Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUSRE24964 E
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 11, 1961
Filing dateDec 6, 1952
Publication numberUS RE24964 E, US RE24964E, US-E-RE24964, USRE24964 E, USRE24964E
InventorsCharles Eames
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Furniture frame construction
US RE24964 E
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent "ice FURNITURE FRAME CONSTRUCTION Charles Eames, Venice, Calif., assignor to Herman Miller, Inc., a corporation of Michigan Original No. 2,708,476, dated May 17, 1955, Ser. No. 324,518, Dec. 6, 1952. Application for reissue May 14, 1957, Ser. No. 659,458

8 Claims. (Cl. 155-187) Matter enclosed in heavy brackets appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specification; matter printed in italics indicates the additions made by reissue.

The present invention relates to an improvement in metal furniture frames and method of making the same. An object of said invention has been to produce a lightweight steel wire shell or frame for chairs, or the like, which will have inherent curved contours conforming generally to body contours of persons in sitting or reclining positions thereon. A further object has been to provide a lightweight metal shell or furniture frame which is particularly well adapted for use with pre-formed inherently contoured upholstery of a readily attachable and detachable type. A further object has been to provide a frame of the character indicated and which may conveniently and advantageously be mounted or supported upon bases of widely varied materials, construction, and designs. A further object has been to provide a type of furniture frame which can be nested one upon another and shipped with substantial economy, both in packing and shipping, over other types of furniture.

An object of the present invention, so far as it involves method, is to provide procedures whereby wire mesh skeleton furniture frames or shells can be made advantageously under mass production conditions. It is also contemplated that said method, as applied to said product, insures uniformly effective results in the durability and appearance thereof.

Further objects of and advantages inherent in the present invention will in part appear. from the following specification and the appended drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a view in perspective of a chair frame embodying my invention;

Figure 2, a side elevation thereof;

Figure 3, a front elevation thereof;

Figure 4, a bottom plan view thereof;

Figure 5, a view in perspective showing an initial arrangement of crossed lengths of wire stock welded together at their intersections to form a flat intermediate grid or mesh;

Figure 6, a view in perspective of said grid after deformation by drawing and pressure;

Figure 7, a view in perspective of said initial grid with additional cross wires welded to the longitudinal wires at both sides of the deformed grid to form a seat grid and a back grid;

Figure 8, a view in perspective of the assembled wires with the back grid deformed;

Figure 9, a view in perspective of the assembled wires with the seat grid deformed;

Figure 10, a view in perspective with parts in exploded relation illustrating the peripheral wires and the fastens ring;

Figure 11, an enlarged fragmentary view partly in section on the line 1111 of Figure 3;

Figure 12, an enlarged fragmentary view partly in sec tion on the line 12-12 of Figure 2; and

Figure 13 is an enlarged fragmentary view partly in section on the line 1313 of Figure 4.

Re. 24,964 Reissued Apr. 11, 19,61

The invention, so far as it relates to a skeleton typ metal furniture frame or shell construction, resides in a combination wherein a plurality of lengths of wire'ar ranged in crossed relation with another plurality 0 lengths of wire and welded thereto at their intersection provide a mesh or grid-like body support with portions 0 the mesh distorted to form compound curved sectiona contours conforming in general to body contours of person in seated or reclining position thereon, and perimeter wire or rim member extends across and i welded to end portions of said lengths of wire.

The method of the present invention includes the step of welding intermediate portions of cross wires to inter mediate portions of longitudinal wires to form a fiat mes] or grid, applying die pressure to said flat mesh to draw 0 elongate portions of the wires thereof and distort tht same to form a mesh of compound curved sectional con tour, welding additional sets of cross wires to other por tions of said longitudinal wires to form a flat seat mesl portion and a flat back mesh portion, and applying de forming die pressure to said additional flat portions t1 produce back and seat mesh portions having inheren compound curved sectional contours.

One form of furniture frame according to the presen invention and as shown in the drawings, includes a com posite body-supporting element or shell formed primaril of metal strands, as wire or rod stock, and having inheren body-conforming contours. Such a shell comprises lon gitudinal wires 1 and transverse wires 2 preferably of 1| gauge steel wire with intermediate portions of wires 1 arranged across and welded to intermediate portions 0 wires 2, as at 12', Figures 11 and 12 to form a mesh 0 grid of compound curved contours. End portions 0 said wires are secured, as by welding, to a metal rim con sistingof an upper wire member 3 and a lower wire mem her 4, Figures 1 and 2, both preferably of 5 gauge stee wire, welded to the mesh-forming wires at 5, Figure 11 A shell construction intended more particularly for use a a chair frame, includes a curved seat mesh or grid sec tion, as 6, and a curved back mesh or grid section, as 1 between which is an intermediate curved grid portion 8 Figure 2. The wires in said sections are expanded o elongated in varying degrees and the meshes are corre spondingly distorted to form a curved shell which pro vides body conforming contours, Figure 4.

A fastening or securing element, as a ring 9 of suitabl rod or wire stock, as 2 gauge, is providedwith means fo accommodating fastening bolts, or the like by which th frame may be mounted on and securely attached to suitable base. As shown in Figures 4 and 13, ring 9 ha spaced flattened portions 10 which are provided with bolt receiving holes 11, said flattened portions being adapte to receive and support flat top end portions of legs 0 other base members, shown in dotted lines, Figure 13 conventionally provided with bolt holes which come 0; posite said holes 11 when the frame and the base ar assembled. The shell construction above described provides lightweight but sturdy chair frame, or the like, which i contoured to conform in general to body contours of per sons in sitting or reclining positions thereon. Also, th rim, besides functioning as a strength imparting elemem provides a peripheral lip which retains in position a cer tain type of upholstery pad provided with a marginal a1 taching band having a wire ring enclosed in an 'edg pocket thereof which, however, forms no part of th present invention. A further advantage of the above described frame construction in use is that it may be err ployed advantageously with any one of various types c supporting bases.

A practical method of making a furniture frame c shell according to the present invention includes cuttin wire strands of 'rods of gauge steel wire stock to the required lengths and arranging a plurality of 'them' as transverse members 20 infcrossed relation to a plurality of longitudinal members 21, Figure 5. These are welded together at their intersections to form the flat-mesh or grid, as 22. Saidgrid is placed between suitable dies, preferably hydraulically actuated, one of which presents generally convex curved surfaces and the other, generally :oncave curved surfaces conforming thereto. The effect of applying dies pressure to said grid 22 while engaged Jetween said dies is to draw and thus elongate portions of wires 20 in a transverse direction and portions of the wires 21 in a longitudinal direction, the extent of such elongation being greater at mid-portions and less at edge portions of said grid 22. Said elongation distorts the neshes of grid portion 22 and forms the curved contour 'ntermediate grid portion 8, Figures 2 and 6, imparting hereto a permanently curved compound sectional con- .our.

Additional transverse wires 23, Figure 7, are applied :rosswise and welded to said longitudinal wires 21 at heir intersections to provide an initially fiat back porion grid 24; and additional transverse wires 25 are apalied crosswise and welded to said cross wires 21 at their ntersections to provide an initially flat seat portion grid !6. Said seat and back portion flat grids are placed beween dies having appropriately curved'shaping surfaces ind are subjected to drawing pressure such that the flat grid meshes thereof are distorted in varying degrees as aid seat and back portions are die pressed into curved ectional contours, which form said compound curved :ontour seat grid 6 and said compound curved contour ack grid 7, Figures 2 and 9.

The upper and lower perimeter or rim wire rings 3 and are applied to and across outer end portions of the mesh tr grid-forming wires 20, 21,23 and 25 and are welded hereto at their respective intersections, as 5, Figure 11; nd free end portions, if any, of said wires which extend 'utwardly beyond said perimeter or rim wires are trimmed if to provide a finished frame Iedge.

The chair frame is completed by welding the securing r attaching ring 9 to under portions of the crossed wires orming the curved seat grid 6.

The above-described method permits mass production fsaid wire frames or shells at'relativelylow cost and usures uniformity in their style, construction and urability factors.

"I claim: I 1. Furniture frame comprising a plurality of longituinal wires and a plurality of transverse wires having-porlons welded in crossed relationto form a-bodysupport- 13 mesh with portions of said mesh deformed to proide in effect a body supporting member of inherent urved contour, and an upper rim wire -welded to upper urfaces and a lower rim wire welded to lower surfaces f end portions of said longitudinal and transverse wires.

2. Furniture frame according to claim 1 and including fastening ring secured to a portion of the underside of aid mesh.

3. Furniture frame comprising a plurality ofspaced part longitudinal wires, a plurality of spaced apart transerse wires incross contiguous :relation thereto and 'elded to said longitudinal wires at their points of con- [Ct to form a body conforming and supporting mesh 'hich provides a back portion inherently curvedoutardly from its periphery and a. seat portion inherently irved downwardly from its periphery, an upper rim [ember welded to upper surfaces and 'a lower rim-mem- "portions of themesh.

6. Furniture frame according to claim 3 and wherein said upper rim memberand said lower rim member are endless wires arranged in-substantially parallel spaced relation peripherally around said body supporting mesh. 2 7i A chair or the like comprising a seat-'and-back unit for supporting the body of a person, said unit including a continuous wire frame extending around the periphery of the unit, and a network including a first plurality of generally parallel wiresattachedat their ends to and spanningsaid frame, a second plurality of generally parallel wires attached at their ends to-and spanning-said frame and *crossing said first plurality of wires at-sub- "stantial angles and welded connections between said wires at the-' crossing thereof, said network being contoured to 'form a seat portion, aback portion, and a curved portion of substantial "radius joining-said seat portion and said back portion; and a supportfor said seat-and-back unit and means connectingsaid support tosaidnetwork inwardly of said frame and providing the only support for the unit.

8Q A chair orthe like comprising a seat-and-back unit for supporting the body of a person, said unit being an integral, resiliently flexible network consisting of a "rim extending around the periphery of the network,'a=first plurality of generally parallel wires extending across said network from oneside to'the other and beingattached at their ends to said rim, a second plurality of generally parallel wires crossing said first plurality of wires atsubstantial angles, said'second plurality of wires also extending across said network from one side to the other and being attached at their ends to said rim, and welded connections between said wires at the crossings thereof, said network having an unstressed contour conforming generally to the contour of the body of wanted person, and including a seat portion curving upwardly from the center toward the sides, a back portion curving forwardly from the center toward th'e'sides, and a portion of compound curvature of substantial radius smoothly joining the seat portion and the back portion; a base for-said seat-and-back unit and means connecting said base to said network only at localities inwardly of-said rim, so that all stresses due to loads on said 'seat-and-back'unit are transferred through the network-and the connecting means to the base.

- References Cited in the file of this patent or the original patent

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5611598 *Jan 26, 1996Mar 18, 1997Steelcase Inc.Chair having back shell with selective stiffening
US6869142Sep 12, 2002Mar 22, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationSeating unit having motion control
US6880886Jun 5, 2003Apr 19, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationCombined tension and back stop function for seating unit
US6957863Sep 13, 2004Oct 25, 2005Steelcase Development CorporationSeating unit having motion control
US7165811Jun 5, 2003Jan 23, 2007Steelcase Development CorporationControl mechanism for seating unit
US7226130Jun 5, 2003Jun 5, 2007Steelcase Development CorporationSeating with comfort surface
US7234774Sep 23, 2005Jun 26, 2007Steelcase Development CorporationSeating unit with novel flexible supports
US7360835Jun 4, 2007Apr 22, 2008Steelcase Inc.Seating with comfort surface
US20040245839 *Jun 5, 2003Dec 9, 2004Bodnar David A.Combined tension and back stop function for seating unit
US20040245840 *Jun 5, 2003Dec 9, 2004Tubergen Renard G.Seating with comfort surface
US20050029848 *Sep 13, 2004Feb 10, 2005Heidmann Kurt R.Seating unit having motion control
US20060055220 *Sep 23, 2005Mar 16, 2006Heidmann Kurt RSeating unit with novel flexible supports
US20070228800 *Jun 4, 2007Oct 4, 2007Tubergen Renard GSeating with comfort surface