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Publication numberUS3592146 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 13, 1971
Filing dateMay 14, 1969
Priority dateMay 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3592146 A, US 3592146A, US-A-3592146, US3592146 A, US3592146A
InventorsDavid C Loomans
Original AssigneeLouis C Riesch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Suspended table
US 3592146 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent David C. Loomlns West Bend, Wis. 824,571

May 14, I969 July 13, 1971 Louis C. Rleseh I part Interest [72] Inventor [21] Appl. No, [22] Filed [45] Patented [73] Assignee (54] SUSPENDED TABLE ll Claims, I Drawing Figs.

[52] 0.8. CI. 108/149 [51) Int. .1 A47! 5/00 [50] Field of Search lO8/2l [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 773,721 11/1904 Duvall 1. 108/44 X 2,170,098 8/1939 Stephenson 108/136 2,358,319 9/1944 Dupee r. l08/136X 2.531.233 11/1950 Pettie 103/145 2,757,712 8/1956 Johnson 248/373 2,818,317 12/1957 Little,Jr 108/144 X 2,844,428 7/1958 Pucntennym 108/149X 2,947,585 8/1960 Fazio 108/149 X 3,162,495 12/1964 Swift 312/223 3,166,028 1/1965 ZagelW 108/25 1,819,516 8/1931 Kelly 108/149 X FOREIGN PATENTS 310,651 5/1929 Great Britain 103/44 Primary Examiner- Bobby R. Gay Assirmnt Examiner-Glenn O Finch Arrorney-lamcs E. Nilles ABSTRACT: A table suspended from the ceiling and provided with suspension legs which are adapted to fold to thereby permit elevation of the table from its lowered usable position to an elevated out-of-the-way position in proximity to the ceiling.

PATENTEB JUL] 3191: 3592.146

saw 2 or 2 0. C loam/1v:

SUSPENDED TABLE BACKGROUND- It is customary practice in hospitals, hotels, rest homes, private clubs and other institutions to provide separate and independent dining rooms, auditoriums or meeting rooms, lounges, chapels, and the like. This obviously necessitates the use of large areas of space which could otherwise be advantageously utilized for sleeping rooms or other accommodations or which could merely be eliminated from the building to thereby reduce cost and overhead.

Then too, in many instances, it is frequently desirable or advantageous to utilize a room such as a dining room, auditorium or meeting room for a twofold purpose. For example, hotels are frequent hosts to civic groups or the like which have joint luncheon-lecture meetings, private clubs often have dinner-dances for their members, rest homes may wish to immediately follow dinner with a recreational or educational program. In such instances, it is desirable to rid the room oftables immediately after luncheon or dinner has been completed.

While it has heretofore been proposed to provide ceilingsuspended elevatable tables in efforts to conserve space and permit the conversion of rooms to multiple purpose use, none of these prior devices has enjoyed any appreciable degree of commercial success for one reason or another. In some cases,

these prior suspended tables have been too bulky and cumbersome, or too costly and impractical to install. In other instances, the tables have been unstable and have not possessed the desired or even the necessary rigidity for supporting food and liquid without spilling. Furthermore, prior devices of this type have not possessed sufficient flexibility of structural design to permit ready adaptation to different building and constructional conditions.

SUMMARY The primary object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a ceiling-suspended elevatable table which obviates all of the aforesaid disadvantages and objections attendant prior devices of this general type.

Another object of this invention is to provide a suspended table which is extremely simple and economical in construction, highly flexible in its adaptations, and exceptionally rigid and stable in use.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a ceilingsuspended foldable table which embodies novel and improved folding-leg suspension means as well as stabilizing and counterbalancing means, and which is also provided with built-in loud speaker, electrical appliance outlet and recessed light fixturev The present invention provides an improved ceilingsuspended table comprising, a pair of laterally spaced suspension members, means for pivotally mounting the upper ends of said members a fixed distance apart in proximity to a ceiling, a table secured through fixed pivots to the lower ends of said members, said members each having a hinged joint at a corresponding medial portion thereof to permit outward movement of said medial portions and resultant vertical movement of the lower ends of said members and said table, and means constantly acting on the upper ends of said members to resiliently urge the same to corresponding positions.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.

THE DRAWINGS A clear conception of the various features constituting the present invention and of the mode of constructing and of utilizing ceiling-suspended foldable tables embodying the improvements may be had by referring to the drawings accompanying and forming a part of this specification.

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a table embodying the invention and showing the same in fully lowered position;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the table also showing the same in fully lowered position in full lines and illustrating the table partially raised by means of broken lines;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the same table showing the same fully folded or elevated in proximity to the ceiling;

FIG. 4 is a somewhat enlarged horizontal section taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2 and showing the upper counterbalancing mechanism for the table legs;

FIG, 5 is a similarly enlarged vertical section through the counterbalancing mechanism taken along the line 5-5 of FIG.

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but with the legs in their elevated position;

FIG. 7 is a vertical fragmentary section taken generally along the line 7-7 of FIG. 1 to show the stabilizing gearing carried by the lower leg members; and

FIG. 8 is a section taken generally along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7 to further show details of the stabilizing gearing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings, the typical ceiling-suspended table shown therein as embodying the invention comprises, in general, a pair of laterally spaced suspension members 10,12 each having a hinged joint 14,16 respectively at a corresponding medial portion thereof, means for pivotally mounting the upper ends of the suspension members 10,12 a fixed distance apart as at 18,20 respectively in proximity to a ceiling 22, and a table 24 secured through a pair of fixed pivots 26,28 to the lower ends of the suspension members 10,12 respectively for vertical movement as will hereinafter more fully appear.

Each ofthe suspension members l0, l2 accordingly consists of upper and lower sections 30,32 respectively, and these sections 30,32 are, in turn, each formed of a pair of laterally spaced elongated elements 34,36, respectively, interconnected by one or more struts or braces 38,40 or the like. To conserve tabletop space, it is preferable to taper the suspension members 10,12 and the elongated elements 34,36 inwardly toward the lower ends thereof as shown, and for reasons which will hereinafter become apparent, the elements 34,46 are formed of tubular stock. The hinges 14,16 are arranged so as to permit outward movement of the medial portions of the members 10,12 away from each other as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, thus resulting in vertical movement of the table 24 upon folding of the members 10,12.

Counterbalancing means designated generally by the numeral 40 is also provided for the suspension members 10,12, such means being adapted to constantly act on the upper ends of the sections 30 of the members 10,12 to resiliently urge the same to corresponding positions at all times. With particular reference to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the upper end of each of the sections 30 is provided with an outwardly directed offset portion in the nature of a lever arm 42, 44 swingable with the respective sections 34, each of the arms 42,44 preferably being angularly adjustable within certain predefined limits about the pivots 18,20. Each pair of arms 42,44, is interconnected as by a bar 46,48, respectively, and one or more tension springs 50 have the opposite ends thereof connected to the bars 46,48 and consequently the swinging ends of the arms 42,44.

Thus, the offset portions or arms 42,44 of the suspension members 10, 12 are, in effect, toggle links which are angularly adjustable with respect to their respective members 10,12 to thereby vary the linear movement of the suspension, the lifting action on the table 24, and the locking action when the members 10,12 are in the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. As illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the counterbalancing springs 50 serve to lock the suspension elements 10, 12 in place when the table is in its lowermost position, the links 42, 44 being held over center as shown. When the table is raised by folding or collapsing the suspension members 10,12 as shown by broken lines in FIG. 2 and full lines in FIGS. 3 and 6, the springs 50 serve as a counterbalance to constantly urge the upper sections 30 of the members 10, 12 to corresponding positions at all times during their movement, and these springs 50 serve to hold the members 10,12 in fully folded or collapsed condition when the table 24 is completely raised.

To maintain the table 24 in horizontal position during its movement and when fully raised or lowered, the lower sections 32 of the suspension members 10,12 are provided with stabilizing means as shown in detail in FIGS. 7 and 8. Such stabilizing means conveniently comprises a gear segment 54,56 carried by each of the lower sections 32 of the members 10,12 respectively. These gear segments 54.56 have intermeshing teeth 58,60 which serve to maintain the table 24 through the pivots 26,28 stabilized at all times.

To permit proper height adjustment and leveling of the suspension means and table, the pivots 18,20 at the upper ends of the suspension members 10,12 respectively are mounted in a suitable housing 64 having suitable brackets 66,68 adapted for adjustment along a pair of depending threaded members 70,72. Thus, counterbalancing mechanism 40 is not only concealed by the housing 64, but the entire suspension mechanism may be adjusted within predetermined limits and suitably leveled through the brackets 66,68 and threaded receiving members 70,72, respectively.

It has also been found that the housing 64 provides a very convenient and well located receiver for an incandescent lamp 76, the lamp 76 being suitably recessed with a recess 78. Thus, when the table 24 is in its raised position wherein it is not in use. the incandescent lamp 76 serves to furnish indirect lighting to the area below the table. On the other hand, when the table 24 is in its lowermost position wherein it is being used for eating or for games or the like, the light furnished by the lamp 76 is a direct light located immediately above the table in its most effective location.

It has also been found highly desirably to provide the table with a downwardly open central recess within which a loud speaker 82 may be conveniently housed. The speaker thus located serves to bring important announcements, music, speeches, or general messages to people within the room when the table is in its raised position, and the proximity of the speaker to persons seated around the table when it is in lowered position also makes the same invaluable. By fabricating the upper and lower sections 30,32 of the suspension members 10,12 of tubular stock, the cords from the speaker may conveniently be run through the tubular sections to the ceiling.

Similarly, an electrical outlet may conveniently be located at the lower end and between the elongated elements 36 of the suspension members 10,12 as shown in FIG. 1. Thus, the electrical outlet 84 is readily available for a plug-in toaster, coffee maker, or other electrical accessories whenever the table is in its lowered position, and again, the electric cord from the outlet 84 may be conveniently run to the ceiling through the tubular members forming the upper and lower sections 34, 46 of the suspension members 10,12, respectively.

lclaim:

I. A ceiling-suspended table for shifting between a position adjacent a ceiling and a lowered position for use, said table comprising, a table having an upper serving area, a pair of laterally spaced suspension members, means for pivotally mounting the upper ends of said members a fixed distance apart in proximity to a ceiling, means for pivotally mounting the lower ends of said members to said table, said mounting means for the lower ends of said members being located in close proximity to the center of said table, each of said suspension members including a pair of interconnected and laterally spaced elongated elements which converge towards one another in a downward direction when said table is in said lowered position, said suspension members also converging toward one another in a downward direction when said table is in said lowered position, said members each having a hinged joint at a corresponding medial portion thereof to permit outward movement of said medial portions and resultant vertical movement of the lower ends of said members and said table.

2. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 1, wherein an electrical outlet is secured between the elongated elements of one of the pairs adjacent the lower end thereof, and the elongated elements are tubular for receiving the wires for said electrical outlet.

3. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 1, wherein a speaker is recessed within the table in proximity to the lower ends of the suspension members, and the elongated members are tubular for receiving the wires for said speaker.

4. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 1, wherein a housing is provided for the pivotally mounted upper ends of the suspension members, and an electric light is recessed within said housing.

5. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 1, wherein the pivotal mounting for the upper ends of the suspension members is carried by a vertically adjustable bracket.

6. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 1, including means constantly acting on the upper ends of the suspension members for urging the same to corresponding positions and includes at least one counterbalancing tension spring secured at its opposite ends to said suspension members.

7. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 6, wherein the upper end of each of the suspension members is provided with an outwardly directed offset portion swingable therewith, and the counterbalancing spring is secured at its opposite ends to the swinging ends of said offset portions.

8. A ceiling-suspended table comprising a pair of laterally spaced suspension members, means for pivotally mounting the upper ends of said members a fixed distance apart in proximity to the ceiling, a table, means for pivotally securing the lower ends of said members to said table, said members each having a hinged joint at a corresponding medial portion thereof to permit outward movement of said medial portions and resultant vertical movement of the lower ends of said members and said table, means on the upper ends of said members to resiliently urge the same to corresponding positions, the lower ends of said suspension members being provided with stabilizing means cooperable to maintain the table in horizontal position throughout its movement.

9. A ceiling-suspended table according to claim 8, wherein the stabilizing means includes a gear segment on each of the suspension members.

10. A ceiling-suspended table comprising, a pair of laterally spaced suspension members, means for pivotally mounting the upper ends of said members a fixed distance apart in proximity to a ceiling, a table, means for pivotally mounting the lower ends of said members to said table, said members each having a hinged joint at a corresponding medial portion thereof to permit outward movement of said medial portions and resultant vertical movement of the lower ends of said members and said table. and means constantly acting on the upper ends of said members to resiliently urge the same to cor responding upper and lower positions, said means including an outwardly directed offset portion provided at the upper end of each of the suspension members and being swingable therewith and at least one counterbalancing spring secured at its opposite ends to the swinging ends of said offset portions, said offset portions being angularly movable to an overcenter position with their respective members to lock the suspension members in their lower position.

11. A ceiling-suspended table comprising, a table, a pair of laterally spaced suspension members, means for pivotally mounting the upper ends of said members a fixed distance apart in proximity to a ceiling, means for pivotally mounting the lower ends of said members to said table, said members each having a hinged joint at a corresponding medial portion thereof to permit outward movement of said medial portions and resultant vertical movement of the lower ends of said members and said table, and means constantly acting on the upper ends of said members to resiliently urge the same to corresponding upper and lower positions, said means including a pair of laterally spaced offset portions provided at the upper end of each of said suspension members and an element inter connecting the outer ends of each pair of portions to provide a toggle member and at least one counterbalancing spring secured to said interconnecting element.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3743287 *Jan 19, 1972Jul 3, 1973Liermann CCombined frame and elevatable pool table assembly
US4815396 *Aug 31, 1987Mar 28, 1989Manco Corporation Of West BendSuspended table
US4862764 *Oct 17, 1988Sep 5, 1989Manco Corporation Of West BendSuspended table
US7228669 *Jun 13, 2005Jun 12, 2007Yaraschefski Steven MSuspended table assembly
US7895955 *Mar 15, 2007Mar 1, 2011Ft Products, LlcShelf system
US7980401 *Apr 1, 2009Jul 19, 2011Staraitis John AShelving system
US8308151Nov 3, 2008Nov 13, 2012Comau Inc.Elevator assembly for robotic positioning of a workpiece
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/149
International ClassificationA47B5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B5/00, A47B2005/003
European ClassificationA47B5/00