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Publication numberUS3916461 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateFeb 11, 1974
Priority dateFeb 14, 1973
Also published asCA999403A1, DE2406374A1
Publication numberUS 3916461 A, US 3916461A, US-A-3916461, US3916461 A, US3916461A
InventorsFritz Kerstholt
Original AssigneeGerdikerstholt Geb Spath
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Article of furniture with a multi-section support surface
US 3916461 A
Abstract
An article of furniture, preferably in the form of a couch or a bed with a multi-section support surface for an user reclining on the article, wherein at least one of the end sections is pivoted relative to a base frame, having at least one spring support system (16,16',16'',16''') provided which connects one end section (12,13) of the support surface either directly or by means of a beam (15) on the section with the base frame (10,10',18) or with the floor or with the beam of another section (12,17,13), or directly with another section (12,17,13) so that lifting of at least the end section is effected and in that at least one stop (20,34 36) is provided for each movable end section (12,13) for locking the latter in its particular relative position to the base frame (10,10').
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' United States Patent Kerstholt Nov. 4, 1975 ARTICLE OF FURNITURE WITH A 3,061,843 11/1962 Singer et al 5/66 MULTLSECTION SUPPORT SURFACE 3,283,342 11/1966 Pankertt, 5/66 3,581,320 6/1971 Degen 5/66 [75] Inventor: Fritz Kerstholt, Leun, Germany [73] Assignees: Gerdi Kerstholt geb. Spath; Fritz Kersthott v [22] Filed: Feb. 11, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 441,175

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Feb. 14, 1973 Germany 7305571 Mar. 9, 1973 Germany... 2311640 Apr. 5, 1973 Germany... 7312840 Apr. 26, 1973 Germany 7315769 [52] US. Cl 5/66; 297/340 [51] Int. Cl. A61G 07/10; A47C 03/32 [58] Field of Search 5/55, 56, 67-69; 247/340 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,658,209 11/1953 Travis 5/66 3,003,160 10/1961 Goodman 5/69 Primary Examiner-Casmir Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Gilbert L. Wells [57] ABSTRACT An article of furniture, preferably in the form of a couch or a bed with a multi-section support surface for an user reclining on the article, wherein at least one of the end sections is pivoted relative to a base frame, having at least one spring support system (16,16',l6,16") provided which connects one end section (12,13) of the support surface either directly or by means of a beam (15) on the section with the base frame (10,10,18) or with the floor or with the beam of another section (12,17,13), or directly with another section (12,17,13) so that lifting of at least the end section is effected and in that at least one stop (20,34 36) is provided for each movable end section (12,13) for locking the latter in its particular relative position to the base frame (10,10').

26 Claims, 15 Figures US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of5 3,916,461

US. Patent N0v.4, 1975 Sheet2of5 3,916,461

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 3 of5 3,916,461

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 SheetS of5 3,916,461

ARTICLE OF FURNITURE vWITII A MULTI-SECTION SUPPORT SURFACE CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS Applicants claim priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 for West German Utility Model (Gebrauchsmuster) G 73 055 71.7, entitled Recliner with Multi-Section Reclining Surface, filed Feb. 14, 1973;

West German Patent application P 23 11 640.7, entitled Seating or Reclining Furniture, filed Mar. 9, 1973;

West German Utility Model (Gebrauchsmuster) G 73 12 840.2, entitled Seating and/or Reclining Furniture with Movable Back, filed Apr. 5, 1973; and

West German Utility Model (Gebrauchsmuster) G 73 157 69.4, entitled Seating and/or Reclining Furniture with Movable Back, filed Apr. 26, 1973.

BACKGROUND OF THHE INVENTION The field of the invention are articles of furniture, preferably in the form of couchs or beds with independent adjustment of head and foot sections. The invention is particularly concerned with an article of furniture having a pluralsection reclining surface, in which at least one of the end sections is pivoted with respect to the base frame. Such articles are known per se. In one of the known embodiments, each adjustable section is provided with a hinge-mounted rail penetrating a catch of the base frame. When the tip of a section is lifted, the rail will slip over the teeth of the catch in order to penetrate the latter at the terminal position when the motion is completed and in order to support the section again moving downward. If subsequently the section is to be set to a more acute angle, then one must first lift the section again so that the rail will leave the teeth of the catch. The rail is lifted above the teeth by means of a pull rod mounted on the rail. Operating the recliner in this manner is complex and impossible by a person situated on the couch. To remedy this shortcoming, electric motors have been mounted with each of the sections to be adjusted and they are controlled by the user to carry out the desired adjustment of the section via spindle or spur rack drives. This solution, however, is very costly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One purpose of the invention is addressed to the task of creating a new couch or bed which allows adjustment on the part of a person situated prone on the recliner but without the expense of a motor drive.

The object of the present invention is an article of furniture of the kind initially mentioned which is characterized by being provided with at least one spring support system directly connecting an end section of the reclining surface to the base frame, or else via a beam mounted on the section, the beam also connected to the floor, or the section being connected to the beam of another section, or directly with the other section, so that lifting of at least one end section is effected, and that at least one stop for each movable end section is provided for locking the end sections in a particular relative position with respect to the base frame. At least one of the end sections may be mounted on a horizontal axle supported by the base frame, and the section may be selectively pivoted under load in the clockwise or counter-clockwise sense in any position it occupies with respect to the base frame, to the extent limiter means do not restrict such motions. Also, the middle section may be mounted on a horizontal axle of the base frame and be pivoted clockwise or counterclockwise under load from any relative position with respect to the base frame and to the extent allowed by the stops, the two end sections being linked to the middle one by means of articulated couplings. The spring support system may include systems with nonlinear spring characteristics, and may comprise at least one pneumatic or gas spring for the support system and the stop. A manually activated device may be provided for,

which will be common to at least the stops of two sec-- tions so as to lock these stops. This device also may be mounted on the base frame or directly on a section or to a beam of a section or a beam of the base frame. The device may be constructed as a quick-acting mechanism. It may be constructed to act in a stepwise manner so that upon being tripped, it will cause the stops to be released consecutively and singly, or in groups, or be locked in the same manner. Further, this blocking device may be designed as a slip clutch for at least one of the stops. A spring support system may be provided at the middle section or at a beam of the same and at the base frame or at the floor of the same, which will support these. A limit stop counteracting the spring load of the end section may be provided for the latter, which will act as a function of the relative position of the middle section with respect to thebase frame. This limit stop is designed as a support for the end section inclining further beyond the position defined by the activation of the limit stop and hence lifting the middle section. A spring support system may be designed as a support or a stop may be so dimensioned that the latter will simultaneously act as a limiter and a support. A Seetions beam may be mounted relative to the line of action of the spring support system in such an angular position that an increasing effective lever arm will obtain for a predetermined range of inclination angle if the section is displaced in such direction as to increase the force thereon by the spring system. The abovementioned limiter may be adjusted relative to the horizontally supported axle of the base frame. I

The advantage of the new article of furniture is that its sections can be set continuously relative one to another without a motor and without manual lifting. Two

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Embodiments of the article of furniture shown in schematic form in the drawings and described herein with similar considerations applying to the details are:

FIG. 1, the article of furniture of the present invention with movable end or foot and head sections;

FIG. la, a clamping device for the stops of FIG. 1;

FIG. lb, an end view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2, a couch or bed of the present invention with three movable sections;

FIG. 2a, an alternative embodiment of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3b, a control apparatus for the pneumatic springs of FIGS. 3 and 3a;

FIG. 4, a couch or bed of the present invention with a reclining surface in two sections;

FIG. 4a, a clamping device for the stops of FIG. 4 acting discretely;

FIG. 5, a couch or bed of the present invention having an additional abutting surface;

FIG. 5a, another form of the abutting mechanism of FIG. 5; I

FIG. 5b, is a front view showing the support adjustable with respect to its position relative to the base frame.

FIG. 6,,a couch or bed of the present invention with a clamping device at the beam of the middle section;

and

FIG, 7, still another embodiment of the couch or bed of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION oF THEPREFERRED EMBODIMENTS,

Base frame of the cou ch or bed is shown in FIG. 1 as being formed of frame resting on feet. A framelike top section 12 and a frame-like" bottom section 13 are rotatably supported aboutf a xle's 14. A u-shaped beam 1 5 is rigidly connected to each top and bottom section so that the legs of the U are mounted on the frame. A support spring is tensioned between the crosspart ofthe U of the top section 12 to the base frame, while the support spring for the bottom section 13 acts directly on the bottom section and also on the base frame. The spring associated with the bottom section is a conventional compression spring 16", while the spring system actingon the beam of the top section is atelescopic spring '16 acting stepwise. The springs cause lifting of the .tips of bottom section 13 and top section 12. As shown,'these springs act on the base frame at points so selected that whhen sections 12 and 13 incline, there will be an increasing effective lever arm each time with respect to the line of spring pull or push action, the arm then being normal to these lines and hence achieving its maximum value when the top or bottom section'is in the horizontal position. A middle section 17 between the previously mentioned ones is rigidly fastened to the base frame. The base frame is provided with a bracket 18 going downward in the region of the" middle section, the bracket holding clamping pin19 ofa clamping device in a borehole. Side bars 20 are mounted as stops in articulating manner in beams 15, encompassing clamping pin 19 by their slots 20'. The clamping device may be actuated by means of two levers 22 and two cable lines 23.

The stops may be advantageously so dimensioned in the couchs or beds described herewith and below that they will simultaneously act as limiters to the motion of the sections they are associated with.

FIG. 1a shows an embodiment of the clamping device. Bracket 18 of the base frame holds a clamping pin 19 supporting at one of its ends a spacer 19' and at its other end two cam plates 21 acting in the direction of its longitudinal axis, one of the cams being kept in its angular position with respect to the base frame while the other may pivot about the clamping pin by means of a handle 31 and will tensionally load the pin as a function of the relative position of the cam plates. Side bars 20 encompass clamping pin 19 by means of their lengthwise slots. They are kept apart by spacers 19'. It will be easily noticed that for changing lengthwise loading of the clamping pin, the side bars will be pressed one against the other at varying pressures and will thus be fixed with respect to the clamping pin.

In lieu of the embodiment of the clamping device shown above, one may also advantageously employ one wherein, instead of the front cam disks around the clamping pin, two parallel eccentric cam plates are supported on either side of the longitudinal axis of the clamping pin by means of an axle passing transversely through the clamping pin, the eccentric cam plates being adjustable in common by means of a handle. This clamping device and the one described above represent quick acting clamping devices whereby the desired locking or release of the stops is achieved in very short time by the mere motion of a lever.

It may be desired in certain applications that one or several stops will yield when a given loading is being exceeded, until the section has assumed its horizontal position. To that end, the pertinent stop is provided with its own clamping device, which will comprise a helical spring of appropriate dimension between the rear cam plate and the last spacer. When clamping occurs by means of the cam plate, the stop will be held only to the extent of theforce exerted by the helical spring. An example to that effect is shown in dashed lines in FIG. 1.

In lieu of the cam plates, one may make use in the embodiments shown of another, similarly acting clamping device.

Even though the stops are shown as side bars and are designated as such, they may also consist of loops or eyelets of a rigid material. Also, if a specially high pressure loading is required, the stops in the area of the clamping device may be made rough or be provided with teeth. In the latter case, the cam plates are provided with-the corresponding axial mating teeth.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 comprises a tubular base frame 10' in which the middle of. three reclining sections 12, 17, 13 is pivotably supported by a beam 10" and a horizontal axle 11. The other two sections are mounted to the center section by means of hinges 14. Further, center section 17 comprises a downward pointing bracket 17, both end sections also being provided with beams 15. Bracket 17' is connected by a conventional compression spring 16" to the beam at the foot section 13. This arrangement holds the advantage of having the foot section 13 remaining under constant spring load when the center section 17 rotates. Beam 15 of top section 12 is provided with a telescope spring 16' which will act step-wise at a given point of base frame 10' and which is so dimensioned that it cannot be compressed further beyond a predetermined relative position of part and sections 10', 17 and 12 but will thereupon act as a rigid support for section 12.

As already described in FIG. 1, it is of advantage for the proper operation of the new couch or bed that the operational lever arms increase to a definite angular position when the sections are inclined. This especially applies to couches or beds with three movable sections, where a growing operational lever arm of the associatedspring system results for instance when inclining section 12 or section 17 while keeping the set angle between the two sections, and also when simultaneously inclining the sections towards the base frame and with --respect,to one another. The-advantage applies especially in the last cited case, when the operational lever arm is very large and effective.

FIG. 3 shows a couch or bed in which center section 17 is rigidly connected with base frame 10. Both sections 12 and 13 are supported on axles 14 on the base frame. Beams 15 of these sections are interconnected by a compression spring 16" acting as a spring support system. Stops 20 associated with each section may be locked into their particular positions by means of a clamping device 19, 21 supported in bracket 18.

In lieu of the side bars and spring, pneumatic or gas springs may advantageously be used, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 3a. As shown, beams 15 each are connected by a pneumatic spring 48 and 49 respectively with bracket 18 of the base frame. Bracket 18 holds a control device allowing individual or common locking or release of the two springs. An embodiment of such a control is shown in FIG. 3b and described below. The pneumatic springs in this instance function simultaneously as spring support systems and stops. This is made possible on account of their special design.

The common axle for the pneumatic or gas springs mounted on the base frame at bracket 18 is embodied as a'pipe 50 provided with recesses 51. Each of pneumatic or gas springs 48 and 49 is screwed by its end into a thread 52 mounted at a right angle to the bearing bushings 53 of which the inner diameter is fitted to the OD of pipe 50. A control 54 is movably located inside pipe 50, both ends of the control being bevelled. Its length is such that control pins 48 and 49 can simultaneously rest on its untapered sleeve surface. By shifting the control in either direction (shown by double arrow), one may selectively lock the two pneumatic springs individually or simultaneously and thereby lock or release either or both sections.

FIG. 4 shows a further embodiment in which both sections 12 and 13, section 13 being made especially long, are supported on a common axle 14 at base frame 10. Again both sections are provided with beams 15 each subject to stepped telescope spring 16' action. The support spring associated with section 12 is mounted on the base frame, whereas that associated with section 13 acts on the foundation. Stops 20 associated with the beams operate together with a clamping device actuated by handle 31 and mounted on bracket 18 of the base frame. Again the loading points of the spring support systems are so .selected with respect to beams 15 and their angular positions relating to sections 12 and 13 so that the maximum operational lever arm is obtained for the horizontal position of the spring support systems.

On occasion, it may be desirable that only one of the sections be changed in its relative position to the base frame, while the other(s) are to be kept unchanged. In such a case, a step-wise acting clamping device can be advantageously applied, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4a. This clamping device comprises a center piece 39 which is rigidly connected with the base frame (not shown) of the couch or bed. Center piece 39 is provided with a transverse bore at each of its ends, and these bores allow passage to clamping bolts 27' and 27". The first bolt is provided at one of its ends with an inwardly rounded head and at its other end with a thread holding an inwardly rounded nut. The other :clamping bolt 27" is also provided with a head at one of its ends and holds eccentric cam bilaterally by means of an axle 29, the cams being rotatable in common by means of a handle 31. The two clamping bolts are loosely connected on each side of center piece 39 by a steel spring bar 37. Stops 34 and 36 designed as rods and shown here in cross section are inserted between the center piece and the bar. Two stops are associated with one section of the reclining surface and the other two opposite ones with the other section of the reclining surface. Safety pins 39' ensure that stops 34 will be kept opposite the upper part of the center piece. The spacing of the bars in the region of clamping bolts 27 is so adjusted that it will be slightly less than the width of the center piece plus the diameter of the two stops 34. If rotation of eccentric cams 30 is performed now by means of handle 31, then bars 37 exerting pressure on the eccentric cams will first lock stops 34, stops 36 still being freely movable. Upon further rotation of the eccentric cams, the bars will bend and also clamp stops 36. This quick acting clamping device therefore allows the locking of only one of the sections while the other remains free to move, or else stops both.

It is easily seen that more than the number of stops shown may be locked by means of this quick acting clamping device, the association of these stops being undertaken in accordance with the desired requirements. Hence, more than two sections of a couch or bed may also be locked by means of this quick acting clamping device.

FIG. 5 again shows an embodiment in which center section 17 is rotatably supported by means of a horizontal axle 11 on base frame 10. This is obtained by means of a downward pointing bracket 17'. Foot section 13 and head section 12 are connected to center section 17 by means of articulations 14'. In this instance, simple telescope springs 16" on one hand and step telescope spring 16 on the other are provided as spring support systems. The clamping device for the stops also is mounted on a bracket 18 of the base frame, which bracket also holds the spring 16'. The spring 16' in this instance, similar to the situation ilustrated in FIG. 2, may be of such dimensions that it will serve as support for rear, inclining section 12 beyond a certain relative position of part and sections l2, l7, 10. However, one may also dimension stop 20 associated with section 12 so that it will assume the function of the rigid support. Lastly, the rigid support may consist of additional constructional elements, for example as shown in FIG. 5a. It will be hoticed that beam 15 of section 12 holds a roller 33 at its free end, the roller being capable of operating in concert with a stop track 35 mounted on base frame 10. Reversal of this apparatus is shown in dashed lines in FIG. 5, where rollers 32 are rotatably supported on both sides of the base frame 10 and are capable of operating together with the back side of section 12.

Lastly, one may desire to make the support adjustable with respect to its position relative to the base frame. The advantage obained thereby is free selection within certain limits of the operational location of the rigid support, which may be of particular significance for the ailing or invalid using such a couch or bed. Such an embodiment is shown in front view in FIG. 5b. A spring support system, consisting of telescope springs, holds by means of its upper eyelet the cross part of beam 15 of section 12, while its lower eyelet is mounted to bracket 18 of the base frame 10 by means of an axle 14''. One side bar 37 each is mounted on either side of the telescope spring on the axle 14, the

side bars being connected by a ring 38 surrounding the telescope, spring. A further side bar 37 is associated with each, side bar 37,- side bars 37 being provided at their upper ends with a V-shaped or semi-circular recess for seating beam 15. Side bars 37' are provided with a plurality of bores 40, two of which correspond to a guide pin 41 mounted in side bar 37 and one bore accepts a butterfly screw 42 inserted into side bar 37.

As maybe seen, following the loosening of screws 42, side bars 37' may be arranged in varying positions with side bars 37, so that the length of the rigid support may be varied. In this manner, it is easy to vary the operational point of pivoting motion of section 12 and to adapt it to the user of the couch or bed.

Even though the clamping device was shown supported at the base frame or at a section of the couch or bed, or ata beam of the couch or bed, fundamentally one may also mount the clamping device on a stop or a spring support system without thereby exceeding the scope of the invention. Similar considerationsapply in the same fundamental .manner to the embodiments shown in the Figures, which show combinations of a given kind of constructional elements, actuation points of springs, levers, etc. Interchanges allow combinations of different kin dswhich also represent useful articles of furniture and wherein-use is made of the ideas disclosed herein and all within the scope of the present invention. For example, see the embodiment of FIG. 7.

Particularitieswere described and claimed in relation to the figures which .will provide reclining furniture with special'advantages over the known art. Many of these particularities may also be applied to furniture for seating, and to that extent,it is the intention of the presentapplication to protect the application to furniture forseating.

METH D OF'CARRYING OUT THE PREFERRED MBODIMENTS With particular reference to FIG. 2, the new article of furniture operates as follows:

- Assume the mentioned sections are in the relative positionshown-by dashed lines. If the user of the couch or bed ,now simultaneously inclines section 12 or even sections 12 and 17 because he is leaning back, then spring system 16 will be compressed as much as is possible. But thereafter it will constitute a rigid support for the beam of section 12, this section then resting upon the beam while inclining proceeds and being guided by it in circular manner about the junction point of spring system 16' at the base frame. Thus section 12 rotates further in the clockwise sense, while section 17 pivots in the counterclockwise sense. These motions continue until section 12 rests by means of its free end on, the rear, upward bent end of base frame 1 acting as a limiter. Determined by the selection of design length, angular positions etc.- .of the constructional components, the. horizontal position will then also have been assumed by'center section 17, so that an adjoining horizontal position will result for both sections 12 and 17.

The bottom or foot section also may be adjusted in rising or falling manner by appropriate pressure from the legs of the user against the force exerted by the associated spring system, and the horizontal position may be obtained similarly.

In this instance too, each movable section comprises a stop 20 that can be locked in its particular relative position by means of a common clamping device mounted on beam 10" .of base frame 10. The clamping device is actuated by means of a handle 31.

Obviously, the spring system associated with the bottom section may. actuate latter directly or also at bracket 17 of-center section 17 (FIG. 2a).

As was shown, operation of the couch or bed described is especially favorable when spring support systerns of non-linear characteristics, for instance stepwise, are used. On this basis, the support spring associated with top section 12 is designed as a discretely acting telescope spring. Other embodiments are conveivable and feasible.

A special characteristic of this new couch or bed with movable center section and those described below consists in the capability of independently changing the relative angular positions to the foundation of two adjacent'sections interconnected by means of articulations. It is possible, therefore,'to change arbitrarily the relative angular position of one section while simultaneously maintaining the angular setting of the other section relative to the foundation or to the first section, or vice versa', to maintain the angular position of one section while changing that of the other, or to move both sections each in the clockwise or counterclockwise sense, unless the limiters should prevent this. Because of the balanced nature of the system, each position once reached may then be maintained without undue application or force, if the stops are out of operation. The new couch or bed allows a varied range of I 1. An article of furniture comprisi'ng' 'a"base frame and a plurality of support members providing a multisection support surface for a user reclinin'gon the article, said support members including a middle section pivotably mounted at the middle portion thereof on bearings relative to the base frame and first and second end sections mounted pivotably at a first end and a second end of said middle section on bearings at inner ends of said end sections for movement of said end sections through different open angles relative to'said base frame and said middle section and at least one section connected by at least one spring support system said base frame and said end sections having stop means for locking said end sections in desired positions relative to said base framewithout being braced by another support member. v I

c 2. The article of claim 1, wherein at least one section (13, 17) is provided with at least one beam (15,17)

projecting therefrom, the beam connected by at least one spring support system (16') to said middle section (13, 17) directly.

3. The article of claim 1, wherein said middle section 17) has a stop 20 rdrid'ckin said middle section relative to said base frame (10, 10').

4. The article as claimed in claim 1, wherein said stop means containing a common stop device has a handle for loosening and securing said stops of at least two sections simultaneously.

5. The article of claim v4, wherein said common stop device is mounted on,,said base frame or a bracket thereof.

6. The article of claim 4, wherein said'common stop 7. The article of claim 4, wherein said common stop device is a step-wise acting mechanism wherein said stops (34, 36, 48, 49) are released or locked in groups or individually one after the other or simultaneously.

8. The article of claim 4, wherein said stop device is a slip clutch for at least one of the stops.

9. The article of claim 8, wherein said beam (18) is a vertical bracket projecting down from said base frame.

10. The article of claim 1, wherein at least one end section has a beam is so disposed relative to the line of action of the spring support system (16, 16', 16", 38, 49) connected thereto that on the end section (12, 13) connected to that beam being pivotably displaced in such a direction as to increase the force exerted thereon by the spring system the effective lever arm exerted on that end section by the spring system increases for a determined range of inclination.

11. The article of claim 1, wherein said bearings of the middle section are mounted on a horizontal axle (11) connected to said base frame and are situated in the two middle quarters of the length of said middle section (17).

12. The article of claim 1, wherein said spring support system has a non-linear characteristic.

13. The article of claim 1, wherein said spring support system is a pneumatic spring also functioning as a stop.

14. The article as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one of the end sections is connected by said at least one spring support system to said middle section.

15. The article of claim 1, wherein said stop means have a common stop device with a stepwise acting mechanism, in one end position of which said stop means have means for simultaneous release.

16. The article of claim 1, wherein one end section (12) is connected to the base frame (10) by a first spring system and wherein said middle section (17) has a second spring system with one end connected to said middle section and a second end connected to said base frame.

17. The article of claim 1, wherein at least one of said end sections is connected to said middle section by said at least one spring support system and said spring support system has a non-linear characteristic.

18. The article of claim 1, wherein at least one of said end sections is connected to said middle section by said at least one spring support system comprising a pneumatic spring also functioning as a stop.

19. The article of claim 1, wherein at least one of said end sections is connected to said middle section by said at least one spring support system comprising a gas spring also functioning as a stop.

20. The article of claim 1, wherein a beam (15) at an end section (12, 13) is fixed at a given angular position so that an increasing effective lever arm with respect to spring action line results.

21. The article of claim 1, wherein said spring support system is a gas spring also functioning as a stop.

22. The article of claim 1, wherein said stop means has a common stop device mounted on one of said section.

23. The article of claim 1, wherein said stop means has a common stop device with a stepwise acting mechanism wherein said stops (34, 36, 48, 49) are secured individually one after the other.

24. The article of claim 1, wherein said stop means has a stop device with a slip clutch for at least one of the stops.

25. An article of furniture comprising a base frame and a plurality of support members providing a multisection support surface for a user reclining on the article, said support members including a middle section pivotably mounted at the middle portion thereof on bearings relative to the base frame and first and second end sections mounted pivotably at a first end and a second end of said middle section on bearings at inner ends of said end sections for movement of said end sections through different open angles relative to said base frame and said middle section and at least one section connected by at least one sprin'g support system to said base frame and said end sections having stop means for locking said end sections in desired positions relative to said base frame without being braced by another support member, and at least one limiter device (32, 33, 35, 16', 20, 37', 37") associated with at least one end section (12), said limiter device becoming effective in dependence on the position of said movable middle section (17) relative to said base frame and being constructed as a bearing to support the end section, which is pivotably displaceable beyond the position at which the limiter device becomes effective to lift the end portion of the center section (17).

26. The article of claim 26, wherein said limiter (37', 37 is relatively adjusted with respect to a horizontal axle (11) supported by said base frame (10) on which said bearings of the middle section are mounted.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/618, 297/340
International ClassificationA47C20/08, A47C20/00, A47C17/16, A47C17/00, A47C7/44, A47C7/40, A47C20/04, A47C1/022, A47C1/024
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/44, A47C20/048, A47C1/024, A47C17/16, A47C20/08
European ClassificationA47C20/04G, A47C20/08, A47C7/44, A47C17/16, A47C1/024