US 3680911 A
A furniture accessory includes a rigid framework having integral connecting means for rapid attachment and removal from the frame of a chair and a tablet arm movable from a use position supported by the framework to a storage or non-use position adjacent the chair side, is joined to the framework at the rear thereof by pivot means and at the front by a slide element.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Dupuis Aug. 1, 1972 54] DETACHABLE TABLET ARM 3,197,253 7/1965 Brown ..297/162X ASSEMBLY 3,261,641 7/1966 Black et a1. ..297/162 3,292 972 12/1966 Krueger ..297/162 t D P ,F 1  Jean f 3,367,713 2/1968 Krueger ..297/162 Asslgneel The General Flreproofing p y 3,575,466 4/1971 Morton ..297/153 Youngstown, Ohio  Filed: Sept. 21, 1970 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 806,377 l2/l958 GreatBritain ....297/162 Appl. No.: 73,868
Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 23, 1969 France ..6932342 US. Cl .Q ..297/162, 297/150 Int. Cl ..A47c 9/04 Field of Search ..297/153-162, 270,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 H1964 Blodee Primary ExaminerBobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Glenn O. Finch Attorney-Emory L. Groff and Emory L. Groff, Jr.
[ 5 7] ABSTRACT A furniture accessory includes a rigid framework having integral connecting means for rapid attachment and removal from the frame of a chair and a tablet arm movable from a use position supported by the framework to a storage or non-use position adjacent the chair side, is joined to the framework at the rear thereof by pivot means and at the front by a slide element.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUF 1 1912 3.680.911
SHEET 1 0F 2 INVENTOR 15 JEAN DUPUIS PATENTEDws 1 1972 3,680.91 1 sum 2 or 2 ZNVENTOE JEAN DUPLT IS BY z,4 ATT RNEY DETACHABLE TABLET ARM ASSEMBLY This invention relates generally to a furniture device and more particularly to a tablet arm assembly adapted to be readily attached to and removed from a chair, seat or similar article of furniture.
Chairs combined with a tablet arm construction have been well known for some time, and likewise, efforts have also been made to provide a tablet arm assembly which may be detached from a chair. Several shortcomings have been apparent in many of these prior arrangements, both in the permanent as well as the removable tablet arm assemblies. Firstly, in the case of a permanently attached assembly, the time and expense involved in the shipping and handling of the chair thus equipped will be quite high compared to that involved when a demountable type of arm assembly is utilized, and additionally, the usefulness of such a chair would be significantly reduced since the chair could not be utilized in those instances wherein a non-tablet arm chair is required. On the other hand, many of the prior attempts to provide a detachable tablet arm assembly necessitated extensive modification of an otherwise standard chair construction in order to accept a removable tablet arm assembly, which assembly often has included involved nut and bolt type of fastening means for attachment to the chair structure.
The present invention not only provides for the instant ready attachment of a tablet arm assembly to a more or less basic type of chair construction, but also includes means permitting of the instant displacement of the tablet arm or table thereof from a horizontal use position to a vertically extending non-use position in a lowered position exterior of the chair frame. This displacement of the present tablet arm is readily achieved even by an occupant of the chair without any interference being offered by his body, and when disposed in the non-use position in no way impedes body movements of the user.
Accordingly, one of the primary objects of the present invention is to provide an improved detachable tablet arm assembly including a framework to which is pivotally attached a tablet arm and which is provided with a plurality of slipon type attachment members engageable with front and rear structural elements of a chair or seat.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved detachable tablet arm assembly including a framework having a plurality of attachment members engageable with front and rear portions of a chair structure and to which a displaceable tablet arm is secured by means of a pivot element at one end and a laterally extending slide element at the other end permitting displacement of the tablet arm from a horizontally supported position upon the top of the framework to a vertically extending position below the top of and exterior of the framework.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a tablet arm assembly for attachment to a chair and which includes a framework having slip-fitting attachment members engageable with both the front leg and back column of the chair structure and which includes a pair of spaced-apart arms at the top thereof upon which the tablet arm is supported when in the inuse position.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a detachable tablet arm assembly including a framework removably connected to a chair frame and which includes a tablet arm having swivel connection means adjacent the rear thereof and which is con nected to the framework at the forward portion thereof by means of a slide element, one end of which limits the displacement of the tablet arm when disposed in the use position and the other end of which limits the displacement of the tablet arm when moved to the nonuse position.
With these and other objects in view which will more readily appear as the nature of the invention is better understood, the invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts hereinafter more fully described, illustrated and claimed. a
A preferred an practical embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the tablet arm assembly of the present invention as it appears when attached to a chair and is in the use position.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the tablet arm assembly as shown in FIG. 1 as it appears when detached from a chair or seat.
FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the tablet arm assembly shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a side perspective view of the tablet arm assembly and illustrates the tablet arm in the lowered non-use position.
Similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures of the drawings.
Referring now to the drawings, particularly FIG. 1, the tablet arm assembly of the present invention, generally designated 1, is shown as it appears when attached to a conventional side chair, generally designated 2. It will be appreciated that any of numerous types of chair constructions may be utilized in association with the detachable tablet arm assembly of the present invention, although as will appear hereinafter, the selected chair construction preferably includes certain basic features readily lending themselves to acceptance of the disclosed tablet arm assembly. The chair 2 as illustrated includes a seat 3 mounted between a pair of exteriorly disposed and substantially horizontal seat supports 4, each of which extends at its forward extremity to join with a downwardly projecting front leg 5. The seat 3 may be constructed of any suitable material such as a molded glass fiber composition or may be of the upholstered type. Likewise, the exact composition of the chair frame members is immaterial, as these elements may be constructed of any suitable material such as tubular steel or aluminum.
The seat supports 4 are each jointed to a rear leg and back column 6, which columns extend upwardly and in turn serve as supporting means for the chair back 7. Each of the back columns 6 preferably terminates at a top portion 8 which is short of the upper limits of the back 7 for reasons which will become apparent hereinafter.
A front cross bar 9 joins the two front legs 5 at a point elevated from the bottom of the front legs and a rear cross bar (not shown) may be included to join the rear legs 6 at a point at the rear of the seat supports 4 and immediately adjacent the undersurface or the rear edge of the seat 3.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that the chair as described exhibits full utility without the necessity of any additional structure. When it is desirable to utilize this chair in combination with a tablet arm, it is but a simple matter to instantly affix the tablet arm assembly 1 to the chair without the necessity of utilizing any tools or separate fastening members.
The tablet arm assembly 1 comprises a frame subassembly or framework, generally designated 10, and which includes a rear column 11, a horizontal arm 12, and a downwardly extending front column 13 which are joined as a unit to form a rigid framework defining an exaggerated inverted U-shape. The rear column 11 is preferably curved to coincide with any curvature of the back column 6 and is of a vertical length selected to permit positioning of its lower portion 11a adjacent the rear of the seat supports 4 while the upper portion 11b is disposed adjacent the top portion 8 of the back column 6. The horizontal arm 12 is positioned at a height which'is approximate to that providing a comfortable writing height for the user of the chair 2 and extends from the rear column 11 to a curved juncture 14 with the top of the front column 13 which is at a point approximately intersecting an axial line extending from the top of the front leg of the chair. The front column 13 then extends downwardly in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the front legs 5 to a lower point 13a which is adjacent the point of attachment of the cross bar 9 to the vfront leg 5.
Rigid attachment of the framework 10 as above described is achieved by means of a plurality of attachment members carried by both the rear column 11 and front column 13. A front attachment member is connected to the lower point 13a of the front column 13 and comprises a U-shaped collar element having a rearwardly facing opening or throat defined by the two spaced apart rear edges 16. Additionally, the inside lower edge of the attachment member 15 is provided with a notch 17 as will be seen most clearly in FIG. 5. The operation of the front attachment member will be most clearly apparent from a review of FIG. 1 wherein it will be seen that upon lowering of the framework 10 of the tablet arm assembly, the lower point 13a of the front column is initially moved rearwardly to envelop the lower portion of the front leg 5 within the confines of the attachment member 15 while immediately thereafter, continued lowering of the front column 13 causes the notch 17 of the attachment member 15 to engage or straddle the juxtaposed cross bar 9.
At the same time the front attachment member 15 is being connected as described, a pair of attachment members carried by the rear column 11 of the tablet arm assembly framework are being slipped into their locked position. An upper rear attachment member 18 affixed to the rear surface of the top portion 1 lb of the rear column 11 comprises an inverted sleeve or cupshaped member defining a downwardly opening socket or bore 19 which is open on its interior side to provide a slot 20 as shown most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 5. The lower rear attachment member 21 comprises a hookline element attached to the interior surface of the rear column adjacent the lower portion 11a thereof and includes a downwardly opening cavity 22 as shown most clearly in FIG. 2. The connection of the two rear attachment members 18 and 21 will be readily apparent when it is understood that all three attachment members are more or less simultaneously locked in place upon lowering of the tablet arm framework 10. During this downward movement of the framework, the top portion 8 of the back column 6 enters the socket 19 of the upper rear attachment member 18 while the hook of the lower rear attachment member 21 straddles the attachment of the seat support 4 and the rear legs 6. The slot or notch 20 of the upper rear attachment member 18 will be understood to provide clearance for the connection of the edge of the seat back 7 and the interior surface of the back column 6.
In view of the pair of attachment members disposed at opposite ends of the rear column 11, it will be quite obvious that a positive rigid connection of the tablet arm assembly is achieved in the rear area of the assembly. However, it is desirable to afford additional stability to the front column 13 in view of its single attachment by means of the member 15 at the bottom thereof. This stability is offered by means of a vertical brace 23 comprising a longitudinal plate-like element affixed to theinterior surface of the front column 13 and extending from the attachment member 15 to a point which will be short of the horizontal seat support 4. Brace 23 extends rearwardly from the front column 13 a distance which is preferably no greater than the thickness of the adjacent front leg 5 against the interior surface of which the plate is designed to abut, thus providing rigid means precluding any outward displacement of the front column 13. Inward displacement of the column 13 is prevented due to the abutment of this column against the lateral edge of the seat 3 which extends forwardly of the leg 5 as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings.
The structure described to this point includes a basic chair construction as well as the framework 10 and its arrangement as provided to permit ready attachment and removal from a chair. The tablet arm or table surface 24 itself and its relationship to the framework will now be described. The tablet arm 24 may assume any convenient configuration such as a substantial J-shape as viewed in FIG. 4 and may be constructed of any of various materials such as metals, plastics, wood, etc. In order to provide rigid support for a planar surface, it is acknowledged that support must be provided either at three triangularly spaced apart points or by means of a line contact plus a support point located laterally of said line contact. In thepresent installation, the principal support for the tablet arm 24 when in the use position of FIG. 1 is provided by means of the horizontal arm 12 of the framework 10. Lateral stability is then provided by means of an offset structure which is integral with the framework 10 and comprises a transverse arm 25 extending interiorly of the framework a short distance to the rear of the juncture l4 and which joins to an angled arm 26 projecting rearwardly from the distal end of the transverse arm 25 to a point of connection with the horizontal arm 12 spaced forwardly of the rear column 1 1.
The tablet arm 25 could be readily and fixedly attached to the framework 10 by any suitable clamping means engaging the undersurface 27 thereof if it were not desired to provide the detachable assembly of the present invention with a displaceable or collapsible tablet arm 24; however, the present invention includes the feature of providing ready means for the instant displacement of the tablet arm from the use position of FIG. 1 to the non-use position of FIG. 5. This means includes a pivot collar 28 rotatably surrounding the horizontal arm 12 and a slide element 29 which likewise straddles the horizontal arm 12 but in the area of the juncture 24. The operation of the pivot collar 28 and slide element 29 will be more readily understood with an understanding of the basic movement or displacement of the tablet arm 24 when moved between its use and non-use positions. Two movements are involved when the tablet arm 24 is moved from the position of FIG. 1 to that of FIG. 5. Initially, the inside edge of the tablet arm is pivoted upwardly approximately 90 with the axis of pivot being provided by the collar 28 having its axis extending coaxially with that of the horizontal arm 12. When the tablet arm 24 is thus vertically disposed, it is then simply lowered with the front edge thereof describing a downwardly extending arc to the position of FIG. 5.
With the foregoing in mind, it will be apparent that a compound or swivel action must be provided in the area of the rear 30 of the tablet arm. The initial lateral or pivot action is provided by the pivot collar 28 which in turn is secured to the undersurface 27 of the tablet arm in a manner to permit a transverse or swivel action therebetween. As shown most clearly in FIG. 4, the pivot collar 28 includes a pair of outwardly extending feet 31 which are affixed by any suitable means, such as rivets or by welding, to a swivel plate 32, which plate is pivotally connected to the undersurface 27 of the tablet arm by means of a screw or other means at the pivot point 33 shown in FIG. 4.
The connection of the forward portion of the tablet arm when in both the use and non-use positions, is provided by means of the slide element 29 which comprises a longitudinal member of significant length which is angularly attached by means of a pair of feet 34 suitably connected to the undersurface 27 of the tablet arm and thereby defines a passageway 35 through which the juxtaposed portion of the framework is disposed. When in the use position, it will be noted that the outside edge 36 of the slide engages the exterior of the framework in the vicinity of the juncture l4 and when the tablet arm 24 is initially pivoted upwardly during displacement to the non use position, the slide element 29 will still be disposed adjacent the juncture 14 of the framework. However, when the arm is lowered to the final position of non-use as shown in FIG. 5, the vertically extending slide element 29 will then be disposed with the longitudinal axis of the passageway 35 in a plane parallel to the upwardly extending front column 13 so that the arm may be moved downwardly until the inside edge 37 of the slide element abuts the front surface of the column 13 at a point adjacent the top of the vertical brace 23 attached thereto. Forward sliding movement of the pivot collar 28 will be prevented by the rear connection of the angled arm 26 to the arm 12 while rearward travel of the collar may be limited by means of a stop block 38 attached to the undersurface of the arm 12.
l. A tablet arm assembly for a chair having a seat,
back, front and rear legs comprising, a framework including a substantially vertical front column extending upwardly from said seat from a point adjacent one side thereof, a horizontal arm extending rearwardly from the top of said front column to a point adjacent one side of the rear of said chair, means securing the lower portion of said front column and the rear portion of said horizontal arm to said chair to provide a framework rigidly attached with respect to the balance of the chair, a tablet arm movably attached to said framework and displaceable from a horizontal use position resting upon said horizontal arm to a lowered vertical non-use position exterior of said framework, pivot means adjacent the rear of said horizontal arm connecting the rear of said tablet arm to said horizontal arm, slide means fixedly carried by said tablet arm and engageable with said framework, said slide means including a longitudinal slide provided with an interior passageway, said slide passageway encompassing said horizontal arm when said tablet arm is horizontally disposed and encompassing said front column when said tablet arm is angularly displaced about said pivot means and thence moved downwardly in a substantially vertical plane.
2. A tablet arm assembly for a chair according to claim 1 including, a crossbar joining said front legs, said front column extending downwardly from said seat to a point juxtaposed the juncture of said crossbar and one front leg, said securing means on said front column including an attachment member carried by the lower portion of said front column and engaging said front leg and crossbar.
3. A tablet arm assembly for a chair according to claim 1 wherein, the lower portion of said front column extends below said seat juxtaposed one said front leg and is provided with a rearwardly extending brace adapted to overlie one face of said chair front leg.
4. A tablet arm assembly for a chair according to claim 1 wherein, said rear legs each include a back column extending upwardly therefrom, said securing means including a rear column projecting downwardly from the rear of said horizontal arm adjacent one said back column, and attachment means carried by said rear column and engaging said back column.
5. A tablet arm assembly for a chair according to claim 1 wherein, said horizontal arm includes a laterally ofiset portion whereby, supporting stability is provided for said tablet arm when disposed upon said arm.
6. A tablet arm assembly for a chair according to claim 1 wherein, said slide is angularly attached to the undersurface of said tablet arm whereby, one end of said slide defining the limit of one end of said passageway abuts said horizontal arm when said tablet arm is horizontally disposed atop said arm and the other end of said slide defining the limit of the opposite end of said passageway abuts said front column when said tablet arm is vertically disposed aside said framework.
7. A tablet arm assembly according to claim 1 wherein, said pivot means includes a U-shaped collar engaging said horizontal arm.
8. A tablet arm assembly according to claim 7 including, a swivel plate pivotally attached to said tablet arm and said collar is connected to said plate.