US 3567281 A
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March-'2, 19.71 c. J. BARECKI T AL LOUNGER CHAIR 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 iF iled A ril 2 meg A: INVENTORS Chesmr J. Barecki ATTORNEYS Kenne'fih W. Hozeski 1971 v EK1 m1. 135mm LOUNGER CHAIR 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 28. L969 ENTORS Chefier J. Barecki Kenneth W. Hozeski BY A" A TTOR NEYS United States Patent 3,567,281 LOUNGER CHAIR Chester J. Barecki, Grand Rapids, and Kenneth W.
H0zeski, Grandville, Mich., assignors to American Seating Company, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Filed Apr. 28, 1969, Ser. No. 819,668 Int. Cl. A47c N12 US. Cl. 297333 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A chair unit wherein a torsion bar is provided adjacent the lower front to always return the chain to an upright position, thereby eliminating springs at the rear of the chair unit which would be in the way of the occupant behind.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION For many years theater chairs, particularly those of the loge variety (considered the top of the line), have been equipped with heavy springs to permit the occupant to assume a slightly reclined position yet return the chair unit to upright position when unoccupied. In many instances these springs have been cumbersome particularly those of the U-type commonly referred to as buggy springs. These have been confined interiorly of the chair unit and were diflicult to repair or replace. Also in many instances, these chairs resulted in disadvantageous protuberances which could snag a theatergoess clothes or, if this was to be avoided, necessitated expensive overlays and protective means.
All of this is avoided through the torsion bar installation of the instant invention which is integrated into standard side frames making a rigid, sturdy, simple installation. Further, the construction of the chair makes it possible to easily convert the chair to an aisle chair through the addition of a novel and useful side panel. In this connection, the invention makes use of a simplified frame or standard structure which in itself is advantageous in facilitating floor sweeping and giving added space for the foot movement of the occupant in the chair behind.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION The invention is described in conjunction with an illustrative embodiment in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective wiew of an end or aisle loge chair seen in the raised, unoccupied position;
FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the chair of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of a middle chair, having a short arm rest instead of the end panel, seen in the chairs depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 and showing the chair unit in an upright position, as when the occupant is sitting erect or leaning forward, differing from the showing in FIGS. 1 and 2 by virtue of the seat being in the occupantsupporting position;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the middle chair of FIG. 3 but with the chair in a reclined position assumed when the occupant leans back to relax;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the chair unit with the bearings and fragments of the two standards in exploded showing;
FIG. 6 is a perspective View in exploded form of the chair unit assembly with the torsion bar, torsion bar retainer, and roll pin removed;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the sight line 77 of FIG. 5, but showing the chair support tube nestled between the fragments of two standards;
FIG. 8 is a similar sectional view but with parts exploded away from the chair support tube;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the end panel, turned to reveal the inside surface, and with the arm cap exploded from it;
FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 but with the chair standard attached to the end panel; and
FIG. 11 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the sight line 11-11 of FIG. 10.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the loge chair 20 is an end chair, being located at an aisle, i.e., at the end of a row.
All the loge chairs consist of a chair unit 21 supported bet-ween two standards 22 and 23. In the chair shown in FIG. 1, the left or inside standard 23 is topped with a short arm cap, while the right hand or aisle standard 22 is covered with a rigid foam end panel 25 topped with an outer plastic arm rest cap 26. When the loge chair is used as a middle chair 27 with chairs on both sides, its two standards 22 and 23 are capped with short arm rests 24 as in FIGS. 3 and 4.
Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, it is seen that a difference in the aisle side or right hand standard 22 of an end chair and a middle chair is that three holes are drilled in the standard so that screws 28 can be inserted through the standard into the star nuts 29 embedded in the rigid foam at the three protrusions 30 on the inside surface 31 of the end panel. The plastic arm rest cap 26 is cemented to the upper surfaces 32 of the end panel 25. It will be appreciated that other materials of construction such as a wood block covered with upholstery may be used also advantageously in the practice of the invention.
Certain advantages flow from the use of a separate arm rest. The end panel may be of one color, as a gay color, or one matching the upholstery, while the arm rest cap may be of a different color -a more subtle color, or such as that resembling wood. The textures of the two elements may differ. Also, the plastic arm cap is more durable than the rigid foam end panel and is better suited as an arm rest where there is physical contact with the occupant. The plastic arm cap can be made of a special design to satisfy the desires of certain customers and can be cemented to a regular end panel. Further, the cost is less to make a special mold for the arm cap than to make an individual end panel mold incorporating a specially developed design in the arm rest portion. Further, decorative panels (not shown) satisfying a customers individual taste may be inserted into the recess 33 (see FIG. 11) of the end panel 25.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, it is seen that the chair unit 21 consists of a back assembly 34 and a seat assembly 35 nestled in a cradle-like chair support assembly 36. The assembly 36 has a right hand round bearing 37 which is equipped with a square hole. The cradle 36 at the other end is equipped wtih a square left hand bearing 38 having a round hole, shown exploded off on the chair support assembly 36 in FIG. 5the actual integration of the element 37 and 38 with the cradle assembly 36 being shown in FIG. 6.
The left hand standard 23 has a pivot plate 39 (see FIG. 1) attached to its right side on which the left hand bearing 38 rotates as the chair cradle and hence the chair swings between its two extreme positions as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. Each standard in a row will have a pivot plate for the chair on its right, except at the right A square torsion bar 40 is housed in the square tube portion 41 of the chair support assembly 36. The bar is held firmly at its left end 42 (see FIGS. 6-8) inside a square hole 43 in the square torsion bar retainer 44. The retainer 44 is held in place inside of the tube 41 by means of a roll pin 45. The right hand end 46 of the torsion bar 40 is held firmly in a square hole 47 in the right hand standard 22. The torsion bar functions to return the chair unit to the upright position of FIG. 3. The torsion bar 40 also eliminates the necessity of having springs at the rear of the chair unit and keeps it in a raised position. The hole 48 in the left hand standard 23 is not necessary for the one chair being discussed, but the left hand standard 23 becomes a right hand standard 22 for the next chair, and in such cases the hole is needed for the torsion bar of that adjacent chair unit.
As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the chair unit is limited by a stop member 49 provided on each side of the cradle assembly 36, i.e., to each side member 50. The securement is achieved through the provision of a stud extending through the sides 50 and capped with a nut 51 (see FIG. 6). The stop member 49 is generally cylindrical and has an outer surfacing of resilient material. It strikes the upper edge 52 of the opening provided in the standard (see FIGS. 3 and 4) when the chair is in the raised position of FIG. 3. In contrast, the stop member 49 strikes the lower edge 53 as the opennig on the chair is in the reclined position of FIG. 4.
The standards 22 and 23 have a pedestal base 54 instead of the usual front and rear legs so as to facilitate floor sweeping. This arrangement also allows more room for foot and leg movement of the occupant of the chair behind.
In the operation of the invention, as the occupant reclines in the cradle-line assembly 36 the torsion bar 40 is twisted. It will be noted that the opennig 47 in the right hand standard 22 is square shaped so as to conform to the cross sectional contour of the torsion rod 40. This end remains fixed while the left hand end 42 of the torsion bar 42 is twisted by the rotation of the cradle. The limited rotation of the cradle is effected by the provision of the right and left hand bearings 37 and 38 within the range of movement afforded by the abutment surfaces 52 and 53 contacted by the stop member 49. The entire assembly is seen to be compact and inconspicuous, being located at the lower forward end of the chair frame thus not interfering with the independent spring loading of the seat 35 (as at 55 in FIG. which makes for a readily accessible and repairable unit. Also, the provision of the retainer 44 within the square tube 41 adapts the basic assembly for different width chairs inasmuch as no specific interconnection is required between the left hand 4 end 42 of the torsion bar 40 and the cradle assembly 36, i.e., the retainer 44 being locatable at various positions along the length of the square tube 41.
1. A theater chair comprising a pair of spaced-apart standards, a cradle support pivotally supported therebetween, a back and a seat on said support, said cradle support including generally L-shaped side members interconnected at their forward lower end by a torsion bar assembly, said cradle support being equipped with a tilt stop rearward of said torsion bar assembly, a stop abutment on at least one of said standards, said torsion bar assembly including a retainer fixed at one end thereof, the other end of said torsion bar assembly being fixed in one of said standards, and a torsion bar tube extending between said side members and slidably receiving said retainer to prevent said retainer from rotating relative to said tube.
2. The chair of claim 1 in which said stop includes a generally cylindrical member having a resilient exterior, said stop abutment including slot means in said standard limiting the range of movement of said stop and hence said cradle assembly.
3. The chair of claim 2 in which said slot is cast integrally with said standard and includes flange portions confined within the width of the standard, said stop being of limited width so as to not project substantially beyond the width of said standard flanges.
4. The chair of claim 1 in which one of said standards is equipped with a foam end panel boltably secured thereto, an arm rest fixed to the top of said side panel.
5. A theater chair comprising a pair of spaced apart standards, a seating unit supported between said standards and including a back portion and a seat portion, at least one of said standards being equipped with a side panel boltably secured thereto, said side panel including a unitarian member formed of foam and extending substantially from the floor to the top of said standard and providing a mounting surface at its top for an arm rest, an arm rest fixed to said side panel, said side panel having a generally flat central portion adapted to receive an adornment.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,582,600 1/1952 Nordmark 297333 2,845,111 7/1958 Barecki et al 297300 2,845,991 8/1958 Soderberg 248273 JAMES T. McCALL, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R,