US 3808616 A
A free form cushion assembly adaptable for selective arrangement in plural operative configurations and especially suitable for use on a beach, patio, lawn or recreational area. The assembly includes articulated cushion segments detachably hinged together to provide pivotal independent movement for each segment. The segments can be vertically stacked for use as a hassock, arranged horizontally on a planar surface to form a bed, or alternately positioned in various other combinations to form a chair, lounge, hammock, etc. Additionally, brace members are incorporated for supporting one of the cushion segments in an inclined position for a back or head rest and the cushion segments can also be separated for independent use, such as for a pillow. In a variant embodiment, the cushion segments are fabricated with a floatation material to provide buoyancy for use in a pool, lake or on another body of water.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 White May 7,1974
[ FREE FORM CUSHION ASSEMBLY Charles M. White, 19 Contentment Island Rd., Darien, Conn. 06820  Filed: Nov. 10, 1972  Appl. No.: 305,473
 US. Cl 5/344 R, 5/357, 297/377  Int. Cl. A47c 27/00  Field of Search 5/344, 328, 352, 357; 297/109, 377; 248/1888  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,857,957 10/1958 Gay 5/344 2,528,768 11/1950 Marsh.... 5/344 1,640,743 8/1927 Yuhasz 5/344 3,432,131 3/1969 Martin 248/1888 2,480,196 8/1949 Poyer 5/344 3,319,273 5/1967 S0lin.. 5/344 2,623,574 12/1952 Damsch 5/344 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 943,965 12/1963 Great Britain 5/344 Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Kenneth J. Dorner Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Natter & Natter [5 7 ABSTRACT A free form cushion assembly adaptable for selective arrangement in plural operative configurations and especially suitable for use on a beach, patio, lawn or recreational area. The assembly includes articulated cushion segments detachably hinged together to provide pivotal independent movement for each segment. The segments can be vertically stacked for use as a hassock, arranged horizontally on a planar surface to form a bed, or alternately positioned in various other combinations to form a chair, lounge, hammock, etc. Additionally, brace members are incorporated for supporting one of the cushion segments in an inclined position for a back or head rest and the cushion segments can also be separated for independent use, such as for a pillow. In a variant embodiment, the cushion segments are fabricated with a floatation material to provide buoyancy for use in a pool, lake or on another body of water.
5 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures FREE FORM CUSHION ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates generally to a convertible multi-purpose article of furniture, and especially to a free form cushion assembly.
In particular, the cushion assembly has plural independent segments hingedly interconnected and selectively arrangeable in different operative configurations.
2. Description of the Prior Art Some of the disadvantages of the above discussed prior art devices include the fact that frequently the individual cushion sections are permanently connected and cannot be separated nor can additional sections be added to, or substituted for, other sections in the assembly. The cushion assembly of the present invention, by providing detachably linked segments, thus provides greater free form mobility. Additionally, the cushion segments provide accessibility to a combination of body support modes not formerly achievable with prior devices and by] appropriate cushion segment arrangement can be used to comfortably support a person in either a seated, reclining or prone position. The device I is not only adaptable for convertibility to conventional furniture support modes, but may also be suspended for use as a hammock orused as a floatationmat in water. Furthermore, it can be used for therapeutic purposes and the device will provide elevated support for specific, parts of the body as may be necessary, for example, to improve blood circulation in an injured leg, knee or foot. It should therefore be apparent that the free form cushion assembly provides a multi-purpose furniture article not previously obtainable with prior art devices, and has a wider scope of applications such that it can be used for example, on a beach, patio, lawn, camping site, body of water or recreational area.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention. relates to a free form article of furniture which includes a cushion assembly typically having three component or modular segments hingedly interconnected to provide articulated movement for various operative positions.
An interior cushion segment, being generally rectangular in shape and having a substantially parallel upper and a lower surface portion is connected by a peripheral side panel section, thus forming a cushion envelope for suitably containing a foam or fiber padding material. A pair of adjacent side or flank cushion segments of similar shape and construction are hingedly connected to the interior cushion segment by margin flaps extending from adjacent cushion segments and linking the cushion segments along confronting side panels. The flank cushion segments are adapted to be independently 'pivoted up to approximately and into a subjacent or superincuniberit position with respect to the interior cushion. The cushion assembly can thus be vertically stacked for compact storage or handling during transport.
The invention further encompasses the employment of brace members which cooperatewith tab elements on a flank cushion segment to rigidly support or prop the flank cushion segment in an inclined position with respect to the interior cushion segment.
A feature of the invention is that the individual cushion segments are also detachable and can be separated for independent support applications. Additional cushion segments can thus be substituted for, or added to, this basic tripartite cushion assembly. Accordingly, the cushion assembly of this invention is convertible into a number of differently arranged support modes.
An object therefore of this invention is to provide a free form cushion assembly having distinct advantages over the prior art convertible furniture articles.
Another object of this invention is to provide a multipurpose cushion assembly having hingedly interconnected cushion segments adapted for plural operative configurations.
A further object of this invention is to provide a cushion assembly including detachable hinged connections for separating the individual cushion sections and for adding or substituting other segments.
An additional object of this invention is to provide a cushion assembly wherein brace members are included for supporting one of the cushion segments in an inclined-position with respect to an adjacent cushion segment.
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The preferred embodiment is described with respect to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a tripartite cushion assembly arranged for use as a lounge, with one cushion segment buttressed in an inclined position;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary auxiliary view of two cushion segments with a portion cut away and showing a detachable hinge connection between the two cushion segments and details of the cushion construction including a foam filler material;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a flank cushion segment showing in detail the operational position of a brace member as inserted through a tab opening and also showing a carrier pouch for storage of the brace member;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the brace member which includes an adjustable leg having a swivel foot pad at one end and a retainer pin at the distal end;
FIG. 5 is a perspective isolated view of a separated cushion segment showing diametrically opposed margin extensions from respective upper and lower surface portions of the cushion envelope adapted for selectively incorporating a cushion segment into an assemy;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a tripartite cushion assembly arranged as a chair with one cushion segment thereof propped against a wall; the alternative support mode as indicated by the broken line illustration shows the assembly positioned for use as a hassock;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of.a quadruple cushion assembly arranged as a bed or mat for floatation on a body of water; and
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a quadruple assembly arranged as a bed with one cushion segment positioned so as to elevate a particular portion of a persons body, the broken line illustration showing an alternate mode wherein the inclined cushion segment serves as a back or head rest.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawings, the reference numeral 10 denotes generally a free form cushion assembly of this invention.
The cushion assembly 10 as illustrated in FIG. 1 includes three component cushion segments and as shown has an interior segment 14, and two flank segments 12, I6 interconnected by flexible hinges 18, 18 for articulated movement to alternate operative positions. Either one of the flank cushion segments 12, 16 is adapted to be butressed by brace members 20, 21 in an inclined position to form a head or back rest when the device is used as a lounge. Other alternate operational modes for the cushion assembly I will be further discussed hereinafter.
The cushion segments 12, l4, 16 each have a substantially parallel upper surface portion 22 and a lower surface portion 24 with a peripheral side panel section 26 interposed therebetween and being generally normal to and connecting the surface portions 22, 24. For added durability and maximum utility, the cushion segments are each finished with a water-proof, flameretardant, mildew and oil resistant covering material, e.g. vinyl plastic, such as that sold under the trademark Naugahyde, or similar fabric. In order to reinforce and conceal the seams between thesurface portions 22, 24 and the side panel section 26,'a piping or welt 28 of polyethylene or like cord substance is incorporated in the construction. The cushion segments are upholstered with a filler material 30 such as synthetic rubber latex foam, or flexible plastic urethane foam. The urethane foam is preferred and can be pretreated with a fire-retardant chemical so as to incorporate selfextinguishing flame properties in the cushion segments. Alternately, the cushion segments can be upholstered with a rigid plastic urethane foam to provide rigidity and buoyancy for flotation.
The hinges I8, 18 which interconnect adjacent cushion segments I2, 14 and 16 are formed by an extension or flap 34, 34' along diametrically opposed margins of interior cushion segment 14 (see FIGS. 2 and The flaps 34, 34 can be integrally formed with the interior cushion segment 14 and permanently attached to the flank cushion segments 12, 16. However, in the preferred embodiment as shown, a corresponding flap 36 along the internal margin of cushion segment 12 is adapted for detachable securement to flap 34. In like manner, flap 34' is secured to a flap (not shown) extending from cushion segment 16. A slide fastener 40 such as a zipper having engageable teeth on each of the flaps 34, 36 facilitate selective separation of the individual segments 12, 14, 16. Other fasteners such as snaps, hooks and eyelets or synthetic material which will adhere when pressed together, and currently available under the trademark Velcro," can be applied to corresponding flaps 34, 36 to provide detachable securement.
In a typical embodiment, three component cushion segments 12, I4 16 are employed, each being approximately 2 feet in width, two feet in length'and having a thickness of approximately 6 inches in depth. The hinges l8, l8 permit the flank cushion segments 12, 16 to be pivoted up to approximately 180 and thus respective segments 12, 16 can be folded over and under the interior segment 14. Additionally, each of the segments 12, 16 can be buttressed in an inclined position with respect to the interior segment 14, by resting against a wall surface or other support structure. For added convenience, the invention encompasses the incorporation of brace members 20, 21. The brace member 20, typically has a tubular leg 42 longitudinally slidable and rotatable within an apertured sleeve 44. A spring biased stud 46 attached to the leg 42 is adapted for selective engagement through one of the apertures 48 to adjustably fix the length of the brace member 20. The brace member 20 is preferably constructed of aluminum; however, steel or other stock material may be used. A foot pad 48 is pin connected at one end of the brace member 20, and a retainer pin 50 is provided at the distal end.
The flank cushion segments 12, 14 are provided with projections or tab elements 52, 52, 54, 54 along an external margin. The tab elements 52, 54, 54, 54' are provided with respective metal grommet reinforced openings 56, 56, 58, 58. Typically, the retainer pin 50 of brace member 20 is snugly received through opening 56 in tab element 52 and in conjunction with brace member 21 cooperating with tab element 52' in a similar manner, will buttress the cushion segment 12 as shown. Additional reinforcement 60, in the form of a strip or plate of an aluminum, plastic or other structurally rigid stiffener material is placed within the cushion segments 12, 16 along the side panel section 26 to evenly distribute the forces and to prevent buckling under load.
The brace members 20, 21 are designed for storage in a carrier pouch 62 incorporated with the cushion segment 12 or 16. The carrier or pouch 62 is formed integrally as a pocket in the side panel section 26 and extends laterally along the cushion segment 12. Additional pouches can be provided along opposite side panel sections 26. The brace members 20, 21 are snugly received within separate pouches and are preferably inserted with the retainer pin end first.
The tab elements 52, 52, 54, 54 not only function in cooperation with the brace members 20, 21, but can also be used for securing a rope or cable such that the cushion assembly 10 can be suspended as a hammock. Furthermore, when the assembly 10 is folded with the segments 12, 14, I6 vertically stacked (see FIG. 6), this compact form is suitable for storage or transport and a carry cord, strap or handle (not shown) may be inserted through the openings in the respective tab elements to facilitate handling.
Alternate operational modes of the free form cushion assembly 10 are illustrated in FIGS. 5 8. In FIG. 5, cushion segment 14 is shown detached from the assembly 10; one or more of the segments l2, 14, 16 when separated can thus be used independently and in combinations, such as for pillows. The lounge illustrated in FIG. 1 may be rearranged into a chair as shown in H0. 6 with the segment 12 buttressed against a wall surface or optionally folded as indicated by the broken line illustration, to form a hassock, the last mentioned mode being suitable for storage or transport.
The mat or bed illustrated in FIG. 7 shows the deployment of an additional cushion segment 15. The additional segment 15 has flexible hinge connections 19, 19' which are compatible with those on adjacent cushion segments 14 and 16, and preferably of the selfadhering type. In this embodiment, a flotation material such as rigid urethane foam provides the necessary buoyancy for use on water.
The cushion assembly 10 can be used to elevate and support specific parts of the body. The FIG. 8 shows an arrangement wherein cushion segment 16 will elevate and support a leg, foot, etc. Alternatively, with the body orientation reversed, the segment 16 may be inclined as indicated by the broken line, for supporting the back or head.
It should thus be apparent that the floating or free form cushion assembly 10 as hereinbefore described functions as a multi-purpose furniture article with these and other uses of and/or combinations of cushion segments being available. Therefore, the above cited embodiments are intended as exemplary and while they have described the invention with specific implementation thereof, other modifications and changes might be made in these embodiments as so set forth and will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Furthermore, it should be understood that all material shown and described in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described the invention, there is claimed as new and desired to be secured by letters patent:
1. A free-form cushion assembly suitable for arrangement in plural operative support modes comprising a plurality of independent cushion segments, said cushion segments having a substantially parallel upper and lower surface portion, a peripheral side panel section interposed between said surface portions to form a cushion enclosure, a filler material contained within the said cushion enclosure, hinge means interconnecting adjacent cushion segments for permitting pivotal means on at least one of said cushion segments including a margin extension projecting from the side panel section on diametrically opposed upper and lower surface portions and linking adjacent cushion segments in confronting side panel relationship, detachable bracing means for buttressing at least one of said cushion segments in pivotal displacement with respect to an adjacent segment, said bracing means includes at least two braces each containing an apertured sleeve and a tubular leg slidably accommodable within said sleeve whereby each tubular leg is adjustable to various length increments projecting from its associated sleeve, carrier means incorporated into a cushion segment for securing the bracing means when not in use,'and attachment means on the cushion segment selectively engageable by the bracing means to thereby support the cushion segment in an inclined position, said attachment means includes at least two planar tab elements integral with and projecting from the cushion segments, each of said tab elementshaving an opening therein and each brace member further including a retainer pin extending from said sleeve and adapted to be snugly received within said tab element opening.
2. A free form cushion assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein a floatation filler material is contained within the cushion enclosure to provide buoyancy and for supporting the cushion segment on a body of water.
3. A free-form cushion assembly as claimed in claim 1 further including reinforcement means having a structurally rigid stiffener member incorporated within the side panel section adjacent the tab element for distribution of the load stresses when the cushion segment is being supported by the bracing means.
4. A free-form cushion assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the carrier means includes a pocket for accomponents of a multi-cushion assembly.