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Publication numberUS3754786 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 28, 1973
Filing dateJan 12, 1972
Priority dateJan 12, 1972
Publication numberUS 3754786 A, US 3754786A, US-A-3754786, US3754786 A, US3754786A
InventorsBoucher R, Boudreau R
Original AssigneeHedstrom Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Playseat with finger guard
US 3754786 A
Abstract
A children's playseat comprises two inverted U-shaped members whose legs are pivoted together to form a pair of spaced-apart scissor frames. A rigid bearing plate is mounted between the legs at each pivot point. Each plate has one or more tongues at its periphery which extend transversely to the plane of the plate and engage a leg of the scissor frame to prevent the plate from turning relative to that leg. The plate also has one or more other tongues at its periphery which extend in the opposite direction from the first tongue and which engage the other leg of the frame when the scissor frame is opened to its operative position to limit the further opening of the scissor frame. A cup-like housing engages over the plate and leg portions at the site of each pivot point to shield the occupant's fingers from pinch points at that location.
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ilnite States atent 1191 Boucher et a1.

[ PLAYSEAT WITH FINGER GUARD [75] inventors: Raymond Boucher, Dothan, Ala.;

Robert Boudreau, Bedford, Pa.

[73] Assignee: Hedstrom Company,.Bedford, Pa.

[22] Filed: Jan. 12, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 217,137

16/148 51 1m. (:1 A47d 13/04 [58] FieldofSearch 297/5, 56, 336, 335,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,788,054 4/1957 Erickson 248/164 2,845,317 7/1958 Orman 248/164 3,007,442 11/1961 Purcell 16/191 X 2,745,181 5/1956 Czerniewicz. 287/14 X 3,298,537 l/1967 DiMarco 248/431 X 562,901 6/1896 Lambert 297/335 X 1,190,502 7/1916 Anderson 287/14 Aug. 28, 1973 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 271,657 6/1927 Great Britain 297/333 Primary ExaminerFrancis K. Zugel Attorney-Robert A. Cesan'. John F. McKenna et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT A children's playseat comprises two inverted U-shaped members whose legs are pivoted together to form a pair of spaced-apart scissor frames. A rigid bearing plate is mounted between the legs at each pivot point. Each plate has one or more tongues at its periphery which extend transversely to the plane of the plate and engage a leg of the scissor frame to prevent the plate from turning relative to that leg. The plate also has one or more other tongues at its periphery which extend in the opposite direction from the first tongue and which engage the other leg of the frame when the scissor frame is opened to its operative position to limit the further opening of the scissor frame. A cup-like housing engages over the plate and leg portions at the site of each pivot point to shield the occupants fingers from pinch points at that location.

5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PLAYSEAT WITH FINGER GUARD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a child's playseat. It relates more particularly to a childs walker, bouncer, or rocker of the foldable variety.

The type of playseat with which we are concerned here is comprised'of a pair of inverted, U-shaped members whose legs are pivoted together near their midpoints to form a pair of scissor frames. The legs of the members extenddown to the floor and may carry casters. The web portions of these members support be tween them a fabric or bag seat in which a child may sit-with his legs extending through leg openings in the seat so that his feet can engage the ground. Thus, by manipulating his feet, the child can bounce in the seat or push the seat along the floor.

In early versions of this type of playseat, the sides of the fabric body stretched between the U-shaped frame members limited the extent to which the scissor frames could open in use. However, the fabric tended to tear eventually under the weight of the child, particularly an active one, so that in later versions of these'playseats, stop members were incorporated into the pivot points of the frames in order to positively limit the extent to which the legs could open relative to one another. These stop members did indeed pre ent the playseat from collapsing and allowed the frames to be folded together to facilitate storing the seat.

Unfortunatly, however, these conventional stop members are exposed and give risev to pinch-points which are sites of injury to the occupant of the playseat. In other words, when the child moves around in the seat, the scissor frames open andclose to some extent with the result that the childs fingers tend to become pinched between thestop members and the legs of the chair. Indeed, this problem has resulted in harm to children's fingers in the past. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to providea childs playseat which has a minimal number of pinch-points which could cause injury.

Another object of the invention is to provide a childs.

playseat having sturdy, shielded stop assemblies for maintaining the seat inits open position.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a childs playseat and stop members therefor which are relativelyeasy and inexpensive to make.

A further object of ,the invention is to provide shielded stop assemblies for a playseat which improve the overall appearance of the playseat.

Other objects will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter. v

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combination of elements and arragnement of parts which will be exemplified in the following detailed description, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

Generally, the playseat has the usual inverted U- shaped members whose legs are pivoted at thier midpoints to form a pair of spaced-apart scissor frames which can be folded together or opened to provide four points of engagement with the ground. The usual bag seat having leg openings are suspended from the webs of these members to support a child so that his feet can engage the ground.

Our improved shielded stop assembly is located at each of the two pivot points of the scissor frames. Each stop assembly includes a rigid bearing plate at the pivot-point positioned between the two legs of that frame. The plate has one or more tabs at its edge which project transversely to the plane of the plate so that they engage the sides of one of the legs of that frame so as to prevent the plate from rotating relative to that leg. Additional tabs are situated at the plate s periphery which project in the opposite direction relative to the plane of the plate and engage the other leg of that frame. The engagement of these tabs is such that the scissor frame can be opened only to an extent that the legs are generally perpendicular to one another. On the other hand, they do not interfere at all with the closing of the scissor frame to a closed position wherein the legs are more or less parallel so that the seat can be stored as a compact package.

A rigid, cup-like housing is engaged over the plate and the portion of the legs in the region of the pivot to enclose the plate and outboard tabs so that the housing shields the childs fingers from these elements and thus minimizes the number of pinch-points that are capable of injuring the child's fingers.

The stop assemblies are relatively inexpensive to make since they involve simple stamped parts. Moreover, they are quickly installed on the playseat. Consequently, the overall cost of the product is not materially increased.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to FIG. 1 of the drawing, the playseat comprises a pair of generally U-shaped members 10 and 12 whose corresponding legs l0a,-l0a and 120,121: are pivoted together at 14,14 to form two scissor frames. Preferably, the legs 10a and 12a diverge below the pivot points so .that the playseat has a relatively wide base at the point where it engages the ground. Desirably, also, casters 16 are suitably mounted at the lower ends of legs 10a and so that the playseat can be rolled along the floor.

A conventional bag seat 18 is suspended from the webs of members 10 and 12 for containing a child. The seat is made of flexible fabric or plastic and has the usual leg opening 20 through which the childs legs protrude so that his feet can engage the floor below the playseat.

A shielded stop assembly shown generally at 22 is included at each pivot point 14 to fix the extent to which the members 10 and 12 can open relative to one another when the playseat is in its operative position shown in FIG. 1. These positive limit stops prevent the seat from collapsing despite very violent rocking and bouncing movements of a child occupying the seat. On the other hand, they permit members and 12 to be swung together so that the playseat can be stored in a minimum amount of space.

Turning now to FIGS. 2 and 3, each stop assembly 22 includes a generally circular, rigid plate 24 which is placed between the legs 10a and 12a at a pivot point 14. This plate has a pair of relatively small diametrically opposed tabs 26a and 26b projecting transversely from its periphery. These tabs 26a and 26b extend inboard of the playseat so as to overlie opposite sides of leg 10a above and below pivot point 14, respectively. A third tab 32 is formed integral with the edge of plate 24. This tab is larger than tabs 26a and 26b and it projects outboard of the playseat so that it overlies leg 12a. Tab 32 is positioned on plate 24 so that when tabs 26a and 26b engage leg 100 as aforesaid and the legs 10a and 12a are perpendicular, it engages the side of leg 10a below pivot point 14.

A generally cylindrical, rigid, cup-like housing 34 is arranged to engage over plate 24. Housing 34 has a generally circular end wall 36 and an integral cylindrical side wall 38. Also, a pair of diametrically opposed slots 42 are formed in side wall 38 to receive leg 12a when the housing is in place (see FIG. 3).

The assembly 22 is held together by a screw 44 which passes through a central opening 46 in housing end wall 36, a similar opening 48 in plate 24 and registering openings 52 and 54 in legs 12a and 10a, respectively. A washer 56 and nut 58 are engaged over the endof screw 44 with the latter being turned down on the screw so that it not only holds the stop assembly 22 together, but also functions as the scissor frames pivot point 14. A cup-like nut 62 is then turned down on the exposed end of screw 44 to conceal the screw end and to serve as a lock nut to prevent the assembly from loosening. w

As best seen in FIG. 3, when the playseat is in its open position shown in FIG. 1, the tab 32 engages the side wall of leg 12a below screw 44, thereby preventing plate 24 from turning clockwise relative to that leg. At the same time, tabs 26a and 26b engage opposite sides of leg 10a above and below the screw 44, respectively, so that leg 10a is prevented from turning further in the counterclockwise direction relative to the plate. The cooperative engagements between the tabs and legs prevents the corresponding pair of legs 10a and 12a from spreading further apart than the amount shown in FIG. 1. Yet these engagements do not inhibit the legs 10a and 12a from being swung together to allow the playseat to be folded for purposes of storage.

With the present playseat construction, there is little likelihood ofa child sitting in the seat 18 having his fingers pinched or squeezed at the nips between the tabs and legs. This is because each housing 34 shields the child's fingers from these nips. More particularly, the side wall 38 of the housing completely encloses tab 32 and the plate 24 proper and the portion of leg 12a engaged by the tab 32. Thus, there is no possibility of these elements causing injury to the childs fingers. Moreover, the housing side wall 38 also partially shields the childs fingers from the smaller tabs 26a and 26b which, incidentally project inboard underneath seat 18 and away from the childs fingers. Therefore, there is minimum likelihood of these elements causing injury to the babys fingers. It should be noted at this point that the housing 34 is relatively large in diameter so that it is fairly difficult for a child in seat 18 to manipulate his hand so that his fingers extend behind the plate 24.

Thus, the subject stop assembly not only determines the operative position of the playseat, it also protects the occupant against finger injuries which occurred fairly frequently when children played in prior conventional playseats of the folding variety.

The present concept can be extended even further by installing a housing similar to housing 34 over the leg 10a opposite housing 34 prior to tightening down nuts 58 and 62. This construction would completely enclose even tabs 26a and 26b, leaving only a small, circular crack between the opposing edges of the two housing side walls 38. This would make it virtually impossible for a child to place his fingers where they could be squeezed or pinched by the elements of the stop assembly. We have found, however, that, in practice, suffcient portection is afforded by employment of the single housing 34.

Finally, this added protection is obtained without appreciable cost because the plate 24 and housing 34 are simple stamped parts which are easy to manufacture and install. Also, the protective housing 34 materially improves the appearance of the playseat.

I It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described.

We claim:

1. A childs playseat of the type having a pair of generally U-shaped frame members, pivotal connections between the corresponding legs of the frame members and a flexible seat supported by the frame members, the improvement comprising a stop member situated at each pivotal connection between the corresponding legs of said members, said stop member having integral portions thereof overlying the legs and engaging the legs when they are open to a selected angle relative to one another which is appropriate for supporting the seat above the ground, and a rigid housing engaging over the outermost leg and the stop member at the site of each pivotal connection so as to shield the fingers of the playseats occupant from pinch-points in the region of that connection.

2. The playseat defined in claim 1 wherein the stop member has a first integral tab overlying one of the legs and at least one integral tab overlying the other leg.

3. The playseat defined in claim 1 wherein the hous-. ing is generally cylindrical and has slotted side walls for accommodating one of the legs.

4. The playseat defined in claim 1 wherein the pivotal connection includes a threaded screw which passes through the housing, the stop member and the legs and a nut which is turned down on the screw.

5. A childs playseat of the type having a pair of generally U-shaped frame 'mebers, pivotal connections between the corresponding legs of the frame members and a flexible'seat supported bythe frame members, the improvement comprising a plate secured between the legs at each pivotal connection, a first tab integral one another to prevent further opening of the legs, a with each plate and extending out n one direction from rigid cap like housing engaging over the outer kg and the plate, a second tab integral with the plate and exthe plate at each pivotal connection and means for setending out in the opposite direction from the plate, said tabs engaging the adjacent legs when the legs are 5 curmg the housing Place at Sald connecuonopened so that they are substantially perpendicular to

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3815946 *May 14, 1973Jun 11, 1974Gen Motors CorpEnergy-absorbing bumper bar arrangement for motor vehicles
US3884495 *Jul 1, 1974May 20, 1975Petock Michael FWalker
US4019756 *Aug 18, 1975Apr 26, 1977Tomy Kogyo Co., Ltd.Baby walker
US4061305 *Oct 4, 1976Dec 6, 1977The Black And Decker Manufacturing CompanyFoldable, portable support stand
US4245850 *Jul 27, 1979Jan 20, 1981Hedstrom Co.Scissor frame lock
US4722567 *Nov 26, 1986Feb 2, 1988Takara Kohgei Inc.Fishing chair
US4949713 *Oct 8, 1986Aug 21, 1990Walter MykietiuchTensile arc and bridge body support
US4961558 *Jan 31, 1989Oct 9, 1990Hedstrom Corp.Play gym hinge guard
US5176578 *Feb 5, 1992Jan 5, 1993Par Industries, Inc.Protective cover for a hinged connection
US5388797 *Dec 28, 1992Feb 14, 1995Roadmaster CorporationSwing set hang tube protective mounting bracket
US5470039 *May 17, 1994Nov 28, 1995Koala CorporationFoldable infant seat cradle and support stand
US6158550 *Apr 7, 1998Dec 12, 2000Arnoldy; Richard L.Safety guard for scissor lift
US7017924 *May 6, 2005Mar 28, 2006Lambert Marie AFoldable baby walker
US7883143Apr 4, 2008Feb 8, 2011Julia ReynoldsCollapsible portable child seat
US8317269Nov 4, 2009Nov 27, 2012Mity-Lite, Inc.Mesh stacking chair
US8322787 *Nov 4, 2009Dec 4, 2012Mity-Lite, Inc.Clamping joint for a chair
US8454093Mar 29, 2010Jun 4, 2013Mity-Lite, Inc.Mesh chair with open-end hoop
US9492014Sep 26, 2011Nov 15, 2016Mity-Lite, Inc.Mesh folding chair
US20100156156 *Nov 4, 2009Jun 24, 2010Smith Richard DClamping joint for a chair
US20130264846 *Apr 3, 2013Oct 10, 2013Calogero LoGrassoPortable hand wrapping station
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/5, 16/250, 297/56, 248/164, D12/130
International ClassificationA47D13/00, A47D13/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47D13/043, B62B2205/06
European ClassificationA47D13/04B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 6, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGEN
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:HEDSTROM HOLDING, INC. (DE CORPORATION);HEDSTROM CORPORATION (DE CORPORATION);HC ACQUISITION CORP. (DE CORPORATION);AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:008792/0575
Effective date: 19970612
Jan 23, 1996ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HEDSTROM CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:007833/0796
Effective date: 19951027
Jan 17, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: JEPSON CORPORATION, THE
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION);REEL/FRAME:005804/0501
Effective date: 19910109
Nov 20, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC., 140 EAST 45
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO BUSINESS CREDIT;REEL/FRAME:004818/0817
Effective date: 19870703
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC., A DE. CORP.
Aug 5, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BUSINESS CREDIT, XERO BUILDING, STE. 1
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HEDSTROM CORPORATION;GERRY MANUFACTURING CORPORATION;JEPSON RECREATIONAL PRODUTS CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004446/0949
Effective date: 19850506
Aug 5, 1985AS06Security interest
Owner name: GERRY MANUFACTURING CORPORATION
Owner name: HEDSTROM CORPORATION
Owner name: JEPSON RECREATIONAL PRO
Effective date: 19850506
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BUSINESS CREDIT, XERO BUILDING, STE. 1
Jun 19, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: HEDSTROM CORPORATION AN IL CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BROWN GROUP RECREATIONAL PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004418/0854
Effective date: 19850506
Sep 16, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: BROW GROUP RECREATIONAL PRODUCTS,INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:BROWN GROUP RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004064/0013
Effective date: 19820422
Owner name: BROW GROUP RECREATIONAL PRODUCTS,INC., STATELESS
Sep 14, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: BROWN GROUP RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
Free format text: MERGER WITH CHANGE OF NAME EFFECTIVE 8-04-81;ASSIGNOR:HEDSTROM CO.;REEL/FRAME:003928/0226
Effective date: 19810804
Owner name: BROWN GROUP RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INC., MASSACH
Sep 14, 1981AS99Other assignments
Free format text: BROWN GROUP RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INC. * HEDSTROM CO. : 19810804 OTHER CASES: NONE; MERGER WITH CHANGE OF NAME EFFECTIVE 8-04-81