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Publication numberUS3594038 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 20, 1971
Filing dateNov 29, 1968
Priority dateNov 29, 1968
Publication numberUS 3594038 A, US 3594038A, US-A-3594038, US3594038 A, US3594038A
InventorsLieberman Edgar M, Maslan David, Polsky Norman, Quearry Robert W
Original AssigneeFixtures Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Chair and ganging connectors
US 3594038 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unit

States tel [72] Inventors Norman Polslty;

Edgar M. Lieberman; llobert W. Quearry; David Mnslan, all oi llfiansas City, Mo. [21 Appl No 779,954 [22] Filed Nov. 29, 1968 {45] Patented July 20, 1971 [73] Assignce Fixtures Manufacturing Corporation llfiansas City, M10.

[54] (Ill/111R AND GANGHNG CONNECTUlRS 5 Claims, 6 Drawing lFigs.

[52] 11.5. C1 297/248, 297/457 [51] lint. C11 A4l7c 11/124 [50] lField of Search 297/248, DIG. 2, 457, 239, 421, 411

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 712,898 11/1902 Barney 297/248 1,989,426 1/1935 Pollak 297/239 2,709,484 5/1955 Lamb 297/239 Primary ExaminerFrancis K. Zugel AttorneysFishburn, Gold & Litman and Malcolm A. Litman AllllS'llfiAtC'll: Ganging connectors are mounted on chair legs and include an upper clip and a lower clip each having means therein for receiving and retaining a corresponding leg on an adjacent similar chair. The legs having the gauging connectors mounted thereon are inclined relative to the supporting surface. The chair has a unitary seat and back structure received in a loop frame having a substantially horizontal seat supporting portion and a substantially vertical back supporting portion and spaced legs connected to opposite sides of the frame back portion and spaced legs connected to opposite sides of the frame seat portion.

PATENTED JULZO [9n SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR. EDGAR M. LIEBERMAN, Passer w. QUEARRY, BY DAVID MASLAN, NORMAN Peary.

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ATTORN EYZS PAIENTED JUL 20 I97! SHEET 2 BF 2 no MRA mma s N U K V Wf M E mwswwm MTWN O wmow m ow m ERMN CIHIM AND GANGING CONNlEC'llOItS This invention relates to ganging connectors for chair legs and to chair construction and more particularly to chairs having spaced gauging connectors mounted on inclined legs thereof for receiving and retaining an adjacent corresponding leg on an adjacent similar chair. i

The principal objects of the present invention are: to provide a strong, stable, light weight chair having a unitary concave seat and back; to provide spaced ganging connectors mounted on legs of such chairs for receiving and retaining corresponding legs on adjacent similar chairs; to provide such ganging connectors each having means therein for yieldingly engaging the respective leg of the adjacent chair whereby a plurality of similar chairs may be ganged and are each stable on a floor having minor surface irregularities; to provide such chairs having a pair of arms connected to opposite sides of a loop frame and extending outwardly therefrom and alongside the seat; to provide such a chair with spaced ganging connectors mounted on one leg thereof that are easily disconnected from the leg of an adjacent chair by tilting one of the chairs; to provide such chairs and ganging connectors therefor wherein ganging is easily accomplished and adjacent chairs are held in a stable position without undesired movement when weight is applied thereto as in normal usage; and to provide such chairs and gauging connectors therefor which are economical to manufacture, attractive, and durable in use.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this invention.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a pair of chairs embodying features of the present invention shown ganged together.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of one of the chairs showing construction details thereof.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view of one of a pair of ganging connectors showing projections on facing surfaces thereof and showing the proximal leg of an adjacent chair in broken lines.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of one of a pair of modified ganging connectors showing the proximal leg of the adjacent chair yieldingly retained therein.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a pair of chairs each having spaced ganging connectors mounted on an outer leg of the chairs having crossed legs on each side thereof.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a pair of chairs each having an upper forward facing ganging connector on one outer leg and a lower rearward facing ganging connector on an other outer leg of the chairs having crossed legs on each side thereof.

Referring more in detail to the drawings:

The reference numeral ll generally designates a chair having a unitary seat and back structure 2 received in a loop frame 3. Spaced rear legs 2 and 5, left and right respectively, are connected to right and left sides of the loop frame 3 and spaced front legs 6 and 7, left and right respectively, are connected to the rear legs 4 and 5 respectively and to the loop frame 3. Upper and lower ganging clips on connectors 8 and 9 respectively are mounted on one of the rear legs and are adapted to receive and retain a corresponding parallel leg on an adjacent similar chair. The loop frame 3 has a substantially horizontal seat supporting portion 10 and a substantially vertical back supporting portion 1111 for receiving and supporting the respective portions of the seat and back structure 2.

The horizontal seat portion 10 of the loop frame 3 has a pair of spaced substantially parallel sides 12 and 113, left and right respectively, and a front member M which is substantially at right angles with each of the parallel sides 112 and 113 and which has opposite ends thereof connected to a front or forward end of each of the sides 12 and 113.

The vertical back portion 11 of the loop frame 3 has a pair of substantially parallel uprights l6 and 17, left and right respectively, extending upwardly from the rear ends of the sides 12 and 13 and the uprights 116 and 117 each have their respective lower ends connected thereto at substantially right angles. The frame back portion 11 has atop member 18 which extends between the upper ends of the uprights 16 and 17 and is connected thereto substantially at right angles with the uprights.

It is preferable that the sides 112 and 113, front member 141, uprights I6 and 117, and top member 113 be portions of a continuous tubular member with bends H9 at each of the respective connecting points between the respective portions of the loop frame 3.

The right and left rear legs 3 and 5 are each connected to the right and left uprights l6 and 117 respectively. The rear legs 1 and 5 each have a bend 20 intermediate their respective upper and lower ends thereby forming an upper portion 21 and a lower portion 22 in each of the rear legs. The upper portion 21 of each of the rear legs 3 and 5 is substantially parallel with a portion of the respective uprights 116 and 17. The bends 20 are each aligned with and spaced outwardly from the loop frame 3. The lower portion 22 of each of the rear legs 4 and 5 is rearwardly directed from the horizontal seat portion 10 of the loop frame 3 thereby providing one portion of a wide area of support for the chair 1 and providing an inclined leg having the ganging clips 8 and 9 mounted thereon. v

The spaced front legs 6 and 7 each have an intermediate bend 23 thereby forming an upper portion 24 and a lower portion 25. The upper portion 24 of each of the legs 6 and 7 is spaced from and substantially parallel with the respective sides 12 and 113 of the loop frame 3. The upper portion 24 is suitably connected to the respective sides H2 or 13, as by spacers 26 having their opposite sides suitably secured to the upper portion 241 and the respective sides 12 or 113, as by welding. In the illustrated structure, the face end of each of the upper portions 24 is positioned adjacent the bend 20 in the respective rear legs 4 and 5 and is suitably secured thereto, as by welding. The lower portion 25 of each of the front legs 6 and 7 is forwardly directed from the bend 23 whereby the lower ends of the front legs 6 and 7 are substantially forward of the bend 23 thereby forming the other portion of the wide area for the support for the chair 1 providing a stable support for said chair.

Lower ends 27 of the rear legs 3 and 5 are substantially rearward of the bend 20 and the lower ends 28 of the front legs 6 and 7 are substantially forward of the bend 23 thereby providing a wide base of support for the chair 1.

A brace member 29 extends between the lower portions 25 of the front legs 6 and 7 and has opposite ends thereof suitably connected to the lower portions 25, as by welding, thereby substantially increasing the rigidity of the chair ll. Mounted in each of the lower ends 27 and 23 is a glide 30 which engages the floor for supporting the chair 1.

In the illustrated structure, a forward portion of the frame seat supporting portion extends forward beyond the bends 23 in the front legs 6 and 7 and the lower ends of the front legs 6 and 7 are below the front member M. v

The unitary seat and back structure 2 has a substantially horizontal seat portion 31 adapted to be received on and supported by the horizontal seat supporting portion 10 of the loop frame 3 and a substantially vertical back portion 32 adapted to be received on and supported by the vertical back supporting portion 111 of the loop frame 3. A flange 33 extends outwardly from the periphery of the seat and back structure 2 and overlaps the loop frame 3. A portion of the flange 33 extends between the upper portions 24 of the front legs 6 and 7 and the respective sides 112 and 113 of the frame seat supporting portion 110 and a portion of the flange 33 extends between the upper portion 211 of the rear legs 4 and 3 and a portion of the respective uprights and 17 of the frame back supporting portion 1111. The flange 33 has a plurality of notches 34 therein adapted to permit the spacers 2115 to extend through the flange 33. There is also a notch 341 permitting an upper end 35 of the upper portions 21 of the rear legs 3 and 5 to extend through the flange 33 for their connections with the respective uprights 16 or 117.

The seat and back structure 2 has an'intermediate portion 36 between the seat portion 31 and the back portion 32 which has a concave front face thereby precluding a line of demarcation between the seat portion 31 and the back portion 32.

The seat and back structure 2 is preferably formed of a relatively thin flexible material, such as plastic or the like, and is shaped to conform to proper posture requirements for a chair and conforms sufficiently with a body ofa person (not shown) seated thereon. In the illustrated structure, the seat portion 31 has a concave upper face and'is supported in a hammocklike manner within the seat supporting portion of the loop frame 3. The back portion 32 has a concave forward face to support the back of a person (not shown) within the chair 1 and the top member 18 is also concave to conform to the shape of the upper portion of the back portion 32 to receive and support the concave surface of the back portion 32.

The seat and back structure 2 is secured to the loop frame 3 by suitable fastening devices, such as screws 37, engaging the flange 33 and secured in the sides 12 and 13 and uprights 16 and 17. The screws 37 secured in the sides 12 and 13 are positioned forward of the bend 23 in the respective front legs 6 and 7 and the screws 37 secured in the uprights 16 and 17 are positioned above the upper end 35 of the upper portions 21 of the rear legs 4 and 5 respectively.

The chair 1 includes a pair of arms 38 and 39, left and right respectively, each having one end 40 connected to the spaced uprights l6 and 17 of the back portion 32 of the loop frame 3. The arms 38 and 39 each have a bend 41 whereby a mounting portion 42 is substantially perpendicular to the respective uprights l6 and 17.

It is often desirable to gang chairs in rows with a plurality of similar chairs side by side in an aligned relation; therefore, the upper and lower ganging connectors 8 and 9 respectively are mounted on one of the legs of the chair 1, preferably one of the rear legs 4 or 5. In the illustrated structure, the connectors 8 and 9 are mounted on the left rear leg 4 and are adapted to receive and retain a right rear leg 5 of an adjacent similar chair. In the structure shown, the connectors are on the left leg ofa chair 1 and receive and retain leg 5 of chair 1.

The ganging connectors 8 and 9 are hooklike or U-shaped members having an interior surface 45 substantially corresponding to an exterior surface of a chair leg to be received and retained therein. It is preferred that the chair leg be substantially parallel leg of an adjacent similar chair, such as the right rear leg 5 of the adjacent chair. The ganging connectors 8 and 9 each have opposed flanges 46 and 47 and the upper ganging clip or connector 8 is mounted on the lower portion 22 of the left rear leg 4 adjacent the bend and the lower ganging connector or clip 9 is mounted on the lower portion 22 of the left rear leg 4 adjacent the glide 30. The upper and lower ganging clips 8 and 9 each face in an opposite direction whereby the leg of the adjacent similar chair is finnly retained therein. In the illustrated structure, the flanges or fingers 46 and 47 of the upper ganging connector 8 are forwardly directed and the opposed flanges or fingers 46 and 47 of the lower connector 9 are rearwardly directed whereby the ganging connectors 8 and 9 grippingly engage opposite surfaces of the leg 5 of the adjacent similar chair.

Small dimples or bosses 48 are provided in each of the opposed flanges 46 and 47 of each of the upper and lower ganging connectors 8 and 9 and positioned to engage the leg 5 of the adjacent similar chair as it is moved into embraced position thereby tending to retain the ganged relationship of the chairs. 7

It is preferred that the ganging clips or connectors 8 and 9 be of a slightly yieldable material, such as spring steel, whereby the outstanding flange will deflect outwardly as necessary to permit the entry of the leg of the chair being ganged.

When it is desired to gang or connect a plurality of chairs, as for example chairs 1 and 1', as shown in FIG. 1, the chair 1' is placed in position with the glides 30 all engaging the floor. The chair 1 is moved to the left side of 1 to a substantially side-byside relation, and then with the glides 30 of the forward legs 6 the rear legs until the lower ends thereof are above the connector 9 on the leg 4 of chair 1. Chair 1 is then moved rearwardly until the right rear leg is extended between the upper and lower connectors 8 and 9 and then as the rear of the chair 1 is lowered the lower portion .of the right rear leg 5 moves downwardly and rearwardly of the lower ganging connector 9. Chair 1 is then forced rearwardly to move the leg 5 into alignment with the opening of the upper connector 8 and to overcome the resistance of the bosses 48 whereby said leg 5 moves into gripped engagement by the connector 8. The rear of the chair 1 is then further lowered and the lower portion of the leg 5 moved to the opening of the lower ganging connector 9 and forced therein so that the leg is received by the connector 9. The rear glides 30 are then engaged with the floor with the chairs 1 and 1' held together by the ganging connectors 8 and 9. The opposed facing of the clips or connectors 8 and 9 is such that at least one will resist relative forward or rearward movement of the two chairs. The operation for disconnecting the chairs is preferably initiated by forward tilting of chair 1 providing a rearward movement of the lower portion of the leg 5 to disengage same from the connector 9 and then by forward movement the leg is disengaged from the connector 8 whereby the chairs are separated and can be moved apart.

FIG. 4 illustrates a modified ganging clip or connector 49 to be mounted in opposite facing upper and lower positions on one similar rear leg on each of a plurality of similar chairs to be ganged. The connectors 49 are each C-shaped members having an entrance formed by end portions 50 positioned to present an interference to the leg being installed therein or removed therefrom. The connectors 49 each have opposed inwardly curved flanges 51 and 52 which terminate in outwardly curved ends 50 to retain the leg 5 of the adjacent chair therein. The flanges 51 and 52 of an upper ganging connector 49 on chairs such as illustrated in FIG. 1 are forwardly directed and the flanges 51 and 52 of a lower ganging connector 49 are rearwardly directed whereby the upper and lower connectors 49 engage opposite sides of a leg 5 received therein.

In the illustrated structure, the connectors 49 each have one of the flanges connected to the left rear leg 4. It is preferred that the connector 49 be of a slightly yieldable material, such as spring steel, whereby the outstanding flange will deflect sufficiently to permit the leg 5 to be inserted within'and removed from the connector 49. The operation of connecting the chairs with the connectors 49 is the same as described with the connectors 8 and 9.

FIG. 5 illustrates a pair of chairs each having upper and lower ganging connectors 53 and 54 respectively mounted on an outer leg 55 of crossed legs. In the illustrated structure, the

leg 55 extends forward from a rear portion 56 of a chair 57 which also has an inner leg 58 which extends rearward from a front or forward portion 59 of a seat 60 mounted on the chair 57. The outer leg 55 and the inner leg 58 are on each side of the seat 60 and cross and are connected together at a point 61 below opposite edges of the seat 60 thereby forming an X below each side of the chair 57.

The ganging connectors 53 and 54 are hooklike or U- shaped members each having an interior surface 62 corresponding to an exterior surface of a chair leg to be received and retained therein. It is preferred that the chair leg received in the ganging connectors 53 and 54 be substantially parallel with the outer leg 55 of the chair 57. The connectors 53 and 54 receive an outer leg 55' of an adjacent similar chair 57'. The chairs 57 and 57' illustrated in FIG. 5 are of the same construction and chair 57 is so designated to facilitate description of the connecting and disconnecting operation. The ganging connectors 53 and 54 each have opposed flanges 63 and 64 and the upper ganging connector 53 is mounted adjacent the connection point 61 and the lower ganging connector 54 is mounted adjacent the lower end of the outer leg 55.

In the structure illustrated in FIG. 5, the flanges 63 and 64 of the upper ganging connector 53 are forwardly directed and the opposed flanges 63 and 6d of the lower ganging connector 1i are rearwardly directed whereby the gauging connectors 53 and i li engage opposite surfaces of an outer leg 555' of the adjacent similar chair 5).

A suitable projection is provided on each of the opposed flanges 63 and 6d of each of the upper and lower ganging connectors 53 and fi t and is positioned to engage the outer leg d5 of the adjacent chair 57' as it is moved into embraced position.

It is preferred that the gauging connectors 53 and 64 be ofa slightly yieldable material, such as spring steel, whereby the outstanding flange will deflect outwardly, as necessary to permit entry of the leg of the chair being ganged.

When it is desired to connect a plurality of chairs in a gang, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the chair 5? is moved into position with all four legs resting on the floor. The chair 6? is then moved to the left side of chair 5'7, tilted forwardly and then moved whereby the leg 55 of the chair 57 extends downwardly in a position forwardly of the ganging connector 53 and rearwardly of the connector 5d, and in substantial alignment with the openings between the opposed flanges 63 and 65 thereof. The lower portion of the chair is moved forwardly whereby the leg 55' overcomes the resistance of the flanges 63 and 67 and moves into the interior of the lower connector 5d with the legs 55 and S5 of the chair 557 resting on the floor. The chair 57' is moved to lower the rear portion thereof and the leg 55 thereof downwardly and rear-wardly into engagement with the connector 53 to complete the ganging connection of the chairs 57 and 57'. The opposed relationship of the connectors is such that they resist relative forward or rearward movement of the chairs. In disconnecting the chairs 57 and 57', chair 57 is tilted forwardly disengaging the leg 55 from the connector 53 and then by rearward movement of the lower portion of the leg 55' of the chair 57' said leg is disconnected from the connector 5d of the chair 57. This separates the two chairs so they can be moved apart.

In the structure shown in FIG. 6, the chairs 65 and 65' are of the same construction and substantially the same construction as the chairs 57. The connectors 66 and 6'7 are of the same construction as the connectors 53 and 5%, but are arranged on the legs of the respective chairs in a manner different from that shown in FIG. 5. in the structure illustrated in MG. 6, the upper connector 66 is secured to the upper portion of one leg 6t} and the lower connector 67 is secured to the tower portion of the opposed leg 69 on the other side of the respective chair. Also, the connectors are arranged whereby the openings 7d between the flanges 71 and 72 face in the same direction. in the structure illustrated, the connector 66 is on the outer side of the forward right leg 68 of the chair 65 and outwardly thereof with the opening 70 facing rearwardly. The connector 67 is on the outer side of the lower portion of the forward left leg 69 of the chair 65 and the opening 'Ytli thereof faces rearwardly.

When it is desired to gang connect the chairs, as illustrated in FIG. 6, chair 65 is set on the floor in desired position. The chair 65 is moved alongside to the left of chair 651i and tilted forwardly whereby the lower portion ofthe leg 6% of the chair 65' extends rearwardly of the connector 6'7 in alignment with the opening 70 thereof. The upper portion of the leg 6% of the chair 65' is arranged whereby the connector 66 thereon is forwardly of the upper portion of the leg 69 of the chair 65, then the action for connecting the chairs is substantially the same as described relative to the structure in FIG. 5, namely, the lower portion of the leg 6% of chair 65 is moved forwardly to engage same in the connector 67 and the chair moved to lower the rear portion so that the leg 6% of the chair 65' and the connector 66 thereon moves downwardly and rearwardly to engage over the leg 69 of the chair 65 to complete the ganging connection. To disconnect the chairs the chair 66' is tilted forwardly to disengage the connector 66 on the leg 66 thereof from the leg 69 of the chair 65. Then by rearward movement the lower portion of the leg 6% of the chair 65' is disengaged from the connector 67 on the lower portion of the leg 69 of the chair 65 whereby the chairs are separated and may be moved apart.

it is to be understood that while we have illustrated and described certain forms of our invention, it is not to be limited to these specific forms or arrangements of parts herein described and shown except insofar as such limitations are included in the claims.

What we ciairn and desire to secure by Letters Patent is;

l. A chair-ganging structure for releasably connecting a plurality of chairs by leg connectors comprising:

a. a first chair and a second chair with each having crossed inner and outer legs on each side of a seat, said chairs being adapted to be positioned in side-by-side relation with adjacent outer legs in side-by-side relation, one of said inner and outer legs extending downwardly and forwardly and the other of said inner and outer legs extend ing downwardly and rearwardly,

b. an upper clip mounted on one of said sideby-side outer legs adjacent and below the seat and having a substantially U-shape with an interior surface and spaced flanges with spaced ends to receive in a loop engagement and grippingly retain the other of said side-by-side outer legs,

. a lower clip mounted on one of said side-by-side outer legs at a level spaced substantially below the upper clip and having a substantially U'shape with an interior surface and spaced flanges with spaced ends to receive in a loop engagement and grippingly retain a lower portion of the other of said side-by-side outer legs, one of said upper and lower clips being substantially spaced forwardly of the other clip whereby the upper and lower clips cooperate in gang connecting the adjacent chairs and retain same in a line, said clips being positioned for con" necting and releasing adjacent chairs in response to relative forward and rearward movement of said adjacent chairs.

2. A structure as set forth in Claim it wherein the side-byside outer legs are adjacent forward legs of the first and second chairs and the upper clip is on and extends outwardly of said forward leg of the first chair and the lower clip is on and extends outwardly of said forward leg of the second chair and each of said clips have leg-receiving openings facing the same direction.

3. The ganging structure as set forth in claim 11 wherein:

a. a chair has the outer leg forwardly directed from a rear portion of the chair and the inner leg rearwardly directed from the seat of the chair;

b. said upper clip and lower clip are oppositely facing.

d. The spaced gauging connectors as set forth in claim 1 wherein said clips include:

a. aligned rounded bosses extending inwardly from each of facing surfaces of the opposed clip flanges and engaging portions of said outer leg when said outer leg engages the interior surface of the respective clip whereby said bosses cooperate with said respective clip interior surface to retain said outer leg of said adjacent similar chair therein.

5. A chair comprising:

a. a loop frame having a substantially horizontal seat portion and a substantially vertical back portion, said frame seat portion having substantially parallel sides and a front substantially at right angles with said sides, said frame back portion having substantially parallel uprights and a top substantially at right angles with said uprights;

b. a pair of spaced rear legs each connected to an opposite upright of said frame, said rear legs each having a bend intermediate their respective ends whereby an upper portion is substantially parallel with said respective upright and a lower portion is rearwardly directed from said upper portion;

. a pair of spaced front legs each connected to an opposite side of said frame seat portion, said front legs each having a bend intermediate their respective ends whereby an upper portion is substantially parallel with said respective side and a lower portion is forwardly directed from said upper portion, one end of each of said upper portions being connected to a separate rear; leg at said bend therein;

. a unitary support structure having a seat portion on said notches in said flange at each of said connections between said upper portions of said front legs and said respective sides of said frame seat portion and at each of said connections between said upper portions of said rear legs and said respective uprights of said frame back portion;

f, a glide mounted in the end of each of said lower portions of each of said front and rear legs;

an upper forward facing ganging clip mounted on one of said rear legs and having an interior surface adapted to receive and retain a rear leg of an adjacent chair; and

. a lower rear facing ganging clip mounted on said one rear leg and having an interior surface adapted to receive and retain said rear leg of said adjacent chair whereby said upper clip and said lower clip cooperate with said rear leg of said adjacent chair to gang adjacent chairs.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4602817 *May 13, 1983Jul 29, 1986Steelcase Inc.Modular furniture system
US4938530 *Aug 22, 1988Jul 3, 1990Steelcase, Inc.Wire frame chair
US5542159 *Jun 28, 1994Aug 6, 1996Hon Industries Inc.Combined chair glide and coupler
US5957530 *Sep 24, 1997Sep 28, 1999Ditto Sales, Inc.Device for ganging chairs
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/248, 297/452.14
International ClassificationA47C5/06, A47C1/124, A47C1/00, A47C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C5/06, A47C1/124, A47C3/12
European ClassificationA47C1/124, A47C5/06, A47C3/12