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Publication numberUS3640576 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 8, 1972
Filing dateJun 8, 1970
Priority dateJun 8, 1970
Also published asCA940816A1
Publication numberUS 3640576 A, US 3640576A, US-A-3640576, US3640576 A, US3640576A
InventorsBruce R Hannah, Andrew Ivar Morrison
Original AssigneeArt Metal Knoll Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Furniture construction
US 3640576 A
Abstract
An article of furniture utilizing two identical sidepiece members and two identical stretcher members. The sidepiece and stretcher members are laterally coupled together such that upon pivotal movement of the stretcher members in one direction, the sidepiece members move toward each other and can be disengaged, and upon pivotal stretcher movement in the opposite direction, the sidepiece members move away from each other and become locked together. A piece of fabric is positioned between the two sidepiece members and is tensioned by appropriate pivotal movement of the stretcher members.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Morrison et al.

[ 1 Feb. 8, 1972 [54] FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION [72] Inventors: Andrew Ivar Morrison, Brooklyn; Bruce R. Hannah, Staten Island, both of NY.

[73] Assignee: Art Metal-Knoll Corporation, New York,

[22] Filed: June 8, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 44,158

[52] US. Cl. ..297/440, 5/82, 287/103 A, 297/248, 297/445, 297/450, 297/457 [51] Int. Cl. ..A47c 4/02, A47c 7/20, A47c 7/14 [58] Field ofSearch ..297/2l8,219, 232, 244,248, 297/440, 445, 452, 455-457, 60; 287/103 A; 5/82 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,856 11/1840 Lamb ..287/103 A 271,143 1/1883 Smith.... .287/103 A X 3,033,635 5/1962 Glass 108/64 UX 2,854,062 9/ 1958 Hetchler ..297/457 X 1,512,326 10/1924 Wynn ..297/444 3,179,367 4/1965 Rapata ..287/103 A 3,512,834 5/1970 Lockshin 297/441 3,065,983 11/1962 Flumerfelt.... ..287/60 2,899,693 8/1959 Stollenwerk ..5/82 2,147,437 2/1939 Gross .297/445 2,348,882 10/ 1967 Chassaignac .297/440 Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg AnomeyRobert Scobey, Robert S. Dunham, Pem E. Henninger, Lester W. Clark, Gerald W. Griffin, Thomas F. Moran, R. Bradlee Boal, Christopher C. Dunham and Henry T. Burke [57] ABSTRACT An article of furniture utilizing two identical sidepiece members and two identical stretcher members. The sidepiece and stretcher members are laterally coupled together such that upon pivotal movement of the stretcher members in one direction, the sidepiece members move toward each other and can be disengaged, and upon pivotal stretcher movement in the opposite direction, the sidepiece members move away from each other and become locked together. A piece of fabric is positioned between the two sidepiece members and is tensioned by'appropriate pivotal movement of the stretcher members.

9 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENIEBFEB 8!.972 3.640.576

sum 1 or 4 E Q INVENTORS T111 ANDREW /V4/? MORE/501V BY BRUCE R. H/IA/A/AH PATENTEB FEB 8 I972 sum 3 m 4 PAIENIEBFEB awn 3.640.576

saw u or 4 FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to furniture construction. More particularly, it is directed to furniture which is relatively inexpensive to produce and which may be assembled very easily.

Furniture in accordance with the invention essentially uses only two structural members, namely, a sidepiece member and a stretcher member. For a chair, for example, two identical sidepiece members and two identical stretcher members are utilized to make the basic frame of the chair. A piece of fabric is positioned between the two sidepiece members and is held in place by these members,

An important aspect of the invention is the coupling together of stretcher and sidepiece members. In particular, these members are laterally locked together so that, upon pivotal movement of the stretcher member, the two members move relatively laterally. Thus in the basic framework consisting of two sidepiece members coupled together by two stretcher members, when the stretcher members are moved pivotally in one direction, the two sidepiece members move toward each other. In the same fashion, when the two stretcher members are pivotally moved in the opposite direction, the two sidepiece members move away from each other. The fabric piece, which advantageously utilizes beading along the sides thereof, may be easily slipped into place between the two sidepieces when they are in positions closest to each other. (The beading on the edges of the fabric is retained in grooves in the sidepiece members). With the fabric in place, the stretcher members are then pivoted to lock with and to move the sidepiece members away from each other and appropriately to tension the fabric.

The entire operation of assembling a chair, consisting of engaging the stretcher members and sidepiece members, inserting the fabric, and pivoting the stretcher members to tension the fabric and lock the frame pieces together, can take place in a few seconds time. It will be appreciated, therefore that the assembly time involved in putting together an article of furniture, is greatly reduced from that normally involved in conventional furniture. Ease in assembly permits knockdown storage and shipping, and permits assembly by unskilled personnel.

The stretcher and sidepiece members may be easily fabricated, for example, by plastic injection molding techniques. Thus furniture in accordance with the invention is relatively inexpensive to produce, especially since the basic framework involves only two pieces.

The invention also involves a construction by which adjacent items of furniture may be ganged together. Further, the invention is suitable for many different items of furniture of different shapes, all utilizing the basic principle of sidepiece and stretcher members.

The invention will be more completely understood by reference to the following detailed description of presently preferred, representative embodiments thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 are respectively top and front and side views of a chair embodying the invention.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are similar views showing the details of construction and the tensioning of fabric, with FIG. 5 constituting a sectional view of the chair of FIG. 3, taken along the section 5-5.

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of part of the chair showing the details of the coupling mechanism of stretcher and sidepiece members.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the chair of FIG. 3, taken along the section 7--7.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of parts of two chairs ganged together in side-by-side fashion.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along the section 9-9 in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a side view of a chair the same as that shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, except that the chair of FIG. 10 includes arms. FIG. 11 is a side view of a low-back lounge embodying the invention.

FIG. 12 is a side view of a high-back lounge embodying the invention.

FIGS. 13 and 14 are respectively side and front views of a bench embodying the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIGS. 1 to 3 illustrate a side chair embodying the invention. The chair includes two identical sidepiece members 20 and 22 that are joined together by two identical stretcher members 24 and 26. FIG. 6 shows the stretcher member 26 in detail. A piece of fabric 28 bridges the two sidepiece members 20 and 22.

Referring to FIG. 3, the sidepiece member 20 will be described (it should be remembered that the sidepiece member 22 is identical). The sidepiece member constitutes a frame which includes a support portion 20a for resting on a support surface, and front and rear frame parts 20b and 20c which extend upwardly from the support portion 20a. The front and rear frame parts terminate respectively in cylindrical hub receiving portions 20d and 20e. As may be noted from FIG. 6, the hub-receiving portion 202 is formed with a cylindrical opening 2M therethrough and includes two projections 30 and 32 which are positioned approximately apart on the cylindrical surface. The projections are typically located midway between the two side surfaces of the hub receiving portion 20e. Referring again to FIG. 3, the two hub-receiving portions 20d and 20e are joined together by frame structure 20g. The frame structure 20g may be considered as a single piece, although in fabrication it is typically fon-ned from two distinct pieces 20g (lower) and 20g" (upper).

The sidepiece member 20 is typically made of plastic and is injection molded. Because it is not possible to undercut by injection molding techniques, the sidepiece member 20 is generally injection molded so as to include the support portion 20a, the front and rear frame parts 20b and 20c, the hubreceiving portions 20d and 20c and the lower frame piece 20g (all in one injection molding operation). The frame piece 20g" is separately injection molded and then is joined by welding, e.g., to the remainder of the sidepiece member. In this fashion and referring to FIGS. 4 and 6, two grooves 34 and 36 may be formed in the sides of the frame that constitutes the sidepiece member. The grooves 34 and 36 are used to retain the fabric of the chair in place, as shown in FIG. 7. With reference to that figure, the fabric is typically made of a first piece of material 28a which is exposed to view, and an underlying piece 28b which is used as a tension member for support purposes. The pieces 28 a and 28b are wrapped around a cord 38 along each side thereof, and are stitched as shown at 40. Thus along the sides of the fabric an enlargement is formed which is positioned within one of the grooves 34 or 36 when the chair is assembled.

Referring to FIG. 6, the details of one of the stretcher members is shown. As noted above, the stretcher members are identical. Stretcher member 26 includes a central portion 260 which terminates in end hubs 26b and 26c generally cylindrical in shape. The end hub 26b includes channels 42 and 44, while the other end hub 26c includes corresponding channels 46 and 48. Taking channel 44 as representative, it includes a first portion 440 that extends to the outer edge of the hub and a portion 44b that extends around the periphery of the hub for an angular segment close to 180. The channel portion 44b is skewed with respect to a plane perpendicular to the axis of the stretcher member, as is readily seen from FIG. 6. All the channels are so formed (see FIGS. 4 to 6). In particular, channels 44 and 48 which occupy corresponding angular segments include channel portions 440 and 44b, 48a and 48b; the portions 44b and 48b are skewed outwardly with respect to a plane perpendicular to the axis of the stretcher member. Similarly,

channels 42 and 46 include channel portions 42a and 42b, 46a and 46b; the portions 42b and 46b are so skewed.

In assembling the chair shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the stretcher members 24 and 26 are positioned so that the channel portions corresponding to portion 44a in FIG. 6 are aligned with the projections 30 and 32 in the sidepiece members. The sidepiece members are then moved inwardly toward each other and, in this angular orientation of the stretcher members, the two sidepiece members are positioned as close to each other as they may be. At this time, the fabric is placed within the grooves 34 and 36 in the sidepiece members, as shown in FIG. 4. At this time the fabric is not under tension, as shown in FIG. 4. The stretcher members 24 and 26 are then pivoted in a clockwise direction with respect to FIG. 3. The projections 30 and 32 in the sidepiece member 20, for example, are respectively engaged within the channels 42 and 44 move within the members 20 and 22 move away from each other. As the sidepiece members so move, the fabric 28 is placed under appropriate tension, as shown in FIG. 5. Typically, the stretcher members 24 and 26 are pivoted so that the projections 30 and 32 move all the way to the ends of the skewed channel portions, locking together the stretchers and sidepieces.

In this fashion, assembly of the chair is completed.

FIG. 8 shows the details of construction of a sidepiece member 50 used in ganging two chairs together in side-by-side fashion. The sidepiece member is constructed in the same fashionas the sidepiece member 20 and 22, except that it is somewhat wider in order to produce a wider hub-receiving portion 52. Within the hub-receiving portion 52, four projections 54, 56, 58 and 60 are included, corresponding to the projections 30 and 32 shown in FIG. 6. In this fashion two stretchers members 62 and 64 may be positioned in side-byside fashion with respect to the hub-receiving portion 52. Two side-by-side chairs are thus produced, having fabric portions 66 and 68, the outside edges ofwhich are held in place ,by sidepiece members 70 and 72.

FIG. illustrates a chair the same as that shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, except that arm structure 73 is included. The arm structure may be injection molded along with the molding of the frame piece g" described above.

FIG. 11 shows a low-back lounge 74 which is essentially the same as the side chair of FIG. 3, except for the different angular orientation of the frame parts and the height of the chair. Arm structure 75, similar to arm structure 73 in FIG. 10 may be employed, if desired.

FIG. 12 shows a high-back lounge 76. The high-back lounge is the same as the low-back lounge of FIG. 11, except for the addition of a back and neck supporting structure 78. Arms 80 may be included, if desired.

FIGS. 13 and 14 show a bench. The bench is essentially the same as the chair of FIGS. 1 and 3, except that the two hubreceiving portions and stretchers are equal distances above the support surface.

FIGS. 1 to 3 and 10 to 14 illustrate difierent basic shapes of furniture that can be un'lized incorporating the sidepiece and stretcher member construction described above in detail.

In summary, the invention involves sidepiece and stretcher members which are capable of easy fabrication and simple assembly to complete an article of furniture. The coupling together of stretcher and sidepiece members to provide for relative lateral movement upon pivotal movement of the stretcher member provides a simple technique of fabricating the chair and of tensioning the fabric of the chair. It should be noted that skewed channel and projection features which engage each other are susceptible of modification. For example, the channel construction may be included in the sidepiece member and the projections may be included on the stretcher member. Such an alternative construction would present some fabrication difficulties, inasmuch as it is not possible to injection mold any undercut channels in the side piece members. However, a thread-type construction could be employed, with the channels cut into the sidepiece members, if desired. Further, the sidepiece members could employ hubs extending therefrom in which case the stretcher members would include cylindrical openings to engage such hubs. Still further a single stretcher member could be employed in a chair, for example, located under the seat fabric at the junction of seat and back. Also, although grooves in the sidepiece members have been shown for the purpose of sewing thefabric in place, altemative methods of attachment could be employed. As another alternative, rigid or semirigid material could be employed in place of fabric (e.g., molded plastic for seat and back); in such a case the channel portions might be skewed oppositely from that shown so that pivoting of the stretcher causes the side pieces to move toward each other, to lock the seat and back in place.

These and other modifications will be suggested to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the invention should be taken to be defined by the following claims.

We claim:

1. Furniture construction comprisinga sidepiece member, a stretcher member, and means laterally locking the members together while permitting relative lateral movement of the members upon pivotal movement of the stretchermember about an axis extending laterally from the sidepiece member, said locking means comprising an opening in one of the members to receive a part of the other member, said part of said other member comprising a hub which is received in the opening in said one member, said hub and said opening being generally cylindrically shaped, one of the hub and said opening including a channel in the surface thereof, at least one projection included on the other of said hub surface and opening surface and engaged by said channel, the channel including a portion which is skewed with respect to a plane perpendicular to said lateral axis so that, upon pivotal movement of the stretcher member about said axis, the sidepiece and stretcher members undergo said relative lateral movement.

2. Furniture construction according to claim 1, in which the opening is in the sidepiece member, said opening being large enough to receive two of such stretcher members positioned end to end in order to gang together the stretcher members, with each stretcher member laterally locked to the sidepiece member to achieve said relative lateral movement.

3. Fumiture construction according to claim 7, in which there are two projections extending into the opening and spaced substantially opposite each other,and there are two of such channel portions for engaging the projections.

4. Furniture construction comprising a sidepiece member, a stretcher member, and means laterally locking the members together while permitting relative lateral movement of the members upon pivotal movement of the stretcher member about an axis extending laterally from the sidepiece member, including a second sidepiece member, said stretcher member joining together said two sidepiece members and coupled to each for outward relative movement of the sidepiece members upon said pivotal movement of the stretcher member in one direction and inward relative movement of the sidepiece members upon said pivotal stretcher member movement in an opposite direction, each sidepiece member including a channel therein for retaining the side edge of a piece of fabric which is stretched between the two sidepiece members, the fabric being appropriately tensioned-by pivotal movement of the stretcher member.

5. Furniture construction comprising sidepiece member, a stretcher member, and means laterally locking the members together while permitting relative lateral movement of the members upon pivotal movement of the stretcher member about an axis extending laterally from the sidepiece member, including a second sidepiece member, said stretcher member joining together said two sidepiece members and coupled to each for outward relative movement of the sidepiece members upon said pivotal movement of the stretcher member in one direction and inward relative movement of the sidepiece members upon said pivotal stretcher member movement in an opposite direction, including another one of such stretcher members laterally locked with two sidepiece members.

6. Furniture construction comprising a sidepiece member, a stretcher member, and means laterally locking the members together while permitting relative lateral movement of the members upon pivotal movement of the stretcher member about an axis extending laterally from the sidepiece member, including a second sidepiece member, said stretcher member joining together said two sidepiece members and coupled to each for outward relative movement of the sidepiece members upon said pivotal movement of the stretcher member in one direction and inward relative movement of the sidepiece members upon said pivotal stretcher member movement in an opposite direction, each sidepiece member including an opening therein to receive a corresponding end of the stretcher member.

7. Furniture construction according to claim 6, in which each end of the stretcher member comprises an end hub which is received in the opening in the corresponding sidepiece member.

8. Furniture construction according to claim 7, in which each sidepiece member includes at least one projection extending into the opening thereof to be engaged by a portion of the stretcher member hub that interfits therewith.

9. Furniture construction according to claim 8, in which the interfitting portion of each hub comprises a channel in the hub which includes a portion which is skewed with respect to a plane perpendicular to said lateral axis.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,6 |0,576 Dated 8 February 1972 Inventor) Andrew Ivar Morrison and Bruce R. Hannah It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 46, before "6", and" should be -to-- Column 3, line 70, after "that", -theshould be included.

Column l, line 46, after "claim", "7" should be -l-- Signed and sealed this 25th day of July 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTISCHALK Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer USCOMM'DC 60375-P69 U.5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1959 0-366-334 FORM PO-1D5O (1069) Patent No. 3, 576 Dated 8 February 1972 Inventor) Andrew Ivar Morrison and Bruce R. Hannah It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected asshown below:

Change the name of the assignee from "Art Metal- Knoll Corporation" to --Knoll International, Inc.--

Signedand sealed this 24th day of April 1973.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT C SOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM FO-IOSO (10-69) UscoMM-Dc 0375-p5g w us GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I969 0-356-334

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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/440.11, 403/349, 297/248, 297/448.2
International ClassificationA47C7/16, A47C31/02, A47C5/12, A47C4/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47C31/023, A47C5/12, A47C4/02, A47C7/16, A47C4/028
European ClassificationA47C4/02U, A47C5/12, A47C31/02A, A47C4/02, A47C7/16
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 18, 2011ASAssignment
Effective date: 20101209
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HANNAH, BRUCE;REEL/FRAME:025700/0054
Owner name: BRUCE HANNAH TRUST, NEW YORK