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Publication numberUS3916462 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateAug 5, 1974
Priority dateMar 26, 1974
Publication numberUS 3916462 A, US 3916462A, US-A-3916462, US3916462 A, US3916462A
InventorsGeorge Henry Riches
Original AssigneeGeorge Henry Riches
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mechanism for converting a couch into an upper and lower bed
US 3916462 A
Abstract
A convertible couch which when in the couch forming position, forms a seat. The seat can be extended to form a single bed of conventional width. The seat back can be elevated and brought to a horizontal position to form an upper and lower bed, each having the width of a conventional bed. In conjunction therewith, the seat or lower bed can be extended to form a lower double bed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 1 1 3,916,462 Riches Nov. 4, 1975 MECHANISM FOR CONVERTING A COUCH 2,723,401 11/1955 Horst 5/37 R INT AN UPPER AND LOWER BED 3,015,114 l/1962 5/86 3,191,194 6/1965 Griffin 5/9 R Inventori George Henry Rlches, 170 3,258,787 7/1966 Emmons 5/8 R Roehampton Ave., Toronto, 3,290,956 12/1966 Black et al 5/63 Ontario, Canada M4P1R2 3,736,601 6/1973 Riches 5/9 R [22] Filed: Aug. 5, 1974 pp No: 494,968 Przmary Exammer-Casmn A. Nunberg Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 454,912, March 26, [57] ABSTRACT 1974 abandoned A convertible couch which when in the couch forming position, forms a seat. The seat can be extended to Q 5/9 3 form a single bed of conventional width. The seat [58] Fieid 17 18 28 back can be elevated and brought to a horizontal position to form an upper and lower bed, each having the 5/63 296/24 28 C width of a conventional bed. In conjunction therewith, {56] References Cited '31:; 32th:! lower bed can be extended to form a lower UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,297,602 9/1942 Woller 5/9 R 5 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures r 2e-l-- 57 20 l 22 in b 11 24- 1.-.. j 9 23 4-7 5 l I 1121. :J 2 g 1 T 1% Q =1 US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of 6 3,916,462

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 2 of6 3,916,462

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 3 of6 3,916,462

- Milli? US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet4 0f6 Q 3,916,462

MECHANISM FOR CONVERTING A COUCH INTO AN UPPER AND LOWER BED This application is a continuation-in-part of my United States application Ser. No. 454,912 filed Mar. 26, 1974, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION My prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,736,601, describes a convertible sofa or couch which can be converted from a sofa into a bed having upper and lower beds of conventional width. The back of the couch telescopes into the base portion of the couch so that the portion of back which projects above the seat has substantially the same height as that of a conventional sofa. When in the elevated position, an open space is left in the rear of the seat which space is filled by a removable cushioned section to give the seat the proper bed width.

OUTLINE OF THE INVENTION The present invention has as its objective, the construction of the couch to provide,

a. an improved means for elevating the back to the raised position and then be swung to the horizontal bed forming position;

b. to improve the design of the couch and also provide for the expansion of the lower bed;

c. to form a conventional single lower bed without elevating the back;

d. by raising the back to form i. two single beds or ii. to provide a lower double and an upper single bed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The invention will be described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation, with the front wall removed, showing the couch in its closed position, herein referred to as its normal position;

FIG. 2 is a cross section on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 with the front wall in place;

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the couch in the back in its elevated horizontal position;

FIG. 3a is a fragmentary cross section on the line 3a3a of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4 is a cross section on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a diagram of a suitable electric circuit for an electric jack for raising and lowering the movable back;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating an alternative construction with the seat and movable back removed;

FIG. 6a is a view similar to FIG. 6 with the operative parts in the elevated position;

FIG. 7 is a side view, in cross section of the couch shown in FIG. 6 on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6, but completely assembled;

FIG. 8 is a cross section on the line 88 of FIG. 7 of a completely assembled couch in the elevated position;

FIG. 9 is a perspective front elevation of an alternative construction to that shown in the preceding views and is on the sheet with FIG. 5;

FIG. 10 is a cross section on the line 10-10 of FIG. 9 on an enlarged scale; and

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 10 but with the front panel swung to the horizontal position.

The base of the couch, as shown in the drawings, includes a floor 10, a fixed back 11, end walls 12, 13, a

fixed front wall 14, longitudinal front and rear stringers 15,16 in spaced apart parallel relationship and having their respective ends supported on the top edge of the end walls 12,13. Because of the length of the stringers in some of the constructions, it may be necessary to provide one or two intermediate supports. In the present illustration, there are shown two intermediate supports 17, 18. The rear stringer 16 is spaced a sufficient distance inwardly from the fixed back to leave a longitudinal slot 19 the full length of the couch, the slot being of sufficient width to house therein a movable back 20 with its upholstery 21 and which will be described in detail. The front stringer is placed inwardly of the front edge a sufficient distance to provide an open slot 9 for a storage space for the supplemental seat hereinafter mentioned. A lifting mechanism generally indicated by the number 22 for raising and lowering the movable back 20 will be described in detail later.

An upholstered sliding seat 23 is supported by the end walls 12,13 and the stringers 15,16, the width of the seat extending from the front wall 14 to the rear stringer 16. To prevent the seat sliding forward beyond the seat forming position when the vehicle is in motion, a retaining strip 40 is attached to the underside of the seat to engage with the front stringer 15. The retaining strip does not interfere with the seat being slid backward to cover the slot 19 when the back is raised as hereinafter described.

The means for raising and lowering the back 20 is shown in FIGS. 1A to 2C inclusive and consists of an electric jack made by Reese Products Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana. The electric jack generally indicated by the number 22 consists of a reciprocatable outer tube 24, a stationary ram tube 25, electric motor 26 and a screw jack (not shown) which is housed within the jack and driven by electric motor which is housed within the top end of the jack. The reciprocatable tube 24 is reciprocated by the ram tube. The electric jack has a total vertical lift of 18 inches which is adequate for the purpose but a shorter lift may be used providing the lift is sufficient to lift the bottom edge of the back clear of the stringer 16. This, of course, will require the seat 23 to he slid forward so that it will not interfere with the back swinging to the horizontal position. A preferred wiring circuit will be described later.

The novel means for operatively mounting the movable seat back 20 on the electric jack comprises the following structure. There is mounted along the top edge of the seat back a hinge 27 which can be similar to a piano hinge spring loaded by a torsion spring 28 to assist in lifting the seat back from the vertical to the horizontal position. A pair of lifting arms 29,30 have their lower ends 31,32 firmly attached to the lower end of the outer tube 24 and their upper ends 33,34 fastened to the hinge 27 about midway between the respective ends and the back 11 and the longitudinal center of the top edge of the back as illustrated. The arms 29,30 thus provide a pair of retractable or telescopic members operatively connected to a single screw jack and will provide adequate stable support for the rear part of the movable back 20 when in either position (horizontal or closed positions). It is to be understood that other means for hingedly connecting the lifting arms 29,30 to the movable seat back may be used.

To stabilize the jack 22, there are provided upper and lower stabilizing support members 35,36. The upper support member 35 has a central bearing member 37 in which the outer tube 24 is mounted and has a sliding fit therein, the fit being such as to allow the tube 24 to slide therein and at the same time prevent wobble. On each side of the central bearing, the support member 35 is provided with slideways 38,39 in which the arms 29,30 are housed with a sliding fit. The slideways 38,39 are of sufficient length to allow the arms 29,30 to move up and down between the couchs normal position and the open position but with a fit which is tight enough to prevent lateral movement. The upper support member 35, as will be seen from the drawings, is bolted to the fixed back 11 adjacent the top edge thereof, by bolts as indicated by the numbers 41,42,43 and 44. The lower support member 36 is in the form of a bracket in which the lower end is journalled with a tight fit and fastened securely in place to the fixed back 11. Of course, if desired, the lower end of the ram tube 25 may be bolted directly to the floor and the lower support member 36 may be dispensed with. However, the preferred means is the lower support member 36 because it will give more rigid support. When in the open position, in which position the movable seat back 20 forms the upper berth, its front edge suitably supported by a support means such as straps 45,46 are removably attached to hooks (not shown) permanently secured to the ceiling, roof or other suitable fixed member. The space left at the rear of the seat 23, when the back is elevated, is filled by sliding the seat 23 backward which then leaves a space of equal size in the front. This space is filled by a supplemental removable seat 47, which when not required, may be stored behind the fixed front 14, as shown in FIG. 1B.

FIG. 3 shows a diagram exemplifying an electric circuit for operating the electric jack. There are two circuits, one for extending the jack to raise the movable seat back 20 upwardly, referred to as the up-circuit, and the other to retract the jack downward to the closed position, hereinafter referred to as the closing circuit. The jack carries a switch operating member 47 which will be hereinafter described.

The up-circuit includes a hand operated switch 48, a normally closed solenoid switch 49 and a top limit switch 50 which is normally closed. The closing circuit includes a circuit breaker 51 normally closed, of the solenoids switch 49, a bottom limit switch 52 which is normally in the closed position and a circuit breaker 53 which is opened and closed as hereinafter described. To raise the seat back 20 to the elevated position, switch 48 is manually closed which simultaneously energizes solenoid 49 to open the closing circuit. When the seat back 20 reaches the elevated position so as to have the bottom edge clear of the slot 19, preferably to the top of cushion on the seat 23, the switch operating member 47 will engage with and open switch 50 stopping further upward movement of the jack 22. At the same time spring 28 will swing the seat back towards the elevated position which movement allows circuit breaker 53, which up to this point has been held closed by the seat back, to automatically open. This breaking of the circuit de-energizes the solenoid and allows circuit breaker 51 to return to its normal closed position. At this point, both circuits are de-energized. Of course, when in the elevated position, the front edge is supported in a suitable manner such as by straps 45,46 which are connected to hooks (not shown) in the ceil- To close the seat back, the straps 45,46 are disconnected and the back pushed down until it is substantially vertical with its end edges in line with guide tracks 54 mounted on each of the end walls within the base. When in the vertical position, the circuit breaker 53 is closed and as the other switch 52 and circuit breaker 51 are also closed, the down circuit is energized and motor 26 lowers the jack until the switch operating member 47 engages bottom limit switch 52. It will thus be seen that, once the back is brought into the vertical position, the lowering of the back is entirely automatic. In the lowering movement, as soon as the switch operating member 47 moves downward, the top limit switch 50 is closed and thus resets the up-circuit for its next raising operation.

The alternative structure illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 11 will now be described. In this embodiment, parts bearing the same numbers correspond to similarly numbered parts in FIGS. 1 through 4. The wiring plan shown in FIG. 5 will be applicable to the structure of FIGS. 6 through 11. Certain parts illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 4 have been omitted and replaced by a modified alternative structure. These changes will be apparent from the following description and the drawings.

The electric jack 22 has been moved from the rear of the fixed back 11 to the front side thereof. It is mounted vertically substantially midway between the vertical edges of the back 11 and held in that position by a bearing member in which the outer tube 24 of the jack 22 has a sliding fit. The bearing member 60 is bolted to the back 11. The bottom end of the ram tube 25 is fixed to the anchor plate 61 which in turn is secured to the floor 10. A horizontal stabilizing bar 62 is secured to each of the arms 29,30 in a position so that when the jack is raised to its predetermined top limit, the top edge of the bar 62 will be substantially in alignment with the top horizontal edge of the fixed back 11. It will be seen from FIG. 6 that the stabilizing bar 62 extends a substantial distance beyond the arms 29,30 so that the ends of the bar are outside the upper ends of the arms. When the stabilizing bar reaches the upper limit it slides into engagement with a pair of clamping members 63,64 as will be seen clearly from FIG. 8. Each of the members 63,64, are mounted on the top edge of the fixed back as shown with front lip 65 of each member turned out to provide a lead-in for the end portions of the bar 64.

Instead of having the seat 23 arranged to slide back to cover the slot 19 and the supplemental removable seat 46, the following alternative structure has been provided. The seat 23 has been secured in a fixed position and a filler seat portion generally indicated by the number 66 is provided, the filler seat portion moving automatically up and down with the jack. The seat portion 66 comprises horizontal back portions 67,68 which extend inwardly from the side walls 12,13 respectively, adjacent the jack 22. The width of the portions 67,68 are equal to the distance from the front edge of the back 11 to the front of the tube 24 of the jack. A filler member 69 is hinged by means of houses 70 to the front edge of the portions 67,68 and extends the full length of the slot 19, that is from just inside the end wall 12 to just inside the end wall 13. Sufficient clearance should be provided so that the ends of member 69 will not bend against the end walls 12,13. The width of filler member 69 is such that, when it is moved to the horizontal position the front edge will rest on and be supported by the stringer 16. The portions 67,68 are carried on tension springs 71,72 which are attached to the stabilizing bar 62 and the portions 67,68. A pair of stops 73,74 are attached to the back 11, and are positioned to effectively stop the portions 67,68 when they are co-planar with the seat 23. Each of the stops 73,74 are apertured at 75,76 so that the springs can move freely therethrough. To guide the portions 67,68 in their up and down movement, vertical guide rods 77,78 are provided. The rod 77 is entered through quide hole 79 and has its upper end fastened to the stop 73 and its lower end fastened to the floor 10. Likewise, the guide 78 is entered through the guide hole 80 formed in the portion 68, with the upper end fastened to stop 74 and the lower end to the floor 10.

The construction described in the preceding paragraph permits the jack to continue its upward movement after the seat portion has been lifted, by the jack, to its upper predetermined limit. When the seat portion reaches its stop position, the filler member 69 (which in use is upholstered with material of the same depth as seat 23) is folded down as shown in FIG. 9, and by rais- ,ing the back edge of the cushion on the seat 23 the front edge of the filler member will be supported on stringer l6 and thus cover the slot left by the raising of the back. To lower the back to the closed position, the member 69 is swung to the vertical position. As the jack lowers, the seat portion 66 will telescope into and be stored in the seat.

The structure shown in FIGS. 9 through 11 illustrates a modified couch which makes it possible to convert the couch into a conventional bed without elevating the seat back 22 as previously described with reference to FIGS. 1 through 9. In FIGS. 9 through 11 the lifting mechanism has been omitted since it would be repetitive. The parts which correspond to those previously described have been given similar references. The base of the couch has been modified by omitting the front wall 14 and replacing it with a front framing member 81 along the bottom front edge, the member 81 having its opposite ends permanently joined to the end walls 12,13. A fixed seat 82 is supported by the front and rear stringers 15,16 and attached in non-sliding relationship. A front panel 84 closes the front of the base and is mounted in place by a piano hinge 85 which attaches to the top edge (FIG. of the panel 84 to the stringer 15. This permits the front panel to be swung from the vertical position (FIG. 10) to the horizontal position (FIG. 11) in which position it is co-planar with seat 82 and thus makes a conventional single bed. A pair of folding legs 86,87 are fastened adjacent the front edge (FIG. 11) of the hinged panel 84 to support the panel in its horizontal bed forming position. Seat cushions 88,89 complete the bed, the cushion 89 when not required can be conveniently stored in the base.

What I claim is:

1. In a convertible sofa having a hollow base, a fixed back and a vertically reciprocatable seat back movable between a couch forming position and elevated horizontal bed forming position and in which in the couch forming position the bottom portion of the seat back is stored in the base, means for raising the seat back to the horizontal bed forming position and lowering it to the couch forming position comprising a power operated jack having a vertically reciprocatable jacking member with a travel sufficient to lift the portion of the seat back stored in the base clear of the top of the base, an upper stabilizing member slidably securing the jack to the fixed back midway between the lateral ends of the seat back to thereby retain the jacking member in a vertical position during its up and down travel, and lifting members connected to the vertically reciprocatable jacking member and hingedly connected to the seat back adjacent the top edge thereof.

2. In a convertible sofa according to claim 1 wherein the lifting member comprises a bracket consisting of a pair of diagonal arms, one arm having one end secured to the base of the jacking member and diverging outwardly therefrom with the other arm having one end secured to the base of the jacking member diametrically opposite the said end of the first mentioned arm and the opposite ends of each arm being hingedly connected to the seat back between the jack and the respective lateral ends of the seat back.

3. In a convertible sofa according to claim 2 wherein the stabilizing members comprise a pair of bearing members which house said jack restraining it against wabble and a guideway for each arm permitting free travel of the arms in a vertical plane and restraining movement in a horizontal plane.

4. In a convertible sofa having a hollow base, a fixed back, a seat supported on the base, a substantially wide slot extending the full length of the couch between the rear edge of the seat and the fixed back, and a vertically reciprocatable ,seat back movable between a couch forming position and an elevated horizontal bed forming position and in which in the couch forming position the bottom portion of the seat extends through said slot and is stored in the base, vertically reciprocatable means for raising the seat back to the horizontal bed forming position and lowering it to the couch forming position comprising a vertically reciprocatable power operatedjack centrally mounted on the fixed back, said jack having a vertically reciprocatable member and a stationary ram member in which the reciprocatable member has a travel sufficient to lift the portion of the seat back stored within the base clear of the top of the base, a stabilizing member securing the reciprocatable member to the fixed back midway between the lateral ends of the seat back for up and down movement, and lifting arms connected to the reciprocatable member and hingedly connected to the seat back adjacent the top edge thereof, said lifting member comprises a bracket consisting of a pair of diagonal arms, one arm having one end secured to the base of the reciprocatable member and diverging outwardly therefrom with the other arm having one end secured to the base of the reciprocatable member diametrically opposite the said end of the first mentioned arm and the opposite ends of each arm being hingedly connected to the seat back between the jack and the respective lateral ends of the seat back.

5. In a convertible sofa according to claim 4 wherein the stabilizing member comprises a horizontal cross bar secured to each arm and extending outwardly which house said jack restraining it against wobble and a guideway therefrom, and clamping members carried by the fixed back and positioned to engage said cross bar when the reciprocatable member reaches the predetermined limit of its upward movement.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2297602 *Nov 13, 1939Sep 29, 1942Simmons CoShip berth
US2723401 *Dec 11, 1951Nov 15, 1955Brede-Horst ElizabethCombined backrest and bed widening extension for couches
US3015114 *Dec 29, 1958Jan 2, 1962Frederick A SeibCombination litter and carriage means therefor
US3191194 *Aug 27, 1962Jun 29, 1965Griffin Mickey EarlSofa-bunk bed
US3258787 *Dec 11, 1964Jul 5, 1966EmmonsSofa bed
US3290956 *Dec 10, 1963Dec 13, 1966American Seating CoFunction selecting mechanism
US3736601 *Oct 12, 1971Jun 5, 1973Riches G WisemanConvertible sofa
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4440439 *Feb 26, 1982Apr 3, 1984Szabo George S AConvertible seats for transport
US4550946 *Aug 19, 1982Nov 5, 1985Hanemaayer Jacobus NVan layout
US4685719 *Oct 28, 1985Aug 11, 1987Hanmar Home Equipment LimitedConvertible sitting-sleeping arrangement for recreational vehicle
US5143417 *Jul 5, 1991Sep 1, 1992Starcraft Rv, Inc.Shelving unit for collapsible campers
US6353945 *Feb 25, 2000Mar 12, 2002James N. JannetidesMulti-positionable bed
US7039968 *Oct 13, 2004May 9, 2006Mark WarmothHinge assembly for folding dinette
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/9.1, 296/69, 296/65.18, 296/174, 5/17
International ClassificationA47C17/16, A47C17/32
Cooperative ClassificationA47C17/32, A47C19/205
European ClassificationA47C19/20D, A47C17/32