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Publication numberUS3815955 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1974
Filing dateDec 29, 1972
Priority dateDec 29, 1972
Publication numberUS 3815955 A, US 3815955A, US-A-3815955, US3815955 A, US3815955A
InventorsGibilterra C
Original AssigneeVecta Group
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Chair construction
US 3815955 A
Abstract
Chair construction having independent back and seat support means, preferably including a pair of substantially identical side frame members of tubular metal or the like having generally U-shaped configuration. The back and the seat are secured to the side frame members, but move independently of each other without the assistance of springs or other tensioning means. One of the upwardly-extending shanks of each U-shaped side frame member terminates in a loop which provides an arm rest, and the bight of each side frame member provides a base means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Gibilterra 1 June 11, 1974 CHAIR CONSTRUCTION [75] Inventor: Charles A. Gibilterra, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

[73] Assignee: The Vecta Group, Inc., Kalamazoo,

Mich.

[22] Filed: Dec. 29, 1972 [211 App]. No.: 319,627

[52] US. Cl. 297/295, 297/445 [51] Int. Cl. A47c 3/023 [58] Field of Search 297/294, 295, 296, 297,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,950,226 3/l934 Cable 297/294 X 1,960,022 5/1934 Mclder 297/295 2,625,205 l/l953 Holmes 297/295 3,309,l 36 3/1967 Kehoe 297/296 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 172,680 l/l935 Switzerland 297/295 443,655 3/1936 Great Britain 297/296 Primary ExaminerFrancis K. Zugel 5 7 1 ABSTRACT Chair construction having independent back and seat support means, preferably including a pair of substantially identical side frame members of tubular metal or the like having generally U-shaped configuration. The back and the seat are secured to the side frame members, but move independently of each other without the assistance of springs or other tensioning means. One of the upwardly-extending shanks of each U- shaped side frame member terminates in a loop which provides an arm rest, and the bight of each side frame member provides a base means.

7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures CHAIR CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a chair construction and more particularly to a chair construction which is relatively simple while providing a chair which is light in weight and which provides firm but comfortable support for the user. The chair may be shipped disassembled in a compact package and can be readily assembled for use.

Numerous chairs have been proposed in the prior art using metal frame members, usually tubular, bent to form back and seat supports and providing resiliency for flexure in use. Such chairs have been relatively inexpensive but have had a number of disadvantages. For example, such chairs have not provided the proper support for the user, being generally uncomfortable especially when used for an extended period of time. Prior art chairs have also been bulky to ship, even when shipped disassembled. Additionally, when prior art chairs have been shipped disassembled, they have been difficult to assemble for use. This invention has been evolved with the general object of overcoming the disadvantages of prior art chairs and of providing a lightweight chair which provides firm, comfortable support for the user.

Another object of the invention is to provide a chair which can be shipped disassembled in a compact package and which can be readily assembled for use.

A further object of the invention is to provide a chair having a minimum number of component parts and which is readily and economically manufacturable.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide side frame members which are adapted. for use. with seats and backs of various constructions to provide complete chairs.

Still other objects,features and advantages of this invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, a chair is provided in which a seat and aback are independently supported from a pair of spaced side frames which are preferably adapted to flex in a manner such as to allow resiliently restrained backward movement of the back and resiliently restrained downward movement of the seat. With this arrangement, the chair provides firm but very comfortable support and can be used for extended periods of time without fatique.

This invention contemplates a chair which comprises a pair of spaced, flexible side frames. Each side frame is formed from a singleelongated member and includes a back-supporting portion adjacent one end of the elongated member, arear leg portion connected to the back-supporting portion and extending downwardly therefrom, a base portion connected to the rear leg portion and extending forwardly substantially horizontally therefrom, and a front leg portion connected to the base portion and extending upwardly therefrom. In addition, an arm-supporting portion is connected to the front leg portion and curves rearwardly toward the back-supporting. portion, and. a seat-receiving portion, situated adjacent to the other end of said elongated member, is connected to the arm-supporting portion and curves downwardly therefromandfrom the backsupporting portion, and also extends forwardly toward the front leg portion. A back means is positioned between the aforesaid back-supporting portions of the side frames and is secured thereto, and a seat means is positioned between the seat-receiving portions of the side frames and is secured thereto.

According to a specific feature of this invention, a pair of spaced side frame members having a generally U-shaped configuration are provided and are connected together by the seat and by the back. The bight of each side frame member defines a base means. An integral, first upwardly-extending shank of each side frame member is secured to the back, and an integral second upwardlyextending shank of each side frame member is secured to the seat. Preferably the terminal portion of first upwardly-extending shank is angled rearwardly and the rest of first upwardly-extending shank is angled forwardly relative to the bight, and the second upwardly-extending shank terminates in a rearwardly-extending and downwardly-depending loop which defines arm rests and provides connecting sites for the seat at the terminal portion of the loop. In such manner flexure of the seat-supporting portions allows resiliently restrained movement of the seat, primarily in a downwardly direction, and to a limited extent, in a rearward direction. The result of this support of the seat, combined with the independent back support, is a chair which is firm but very comfortable.

To secure the back and the seat to the side frame members, a plurality of transverse openings is provided in the first upwardly-extending shank and in the loop portion of the side frame members through which fastening elements such as screws or bolts are extended. With this feature, and with each side frame member being in a common generally vertical plane, the side frame members can be substantially identical, thereby facilitating manufacture and also permitting shipping of the chair knocked down or disassembled in a compact package, the chair being readily assembled for use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair construction according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the chair of FIG. 1 with portions broken away to show interior detail;

and

FIG. 3 is a sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the FIGURES, reference numeral 10 generally designates a chair constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention. Chair 10 comprises seat 1 1, back 12 and a pair of spaced, substantially identical side frame members 13 and 14, preferably of tubular metal, and most preferably of stainless steel tubing. Side frame member 13 is similar to side frame member 14 and comprises first upwardly-extending shank 15 extending generally vertically,including terminal portion 15a secured against one side of back 12 and preferably angled rearwardly and the rest or main portion 15b which is preferably angled forwardly, both relative to base means such as bight l6.

' Second upwardly-extending shank 17 extends up wardly from the forward end of bight l6 and terminates in rearwardly-extending and downwardly-depending loop 18 which provides arm rest 19. Terminal portion 20 of loop 18 extends forwardly toward shank l7 and provides connecting sites for seat 11 which is secured to terminal portion 20 and to the corresponding portion of member 14 at opposite sides. A pair of screws 21 and 22 is provided for securing terminal portion 20 to one side of seat 11 and another pair of screws 23 and 24 is provided for securing terminal portion a to one side of back 12. As shown in FIG. 3, screw 21 includes a head portion 21a and elongated portion 21b, the elongated portion 21b being extended through sleeve 26 and through opening 27 provided in the inside wall of terminal portion 20. Opening 27 has an inside diameter just slightly larger than the outside diameter of elongated portion 21b. Preferably, opening 28 is provided in the outside wall of terminal portion 20, having an inside diameter slightly larger than the outside diameter of head portion 21a and sleeve 26 has a length such as to position the outer end of head portion 21a just inside the'outer surface of terminal portion 20. The illustrated head portion 21a is provided with a suitable hexagonal socket 210 for receiving an Allen wrench. A similar construction is used for screws 22, 23 and 24 and for the screws on the opposite side of the chair used to secure side frame member 14 to the opposite side of seat 11 and to the opposite side of back 12.

The chair of this invention can thus be readily assembled requiring only eight screws, four on each side. It is also noted that side frame members 13 and 14 are substantially identical, all portions of each member being in a common vertical plane. Thus with this feature, manufacture is facilitated and, also, the chair can be shipped knocked down or disassembled in a very compact package.

By way of example, side frame members 13 and 14 are, of tubular stainless steel having an outer diameter of one inch and a wall thickness of approximately 3/32 inches. Suitable plugs 29 and 30 are provided for closing the ends of member 13, the reduced-diameter body portions of plugs 29 and 30 being inserted into the ends of side frame member 13 with a press fit. A similar pair of plugs is providedfor side frame member 14.

In the illustrated chair 10, seat 11 is formed by a generally rectangular frame of wood including front and rear portions 31 and 32 and side portions 33 and 34,

- supporting cane web 35. Similarly, back 12 is formed by a generally rectangular wood frame including lower and upper portions'37 and 38 and side portions 39 and 40, supporting cane web 41. It will be understood that upholstered or other types of seats and backs such as plastic or metal seats and backs may be used, as desired.

In use, the weight of a person sitting on seat 11 causes rearward flexure of shank 17, opening of loop 18, downward flexure of arm rest 19, and flexure of terminal portion downwardly. With the proportions as illustrated, seat 11 moves downwardly and slightly rearwardly, but its angular position relative to the floor is substantially unchanged. The effect of flexure of shank l7 and arm rest 19 which would tend to elevate the front of the seat 11 relative to the rear, is offset by the opening of loop 18 and the flexure of terminal portion 20 the effect of which is to lower the front of the seat relative to the rear. Arm rest 19 remains generally parallel to seat 11. Pressure against back 12 causes it to move rearwardly with flexure of shank 15. The overall result is a relatively firm but very comfortable support with which the muscles of the user are not strained;

While in the foregoing specification this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments thereof, and many details have been set forth for purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention.

I claim:

1. A chair comprising a pair of substantially identical, spaced, flexible side frames each frame being a single elongated member and including a first upwardlyextending shank, a bight, and a second upwardlyextending shank; and first upwardly-extending shank having a terminal portion angled rearwardly and the rest angled'forwardly relative to said bight and said second upwardly-extending shank terminating in a rearwardly-extending and downwardly-depending loop situated between said first and second shanks and having a forwardly-extending terminal portion which terminates short of said second upwardly-extending shank;

. a back means positioned between the terminal portions of said first upwardly-extending shanks and secured thereto; and

a seat means positioned between the forwardlyextending terminal portions of said loops and secured thereto;

said back means and said seat means being substantially independent of each other and being adapted for independent movement relative to each other, said bights together forming a base for said chair, and all parts of each side frame lying in a generally vertical common plane.

2. The chair in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first upwardly-extending shanks are adapted to flex so as to allow a resiliently restrained backward movement of said back.

3. The chair in accordance with claim 1 wherein said second upwardly-extending shanks are adapted to flex so as to allow resiliently restrained downward movement of said seat.

4. The chair in accordance with claim l'wherein said back means and said seat means are removably secured to said side frame members.

5. The chair in accordance with claim 1 wherein each of said side frames is made of an elongated tubular member.

6. The chair in accordance with claim 1 wherein each of said side frames is made of stainless steel tubing.

7. The chair in accordance with claim 1 wherein said terminal portions of the first upwardly-extending shanks are provided with a plurality of transverse openings; wherein said terminal portions of the loops are provided with a plurality of transverse openings; wherein sleeve means in said shanks surround each of said openings; wherein fastening means comprising headed, elongated fastening elements extend through said sleeve means and said openings and into said back means and said seat means; and wherein the head of each said fastening element abuts a corresponding sleeve means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1950226 *Nov 15, 1933Mar 6, 1934Julius L CableChair
US1960022 *Jun 28, 1929May 22, 1934Hugo MelderChair
US2625205 *Mar 24, 1947Jan 13, 1953 Sheets-xsheet z
US3309136 *Dec 27, 1965Mar 14, 1967Kehoe Frank EChair
CH172680A * Title not available
GB443655A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3876250 *Dec 6, 1973Apr 8, 1975Vecta GroupUpholstery frame for a chair
US4049315 *Dec 13, 1976Sep 20, 1977Jacobson John DChair having independent seat and back
US4529246 *Mar 30, 1981Jul 16, 1985Leib Roger KPatient chair
US4555139 *Mar 30, 1983Nov 26, 1985Leib Roger KPatient's defined-motion chair
US4595235 *Apr 15, 1982Jun 17, 1986Leib Roger KPatient's defined-motion chair
US4784435 *Dec 3, 1986Nov 15, 1988Leib Roger KPatient chair
US4946224 *Mar 21, 1988Aug 7, 1990Leib Roger KCombination wood-metal chair
US5071191 *Apr 16, 1990Dec 10, 1991Leib Roger KCombination wood-metal chair
US5626394 *Jun 7, 1995May 6, 1997Perry; Charles O.Tubular chair frame
US5695244 *Oct 26, 1995Dec 9, 1997Gillern; RichardRocking chair with wood-laminated seat and continuous runners
US6224159May 12, 1999May 1, 2001Charles Owen PerryFlexible chair which can be disassembled to a flat configuration
US7114782 *May 26, 2004Oct 3, 2006Center For Design Research And Development N.V.Flexible chair with stiffener inserts and method for forming a chair
US7438361 *Dec 17, 2007Oct 21, 2008William HuangSeat back construction for chairs
USRE36335 *Jan 23, 1997Oct 12, 1999Perry; Charles O.Flexible chair
USRE42027Oct 9, 2009Jan 18, 2011Aichi Co., LtdChair
EP1600083A1 *May 20, 2005Nov 30, 2005Center for design research and development N.V.Flexible chair with stiffener inserts and method for forming a chair
WO1982002654A1 *Feb 8, 1982Aug 19, 1982Tore WroldsenChair structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/295, 297/448.2, 297/451.3, 297/451.7, 297/447.3
International ClassificationA47C5/04, A47C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C3/023, A47C5/04
European ClassificationA47C5/04, A47C3/023
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 26, 1982AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: STEELCASE, INC., 1120- 36TH ST., S.E. GRAND RAPIDS
Owner name: VECTA CONTRACT INC.
Effective date: 19820315
Apr 26, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: STEELCASE, INC., 1120- 36TH ST., S.E. GRAND RAPIDS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:VECTA CONTRACT INC.;REEL/FRAME:003994/0580
Effective date: 19820315