seat appears to be an integral portion of said fixed seat frame, an upholstered seat cushion being disposed on said slidable seat.

5. An article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said stop means comprises a downwardly facing surface of said seat slide means, said downwardly facing surface being spaced below said arcuately concaved seat slide surface thereof and having configuration which is arcuately concentric with the latter, first bumper means defining a rearward end of said downwardly facing surface at a location spaced forwardly from the rearward end of said fixed seat frame, second bumper means defining a forward end of said downwardly facing surface at a location spaced forwardly from said first bumper means, said second bumper means location being substantially midway of the length of said seat slide means, said slide follower means of said slidable seat frame having downwardly projecting bracket means including vertically disposed guide wheel means mounted on the lower end thereof and engaging said downwardly facing surface, said wheel means being located along the length of said slide follower means for abutting against said second bumper means when said recliner unit is in its said lounging position and for being at least closely adjacent to said first bumper means when said recliner unit is in its said normal seating position, said slidable seat frame including a back rail, and a third bumper means attached to said base unit rearwardly of said slidable seat frame back rail for abutment by the latter when said recliner unit is in its side normal seating position.

6. An article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said fixed seat frame slide means comprises a pair of parallel, laterally spaced apart, elongated seat slide elements presenting respective upwardly facing, arcuately concaved seat slide surfaces extending along their respective lengths, and said slide follower means of said slidable seat frame comprises a correspondingly spaced apart pair of parallel, downwardly projecting and similarly elon gated slide follower elements presenting respective downwardly facing arcuately convex slide follower surfaces along their respective lengths which are in cofacing relation with the respective of said upwardly facing seat slide surfaces, guide means extending longitudinally at least part way along the interface between each pair of said cofacing surfaces for preventing lateral displacement of the cofacing surfaces with respect to each other.

7. An article of furniture according to claim 6 wherein each said guide means comprises means defining a substantially semi-circular groove extending along the length of one of said cofacing surfaces, and an elongated tongue of substantially semi-circular cross-section projecting from the other of said cofacing surfaces into said groove, said tongue and groove cross-sectional configurations being 12 such with respect to each other that a line of sliding contact is established along their respective longitudinal centerlines, each of said cofacing surfaces and said tongue being of wood having at least semi-hardwood density.

8. An article of furniture according to claim 6 wherein each said guide means comprises means defining oppositely disposed, substantially semi-circular grooves extending along the respective of said cofacing surfaces, and a rod positioned within, and extending into both of said oppositely disposed semi-circular grooves.

9. An article of furniture according to claim 6 wherein each said guide means comprises means defining a groove extending along one of said cofacing surfaces from one end thereof to a location substantially midway of the length of said surface, a vertically disposed roller rotatably mounted at a location along the length of said one surface adjacent to the opposite end thereof, means defining a groove extending along the other of said cofacing surfaces from the end thereof which is opposite said one end of the first-mentioned surface to a location substantially midway of the length of said other surface, and a vertically disposed roller rotatably mounted at a location along the length of said other surface adjacent to its other end, each of said rollers being in rolling engagement with said groove of that of said surfaces to which the roller is opposed.

10. An article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said fixed seat frame slide means comprises a pair of parallel, laterally spaced apart, elongated seat slide ele ments presenting respective upwardly facing, arcuately concaved seat slide surfaces extending along their respective lengths, said slide follower means of said slidable seat frame comprises a correspondingly spaced apart pair of parallel, downwardly projecting and similarly elongated slide follower elements presenting respective downwardly facing arcuately convex slide follower surfaces along their respective lengths which are in cofacing relation with the respective of said upwardly facing seat slide surfaces, and said stop means comprises means defining a longitudinally extending slot passing vertically through each of said elongated seat slide elements, the length of each of said slot being substantially equal to the distance of movement of said slidable seat when said recliner unit moves between its said normal seating and lounging positions, and respective vertical bolt means passing through each of said slots from the underside thereof and attached to the said associated slide follower element at a location therealong whereby said bolt means is at least closely adjacent to one end of the slot when said recliner unit is in its said normal seating position and abuts against the opposite end of the slot when said recliner unit is in its said lounging position, said opposite end of each slot being located substantially midway of the length of said seat slide element and said one end of each slot being located rearwardly of its said opposite end, the respective downwardly projecting ends of said bolt means having laterally projecting retainer means wider than said slot with which it is associated and disposed immediately adjacent to the underside of its said associated seat slide element for retaining said associated slide follower element in engagement with the seat slide element.

11. An article of furniture according to claim 1 where 1n said fixed back frame comprises a laterally spaced apart pair of back uprights presenting respective forwardly facing edges, said slide follower means of the slidable back frame comprises respective laterally spaced apart means projecting a distance rearwardly from the normal backline of said slidable back adjacent the respective opposite sides thereof, and said back slide means of the fixed back frame comprises a laterally spaced apart pair of elongated back slide elements respectively aligned within longitudinal planes of said article of furniture and presenting respective forwardly facing slide surfaces having configuration in the transverse direction and angular disposition in the longitudinal direction which are substantially the same as those of said forwardly facing edges of said back uprights, said slide surfaces being respectively in rearward alignment with the respective of said rearwardly projecting means of the slidable back, and each said rearwardly projecting means presenting a rear wardly facing slide follower surface of small area engaging its said associated slide surface.

12. An article of furniture according to claim 11 wherein the surface generating elements of each of said slide surfaces are disposed perpendicularly to the longitudinal centerline plane of said article of furniture, and each of said means projecting rearwardly of said slidable back comprises a rearwardly projecting portion of said slidable seat frame, and each of said slide follower surfaces comprises an elongated but narrow width area of its said associated projecting portion which extends in said perpendicular direction.

13. An article of furniture according to claim 12 wherein each of said slide surfaces comprises a sheet of nylon-graphite material attached to its said associated back slide element, and each of said projecting portions of said slidable seat frame, including their said respective slide follower surfaces, is made of wood having at least semi-hardwood density.

14. An article of furniture according to claim 12 wherein each of said back slide elements has means defining an elongated vertically extending groove, each said slide surface comprises a sheet of wear-resistant material attached to its said associated back slide element in superposed relation with respect to said groove thereof, each said sheet having means defining an elongated vertically extending slot of narrower width than that of said groove of the back slide element to which it is attached and being substantially coextensive therewith, and each said slide follower surface carries a guide element projecting rearwardly therefrom and into said groove of its associated back slide element, each said guide element having retaining flange means disposed within said groove of its said associated back slide element and behind said associated sheet of material.

15. An article of furniture according to claim 14 wherein the length of each of said grooves and slots is greater than the distance of vertical movement of said slidable back during said movement of the recliner unit between its said normal seating and lounging positions, and each of said slots is enlarged at one of its ends for receiving said retaining flange of its said associated guide element, said enlarged end of the slot being located outside of the range of said movement of the slidable back.

16. An article of furniture according to claim 11 wherein each said back slide element comprises a rod so aligned and disposed, and having said configuration along its length, and each said rearwardly projecting means on said slidable back includes means defining an aperture extending vertically therethrough adjacent to its projecting end, said aperture means being in substantially surrounding relation with and slidably engaging said back slide rod with which it is associated, said respective forwardly facing slide surfaces and rearwardly facing slide follower surfaces being provided by the respective interfacing areas of slidable engagement between said aperture means and said rods.

17. An article of furniture according to claim 11 wherein each of said back slide elements has means defining an elongated vertically extending groove, each said slide surface comprises a sheet of hard material attached to its said associated back slide element in superposed relation with respect to said groove thereof, each said sheet having means defining an elongated vertically extending slot of narrower width than that of said groove of the back slide element to which it is attached and being substantially coextensive therewith, the length of each of said grooves and slots being greater than the distance of vertical movement of said slidable back during said moveface ment of the recliner unit between its said normal seating and lounging positions, and each of said slot having means defining an enlarged aperture at one of its ends, and each said rearwardly projecting means comprises a slide follower support shaft attached at one of its ends to said slidable back frame, slide follower flange means attached to said shaft near its opposite end and providing said rearwardly facing slide follower surface, and slide follower retainer means on said shaft in rearwardly spaced relation with respect to said slide follower flange means, said slide follower retainer means being disposed within said groove of its said associated back slide element and behind said associate sheet of material whereby said shaft spacing between said slide follower flange means and said slide follower retainer means is within said slot of the said associated sheet of material, each said slide follower retainer means having size which is wider than its said associated slot but smaller than said enlargement of the slot.

18. A recliner chair or similar article of furniture, comprising a fixed seat, a high fixed back having a frame comprising respective side uprights, a slidable seat and a slidable back hingedly connected together, said slidable back having a frame comprising respective side uprights and a top rail extending therebetween, the height of said slidable back frame being substantially equal to that of said tfixed back frame, arcuately shaped seat slide means mounting said slidable seat on said fixed seat for movement between a normal seating position and a forwardly disposed lounging position wherein the slidable seat is tilted upwardly at its forward end, a slide follower element adjacent to the upper end of, and projecting sub stantially from each of said uprights of the slidable back frame, each said slide follower element projecting outward an equal distance only in the rearward direction from the normal backline of its associated side upright, vertically elongated respective back slide means on said side uprights of the fixed back frame and respectively aligned rearwardly of each of said slide follower elements, each of said back slide means presenting a forwardly facing slide surface whose surface generating elements are disposed perpendicularly to the longitudinal centerline plane of said article of furniture, each of said slide follower elements presenting a minimum-area contact surin slidable engagement with said slide surface of its associated back slide means, said distance of projection of said slide follower elements providing clearance spacing for receiving upholstery between said top rail of the slidable back frame and said fixed back frame, and retainer guide means on said side follower element for retaining said slidable engagement and preventing lateral displacement of each said slide follower element with respect to its associated back slide means, said retainer guide means comprising means projecting rearwardly of said slide follower contact surface and having flange means on the projecting end thereof, and means defining a rearwardly facing surface of said back slide mean rearwardly of its said forwardly facing slide surface, said flange means being behind said rearwardly facing surface.

19. The improvement according to claim 18 wherein said back slide means has means defining an elongated vertically extending groove, said slide surface of said back slide means comprises a sheet of hard material attached to said back slide means in superposed relation with respect to said groove thereof, said sheet having means defining an elongated vertically extending slot of narrower width than that of said groove and being substantially coextensive with the latter, and said retainer guide means comprises headed screw mean attached to said slide follower means, said rearwardly facing surface of the back slide means being provided by those rearwardly facing surface areas of said sheet which extend over said groove of the back slide means, and said flange means being the head of said screw means, said slot of the sheet of hard material being narrower than the Width of said screw head.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Lauer 297322 Schwennesen 547 Freedman 548 Gell 297343 Pilates 547X Lowenherz et a1 29729 Mednick 297-318 2,953,103 9/1960 Bohannon et a1 297-318 3,019,050 1/1962 Spielman 297343X FOREIGN PATENTS 5 824,250 11/1959 Great Britain 2973 17 1,449,822 7/1966 France 297-317 FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/318, 297/343, 297/322
International ClassificationA47C1/032, A47C1/031
Cooperative ClassificationA47C1/03294, A47C1/032
European ClassificationA47C1/032, A47C1/032F