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Publication numberUS3836197 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1974
Filing dateNov 24, 1972
Priority dateNov 24, 1972
Publication numberUS 3836197 A, US 3836197A, US-A-3836197, US3836197 A, US3836197A
InventorsCrum D, Mc Kinley Goff
Original AssigneeMiddletown Mfg Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recliner with vertically movable headrest
US 3836197 A
Abstract
A reclining chair assembly comprising: a support structure; body support means, at least a portion of which is movably supported by the support structure; headrest means movably supported on the support structure; and motion transmitting means for moving the headrest means in response to the movement of the body support means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Goff et al. 1 Sept. 17, 1974 [54] RECLINER WITH VERTICALLY MOVABLE 2,765,840 10/1956 Robert et al 297 410 X HEADREST 3,057,657 10/1962 Fletcher 297/61 3,057,658 10/1962 Winick.... 297/3l7 X [75] Inventors: McKinley Goff, Middletown; D na 3,140,117 7/1964 Fletcher 297/61 Crum, Louisville, both of Ky. 3,594,037 7/1971 Sherman 297/61 X 19 L [73] Asslgneez Mlddletown Manufacturing Co., R25 375 4/ 63 Orenz 297/61 lnc., Simpsonville, Ky. Primary ExaminerJames T. McCall [22] Flled: 1972 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wood, Herron & Evans [21] Appl. No.: 309,586

[57] ABSTRACT [52] U.S. Cl. 297/391, 297/61 51 1111. C1. A47c 1/10 A reclmmg assembly cOmPnsmg: Support Field of Search 297/6l' 91 391 68 structure; body support means, at least a portion of 297/112 89 85 3 which is movably supported by the support structure; 248/1l8 headrest means movably supported on the support structure; and motion transmitting means for moving [56] References Cited the headrest means in response to the movement of UNITED STATES PATENTS the body Support means 242,733 6/1881 Yengling 297/61 19 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures RECLINER WITH VERTICALLY MOVABLE HEADREST This invention relates to an article of furniture and specifically'to an article of furniture generally known as a recliner chair. Recliner chairs of the type referred to usually include a body support portion comprising a backrest and seat portion movably mounted on a stationary support structure and a headrest movable between a retracted and an extended position in response to the movement of the body support portion. Furthermore, a footrest portion is normally provided which is also movable from a retracted to an extended position when the body support portion is moved to the reclining position.

Heretofore, the headrest portion of recliner chairs have been mounted on the backrest of the body support portion with suitable linkage provided to move the headrest from a retracted to an extended position when the body support portion is moved to the reclining position. To move the body support portion to the reclining position, the body support portion is pivoted rearwardly with respect to the support structure such that the backrest and headrest moves from a substantially vertical, upright position over the support structure to a position in which the backrest and headrest extend at an oblique angle rearwardly of the support structure. A recliner chair employing this type of movement is shown in the US. Pat. No. Re25,375.

The major disadvantage associated with recliner chairs of the general type as described above, and illustrated in the US. Pat. No. Re25,375, is that the backrest must move rearwardly of the support structure thereby requiring space behind the recliner chair to accommodate such movement. Since the headrest is mounted on the backrest, and is extensible therefrom when the body support portion is moved to the reclining position, additional space behind the recliner chair must be available to also accommodate the headrest. It is necessary, therefore, to place the recliner chair in a position such that the reclining movement of the body support portion is not restricted. In other words, if the recliner chair is to be placed in a room, it must be placed away from the walls thereof or spaced from any other object which would hinder the reclining movement of the chair.

The additional space required to accommodate the reclining movement of the chair is wasted when the recliner chair is not in the reclining position. The amount of space wasted is relatively large since the common recliner chair must be spaced a distance of three or more feet away from a wall or other obstruction. Since recliner chairs are articles of furniture, they are chosen for their aesthetic as well as their functional value and are arranged in an area in such a manner as to be useful and pleasing to the eye. It is, therefore, oftentimes impossible to include a recliner chair in a particular furniture arrangement because the available furniture space is insufficient to provide the additional space required for a recliner chair. It is noted that a recliner chair as heretofore manufactured may be placed in the same position as a standard chair, to wit, immediately adjacent a wall or object, and thereafter may be pulled away from a wall or object whenever it is desired to move the chair to the reclining position; however, this procedure is inconvenient and undesirable at best.

It is. therefore, an object and feature of the instant invention to provide a reclining chair assembly comprising: a support structure; body support means; at least a portion of which is movably supported by the support structure; headrest means movably supported on the support structure; and motion transmitting means for moving the headrest means in response to the movement of the body support means.

In accordance with the foregoing object and feature, it is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide a reclining chair assembly wherein the movably supported portion is movable between a first and second position with respect to the support structure, the headrest means being disposed in a retracted position when the position is in the first position and disposed in an extended position when the portion is in the second position, the headrest means maintaining substantially the same angular relationship with respect to the support structure in both of the positions.

It is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide mounting means for movably supporting the headrest means on the support structure above the body support means for substantially vertical movement relative thereto.

Other objects and attendant advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the instant invention in an extended position;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view similar to FIG. I with the instant invention in a retracted position; and,

FIG. 3 is an elevational and phantom view of a preferred embodiment of the instant invention.

Referring to the drawings a reclining chair assembly is generally shown at 10. The reclining chair assembly 10 includes a normally stationary support structure generally indicated at 12 having two laterally spaced side portions 14 (only one of which is shown). Body support means generally indicated at 16 is disposed between the laterally spaced side portions 14 and movably supported by the support structure 12. The body support means 16 includes a backrest portion 17 and a seat portion 19 and is adapted for movement between a first, upright position and a second, reclining position which movement is facilitated by linkage means generally indicated at 18. The linkage means 18 is pivotally connected to the body support structure 16 and to the support structure 12. The reclining chair assembly 10 further includes footrest means generally indicated at 20 which is movable from a retracted to an extended position in response to the movement of the body support means 16 from the first to the second position.

The linkage means 18, as well as the footrest means 20 and the operation thereof, are explained and set forth in US. Pat. No. 3,282,626 and, therefore, the specific details of these features will not be set forth herein. Suffice it to say however, that the linkage means 18 enables the body support means 16 to move from an upright position, as shown in FIG. 2, to a reclining position, as shown in FIG. 1, by rotating the handle member 22 in a clockwise direction. Note that in moving from the upright to the reclining position the body support means 16 moves forwardly and downwardly with respect to the support structure 12 such that the forward edge of the seat portion 17 agles upwardly and the top edge of the backrest portion 19 angles rearwardly. The footrest means 20 is simultaneously moved from its retracted position, as shown in FIG. 2, to its extended position as shown in FIG. 1. Moving the handle member 22 in a counter-clockwise direction will of course reverse the operation, moving the body support means 16 back to the upright position as well as moving the footrest means 20 to the retracted position.

As is customary in chair constructions of this type, the side portion 14 of the support structure 12 includes a front rail 24, a back rail 26, a top rail 28, and a bottom rail 30. Leg members 32 are attached to the bottom rail and a wing 34 may be attached between the top rail 28 and the back rail 26 to complete the chair construction. It is noted that the bare frame is then covered with padding, upholstery, and other suitable material to complete the chair construction.

A headrest means 36 is supported on the back rail 26 of the support structure 12. The headrest means 36 is thereby movably supported on the support structure 12 rather than on the body support means 16 and is adapted to move by motion transmitting means generally indicated at 38. The motion transmitting means 38 moves the headrest means 36 in response to the movement of the body support means 16. As hereinbefore stated, the body support means 16 is movable between a first and second position with respect to the support structure 12. The headrest means 36 is disposed in a retracted position when the body support means 16 is in the first or upright position and the headrest means 36 is disposed in an extended position when the body support means 16 is in the second or reclining position. Because the headrest means 36 is mounted on the support structure 12 it will always maintain substantially the same angular relationship with respect to the support structure 12 in both of said positions. In other words, although the headrest means 36 is movable in response to the movement of the body support means 16 the angular position of the headrest means 36 with respect to the support structure 12 is not dependent upon the position of the body support means 16.

To facilitate the mounting of the headrest means 36 on the support structure, the support structure includes a mounting means generally indicated at 40. The mounting means 40 movably supports the headrest means 36 on the support structure 12 above the backrest portion 17 for substantially vertical movement relative thereto. The mounting means 40 includes a mounting bracket 41 slidably supporting a support arm 42 which supports the headrest means 36. The support arm 42 is slidably held and supported on the mounting bracket 41 by slidable connection means comprising a plurality of guide pins 44. The guide pins 44 may be made of any suitable roller or plastic bushing secured to the mounting bracket 41 and disposed on either side of the support arm 42 and in sliding relation therewith to facilitate substantially unrestricted guide movement of the support arm 42. It is also contemplated that the slidable connection means may take on the form of a slot and pin connection. In this construction the support arm 42 would be provided with a longitudinal slot in the center thereof through which two or more of the guide pins extend.

The motion transmitting means 38 includes a doublearmed lever 46 mounted for pivotal movement with respect to the support structure 12. The double-armed lever 46 is pivotally mounted to the mounting plate 41 by a pin 48. The motion transmitting means 38 also includes a first link member 50 pivotally connecting one end of the double-armed lever 46 to the support arm 42 and a second link member 52 pivotally connecting a second end of the double-armed lever 46 to the movably supported body support means 16. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the second link member 52 is pivotally connected to the seat portion 19, which pivotal connection is facilitated by providing a connecting bracket 54. The connecting bracket 54 includes a laterally inwardly extending flange 56 which is secured to the rear of the seat portion 19. It is noted that the backrest portion 17 is integrally connected to the seat portion 19 for movement in unison therewith, therefore, the connecting bracket 54 may be connected to the backrest portion 17 if desired.

By way of summary, when the body support means 16 is moved from the upright to the reclining position, the second link member 52 causes the double-armed lever 46 to pivot about pin 48. The pivotal motion of the double-armed lever 46 moves the first link member 50 upwardly thereby forcing support arm 42 upwardly along the path defined by the guide pins 44. This motion is also shown in FIG. 3 wherein the solid lines indicate the position of elements when the headrest means 36 is in the retracted position and the broken lines indicate the position of elements in the extended position. The angular relationship between the headrest 36 and the support structure 12 remains substantially the same regardless of the position of the body support means 16. Furthermore, because the headrest 36 is moving substantially vertically, that is. having little or no component of rearward movement, the back of the reclining chair assembly 10 may be disposed immediately adjacent a wall or other objects without interfering with the reclining movement thereof. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 no additional space is required behind the reclining chair assembly 10 when the body support means 16 is moved from the upright to the reclining position.

The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A reclining chair assembly comprising,

a support structure.

body support means, at least a portion of which is movably supported by said support structure.

a headrest mounted for substantially vertical movement on said support structure,

a recliner linkage connecting said body support means to said support structure to permit movement of said body support means between an upright position and a reclining position,

and a headrest linkage fixedly mounted to said support structure and including means interconnecting said body support means and said headrest to cause said headrest to move vertically upwardly as said body support means moves from an upright position to a reclined position, whereby to permit said chair to shift to a reclining position with extended headrest without rearward projection of the chair structure.

2. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said interconnecting means includes a support arm connected to said headrest means and slidable connection means for slidably connecting said support arm to said support structure.

3. An assembly as set forth in claim 2 wherein said interconnecting means includes a double-armed lever mounted for pivotal movement with respect to said support structure.

4. An assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein said interconnecting means includes a first link member connecting one end of said double-armed lever to said support arm and a second link member connecting a second end of said double-armed lever to said movably supported portion, said first and second link members being adapted for pivotal movement.

5. An assembly as set forth in claim 4 wherein said interconnecting means includes a mounting plate fastened to said support structure.

6. An assembly as set forth in claim 5 wherein said double-armed lever is pivotally mounted to said mounting plate.

7. An assembly as set forth in claim 6 wherein said slidable connection means includes guide pins for guiding the movement of said support arm.

8. An assembly as set forth in claim 7 including four guide pins, two of said guide pins being disposed on either side of said support arm and in sliding relation therewith to facilitate substantially unrestricted guided movement of said support arm.

9. An assembly as set forth in claim 8 wherein said movably supported portion to which said second link member is connected comprises said seat portion.

10. An assembly as set forth in claim 9 wherein said backrest portion is integrally connected to said seat portion for movement therewith.

11. An assembly as set forth in claim 10 including a connecting bracket for pivotally connecting said second link member to said seat portion.

12. In a recliner chair having a fixed support structure, body support means movably supported on said structure for movement between a reclined and an upright position, and a headrest. an assembly for transmitting motion to said headrest comprising.

a mounting plate fixed to said support structure,

linearly and vertically movable means movably mounted on said mounting plate,

said headrest being supported on said linearly movable means,

lever means pivotally mounted on said mounting plate.

means connecting said lever means to said body support means for pivoting said lever means upon movement of said body support means with respect to said support structure.

and means connecting said lever means to said linearly movable means whereby said linearly movable means and said headrest are adapted to move in response to the movement of said body support means.

13. An assembly as set forth in claim 12 wherein said linearly movable means includes an arm pivotally connected to said lever means.

14. An assembly as set forth in claim 13 wherein said mounting plate includes guide pins for guiding the movement of said arm.

15. An assembly as set forth in claim 13 wherein said mounting plate includes four guide pins. two of said guide pins being disposed on each side of said arm for guiding the movement thereof.

16. An assembly as set forth in claim 14 wherein said lever means includes a double-armed lever.

17. An assembly as set forth in claim 16 wherein said connecting means includes a connecting link pivotally connected to one end of said double-armed lever and to said arm.

18. An assembly as set forth in claim 17 wherein said means for pivoting said lever means includes a link member pivotally connected to another end of said double-armed lever.

19. An assembly as set forth in claim 18 wherein said link member includes a connecting bracket for connecting said link member to a prime mover.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US25375 *Sep 13, 1859 Henry adams
US242733 *Jun 7, 1881 Reclining-chair
US2765840 *Jan 10, 1955Oct 9, 1956Coachcraft LtdHeadrest
US3057657 *Dec 2, 1958Oct 9, 1962Anton LorenzRapidly extensible head-rest and control
US3057658 *May 8, 1959Oct 9, 1962Anton LorenzReclining chairs
US3140117 *Sep 11, 1962Jul 7, 1964Anton LorenzExtensible head-rest and control for double movement and two position types of chairs
US3594037 *Apr 9, 1970Jul 20, 1971Mc Donnell Douglas CorpCabin attendant seat
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4515406 *Sep 28, 1982May 7, 1985Takara Company, New York, Inc.Headrest for medical treatment chair
US4691961 *Feb 14, 1986Sep 8, 1987Parma CorporationRecliner with headrest
US5044692 *May 15, 1990Sep 3, 1991Super Sagless CorporationPivoting top rail headrest
US7669921 *Sep 18, 2007Mar 2, 2010Ultra-Mek, Inc.Reclining seating unit with headrest
US8590964Dec 6, 2011Nov 26, 2013Ultra-Mek, Inc.Reclining seating unit with tiltable headrest
US8622467Feb 14, 2012Jan 7, 2014Ultra-Mek, Inc.Reclining seating unit with tiltable headrest
WO2009038680A1 *Sep 15, 2008Mar 26, 2009Ultra Mek IncReclining seating unit with headrest
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/391, 297/61
International ClassificationA47C1/036, A47C1/031, A47C1/037, A47C1/034
Cooperative ClassificationA47C1/037, A47C1/0345
European ClassificationA47C1/034F2, A47C1/037