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Publication numberUS3886608 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1975
Filing dateJan 30, 1974
Priority dateOct 30, 1972
Also published asUS3818517
Publication numberUS 3886608 A, US 3886608A, US-A-3886608, US3886608 A, US3886608A
InventorsMichael D Casella
Original AssigneeMichael D Casella
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rocking chair or cradle with rocking mechanism
US 3886608 A
Abstract
The rocker of the present invention includes rocker bars which are operatively connected to a base to permit controlled rocking movement of the rocker on the base, and automatic rocking means operatively associated with at least one of the rocker bars for rocking the same. The automatic rocking means comprises an electric motor and a crank rotatably driven by the motor, such crank being engageable with the adjacently disposed rocker bar for lifting the same for a relatively limited period in the rotational cycle of the crank, and the rocker bar being free to rock by itself when out of contact with the crank.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Casella :atent 1 June 3, 1975 [5 ROCKING CHAIR 0R CRADLE WITH ROCKING MECHANISM [76] Inventor: Michael D. Casella, 248 E. 151 St.,

Cleveland, Ohio 441 10 [22] Filed: Jan. 30, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 437,898

Related U.S. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 302,278, Oct. 30, 1972, Pat. No.

[52] U.S. C1. 5/109; 5/109; 297/260 [51] Int. Cl A47d 9/02 [58] Field of Search 5/108, 109; 297/260 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,420,582 6/1922 Sheen 5/109 3,031,687 5/1962 Stevens et a1 5/109 3,235,891 2/1966 Chade et a1 5/109 Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Donnelly, Maky, Renner & Otto [57] ABSTRACT The rocker of the present invention includes rocker bars which are operatively connected to a base to permit controlled rocking movement of the rocker on the base, and automatic rocking means operatively associated with at least one of the rocker bars for rocking the same. The automatic rocking means comprises an electric motor and a crank rotatably driven by the motor, such crank being engageable with the adjacently disposed rocker bar for lifting the same for a relatively limited period in the rotational cycle of the crank, and the rocker bar being free to rock by itself when out of Contact with the crank.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures sHEr PATENTEDJUHB I975 z. 8 0 6 5 an r. m

i w- 1 II ROCKING CHAIR OR CRADLE WITH ROCKING MECHANISM CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of applicants prior co pending United States Application Ser. No. 302,278. filed Oct. 30, 1972, now US. Pat. No. 5,818,517, June 6, 1974.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates as indicated to a rocking chair or cradle with rocking mechanism, and relates more particularly to a rocker in combination with a cooperating rocking mechanism to automatically rock the device.

It is well known in the art to provide mechanical means for assisting the rocking action of rocking chairs, with such mechanical means normally comprising an electric motor or the like mounted on the chair and operating to rock the chair through a drive train which includes a force transmitting member for transmitting force directly or indirectly to the rocker legs. Illustra tive of such rocking devices are US. Pat. Nos. 1,241,171; 1,985,131 and 3,019,052.

The automatic rocker mechanisms with which applicant is familiar are commonly characterized by their relatively high cost, including both the cost of manufac ture and the cost of installing the same on or in the rocking chair in order to achieve the desired rocking effect. The relatively complex arrangements shown in the prior art also present a maintenance problem in the event of malfunction of either the motor or the drive mechanism.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With the above in mind, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a rocker or cradle in combination with a rocking mechanism which can be inexpensively provided and quickly and simply operatively coupled to the chair or cradle.

A further, more specific object of the invention is to provide a rocking mechanism of the type described which periodically assists the rocking movement of the chair or cradle, while at other times leaving the chair or cradle free to rock by itself.

These and other objects of the invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds particularly in reference to the application drawings.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawings setting forth in detail a certain illustrative embodiment of the invention, this being indicative, however. of but one of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the application drawings:

FIG. I is a side elevation view of a combined chair and cradle in accordance with the present invention, including a movable back shown in solid lines for use as the back of a rocking chair, and also shown in dash lines for use of the apparatus as a cradle;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the combination rocker and cradle of FIG. I, with the movable back being shown in solid and dash lines to respectively indicate the position thereof when the apparatus is used as a rocking chair and cradle;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, perspective view through the bottom of the chair or cradle, showing the manner in which the rocker bars are operatively connected to the base member and one of the rocker bars is rotated by the rocking mechanism;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevation view of the locking assembly for the movable back;

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the chair or cradle, showing in structural detail the locking assembly, and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of an eye bolt used in the locking assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in more detail to the drawings, wherein like parts are indicated by like reference numerals, and initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, the rocking chair or cradle illustrated therein comprises a seat or bottom section generally indicated at 10 and a back section generally indicated at 12, which is shown in solid lines in these figures in a position to form the back of the rocking chair. As will be explained in greater detail hereinbelow, the back section 12 may if desired be made movable for reinsertion in the dashed line position thereof as shown in these figures for use as an infant cradle.

An arm rail 14 generally similar in shape to the peripheral outline of the seat 10 but open at the front is mounted in spaced relation to the seat 10 by front supporting posts 16 and 18 and supporting spindles commonly designated at 20 which are positioned between and which interconnect the rail 14 with the seat 10. Although the apparatus in the form shown is of wood construction, it will be understood that the material from which the apparatus is made is not critical, and that other materials such as metal or plastic could alternatively be employed.

Legs commonly designated at 22 are rigidly secured to the underside of the seat 10 and are secured at their opposite ends to rocker bars 24 and 26. In the form shown, reinforcing stringers commonly designated at 28 interconnect the legs 22 to rigidify the rocker in the lower region thereof.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the rocker bars 24 and 26 are desirably positioned on a base 30 and resiliently retained thereon for rocking movement by springs 32 and 34 which may have their ends anchored to the base 30 as shown. The rocker bars 24 and 26 are operatively connected to the springs through stabilizer bolts commonly designated at 36 which are mounted directly on the rocker bars and which are engaged by the springs in the manner illustrated so as to permit rocking of the bars while maintaining the rocker bars in the desired position on the base 30.

The rocking mechanism of the present invention is generally indicated at 40 in FIG. 3, and comprises a housing 42 which houses an electrical motor (not shown) for driving a crank arm 44. The opposite end of the crank arm 44 is mounted for rotation in a bearing in a housing 46 which may also contain a music box, and the housing 46 is mounted on a bracket 48 secured to the base 30 in any suitable manner, such as by mounting screws 50 or the like.

The crank 44 when rotated by the electric motor functions to contact the adjacent end of the rocker bar 26 only during a relatively limited portion of the rotation of the crank. Thus, the crank, which is shown rotating in the clockwise direction in FIG. 3. contacts the rocker bar 26 only in or near the rotative position thereof shown in this figure, such contact being maintained through a rotational increment of the crank arm of approximately 90. Further rotation of the crank causes the same to rotate out of the plane of the rocker bar, and during the period until contact is reestablished, the rocker bars 24 and 26 are free to rock by themselves. It will be understood that the frequency of the mechanical rocking motion will be dependent upon the speed of rotation of the crank arm which is desirably selected to prevent termination of the rocking motion between periods of contact without causing a sudden rise or jolt in the rocker bar when the same is engaged by the crank.

As above described, the apparatus may be designed for use either as a rocking chair or an infant cradle, and there is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 a locking mechanism permitting movement of the back section 12 of the rocker to either of two positions, and retention in the selected position. The seat is provided with pairs of longitudinally spaced openings designated respectively at 52 and 54. When the apparatus is employed as a rocker, the movable back 12 is positioned in the openings 52, and the back 12 is positioned in openings 54 when the apparatus is to be used as a cradle, as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 4.

The locking mechanism is generally indicated at 60 in FIG. 5 and comprises longitudinally extending look ing bars or rod members 62 and 64 which are welded or otherwise secured to a transversely extending rod 66. Eye screws commonly designated at 68, shown enlarged in FIG. 6, are secured to the underside of the seat 10 and positioned so as to receive the rods 62 and 64 for guiding the same. The side rails 70 of the movable back section 12 are formed at each end thereof with a transverse opening 72 for alternately receiving the adjacent ends of the rods 62 and 64.

A generally U-shaped bracket 76 is mounted on the underside of the seat 10, with the downwardly depending arms 78 thereof serving to limit the movement of the transverse rod 66 and thus the rods 62 and 64 carried thereby. The bracket 76 is constructed and arranged so as to permit limited longitudinal movement of the rods 62 and 64 for retaining the movable back 12 in either position of adjustment thereof.

To convert the rocking chair to a cradle, the rods 62 and 64 are withdrawn from the openings 72 in the rails of the movable back and the latter lifted from the openings 52. The ends of the rail 70 are thereafter positioned in the openings 54, and the rods 62 and 64 moved through the openings 72 for retaining the back 12 at the front of the seat section. Movement of the rods 62 and 64 in either direction is limited by engagement of the transversely extending rod 66 with the stop flanges 78 of the bracket 76. It will thus be seen that the movable back 12 can be quickly and easily released from one position and firmly mounted in the other position.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the apparatus of the present invention can be quickly converted to function either as a rocking chair or cradle, with the rocking mechanism in either of such modifications functioning to lift the rocker bar thereby affecting rocking of the chair or cradle. The rocking action is effected during only a portion of the rotation of the motor-driven crank, whereby the rocker or cradle is free to rock by itself during the remainder of the time. The rocking mechanism is simple and inexpensive, and the relationship of the rocking mechanism to the chair or cradle is such that long life of the mechanism can be expected.

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

l. A rocker comprising a support member, rocker bars rigidly secured to and spaced from said support member for providing rocking motion, a base, means operatively connecting said rocker bars to said base to permit controlled rocking movement of said rocker on said base, and automatic rocking means operatively associated with at least one of said rocker bars for rocking the same, said automatic rocking means comprising an electric motor, and a crank rotatably driven by said motor, said crank being engageable with the adjacently disposed rocker bar for lifting the same for a relatively limited period in the rotational cycle of said crank, the relative positions of said crank and said adjacently disposed rocker bar and the path of rotational movement of said crank being such that said crank is out of the plane of said one rocker bar for the major portion of its rotational cycle, said one rocker bar being free to rock by itself when out of contact with said crank.

2. The rocker of claim 1 wherein said rocker bars have stabilizer bolts projecting from the sides thereof adjacent the rocking center of said rocker bars, and said means operatively connecting said rocker bars to said base comprises springs extending over said stabilizer bolts for engagement therewith and having their ends anchored to said base.

3. The rockerof claim 1 wherein said motor is mounted on said base adjacent said adjacently disposed rocker bar.

4. The rocker of claim 1 wherein said rocker bars have stabilizer bolts projecting from the sides thereof adjacent the rocking center of said rocker bars, and said means operatively connecting said rocker bars to said base comprises spring means engaging said stabilizer bolts for retaining said one rocker bar relative to said crank for engagement thereby as aforesaid without interfering with the rocking motion of said rocker bars.

5. The rocker of claim 1 wherein one end of said crank is connected to said motor for support thereby. and a housing is provided on said base in spaced relation to said motor in which the other end of said crank is journaled.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1420582 *Jan 16, 1922Jun 20, 1922Robert SheaCradle rocker
US3031687 *Jan 26, 1959May 1, 1962Charles H BarnesOscillating bed
US3235891 *Oct 4, 1963Feb 22, 1966Chade YamilChild's musical mattress and support thereof
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4419777 *May 4, 1981Dec 13, 1983Harold P. ParkerBaby bed rocking mechanism
US4775184 *Nov 26, 1986Oct 4, 1988Larkin Lloyd VRocking chair
US4837876 *Jun 6, 1988Jun 13, 1989Reuven LevyRock 'N walker
US4970740 *May 14, 1990Nov 20, 1990Joseph CrawfordBi-motional cradle
US5348529 *Nov 9, 1992Sep 20, 1994Veltri Wayne RRocking-actuated massage apparatus
US5368361 *Jul 13, 1993Nov 29, 1994Kung Ta Enterprise Co., Ltd.Mechanism for rocking chair
US5860698 *Nov 8, 1996Jan 19, 1999Systec Ausbausysteme GmbhRocker drive for child recliners
US7537285 *Sep 8, 2005May 26, 2009Stewart Laverne LDevice that automatically rocks a rocking a chair and similar articles
US8561227 *Jan 28, 2010Oct 22, 2013Levaughn JenkinsCrib rocker assembly
US8956313 *Mar 21, 2011Feb 17, 2015Amy BryantPowered rocking chair
US20070007804 *Mar 21, 2006Jan 11, 2007Cosco Management, Inc.Juvenile relaxation apparatus with motion system
US20070063558 *Sep 8, 2005Mar 22, 2007Stewart Laverne LDevice that automatically rocks a rocking a chair and similar articles
US20100186164 *Jan 28, 2010Jul 29, 2010Levaughn JenkinsCrib rocker assembly
US20120022412 *Jan 26, 2012Amy BryantPowered Rocking Chair
US20120216347 *Aug 30, 2012Tundo Vincent EReciprocating Rocking Device
DE29517900U1 *Nov 11, 1995Jan 4, 1996Asenstorfer LudwigSchaukelantrieb für Kinderwippen
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/108, 297/260.2, 5/109
International ClassificationA47C3/02, A47D9/00, A47D11/00, A47C3/029, A47D9/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47D9/04, A47C3/029, A47D11/005
European ClassificationA47D11/00D, A47C3/029, A47D9/04